There's a good chance that your ex-husband's new girlfriend isn't your favorite person, but you can manage the situation without ending up in a cat fight. For insight, here's our latest installment from the My Perfect (ex-) Marriage column by Heidi Woodard.
Let's jump right in, shall we? My Perfect (ex-) Husband had a girlfriend.
She made the mistake of questioning my decision not to allow my son to attend his Dad's surprise birthday party. But I ask you, who gives a party on a Thursday night and demands that a nine year old, who lives an hour and a half away, be there - on a school night? Especially since he was going to be there for the weekend!
Now before I continue, let me just say that I'm only human and even after all this time I'm still learning from my mistakes. There are situations that I admit could have been handled differently. I could have chosen not to curse her out or act childishly by ignoring her whenever in my presence.
Since I didn't choose to act like an adult, it was necessary that I learn these life lessons: Not everyone is supportive of your Perfect (ex-) Marriage; regardless of the situation I have to be the Perfect (ex-) Wife and; when I'm not the Perfect (ex-) Wife my Perfect (ex-) Marriage is not doomed. Today we will discuss the first of these three lessons.
People consider my Perfect (ex-) Marriage a little strange because we usually get along so well, mainly because it's totally opposite from what society has come to expect from divorced people. I've come across a variety of reactions to my Perfect (ex-) Marriage- questions on how we did it, comments on how beneficial it is for our son and praise for our maturity.
But there are those who struggle greatly with a Perfect (ex-) Marriage - a new love interest. The reasons are obvious so I won't dwell on that. Minimizing the negative effects of an Ex's current love interest can be a bit of a challenge but well worth the effort.
First, it's your responsibility to thoroughly explain your Perfect (ex-) Marriage. Share how far you've come and the perfect scenario as you see it. If they're not gushing with excitement, its ok, this is a totally new concept for most people. Be as open as possible, let them overhear phone conversations and when the time is right, introduce them to your Perfect (ex-).
Second, share your new relationship with your Perfect (ex-) at your earliest opportunity, especially if you have children together. Done the right way, with sensitivity and honesty, they can be your biggest supporters and will do their part in making the current love interest feel welcome in this strangely wonderful Perfect (ex-) Marriage.
It is also important to have a separate conversation with your Perfect (ex-) about how to handle new relationships. We started the conversation with, "I would behave like this..." Our discussions included handling family events and vacations, the care and discipline of our son and our ideal relationships with the others new partner. Taking these steps have made for an easier transition into new relationships for everyone involved.
More from Heidi:
In addition to learning how to handle your ex-husbands new girlfriend, check out the following articles for more related co-parenting ideas: