< 1 min read
Divorce is always hard on a family, but it’s even harder when the husband leaves his wife for another woman, and there are children involved. The emotional struggle that comes along with feeling “discarded” and “cast aside” for another woman is further increased when the other woman is liked by your kids, or even by other members in the family.
It’s not just women this happens with, I know. Men, whose wives choose another man to pursue a relationship with, struggle just as much emotionally when they feel they are being replaced. And I can imagine the blow to a man’s ego feels about like the breaking of a woman’s heart.
So when the kids, even though they are of course immensely affected by the divorce, enjoy spending time with the “other person,” how do you effectively deal with this?
Marked as spam
I'm going echo a few sentiments in Lesley's answer. As a child of divorced parents, I know this was something very difficult for my mother to deal with. Over the years I have come to think of it like this: if your spouse leaves you for someone else, wouldn't it be way worse if your children hated that new significant other? In order to co-parent with your kids' other biological parent, your focus needs to be on the well-being of your children. If that new person in their life is great and treats them well, you have to quell your feelings about how that might make you feel about yourself. That doesn't do them any good. Yes, you have to take care of yourself and you should confide your emotions to a friend or therapist, but don't pit your kids against that other person. That will only lead to pettiness on both sides and your kids' mental health will suffer. Be happy that they are happy no matter where they are on any given weekend. You are their mom/dad and are irreplaceable. Now just imagine if they hated that new person and how much you would have to worry about them on their weekends away. That would be worse in my opinion.
Divorce is hard. There is no question about that, and if we are still healing our own wounds from the process it can be difficult to see our ex and our kids building relationships and lives that we are not part of.
The most important thing to remember is that going forward, our first priority should be making sure that our kids are as safe and secure as possible with both mom and dad. We have to put our own emotions and egos aside as we move forward as a different kind of family.
If you're having difficulty dealing with your ex's new partner and the fact that your children like her, then this is something you should explore with the help of a therapist. It's natural to wonder "What do they have that I don't?" and to draw comparisons, but this is the last thing you should do. No matter how amazing the other person might be, you are still your child's mother and they will look to you to see how they should be dealing with this new situation. Even if you don't mean to, your own attitude can affect your children and they may feel bad about being disloyal which can make things even harder for them.
While seeing your kids bonding and enjoying the company of someone else might be difficult, it is even more difficult when they don't like their parent's choice of partner. It might take some time, but try to foster a gratitude mindset where you are grateful that your kids do not have to spend time with someone that they really dislike and that makes them miserable. Hopefully in time, you will make your own peace with the situation and your ex's partner will become a helpful ally in raising your kids.