Dear Coleen

My husband and I are separated and in the process of getting a divorce. It’s pretty amicable because the split was a mutual decision.

But my dilemma is this, we had a family holiday booked to a villa that we go to every year, and we agreed we’d still go together as a family for the sake of the kids.

However, he’s now dropped a spanner in the works, as he’s asked if it’s OK if his new partner joins us for a week of the two-week holiday.

Is it just me or is this a step too far? We have remained friends and have done everything possible to ensure our sons are OK, but this request has made me angry.

We’re not even divorced and I haven’t met anyone else, so it doesn’t feel right or equal.

My kids have only met their dad’s girlfriend a couple of times (I haven’t met her at all), and I think it would be weird for them seeing their dad with another woman while I’m there too!

I’ve made my mind up that I’m going to say no, even if it means he doesn’t come at all or only comes for a week on his own.

I think I’m right, but I’d love your opinion on this.

Coleen says

I think if that’s how you feel, then you’re right. You’re not ready for that – there may come a time in the future when you are, but right now you’re not.

He might be getting pressure from his new girlfriend, who objects to him going on holiday with his ex, so he’s felt under pressure to ask you.

If you’re going to feel uncomfortable, then don’t agree to it.

Coleen think sharing a house with hubby's new partner is a step too far
Coleen think sharing a house with hubby’s new partner is a step too far ( Image: Nicky Johnston)

Certainly, being cooped up in a villa together doesn’t seem like a good idea – if it were a hotel and you were in separate rooms and getting together now and again for lunch or a swim, that might be different.

But sharing a house with the new girlfriend seems a step too far so close to your break-up.

I think it could be complicated for the children, too – if it’s just you and the ex, they might take it as a hopeful sign you’re getting back together and, equally, if the new girlfriend is there, too, that’s weird and awkward for them. They can’t win.

To me, it sounds way too soon for these kinds of chummy get-togethers.

If he says he can’t come without his partner, then why can’t they stay somewhere nearby and take the kids out some of the time, which would also give you a break?

But as things stand, it doesn’t sound like a relaxing break to me!