Q: I moved out of the house six months ago and in with the woman across the street.

We were not having an affair. It was a roommate thing after my wife and I separated and I wanted to be close to the kids, ages 14 and 15.

But now we are in love. The kids seem to love having my girlfriend around, but their mother tells me they are very upset. I’m not sure who’s telling the truth.

Plus, I would like to have Christmas with the kids at my house this year. What do you think?

A: We think you need to have your head examined.

First, moving in with the woman across the street after your breakup is about the most ridiculous thing we have heard in a long time.

We are glad your kids appear to like this woman, but it was really bad judgment to become romantically involved with her and remain in the home across the street from your soon-to-be-ex-wife and children.

Even contemplating having Christmas at your girlfriend’s home this year seems ludicrous to us and the only reason we are answering this question is to demonstrate to our readers how absolutely crazy people get during a breakup.

What are you thinking?

At this point we suggest you pack your bags and move out — around the corner, across town, anywhere other than across the street.

We aren’t saying you should end the relationship since it did start after the breakup (even though we question your sanity), but you must conduct it somewhere other than under the nose of your ex and the kids.

Put a formal visitation schedule in place, follow it exactly, and see your girlfriend on your own time.

In terms of Christmas, although you are in love and probably want to integrate everyone as soon as possible, don’t!

Too much too soon sabotages the new partner’s relationship with the kids and considering how quickly you moved, we wouldn’t be surprised if your ex is fuming, which makes co-parenting difficult.

Your girlfriend started out as a friend, so we don’t question that your kids like her, but now that she is your girlfriend they probably have mixed emotions. Get it out of their face, let the dust settle, and take note of ex-etiquette rule No. 1: Put the children first! Be their parent!

If this new woman loves you, she won’t go away. And you have a lot to make up for since you used such bad judgment when you started this new relationship.

Finally, we highly recommend counseling for everyone. Hopefully a good counselor will serve as the voice of reason and suggest tools to help you make better decisions in the future.

Jann Blackstone-Ford and her husband’s ex-wife, Sharyl Jupe, authors of “Ex-Etiquette for Parents,” are the founders of Bonus Families (www.bonusfamilies.com).

— McClatchy-Tribune