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OMG! My Ex Brought a Date to a School Event

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Single Mom Seeking: A divorced mom recently told us that her uninvolved ex-husband decided to show up at Back to School Night with his girlfriend.

woman looking at couple


"My ex and I are not on speaking terms," she adds. "We communicate only by e-mail. We talk only when he wants to argue that his child support payments are too high."

Still, they make every effort "to be polite to each other," she says.

"But I had no idea that my ex would be bringing his girlfriend to Back to School Night. I don't think she should have been there. I want to create some boundaries here. Is she now going to show up for every school function?"

Some moms we've spoken to tell us that it's important to consider the following questions:

How long has your ex been dating his new girlfriend? (Say, three months versus one year?) Is this relationship serious?

How do your kids feel about the ex bringing that new girl/boyfriend to their school?

Another single mom, LoveBabz, says that it is crucial to look at the REAL issue here: "It's not about the ex bringing a friend/partner/lover/whatever. I think it's about the ex-spouse who is still struggling with being separated/divorced/unpartnered."

So, we're wondering: Do momlogic readers feel it's appropriate for boy/girlfriends to attend school events?

Do you have the right to know if your ex is going to bring that new girl/boyfriend to your child's school?

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Nikki November 6, 2009, 10:10 AM

I think it’s his business who he brings. Your not together why should you care or let it bother you. Get your own life.

tiffani November 6, 2009, 10:35 AM

It is not healthy for a child to have random people in their lives as a girlfriend or boyfriend to their parents, I think only when its serious enought that a person will become a step parent, then it is okay.

Arani November 6, 2009, 11:13 AM

Does the child even know this girlfriend exists? The article says the father is uninvolved. I think the father should be trying to focus more of his attention on his child showboating his girlfriend. The mother has every right to be concerned.

Mere November 6, 2009, 11:38 AM

I think it is absolutely your business who is involved in your child’s life. It isn’t a general social function that the article refers too; it’s a function that involves the child. Anyone involved in your child’s life no matter how insignificant could impact your child positively or negatively. I want to know who is working at the local day care my child will be attending, the parents of the children he plays with. Any person who will have direct contact with my child is worth knowing about! Especially now you can not afford to be ignorant in regards to who your child is with or even talking too. It would have been better for this father to tell mom in advance of his guest ahead of time.

Missy November 7, 2009, 2:29 PM

I think it’s okay given some boundaries. This should be a long-time partner who the children know and has a vested interest in their well-being. I can say from experience that I have been in this exact situation as the “new girlfriend”. I had been dating my husband (then boyfriend) for longer than he was married to his ex. She was starting kindergarten and they had a parent orientation meeting at the school. We went together and didn’t tell his ex ahead of time I would be there… why would we? She had an all-out freaking fit with my husband. She called him later that night ranting and crying and telling him how I shouldn’t have been there and it should have “just been the two of them”. I can tell you that as a step-parent you are involved with your step-children and what they do at school. It’s important to know what’s going on. You help them with projects, homework, talk to the teachers, etc. It only makes sense that you would go to school functions too.
Assuming that this father has been seeing this woman for a decent amount of time and she is involved with his children, she has a right to be there. It sounds like the mom needs to get control of her own feelings and deal with them herself. Her ex shouldn’t have to clear his every move with her. That’s why they’re divorced.

Chrissy November 7, 2009, 5:38 PM

All we have the the mother’s perpective. And after a divocre it may not be accurate.
She and her ex are not talking so we do not know if the girlfreind is serious or casual or if the children have already met her.
Furthermore, we don;t even know what her definition is for “uninvolved”
If the girlfriend is serious and the children already know her then regardless of what the thinks the decision for her to be there is what the girlfriend and ex husband thinks is appropriate.
Unfortunately, the ex wife does not have a say in who accompanies her exhusband to events when there is no evidence that they girlfriend is a dangewr to her children.

tennmom November 7, 2009, 7:48 PM

I think it does matter how long the relationship has been going on and how serious it is.
Personally, after I was widowed, I dated my “now” husband for a year before I introduced him to my children. The loss of a parent or a divorce is hard enough on children without bringing a new person into the picture who may or may not stay in the picture.
I waited until my husband and I were sure we were in a permanent relationship and I’m glad I did. My girls have now known their step-father longer than they knew their late-father.

KC February 24, 2010, 4:10 PM

Unless the girlfriend is a stranger to the child, or the child is not fond of her, I don’t really think it’s inappropriate. Think about it on the opposite situation. What if you have a boyfriend who your child loves having around him/her and the boyfriend also wants to be in your and your child’s life?

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