Honorary polys of the recession
"Pretty darn good article this morning as far as mass media goes," writes Steve of Toronto. "I would almost take out my baton and dub them 'Poly' by default."
Young couple moves in with her ex-husband
By Jessica Ravitz
Struggling to make ends meet, trying to dig themselves out of debt, Nicole Thompson-Arce and her husband have moved in with her ex-husband.
Together, the unlikely threesome of Omaha, Nebraska, is raising two young daughters from the first marriage.
It's the kind of situation that has left cable guys howling.
"They'd never heard anything like this," Thompson-Arce, 28, remembered with a laugh. "And they're in people's homes every day."
When she and Craig Thompson, 42, were going through a divorce in 2005, this was not a deal either of them could have imagined striking. It was a messy divorce, the kind involving a custody dispute. But once they ironed out that battle, agreeing to joint custody, Thompson-Arce said they were able to move on and forward.
By the time she married Mathew Arce last July, she said she and her ex were friends. In fact, they were so close that his mother -- meaning Thompson-Arce's ex-mother-in-law -- was in (not just at) the second wedding ceremony.
Soon after the Florida wedding, the new lovebirds flew into a financial mess. She had left a job, and as soon as she found another (a temp position), her 22-year-old husband was fired from his higher-paying gig.
They fell behind in rent. The bills stacked up. The credit card debt grew.
...In walked the ex with an offer, just in time for Christmas.... "I knew they were having money problems, so I just asked them to move in," he said. "I figured I'd get to see my girls, my daughters, more often. And Nicole said yes right away."
...No longer do they have to shuttle Victoria, 7, and Caitlyn, 6, between two households. As a team, they can parent and be on the same page. Finding a baby sitter is never a problem. They take turns making meals, which they all share.
Thompson and Arce, who are 20 years apart -- "I had to get the whole spectrum going there," Thompson-Arce joked -- have become the best of friends, and share a similar sense of humor. They have tackled home improvement projects, run around together on days they both have off and often hang out at the kitchen table building plastic models.
"We just clicked," Thompson said. "When I tell people, 'I'm living with my ex-wife and her husband,' I get some really strange looks. ...It's different. It's unusual, but it works."
The transition has been smooth and great for the kids, Thompson-Arce said. And for their benefit, irrespective of finances, she thinks it's a living situation they'll stick with for at least five to 10 years. It has, however, taken a little time for the little ones to get the story straight.
Seven-year-old Victoria went back to school after winter break -- and after the whole team had blended under one roof -- and started telling people this: " 'My mommy has two husbands,'" Thompson-Arce remembered. "I was like, 'No, honey, don't tell them that!'"...
Read the whole article (March 26, 2009).
Here is Thompson-Arce's original post to CNN that started the story. Comments are closed on the main article, but comments are still open here.
Their local newspaper, the Omaha World-Herald, has picked up on the story (March 28). Note that Nicole feels obliged to say there, "This isn't something disgusting. I'm not intimate with both of them or anything like that. We're just roommates and really good friends. That's all it is."
ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" has scheduled a TV report about them for Monday (March 30).
This is spreading around the blogosphere.