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My New Year's Resolution -- For HIS Ex-Wife

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I'm not a huge believer in New Year's resolutions, but 2010 seems like a good year to start.

couple pulling on child

Wife #2: One reason: my two stepchildren. Don't get me wrong: I'm no stepmonster. I love those kids like I Iove my biological children. And I do everything I can to make our big, blended family as happy and comfortable as possible. But this year, I want to do better.

As many of you reading this may already know, Patrick and I left our spouses for each other. Years have passed since the initial blow, and so has some of the hurt and craziness. But not enough. Not by a long shot.

Overall, our five kids are doing well. They understand they're loved by everyone, in all their homes. They're building buddy systems based on the fun and the hurt of our collective experience. All things considered, we're clearly doing at least a lot of it right. But there are still more days than I'd like when my stepchildren feel like threatening little thunder clouds on an otherwise happy horizon. They're rude to me. They treat me with disdain, throwing their clothes on the floor and silently challenging me to do anything about it. It's like a terrible case of unrequited love. I can't help but love them even when they don't seem to want or deserve it.

So here's MY resolution: this year, I'm going to try to see the world more through their eyes. After all, as beloved Husband #2 reminds me, they didn't ask for this. They are good kids who sometimes behave badly because of a tough situation that we, the adults, put them in.

Rather than be hurt and angry when they're disrespectful, I'm going to try to understand where that comes from and then react appropriately. I need to enforce the rules of our household -- be a parent rather than a pal. No excuses for them or me.

Now here's where HER resolution comes in: Wife #1 needs to stop using her kids as weapons of divorce destruction.

Plenty of you out there probably think I have some nerve suggesting what his ex should be doing in the self-improvement department. Before you jump down my digital throat, consider this: I'm in a pretty unique position to comment since I witness the carnage every week.

Just a few quick examples:

Our grade schooler, who adores his dad, had to cross the baseball field in front of the entire team and ask his father to leave the game because "it's making mommy mad." Would that be mommy or Mommy Dearest?

And here's a helpful explanation she offered up to her children: "Daddy isn't your daddy anymore because he's left you to be the daddy to Wife #2's kids." This about a man who supports all the children -- and his ex -- emotionally and financially. And when I say financially -- she doesn't have to work another day in her life.

Then there's the relentless divide-and-conquer campaign. Families the kids have known for years won't arrange playdates on our weekends because it would be "disloyal" to Wife #1. Who exactly are the grown-ups here?

Does she honestly think it's good for her kids when she doesn't let them say hello to their father in front of her? Does yanking the kids across the street when she runs into us in town really send the right parenting message? And could she truly want their childhood memories marred by her shrill voice as a permanent echo trashing their father within earshot of anyone willing to listen?

The Clue Phone is ringing, Wife #1. And it's for you.

Grow up. Using your kids to get back at your husband is a destructive cliche.

He did the first horribly hurtful thing. He left you for me. But that doesn't give you a free pass to hurt your kids indefinitely.

next: Nine Snacks to Combat Cravings
27 comments so far | Post a comment now
T. March 9, 2010, 1:22 PM

I just happened across this posting and I think you have a lot of nerve. First you hurt and embarrass wife #1 by breaking up her family then you continue to try and embarrass her by posting stuff like this. How do you know that she actually told the kids that their dad is no longer their dad? My dad left my mother for his mistress as well and I didn’t need anyone to tell me not to like her or the situation. Like some of the other comments, I think that if you cared about those kids you wouldn’t have broken up their family and you wouldn’t be bragging about it to the world. You are the one who needs to get a clue and grow up.

Anonymous April 23, 2010, 6:43 PM

You have no idea what it’s like to be a child in a blended family.

Though I’m happy for you, that you’ve found your “soulmate,” I think you should think again before deciding you can confront this issue in a purely parental manner. There’s a lot more to stepchildren than moving them in and saying “Well! Here’s your new mommy!”

And trust me, if you try to pull the parent card on them, they’re going to resent you. For a very long time.

Fashion Design October 12, 2010, 3:13 PM

I’m currently working on a forum to house all industry professionals under one roof and to provide an area where we can grow together.

theotherwomen November 4, 2010, 8:00 AM

In reading all these ridiculous responses I felt I had to say something…Wife#2 broke up the happy home u say??? No if wife #1 was doing her wifely duties and taking care og her hubby he wouldn’t have strayed I am the other women…No Ididn’t go looking for her husband he came looking for me and week after week as I turned him down he just kept coming.I now live with him and Wife #1 is a PSYCHO She doesn’t take care of the kids says she needs all type of help gets 75% of his salary and still cries…She keeps a dirty home she refused to sleep with her hubby and when her hubby was almost out the door the dum broad got pregnate again…thinking here is the trap he has to stay no one has to stay anywhere…Now she has the big girl taking care of her lil girl and is crying foul give me a break…You women don’t know what you have until someone else treats it better…Move on engulf yourselves in your kids and stop begging you look pathethic to us women who have done it on our own…You look incapable worthless and useless…and on top of all of that your brainwashing and mentally hurting your children…Never put anything before your children not even their fater you should be worried about your childrens mental health not who your husband is sleeping with…poor excuses for mothers you should look @ the animal kingdom lions go off to provide and fornicate with other while the mother lion the stronger of the two and rears her young….

Credit Card December 23, 2010, 3:01 AM

my ideas exactly

Xrumer forum December 29, 2010, 6:53 PM

By any chance is your real name Kyle?

Ten Tees January 9, 2011, 11:29 AM

Great info. Enjoyable reading. There’s one thing to make about shirts.

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