All relationships are trying at times but perhaps one of the more difficult ones is between a “new wife” and the “ex-wife”. (Probably this is true for the “new husband” and “ex-husband” too.)
Judged as guilty before even tried, these women are pitted against each other by circumstance. Stereotypes abound; the first wife was a “crazy nagging bitch” and the second one “a cheap slut”!
Unfortunately, these stereo types often eclipse the potential for a positive relationship; these women are preprogrammed not to like each other by societal misconceptions. In truth, had these women met under different circumstances they might have been friends.
Donna has it right.
There is a natural inclination to think poorly of the new spouse by the former spouse and vice versa. In most cases, the dislike is petty and without merit. But, alas, emotions are without logic. Emotional responses to other people can overwhelm our logical side. Intellectually, we may want to judge the other person on their merits but our emotional side won’t let it happen.
Donna explores various reasons why the “ex” and the “next” may have challenges making their relationship work.
Here is a surprising story about a woman who was accepting of her ex-husband’s new life partner.
I once represented a woman whose husband had discovered that he was gay and left her for a man. This other man was involved in the lives of their children yet my client was not at all bothered by his new role. I asked her how it was that she was so accepting of this new relationship and person. Her response was interesting. She said something like “I am a woman. I can’t compete with a man. It’s apples and oranges. Now had he left me for another woman, I would have hated the bitch and wanted to scratch her eyes out!”
Relationships are complicated, surprising and challenging.
If you are an “ex” or the “next” know that you are not alone in your struggle to maintain a positive relationship with the other. It’s a challenge.
If you are the one in the middle, understand that the relationship between the “ex” and the “next” is not an easy one for anyone. Don’t fuel the fire. Just be understanding.
This too shall pass… hopefully.