Wednesday, January 26, 2011

PYHO: The Other Woman

I've mentioned if before, and if you've been following, you already know this.  

My ex husband married the women for whom he left me. 
They now of children of their own.

When people find this out, they often want to know how I handle it.

Well, now, several years later, it just doesn't matter anymore.

In fact, what's best for my kids is for their dad to remain happily married for the rest of his life, so my children don't risk losing someone else, a woman they don't really remember not being there, as well as possibly their siblings.

That doesn't make it easy, because I don't know her.  There has never been any real attempt on the part of my ex to encourage any relationship, probably because he's afraid of what I might tell her.

I don't know how much she knows about what went on and the part she played in the demise of my marriage.  I know she knew he was married... I know she knew he had children... I know she made a choice that she, an adult, was more important than two very young children. 

What I don't know is what he told her about the state of our marriage... I'm pretty sure she doesn't know he was still trying to have 'relations' with me after they were living together.  I'm pretty sure she doesn't realize they announced their engagement before my divorce was final. I can't imagine she'd have stayed if she did.

When it was all going on, I refused contact with her.  She was not welcome in my home and I did not want the children having any contact with her until my divorce was finalized.  I was so resolute in this that I had my ex's visitation limited when he refused. Once we were divorced and my ex finally admitted to the engagement, I insisted on meeting her.  

We met for coffee.  It was fine.  It needed to be done and I needed for her to see that I wasn't going to be nasty or angry.  I felt that I needed to extend the olive branch. Don't get me wrong... I was a nervous wreck... My neighbor had to come over to calm me down and get me dressed... and I did end up looking pretty dynamite, if I do say so myself...

My children seem to like her and that helps.  

But I won't lie, even though it doesn't really matter anymore, it's hard.

My ex and I do not have a good relationship and I can't help but think at least some of that is her doing.  I was with my ex for 12 years... even with all that's gone on between us, that's long enough to know how he functions in relationships with those close to him and there are things about the way he acts that lead me to believe that the dynamics of theirs are similar to that of mine. *Oh the irony...he left me for...ME...just 5 years younger... and with fewer morals* She runs the show, so the fact that he really doesn't make a huge effort, the fact that he gives me such a hard time about things... well, I can't help but attribute part of that to her... I can't help but feel that if she were more supportive and encouraging, he'd be a better dad and a more respectful ex. 

She knew he had children when she married him and in my mind, those children were there first... those children should come first. Simple, idealistic, I know, but it's how I feel.

And it's hard, because she's already proven that my children don't come first...that what's best for them doesn't matter.  Oh, I'm not trying to be all dramatic, I don't think they'd ever deliberately hurt my children or put them in danger.  If I did, I'd be moving heaven and earth to stop it.  But, BUT, every time I let them go with their dad, I know that I'm releasing them into the care of two people, who if push comes to shove, will put their own needs ahead of those of my children. 

That is a hard pill to swallow.

But each time they go and come back safe, it gets a little easier.  

My children are happy, they are thriving.
That's all that really matters.

And so ends my story... not on the happiest of notes - like I said last time, I wanted to share a couple of things that didn't seem to fit into the flow as I was typing, so I added them at the end- or is it?

My children are happy. 

Nothing is more important than that.

For the whole story, click on the Broken Dreams label at the bottom of the post.


Michelle Saunderson said...

Wow, I don't know what I would do if my ex stayed with the woman that he left me for (she kicked him to the curb). The woman that he is married to now is hard enough to deal with. My ex is very much on line with yours in that his needs come before the kids. I actually like this because I know that my kids will never pull the "I'll just go live with Dad" routine. And after he has had them for any length of time, they are very happy to come home.

Renegades said...

What an adult way to handle a hard situation. Putting your children first. Good job.

It seems some adults have a hard time doing that.

bigguysmama said...

My dad married the woman he had an affair with when I was 6yo. It still has an effect on my mom this many years later. He was with her for 20ys and has now remarried 2x. My step-mom was jealous of me and they only saw me and my brother once a year. Pretty sad. I wish these women would pull their heads out of their you-know-whats and think of someone other than themselves. And yes, she knew my dad was married. I feel terrible when the other woman doesn't know, she's been duped, but when they willingly take part in the destruction of a family, that's incomprehensible. To disregard others so much for your own satisfaction is terrible.

You are more woman than I am for meeting with her. She would've met with me a lot sooner and gotten more than an earfull, I can tell ya that much.


varunner said...

This sounds like such a hard situation. I'd have a terrible time with it, and I think my imagination would get the best of me at times. It sounds like you're doing a really good job of making the best of tough matters. :-)

Me said...

I know that had to be hard for you to say. But good for you for getting it out there. Your kids are very lucky to have you. HE'S the one that's missing out. And I feel no sympathy for him. Or her. You're definitely a better person than me. I wouldn't be so nice if it had happened to me.

Shell said...

You are an amazing mom for being able to put your kids ahead of everything else.

I'd still probably want to run her over with my truck. Forgiveness is not my strong suit.

Andrea (ace1028) said...

Shell's comment made me chuckle. I'd so want to run her down, and I'm sure there are times you do, too. But your kids come first. You're the stronger and more amazing woman for knowing that. She's a mom now, perhaps she feels it and recognizes how stupid and wrong she was back then? But you're right, it's done, and whatever will be moving forward will be. Your kids come first.

Oka said...

Some people never grow up and loose their selfishness. Sad to say the least.

Sounds like you are trying to let the best attributes shine and not focus on the negatives, sounds like a smart move for the kids ;)

That One Mom said...

Wow. People often comment that losing my husband must be difficult on me and my kids. I think being a widow is a far cry easier than the emotions you're dealing with.

The Reckmonster said...

I am dying to have a "sit down" with my ex-husband's new wife. But, I am reluctant because I know myself, and unless I brought along six rolls of duct tape, I don't think I could withhold letting slip some of my ex-husband's less "endearing" qualities. My son comes home from visits fine. That's all that really matters. I'm really trying my damnedest to stay on the high road. For my son's sake.

Debbie(single;complicated) said...

Our stories are similiar..the difference being that I do get a long with my ex, and I know get along with HER! But, I agree that no matter what the situation it comes down to whats best for the kids, no matter how hard!! good for you!

Adrienne said...

That would be so tough. I'm glad your kids are happy. That has to make it easier. I love how you said you actually hope he stays happily amrried forever because that's what best for your kids. That says a lot about the kind of woman and mom you are!

Not a Perfect Mom said...

wow...excellent post! I don't know what I would do in that situation...I couldn't imagine another woman in my kids' lives...and I've always told the hubs I'd castrate him if he cheated on me...I'm a major grudge holder

Mrs. Tuna said...

My parents got divorced when I was a senior in high school and there were still siblings at home. I was always grateful they put us first and remained more or less friendly even until my mom died last year 30 years later. Be the best you can be, your chldren will always remember you put them first.

Sarafan2 said...

What a tough post to read. I feel the pain that your in. Always, and I say ALWAYS put the kids first before yourself. If you don't or he don't they will pay down the road for this. Kids need both parents in their life. I'm sad that a grown man iss more interested in his new wife over hi kids. Shame on him!! Karma is a bitch!!! I wish you well!!

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in from SITS! You're so classy not to rip into him and tell him what a jerk he is. Kudos to you for putting the kids first.

Moo's Mamma said...

You are an amazing mamma! I dread the day my ex moves in with his GF... she'll be coming here from another country... soon I imagine.... they're internet soulmates so i'm told....... he's already looking for a job for her.... he barely knows her... and it freaks me out just thinking about this 20 something girl potentially trying to 'parent' my daughter... but... we deal with these things when they come to us I suppose... there is nothing harder than entrusting our children in the hands of others who can never love them the way we do...

Elena said...

Wow! You are an amazing mom/woman/person for putting your feelings aside in order to make an extremely difficult situation more palatable.

Jessica said...

My mind can wrap around dealing with that situation. There are so many what-ifs that one can't really imagine unless they have personal experience. I'm could almost picture myself circling their house at night with a large battle ax. ;-)