If you’re dating a divorced man, I really feel for you. Dealing with the ex-wife of your boyfriend is never an easy job.
However, you should always keep in mind that the important thing is that she is an ex and an ex is an ex for a reason.
She belongs to his past and you are his present and, hopefully, his future.
Of course, it would be better for all of you if you have friendly relations, especially if kids are involved.
Co-parenting isn’t always easy, trust me, and you should help both your partner and his ex-spouse with this, if they have kids together.
Always keep in mind and do things that are in the best interest of the kids.
Your husband’s ex was a part of your new partner’s past and you have to accept the fact that she will always (unfortunately) be a part of his life if she is the mother of his children.
It would be better for both of you, but especially for the kids, if you could find some common ground and build some healthy relations between you two.
How to deal with your boyfriend’s ex-wife?
I think this is the most frequently asked question from women who are dating a divorced man with kids and your husband’s ex can really be unbearable sometimes.
Here’s how to handle her effectively.
Get to know your partner’s ex
First of all, you should meet her.
I don’t mean that you should only shake hands with her and tell her your name, I mean that you should really spend some time with her and get to know her.
This will be easy if she and your significant other divorced amicably and stayed friends after the split because the relationship between them will also be more relaxed.
You should give her a chance. You might be surprised and you might even become friends with her, which would be very cool.
Don’t have any prejudices about her if you haven’t yet even met her.
If she and your new partner didn’t get along well, that doesn’t mean that you won’t.
Maybe she is a totally different type of person from how you imagine her and from what others have said about her.
Maybe this new friendship between you two will help you learn and understand some new things about your boyfriend and his previous relationship.
Invite her over or go out with her for coffee
Why not? This may seem a little bit awkward but it really doesn’t have to be. You can hang out with her and get to know her.
Trust me, that’s how the kids will accept and like you faster.
Ask her to hang out more often. Tell her that you want to be a friend to her even if it’s a little bit strange in your circumstances.
Ask her about her personal life and be honest when you answer questions about your personal life.
Ask her about her dating life and whether she also has a new boyfriend or not.
Maybe right now it seems really awkward to speak to your husband’s ex about these things but you’ll soon see that there is nothing to worry about.
You can also ask her some things you would like to know about your significant other or their children too and don’t be ashamed to talk about your new relationship with her ex-husband, especially if she asks you about it.
Give her a chance to get to know you
You should also give her a chance to get to know the real you.
She’ll most definitely want to know who the girl is who came after her and who is a possible stepmom to her kids.
Be honest and direct about everything you talk to her about. Don’t pretend or lie just because you want to get her ‘approval’ in some way.
Also, you shouldn’t be a suck-up to her to get her to like you. You don’t need that.
Once she sees how much you make her ex-husband happy and how great you are with kids, she’ll start seeing you in a different way.
If she is mad or bitter about your boyfriend or you, getting to know the real you might help.
Once she sees that you are a good person and that she doesn’t have anything to worry about, she’ll accept you and try to be friends with you.
Try to understand how she feels
This is very important. You are a woman, too. Maybe she didn’t want the divorce, maybe she still loves him…
You should consider all that and try to understand her.
It’s definitely not so easy for her to watch her ex-husband with his new girlfriend every day and she will have a fear that the kids might like you too much and start calling you their mom.
If you’re alone at one point and you start talking, you should ask her about her previous marriage, mental health and well-being in general.
Maybe she doesn’t want to start dating yet because she is afraid of how her kids would react to that.
However she feels, your job is to try to understand her and make things easier for her and the kids as much as you can.
Always remember that she has also her side of the story about their divorce
There are two sides to every story and it’s like that in this one.
You’ve heard your partner’s side and it’s only fair for you to listen to his ex’s side of the story.
It’s up to you who you are going to believe.
Even though you’ll probably choose to believe in your partner’s side of the story, it still doesn’t have to be a reason not to have a good relationship with his ex-spouse.
If it’s possible, become friends with her
As I’ve already said, it’s very important to establish a healthy relationship with your partner’s ex.
Ask her out and hang out with her every now and then.
Show her that you don’t see her as the enemy and that neither should she see you that way.
Share some private stories from your past and listen carefully when she talks about her own life.
It’s important for both of you to build trust between you two.
Ask her about their children’s lives and ask her what they like doing.
If you have noticed that something is bothering them, it’s totally okay to talk to her about it.
Talk about your jobs, interests and any bad things you’ve encountered in your lives and follow her on social media.
You can also ask her things about your partner (because she probably knows him best).
If you’re planning a surprise for him, maybe a birthday party or something, she can be very helpful for that.
Ask her what her reasons for divorcing were and how much it actually affected her life.
Show her that your only intention is to establish a good and healthy relationship with her.
But also understand that you’ll never become besties and that’s okay
Sometimes, no matter how much you try to establish a friendly relationship with your partner’s ex-spouse, it just isn’t possible.
She may still have some unresolved issues with him or simply doesn’t want to become friends with you, even if you do nothing wrong to her.
For some reason, most ex-wives think that the new girl is the reason why they lost their ex-husband forever and they are afraid that she might ‘take’ their kids, too.
Even if you establish a good relationship with your partner’s ex, you shouldn’t think that she is your true friend and that you can tell her everything.
No one says that you need to become besties with her. It would actually be too awkward and a little bit freaky.
You should never trust her 100%
No matter how good or friendly your relationship is, you should never trust her completely because you never know if her intentions are really as honest as she says.
You have to be careful with it because sometimes ex-wives pretend that they are friends with their ex-partner’s girl just because they want to get to know bad things about her and separate the two of them.
Don’t complain to her about your partner because I’m sure she’ll be eager to tell him that.
Also, don’t think you can gossip with her about him or his family because she’ll tell him about it.
Don’t allow her to speak badly about your boyfriend
Even if you ask her to tell her side of the story about their divorce, you should never allow her to insult or speak badly about your boyfriend.
You should defend him no matter what.
Even if you think that he has done a bad thing to her and that she has the right to insult him, you shouldn’t say that in front of her.
If you notice that she bad-mouths him in front of the children, you should immediately stop her and tell your partner about it.
She’ll probably want to make the kids choose a side and that’s how she thinks she’ll make them choose hers.
If you hear that she talks badly about your partner or notice it yourself, you should stop her right away.
Also, don’t speak badly about her in front of your significant other
Even if she treats you badly or doesn’t want to have any communication with you, you shouldn’t gossip about her in front of your boyfriend.
The most important thing is that the kids are pleased and content and that they have both parents, even if they’re divorced.
Everything else will fall into place one day.
And if it doesn’t, that’s not important. You’ll learn to live with the annoying ex-wife of your man.
The most important thing is that you two are together, loving and respecting each other.
There is no reason for you to be jealous of her, so remember that she belongs in the past…
… and you are now. You are a part of his life now and you’ll be a part of his future; that’s all that matters.
You don’t have any reasons to be jealous of her. If he thought that she was better than you in any way, he would still be with her, not you.
Let go of all of those negative feelings and focus on what’s really important.
That envy and jealousy won’t do you any good; it can only disrupt that beautiful romantic relationship between you and your partner.
Never involve their kids in your problems or fights
All things concerning the kids were probably already agreed upon in the divorce process.
Your partner and his ex probably have a custody arrangement and your partner is likely paying his ex child support.
You should all sit down with their kids and explain to them your current situation.
Your partner should introduce you as his new girlfriend, their stepmom, and ask both them and you to try to get along and accept each other.
Okay, so they aren’t your own kids but they are now your stepchildren and if you truly love your partner, that would be the same for you; you’ll see them as your own.
If you don’t have a good relationship with your partner’s ex-wife and if you fight a lot, you have to leave the kids out of it because it leaves huge consequences on their mental health.
Also, never but really NEVER, use the opportunity to bad-mouth her when you are alone with the kids.
No matter what she has done or still does to you, you should never try to get revenge. Always be the bigger person!
Fighting with your boyfriend because of her is off the table
Constant phone calls then hang-ups every time you answer your partner’s phone, texting, inviting him over to let him have the kids… these are all some signs of how she wants to make you jealous and get a bad reaction from you.
She’ll probably try to separate you but you should show her how strong your love is.
You also have to understand your partner so know that he can’t be a referee between you two.
If she told you her side of the story and made him look bad, you shouldn’t immediately believe her and confront your boyfriend with your new findings.
Give him a chance to defend himself.
Things could get even worse between you and your boyfriend’s ex-wife if he asks you to marry him.
Becoming his fiancée may make her even angrier or more obsessed with you.
Don’t let the relationship between you two affect the relationship with your boyfriend
She might try to control her ex-husband and she has one powerful weapon to do that; the kids, of course.
If she gets them to choose her side (even though it’s so wrong to ask children to pick sides), your partner will suffer for sure and she’ll be in a position to make ultimatums with him.
It would be better for all of you if you could get along well but you don’t have to try to be friends with her at all costs.
Whatever your relationship is, you should never allow it to affect the relationship between you and your boyfriend.
Try to be fair with her. Try to be full of understanding with her and your partner too.
But don’t allow anyone to insult you or speak badly about you.
Set some healthy boundaries
Setting boundaries is crucial for every healthy relationship.
You should set some healthy boundaries in the relationship with your partner and also with his ex-spouse.
Don’t let her cross the line or your limits. If you aren’t okay with something she says or does, you have to tell her that.
If you see that she wants to be too close to your man, tell her to back off.
Tell her that even though you asked her to be friends with you that this is something you won’t tolerate.
I know that dealing with the ex-wife of your boyfriend is so difficult and it makes you so uncomfortable but all you have to do is find a way to make that relationship work.
No matter how difficult it becomes, you must not even think about breaking up with your partner because of his ex.
It is possible to make your family life happier even under those circumstances but only if all sides want to cooperate to make that happen.
Think about the kids and their best interests and everything will be, well, not perfect, but it will be the way that’s best for all of you.
Hang in there, she’ll understand soon that the best thing for everyone would be to get along. Peace and love, that’s all I want for you.