I am now re married into this blended family life and in the beginning didn't have a clue what I was letting myself in for. My rose tinted spectacles were well and truly welded to my face and nothing was going to shift them. Yes the vision of a perfect happy life with the quaint cottage complete with roses around the door and white picket fence was finally becoming a reality. Bit of a hefty bump coming back down to earth! Ex wives can be a pain especially if they are the bitter one.
Even the wives who left their marriage in the first place but cannot accept that their ex partner has moved on with his life. If the new love of your life is not dedicated to making your relationship work, leaving his past relationship behind and not putting you on top of his priority list, then there is no point in wasting your time in trying to get on it. It's like nailing jelly to a tree; hopeless! He should be strong enough to not worry about what his ex wife feels but should worry more about how you, his new partner, feels but this becomes increasingly difficult when he unfortunately, like my husband, is constantly thrust in the middle.
New wife on one side, ex wife on the other. Although he demonstrates the, not interested attitude, which can be hugely frustrating when I have these paranoid delusions, the need to HAVE to discuss what is happening is overwhelming. This is my way of working through it. Repetitive I know, but an essential part of my acceptance process. After all this isn't my problem is it? It is my husbands, his past, his problem! His ex wife's interference in our life, just because they share a daughter, is out of my control. She comes into my new happy life, completely uninvited and I am the one who has to accept it. So forgive me for not being able to just let it go. The only compensation that keeps my sanity is knowing that I'm not alone.
There are millions of deranged, obsessive ex wives out there who just cannot cut those ties, even if they were the ones who walked out of the marriage in the first place.
I understand however, how massively frustrating it must be to discover that after she has ventured out looking for greener pastures and wanting a new partner to be what she wants them to be, her prestigious knight in shining armour, and the reason she left the relationship in the first place, was because the ex just wasn’t, is to then discover that in the relationship her ex has formed with potential wife number two, he is in fact behaving the way she wanted him to behave when he was with her. Does this make any sense?
I want to be able to concentrate on my life, my family. I'm not in the slightest bit interested in my ex husbands life or my Husbands ex wife's life. But her presence at times can be overwhelming and I struggle to understand if its because I make a bigger issue, analyse and dissect my husbands favourite word, or see problems that are not really there. Am I actually feeding the problems with my unrealistic expectations, rather than dealing with reality?
Trying to understand why my husbands ex wife remains so interested in controlling our life via their daughter is totally beyond me. I have no interest in my ex's life, his new partner and what goes on when my children are in their company. As long as they are happy, safe and having a nice time then that will do for me. My ex husbands girlfriend has a horse. Something my Daughter would dearly love. Suddenly Daddy is able to provide her with something I never can. It bothered me to begin with, wondering if this was the tool to entice our daughter to go and live with him, but it was soon overcome. My problem and I dealt with it. I had too.
My husbands ex wife's apparent need to remain in contact with her ex mother-in-law, who, when my Husband and she were together, didn't get along. His mother had no time for her at all. She called her controlling, and when my husband and she split, my mother-in-law commented she was "glad to have her son back!" My husband has also described how controlling his ex wife was, but he didn't realise it until she was out of his life and he met me. Now it's a different matter. The ex wife goes on holiday and the mother-in-law gets a call to say they are having a nice time. Not that it bothers me in the slightest, as I have no time for my Husbands mother so in all honesty, they are very welcome to each other. It's my business that is the forefront of her conversation when she has her grandchild, my stepdaughter that offends me. I'm not interested in their business, so please, please, don't show an interest in mine.
Booking a simple holiday can also lead to upset and aggravation and trying to get your head around the fact if you have no children but your partner has, then he will automatically assume his child will be spending the holiday with you both. Maybe not how you planned it, so your romantic holiday for two suddenly becomes the not so romantic holiday for three or more! If you, like me, already have children, there is the expense to consider. Should we have a holiday and only include the children with us twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and enjoy a two week holiday abroad or include all of the children whether they are living with us or not and settle for a holiday in Skegness? ( I know, there’s nothing wrong with Skegness.)
They are still our children and should be considered all the same. The first year we were together we were fortunate to enjoy two family holidays. The first included all of our children, albeit smuggling my stepdaughter into Centre Parcs as I had initially booked the holiday, for four rather than five, prior to moving in with my husband. For our second holiday we jetted off to Jamaica. On this occasion we again wanted to take all of our children, my son, my daughter and my stepdaughter, but my husbands ex wife wouldn’t allow her to take a few days absent from school. She was five and had just started her first school term. What on earth was she going to miss? My own children’s school never had a problem with it so my stepdaughter missed out on the holiday of a lifetime. My husbands ex wife however, will take her daughter on holiday, and it has proved acceptable for her to miss school on her terms of course it is, but that's my opinion. Perhaps she wouldn’t be able to stand the thought of her daughter spending two weeks with us, and then having to hear all about it from her when she returned home, or maybe she couldn’t compete with such an elaborate holiday and under no circumstances was she going to be out done.
This is why it is so hard being forced to accept a simple “no” and given no substantial explanation to help us understand the decision. We have to accept, no means no! Whatever her reasons, my stepdaughter missed out on a fantastic holiday in the Caribbean, but more importantly, she missed out spending two wonderful, fun filled weeks with her daddy. My son found it difficult to enjoy himself in Jamaica. We thought he was being an obnoxious teenager but when I think of it now, I suspect he felt disloyal to his dad for having a nice time on holiday while his father was back home in England. He let his guard down a little when he was having fun in the pool. I knew there was an excited teen in there somewhere, just needed coaxing out of him.
Along with holidays comes adapting and accepting Christmas would dramatically
change once I became part of a stepfamily as it will mean during some point, my husband and I were going to be without some of our children he his daughter and myself my son. This can lead to a potential tug-of-war situation concerning the children, where feuding parents decide where the children should spend their time and trying to coax a young child into making a decision that they should be with one particular parent rather than the other.
My son has chosen, in the past, to stay with his father. I find not sharing Christmas with him insufferable, but that is the sacrifice I have to make. For some, like my husband, it wont be a sacrifice, it will be a condition as most mothers, myself included, will dictate to the father, that the children will remain with them on this occasion. Many fathers and their new families, like ours, will have to settle for Boxing Day. There will come a time my daughter will want to spend Christmas with her father and when she reaches that age, the decision will be taken from my hands. When this time comes, my shoulders will have to be broad enough to happily allow her to go. My anguish, hurt and disagreement will have to be kept inside.
Adapting to this new role as a stepmother has not happened overnight for me so don't you expect it too. It is still taking one day at a time and understanding that each day can be different because situations change. It’s like constanly having the goal posts moved with no indication where they will be next. The feelings of resentment or jealousy are not the most favourable of qualities I feel for my stepdaughter. Having my husband all to myself six days a week to suddenly having to share him with his own daughter. A cuddle between myself and my husband is instantly threatened when my stepdaughter arrives. Immediately I resume a back seat status and withdraw from my husband to give him and his daughter time together, but this does not stop the potential mixed feelings of jealousy between myself and his daughter which throws my husband instantly into the man-in-the-middle again by two people who demand his undevided attention. I have to accept I have my husband twenty-four-seven, his daughter has him less than twenty-four hours!
We all have to adapt to this new situation. As a supposed grown up, my behaviour begs the question, I can try to understand it, as a child it must be a very scary unsettling situation to be in.
Thursday 3 Feb 2005
I am numb. Again I feel lost and not belonging. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, say or how to act. You say this is about you. You seem to have a lot of issues about you and no one else is allowed in. I’m confused. How am I supposed to try and make this family unit work if you don’t tell me the truth when I ask, or keep things inside? You expect me to pour out everything that I have inside and tell me how I should deal with my issues, yet I’m not allowed to help with yours. I’m sorry if you think I have made this situation about me, not my intention, but I was so used to having things turned on me in the past, that its an automatic reaction. It just seems that I make these issues about me because I seem to be the root of everything. Your mother blames me for you changing your lifestyle because I moved in. Fact. My son is behaving the way he is because I gave him an option. Fact. I could go on. So you see, I am the root of the problem.
You say I am hostile towards your daughter so I mustn’t blame her for how she is with me. I am trying to be something I don’t know what anymore. I have to change on a weekend to suit her mood. I mustn’t change and push everyone aside, or over compensate, when my son visits. All these things I must and mustn’t do. My head is in pieces and at the moment I don’t want to be anywhere but alone. I thought when I came here I could be myself, who I wanted to be, but that has proved to be wrong. I’m trying to keep the peace with everyone. My daughter where your daughter's concerned, you where your daughter's and my son are concerned, you where my daughter is concerned. This whole situation is beginning to slide and I feel I’m loosing control.
I try and give you and your daughter space to be together and that’s wrong, but I cant get near you. I am lonely and sad and by the looks of it, completely selfish because this is about me. I miss my husband, my friend and my lover and I ache for how things used to be. I’m constantly seeking help and advice to try and keep things normal and I can’t. I think I have things right, then you hit me with something and it’s all-wrong. I look at you and wonder who you are. ME, you get what you see. Someone who talks too much and looks to you to solve all my problems keeps me safe and loves me. What do you get from me? Nothing but grief emotional crap, and problems.
Think its time to ask yourself, were you better off just you and your daughter before I moved up? You could have had all the love and affection without the crap. You would never of felt pulled by the kids or me. Looks like you gave up a pretty good thing there!