Man in Relationship Cheered for Letting Ex-Wife Stay the Night: 'Etiquette'

A woman has been dragged online after saying she was upset that her partner's ex-wife stayed over at his house because their daughter needed some comfort.

In January 23 viral post on the London-based discussion site Mumsnet, user JustWonderingThatsAll asked if she was being unreasonable because she was unhappy her partner had allowed his ex-wife to spend the night.

"My partner, with whom I'm planning my future—even recently putting a deposit down on a property together, just told me that his ex-wife is spending the night at his house, so as to be on hand to comfort their daughter," she wrote. "My immediate thought was that this is inappropriate."

The poster explained that her partner and his ex-wife have a teen daughter who was going through a breakup. "[She] is understandably upset over a break-up with her first love. Wanting her mum's support, the daughter asked his ex-wife to spend the night at my partner's house," said the poster.

"My first reaction was that he should have offered to arrange a taxi over to his daughter's mom's house—only a 10 minute journey away—should she have felt that my partner couldn't give her the emotional comfort, support or advice she needed at the time," the woman continued.

Woman sleeping
A close-up picture of a woman sleeping. The internet has backed a dad for letting his ex-wife sleep over at his house. tommaso79/Getty Images

"My partner said it felt heartless to put his daughter in a taxi while upset, although I thought that the options of him accompanying her in the taxi before returning home, or putting her sibling in the taxi with her for emotional support during the short ride, would have negated any appearances of being heartless," the poster said.

With a daughter of a similar age herself, the poster said that she understood the complexities of co-parenting with an ex-partner but felt that the sleepover was entirely inappropriate.

"I still feel like we have the responsibility to guide our children on matters such as inappropriateness or social and emotional etiquette, which teenagers sometimes appear not to have as they navigate these tumultuous years, often with an air of self-centeredness," the poster wrote.

Relationship coach Ceza Ouzounian told Newsweek: "If you trust your partner and they are friends with their ex to be able to co-parent, then there should be no reason why them spending time is concerning. They will have to spend time together at some point because they have a child together. If both have moved on and there is no worry of romantic feelings between them, then there should be no reason to feel anxious."

In the comments on the post, which has received 97 replies, Mumsnet users said the woman's anxiety was unnecessary.

"Do you think they're going to have sex?" asked one. "Either you trust your partner or you don't."

Another commenter wrote: "It sounds like your partner and his ex-wife are prioritizing supporting their heartbroken daughter in their daughter's home."

"They're prioritizing their kid, it's not about you," another user said.

"A shared child can complicate relationships between exes and new partners, as the new partner needs to accept that the ex will always be a part of their life, even if they aren't in contact with them," Ouzounian said, because the parent will "need to communicate often for the child's sake."

"It can be hard to accept your partner is spending time and money on their child or contributing to their ex to look after their child," she said.

But some Mumsnet users said they understood the woman's anxiety and agreed that it was strange for the ex-wife to sleep over.

"I wouldn't be having any of that. It's a bit weird and shows a lack of respect towards you," said one commenter.

Another user wrote: "I'd not be a fan of this. There's no good reason for her to stay over when she lives so close."

Newsweek was not able to verify the details of the case.

If you have a family dilemma, let us know via We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured in Newsweek.