How To Get Along With Your Husband’s Ex-Wife

When you married your husband, you may have considered him single because he was divorced. Who could blame you? Though it’s true that he was divorced, it is less true that he was completely single if he has a living ex-wife and/or children from a previous marriage. I’m pretty sure you know this already or you wouldn’t be reading this blog post. 

Wives from a previous marriage can be remarkable team players, and they can also be the turpentine in your marital paint can. Perhaps you are also someone’s ex-wife and have an understanding of why both can simultaneously be true.

Here’s a few tips on getting along with your husband’s ex-wife that might work for you.

getting along with husbands ex-wife

Ex-Wives Advocate for Their Kids

Like you, your husband‘s ex-wife is going to stand up for her kids. She’s more interested in their well-being than she is in how well your kids are doing. She doesn’t give one fig how well your marriage is doing with her ex-husband. Expect it. 

Do the best you can to understand where she’s coming from, but still have very strong boundaries in place. Be a team player with your husband, but let him know that his ex-wife is his responsibility to manage; not yours. Once you do that, it is certainly possible to understand how to get along with your husband’s ex wife.

His Kids Likely Feel Marginalized

If your kids are primarily living with you and your husband, and his kids primarily do not live with you, there is already a disproportionate amount of time spent in the eyes and hearts of husband’s kids. It is understandable that they feel they have been somewhat replaced. 

Divorce is hard on adults, but even more hard on children. Do the best you can to spend as much time with his children and make sure they have the same perks and consequences as your kids.

Be grateful if you are one of the lucky couples who are not purposefully parentally marginalized by hostile ex-spouses.

Ex-Wives Can Be Expensive

A divorce agreement can sometimes be little more than a thick collection of legal-sized documents. Even a non-modifiable agreement means little when unemployment strikes you or your husband, or his ex-wife or your ex-husband. 

Additional and unexpected costs often arise. Who knew that Spencer would be able to compete with the soccer team against his rivals in Phoenix, Arizona? Who expected that Bella would need one on one tutoring to address her special needs? This is life, and it’s hard to roll with every financial punch. 

Ex-wives can also take you back to court for more support. Even if he or she doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on. The cost of your successful legal defense can easily wipe you out. If you think either of your spouses is headed back to court, do your best to mediate the situation. In the long run, it’s cheaper and may preserve relationships for all of you for the better.

His Children Can’t Stand You

Many children blame their father‘s new wife for breaking up their family. They don’t like that they have to spend time between households. They may not like your kids. They may perceive you as a threat. Whatever is going wrong in their life is all your fault!!

Step-parenting is a pretty thankless job. Just do the best you can without killing yourself, try to be understanding and fair minded, but don’t expect a badge because you likely won’t get one.

Make sure that you take very good care of the marital team first. Have his back and make sure that he also always has yours. Ask your husband to take his kids aside to discuss how they can be kinder with you. Let him request assistance from his ex-wife regarding the attitudes and behavior of his kids toward you. Hopefully it’s temporary.

Your Relationship With Your Husband‘s Ex-Wife

So, if you are wondering how to get along with your husband’s ex wife it’s a great start.  But If you are blissfully trying to be the Brady Bunch, think again. You likely don’t have a full-time housekeeper. You and I both know what would really happen if your husband worked from home full-time. And I don’t recall one episode the Dell with the hostility of an ex spouse.

That said, your husband‘s ex-wife is a fellow woman, just trying to make her own life work in the best way she knows how. Be careful with your boundaries, but render assistance whenever possible. If you cover her carpool three or four times in a row, and notice that the favors go unreturned, take notice of that. But my guess is that she will be grateful and will likely return the favor whenever possible.

Lisa Ryan

Relationship Expert – Infidelity Specialist – Personal Development Coach

Loves the big blue sea, homely dogs, the unvarnished truth, and making people feel better.

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