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How Can I Keep My Ex-‘s New Wife Away From My Kids?

Categories: Co-Parenting

I Hate My Ex-Husband’s New Wife

Your ex-husband has remarried, and you share custody of your children with him.  The problem is that you hate his new wife.  More problematic is that your children are around her and you can’t stand the thought of her interacting with them.  If she was the other woman, and one of the reasons for the demise of your marriage, she is the last person you want around your children.

I have good news and bad news on the subject.  Let me give you the bad news first.  You can’t keep your kids away from your ex-husband’s new wife.  Unless she is a proven child abuser or sex offender, it is unlikely that you will be able to have court sanctions to keep her away from your children.  I know that is not what you want to hear.  However, this is just the way it is.  It’s like wrinkles and bad weather.  Neither are welcomed but they are there none the less.

You do have more control than you may realize.

The good news (I know you wanted the good news to be that you can keep her away from your kids) is that you have way more control over the situation than you realize.  To better navigate your dilemma, it would help you to recognize why it is that you don’t want your ex-husband ’s new wife around your children.  The first thing you need to do is recognize why it is that you don’t want her around your children.  Is it because YOU don’t like her?  Because YOU believe she is the reason for the end of your marriage?  Because YOU think she would not be a good stepmother to your children?  Notice the word YOU.  Is this about YOU or the other woman?

If the other woman is the reason for the loss of your marriage, you may feel discarded or replaced by your ex-husband.  The last thing you want is for his new wife to replace your role of mother and to create a whole new family with your children.  The truth is, they will create a new family.  She may bring her own children to the marriage.  Your ex-husband and his new wife may have children of their own.  All or one of these scenarios may occur and there is nothing you can do about.  What you can do is chose how you will react to the new set of circumstances.

Your children have a life with you as well as your ex and his new wife.

Your children will have a new life with their dad and his wife.  Don’t’ forget that your children have a new life with you too.  Make the best of the time that you have with them.  Be grateful if your husband’s new wife is wonderful to them.  Your children can never have too many people to love them.  Her kindness and love will only serve to enrich their lives.  They can like or love their father’s new wife and still be a devoted child to you, their mother.  She will not replace you.  No one can.  You are and will always be their mother.

On the flip side, if your ex-husband’s new wife is not loving and kind to your children, there won’t be any competition for their affection because they won’t like her.  They will tolerate her and when they are old enough to leave the constraints of a custody order, they will limit their time with her.  As long as she is not abusive to your children, for which you could definitely intervene, she does not have to go out of her way to be another positive influence in their lives.  That is something that may negatively impact their relationship with their dad for which you have no responsibility.

Whatever the scenario, your husband has a new wife who is going to be in the presence of your children.  You don’t have to like it.  In fact, you can hate it.  But, for now, you have to live with it.  If your main concern is the well being of your children and not your ego, they can have a relationship with their new stepmother.   She will never replace you.  They always know who their mom is and will never forget.  It would help you to not forget it too.

Remember your relationship with your children should be your focus, rather than their new step-mother.

I cover co-parenting, as well as self-care in the Divorce Recovery Ladder and on my blog.

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Susan Shofer

As a divorce and custody ally, she helps women and men navigate the troubled waters of a family breakup by sharing her own organized and pragmatic approach to the divorce process.

Susan successfully crossed her own highly contentious divorce and post-divorce battle and was triumphant in her fight against Parental Alienation.
Susan Shofer
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