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Is a Man Obligated To Take Care Of His Ex…if She’s Raising Their Children?

Is a Man Obligated To Take Care Of His Ex...if She's Raising Their Children?

By Veronica Wells

My fiancé loves to say things to get a reaction out of me. And a couple of weeks ago, it was “Steve Harvey gave some good relationship advice the other day.” As much as I try not to respond to these outlandish statements of his, I immediately rolled my eyes. But turns out he was serious. And I had to agree that Harvey’s advice in this particular situation was quite…compassionate.


On Steve Harvey’s morning radio show a woman called in complaining about her husband’s ex. The ex-wife and the husband share three children together. Recently, the ex-wife has fallen on times so hard that she and her children were likely facing eviction- and she asked her ex-husband if he could help her financially. The problem here is layered. Not only is she asking another woman’s husband for money, this is not the first time she’s done so. He’s had to help her out before.

Fed up with her, the wife suggested to her husband that they take his children in, but let her fend for herself.

Is a Man Obligated To Take Care Of His Ex...if She's Raising Their Children?

The letter was written to Shirley Strawberry, Harvey’s co-host, and she agreed with the current wife: take the kids, let the ex figure it out.

And this is where Steve Harvey stepped in. He suggested that since this woman’s husband seems to be in the position to help his ex-wife, he should do so. He claimed that doing for the children but neglecting her would ultimately end up having a negative impact on his children psychologically as they’re concerned with the welfare and well-being of their mother. He said separating them from her would cause them heartache as well. Not for nothing, he also mentioned that since his ex-wife seemed to have primary custody of their children and had been a good mother to them, the least he could do was ensure that she has a place to lay her head at night.

I couldn’t do anything but raise my eyebrows and nod my head. While none of us may like the idea of our husbands supporting another woman, there has to be some level of respect for the fact that he created life with this person. They’ll always be family, regardless of their relationship status. And what are you teaching your children by turning your back not only on family when you’re clearly in a position to help. If he weren’t, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. True, it’s unfortunate that he’s had to take care of a grown woman and he doesn’t want to breed dependency; but maybe a part of their agreement can include her speaking with a financial planner to see if there’s something she could be doing differently. And to make sure she’s actually in the financial straits that she claims to be.

This is the very reason why when people used to ask me if I would date a man with children my answer was no. Kids aren’t the problem. I could love another person’s child. (Maybe not as much as my own–but that’s not why we’re here.) The issue with being with a man who has children is that you’ll always be second. His priority should be his children. And honestly, you don’t want a man who’s not going to do everything in his power to advocate for them. As this letter showed, there are instances when taking care of their mother, honoring her for her role in their life and yours means that a romantic relationship may have to take a backseat. And as the new lady in his life, you’ll just have to deal.

But that’s just my opinion on the situation. I know there are women out there who would and could never. (I’ve heard too many stories about the new woman complaining about the old one fighting for increased child support.) Still, I would love to hear the rationale and reasons why a man should not support his ex if she is still raising his children.

Share your thoughts!
Is a Man Obligated To Take Care Of His Ex...if She's Raising Their Children?
Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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