Stop Listening to Background Noise from Your Spouse’s Former Spouse
by childless stepparent
Several months ago, my husband’s former wife asked to sit down with me “woman-to-woman.” It had been over a year since I reached out and was rebuffed by her, so I looked forward to talking about how she and I can work together to care for her child.
Instead, she talked about how hard this situation is for her. I told her I empathized. She said I couldn’t understand since I’m not a mom. I agreed. I quickly realized that she was not there to talk about her daughter’s well-being. She was there to tell me about her own pain. It was a disappointing and revealing meeting.
But I am glad it unfolded that way. I feel compassion for her. Of course being away from her daughter is painful. But witnessing her narcissism – and her inability to put her child first in our conversation – changed the way I understand our situation.
It convinced me to step back and let my husband handle all communication with her. And the only reason my husband interacts with his former wife is to take care of the business of taking care of their child.
The rest is background noise.
Manifesto #4 | My husband chose his former wife to be his child’s mother. He must take responsibility for the consequences of that choice for himself and his daughter.
Manifesto #5 | Whatever dynamic exists between my husband and his former wife does not involve me. They must work together for their child’s benefit.