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Before I met my husband’s ex-wife I wanted to believe that she would behave as admirably as I did when my ex remarried, but that didn’t happen. So, if you’re reading this, take note.

 

 Even though my ex and I decided that we would always put our son’s needs first, and work hard to facilitate a relationship with both parents, it was much easier said than done prior to both of us remarrying. At that point, I realized that I was not responsible for facilitating the relationship between my son and his biological father, but he had to be responsible for that. Additionally, I had to put forth my effort into my husband and family, and he had to do the same with his. And, hopefully some way, some day, we could create two households that worked together, but separately, if that makes sense. Well, when my ex remarried it became difficult for me to adhere to my preconceived notion – mainly because my ex went about things totally wrong prior to getting married. Our son was only 3 years old and he hadn’t seen his father in 10 months (remember he plays overseas basketball). My ex popped up one summer with a new woman and said that he was getting married. He sprung this on my son in a 24 hour period. Keep in mind that my son is very young and already confused by the fact that this man, who we tell him is dad, but he hasn’t seen in a year, is all up in his face. But now, he has to deal with the fact that mom and dad aren’t together anymore (we usually lived together once he returned), and not only that, I have a new mom now too. I thought that he would’ve been more sensitive to our son’s feelings. I thought he would’ve talked to him first about the changes that were going to take place, but he did none of that. As such, as you can imagine, I was pretty upset by that because I knew how it would affect not only my son, but the little relationship that they had. My son immediately became standoffish and completely turned off by his father. Not to mention that he didn’t know this new woman who he would now refer to as his stepmom. It was way too overwhelming for a 3 year old.

 

With that being said, I had a difficult time initially accepting my ex’s new wife. I wondered about her moral character. Didn’t she ask her new husband about his child? Didn’t she wonder if he had told him about her? Why would she want to enter into a family on these types of terms? From there, I began to question how this type of person would be toward my son since neither of them were being the least bit sensitive to his needs and feelings. However, I did this without even talking to the woman, and I must admit I was wrong. I finally realized that I might as well accept this new family structure because it wasn’t going away. At that point I began to make a concerted effort to see the good qualities in his new wife, and I was pleasantly surprised. His new wife had an amazingly positive impact on both my ex and my son’s life. My ex began sending birthday and Christmas presents when she came into his life. She was surprisingly nurturing and loving with my son. As a matter of fact, my son has a better relationship with her than he does with his biological father. I am so grateful that he chose someone like her. Having said that, I don’t want to lead you to believe that we agree on everything, we don’t. But, our respect for one another is mutual. I respect the fact that some of her decisions are based solely on what’s best for her family and vice versa.

 

At any rate, after 7 years she and I not only communicate much better, but we understand each other better too or at least we make an effort to do so. It’s been a learning process for me because after a careful self-examination I had to realize that I was beginning to do to her what many do to second wives, and that is to use her as a scapegoat for my issues. I quickly had to do a reality check, and remember my tough position as a second wife to my husband. I had to recognize the fact that she would be the one comforting at bed time, fixing my son’s favorite meals, transporting him to certain activities, and attending school functions, and she does all of that and much more. As such, I had to give her the respect as the mother figure in my son’s life that I have been demanding in my life as a second wife and stepmother.

 

Although we haven’t completely worked out all of the kinks on this side of my blended family, it has gotten soooo much better over the years. Once again, I am grateful that my ex picked a woman that has enough patience, grace and intelligence to handle the many obstacles that a blended family faces. I must also pat myself on the back for seeing past all the bad mistakes that my ex made to find some of the good that now exist within our blended family.

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