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Need help dealing with husbands ex wife

I have a 4 year old daughter and have been divorced before and now am a stepmother of a 2 year old daughter. I have felt uneasy for quite a while about the way my husbands ex wife acts towards him. She calls or texts him on a daily basis even when their daughter is not with us. He sometimes tells me what the call text was about and it is usually nothing important. I feel like she just wants to stay in his life and make her presence known all the time. We both work a lot so I don't even know how much she calls or texts when we aren't together other than the times he tells me. She texts random things like "your daughter just did the funniest thing..." or "someone just called your daughter a daredevil. She takes after you!" Am I being paranoid? I have voiced my concerns to my husband and he says it's just the way she is. I'm not sure if he encourages it by engaging in a full conversation or why she always has to be there every single day. They have a civil relationship where they keep each other informed of their daughter and when he drops her off he gives her a full detailed report of his time with her. I feel the excessive communication has put tension on our relationship. Any suggestions as to how to describe the way I feel without him thinking I want all contact cut off? My ex and I have a civil relationship too where we can talk about our daughter but not anywhere as near much as they do. 

by Motowaves721   3 Posts 
Posted on 5/30/2012 2:58 PM
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Answers for "Need help dealing with husbands ex wife"  (8) (You must be logged in to answer)

I have never sat down and talked to my ex husband about our kids ever. First the man I was with was jealous and then the woman he is with is jealous. We did converse witout her knowing but she found out and made it stop. But then Im accused of being a bad parent because I dont show any initiative in my kids life out side visiting when I can. She doesn't want my ex to have any relationship with my family what so ever. My dad and him became good friends and he said my dad was a mentor. She put a stop to them fishing together. I recently became a grandma, I have only seen the baby 2 times..the second time she made sure she had him most of the time. She lives a few blocks away and sees him everyday.I live 200 miles away. they have been together for 14 years when does the maddness end? I feel she is threatened by a position I no longer have. All I want is to see my kids without her cattiness. Im at wits end.
by Pattycakes62   1 Post
Posted on 4/9/2013 9:18 PM

Thank you all for your thoughts and advice. I have married a wonderful man and I am thankful he is such a great father to both of our girls.
by Motowaves721   3 Posts
Posted on 5/31/2012 12:23 PM

I have to admit, when I read the subject line of your post and the first few sentences, I was expecting something totally different. You want help with "how to deal with husband's ex-wife" and you're concerned about "the way she acts toward him." I was already picturing someone who's vindictive, quarrelsome, petty, undermining ... all she's doing is keeping him informed about their daughter's milestones? I say let it go and rejoice that you've married a man who loves his daughter and wants to be involved beyond a child support check. It doesn't sound like he bad-mouths the child's mother, maintains a very civil relationship with her, and he probably appreciates the details. It's extremely alienating for both parents of very young children to feel like they've missed something (even the little things) with their child when the child is with the other parent.


So, I guess my thought is this: let it go. It sounds like you've married a good man. Don't make him feel like he has to choose, because if he does EVERYBODY will suffer, so even if you get what you want, you probably won't enjoy it.

by RiverTam   941 Posts
Posted on 5/31/2012 6:28 AM

I'm doing the math.  Daughter is two, and he is already remarried. 


I'm not trying to be judgmental here, but I can see why you would be concerned.   You, as the new wife, sound like a rebound relationship.  You both have your hands full with work and childcare.  So I bet you don't spend a lot of time with each other.  Do you have time for just the two of you, without either one of the kids?  Without cell phones or computers or the tv?  I think you two probably need to spend some quality time with each other.  That would go along way to easing your fears. 

by Iam   7316 Posts
Posted on 5/30/2012 8:42 PM

You can't compare the relationship you have with your ex husband to the relationship your husband has with his ex. Two totally different marriages, two totally different people. 

They chose after their divorce, and before you came along, how they would co parent - and you knew how it was before you married him. You can't force him to change his ways just because you are now his wife. If it was such a problem for you, then it is something you should have addressed before you said I do. If he didn't like hearing from her so often, he'd be the ne who would be saying and doing something about it - he is apparently just as invested in the little things his daughter does as she is - and that is NOT a bad thing, 

If she withheld information from your husband, you'd be on here complaining about that.  It's lose/lose for her because the issue you are having is purely personal opinion on your part. She isn't doing anything wrong. 

You can't make other people act the way you would, or want them to, in a situation...that's hinting of being a controlling person - and not a good foundation to a marriage. 

You can tell him it makes you uncomfortable, but your feelings are your own to deal with, he doesn't HAVE to cut back on communicating with the mother of his child, if what she is doing isn't bothering HIM. It is THEIR relationship - and will only benefit the child in the long run.
by spaznskitz   11339 Posts
Posted on 5/30/2012 8:24 PM

Ditto what Mike said.

I have a hard time with this as well, because I am a jealous person by nature, and while I understand that he might have to keep the line of communication open with his ex, I would not be comfortable with it and I would take it personally. I know that sounds awful, but I know myself well enough that I can openly admit that. I'm not ready to deal with it yet, so I avoid it until I know that I can.

When you start dating/get married to someone who has children, you will more than likely have to deal with their ex(s) (hopefully not more than one ex haha). When you are around her, do you get the feeling that she "makes a pass" at him? That's an issue entirely separate from this one that would need to be addressed. But right now, it sounds as if she's doing her best to keep him in the know about their daughter, your step-daughter, and if you're going to stay with him, you may as well get used to her being around. It'll save you a lot of grief.

I agree with Mike: voice your concerns to the hubby, and see if there's a middle ground the two of you can find. Good luck.
by marybecca2   1575 Posts
Posted on 5/30/2012 5:32 PM

Those comments you refer to as random things aren't random to a first time mom - or dad. They're important pieces of information, as least to mom, which is why she shares them with dad. Before you complain too much, you need to be grateful that you have a man who takes an active interest in his child, and it's not just about the child support check for him. 


Talking to him about how you feel about this is critical. You might learn something about his ex which will help the two of you gals get along (that kindergarten graduation will be here before you know it). Your part of the conversation goes like this - "I'm feeling [whatever it is you're feeling] about the frequency of [insert child's name] mom's calls/texts to you. It seems to me that she's trying to take time from you that I feel that I [and my child - if that's the case] should be getting from you." Then add that you like the way he's interested in his child, if you are. Lay it flat out that those calls/texts multiple times a day make you feel insecure and tell him exactly what you're insecure about. If it's his level of committment to you, say so. If it's jealousy, say so. Then ask him if he thinks that the two of you can work out a way around it. You don't want to deprive him of moments in his child's life - at the same time, this is throwing a monkeywrench in your relationship with him.


I've spent a lot of time around men - they don't pick up on or take hints, which I'll bet you've been doing. Looking at it from her perspective, she might be one of those folks who ought to have a cell phone permanently implanted - I know people who text constantly. I'm someone who has a bare bones text plan - I doubt I send a text a day to anyone - you may be more like me than like her. For all you know, he may be humoring her, figuring that this is nothing to fight about - and he's using the time and energy he'd use to fight it to be with you.


We're here for you.  



by NotJulieG   3319 Posts
Posted on 5/30/2012 5:26 PM

In co-parenting class, we are told to encourage a full relationship between our children and the other parent.  Your step-daughter is 2 years old, so she's not going to be able to tell daddy about her day.  Later on, a daily phone call from his daughter is absolutely to be encouraged.  Meanwhile her mother is providing the info.

From her perspective, her daughter's father has recently remarried, and now spends more time with his step-daughter than with his own daughter. (Correct?)  She could simply be worried that he will forget about his daughter now that he has you and your daughter.

I don't know what caused their divorce, or what makes you think your husband would want to go back to his ex-wife.  But if you have a problem, it is not with her but with him.  The question isn't "why does she call?"  The question is "Do you trust your husband?"

You feel jealousy.  Admit it. Own it. Paint it green. 

The tension in your marriage is because you feel jealousy and you don't know whether it is justified or acceptable.  So you try to act like you aren't jealous.  And he has probably stopped telling you about every text and call, because he knows you aren't comfortable.

You say you've voiced your concerns.  You probably put it in terms of her motivation.  Instead you need to tell him honestly how it makes you feel.  And then ask him what he is willing to do to make you feel more secure.
by mike1493   3673 Posts
Posted on 5/30/2012 3:36 PM

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