I knew marrying a divorced man would include challenges. Obviously he had an ex-wife and he had children who would be a part of our life. I understood that his former wife would still have a presence in his life, in the form of co-parenting their kids, and I was willing to step to the side, when needed, to let them share the limelight for their children’s special events and collaborate to raise the children.
What I was not prepared for was her daily intrusion into our lives. Numerous phone calls and texts each day. The inability to go places or schedule things for ourselves during her time with the kids because we never know if she will actually take them or just drop them on our front porch without notice. The yelling and insults. Trashing me to her kids and telling them they don’t have to listen to or respect me. I never imagined it would be like this!
To be clear, I had nothing to do with her split from my husband. She left him and the kids months before he and I even became acquainted. There’s no clear reason to hate me other than the fact that I exist, I am now married to her ex, and I help raise her children.
I don’t want problems. I want to live peacefully with the man I love and raise our children together. I have been through my own divorce hell and have no desire to be in the sidecar of another. I feel as though I inherited an ex by marrying hers; but, the funny thing is that she causes infinitely more drama in my life than my own ex ever does!
It occurs to me that what we have here is a bio mom bio hazard!
Just like a chemical spill, this situation requires careful handling to avoid further complications or contamination. Some relationships are toxic, and this one definitely fits that description! Some people, no matter how hard you try, just cannot play nice with others or be interested in peace. Over time, it has become clear to me that she thrives on drama and conflict! Perhaps she cannot let the past go, or maybe she is just an angry, unreasonable person.
I recognize that I can only control my actions and my reaction to other’s actions. Therefore, as maddening as her assaults to our life are, it’s not worth it to let the insanity ruin the good thing that I have! I actually have to pity someone who is that angry and conflicted because I can only imagine the inner turmoil behind the venom she spews.
In reality, contrary to her intentions, the meddling, back-stabbing, and turmoil serve to knit my husband and I closer together. We have a shared mission to maintain a happy and tranquil home and to preserve our marriage. Her antics give us a never-ending topic of conversation and force us to put our heads together to problem solve and prepare for each new predicament, as a team.
Our commitment to gain control over the disharmony his ex causes prompts us to shield the kids from this negativity because they deserve the least amount of conflict possible. We want them to have a loving relationship with her, but they do not need to witness or be a party to adult matters, arguments, or any more turmoil than they’ve already endured as children of divorce.
One might only browse social media and the internet to find numerous chat forums, communities, and sites dedicated to other step moms at their wit’s end with bio mom antics. I know that I have a very large sisterhood of other women who are fed up with childish, narcissistic, and irresponsible outbursts of ex-wives. Sadly, it’s a bit of an epidemic that former wives aren’t moving on and are dedicating their lives to punishing their exes (and new partners) to a life sentence of torment.
I can completely understand pain, jealousy, and difficulty moving on if the new woman was also the “other woman”.
I even understand anger and unresolved feelings directed toward one’s ex – to an extent. I am an ex-wife. I have been hurt, betrayed, and let down by a husband, and it was hard to have to face him, communicate with him, and put up with the things he did. We set our boundaries, we re-adjusted the scope of our relationship to only encompass what goes on with our kids, and we’ve moved on! I don’t stay up at night pushing pins into his voodoo doll likeness, crying in my pillow, or cursing him. He has his life, I have mine, and they only intersect to discuss schedules, medical bills, and our kids’ well-being.
My plea to all the bio moms out there who are still in full battle mode is this: stop hurting yourself and everyone else! Why are you doing this to yourself? You surely can’t be happy or at peace if so much time and effort is consumed complaining, plotting, name-calling, fighting, and interfering! Your children need positive models of healthy adult relationships, problem solving, and managing emotions.
If you feel that your children are in some sort of danger, abused, or neglected, then by all means go through the proper authorities to address the problem. If your beef is with the fact that a new woman shares part of your children’s life or that your former partner is no longer with you, I’m afraid this is something you will have to get over. Yes, divorce is painful and it takes time to heal and settle into a routine that feels “normal”. I wouldn’t wish a divorce on anyone; but, once it does occur, you can’t let it dominate your life and make you into a monster!
Bio moms and new partners: I encourage you both to lay down your weapons and try to make peace, for your own sanity, your relationships, and for the sake of the children in your lives. Surely the legacy you want to leave is not one of hate, and there is no happiness to be gained by seeking out battles. What’s done is already done. The events of the previous marriage, the divorce, and even the interactions you’ve already had are over. Nothing says that the future also has to include turbulence. Now is as good a time as any to abandon combativeness to make way for sanity and a chance at happiness!
In the same boat says
I am sure toxic ex wives are not the norm for every situation… But I don’t know one stepmom or divorced father that doesn’t deal with issues like you’ve described. I don’t understand it either. I have an ex husband, and while we did not have children, our split was amicable and I wish him and his new wife nothing but the best. My husband’s ex… Whole different story. She is so poisonous. The vitriol that spews from that woman to her kids about their father and I, it’s incredible. Fortunately, her children see how she is, and reject much of her, to the point they just put up with her because they have to. Their father and I have shown the kids what a happy, loving relationship looks like and how to deal with toxic people that life forces us all to deal with.