How to Deal With Your Husband’s Ex-Wife 484

When you marry a man who has an ex wife, you marry his family – often unfortunately! Here are six tips for how to deal with your husband’s ex wife, to help you transition into your new marriage.

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how to deal with my husband's ex wifeThere is no way one article on how to deal with the ex wife will solve all your problems! Remarriage is complex and emotional – which is why I recommend reading books like The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family by Ron Deal.

One of his tips on how to deal with your husband’s ex wife is to accept the things you cannot change. Here’s what one wife said about her stepchildren and her husband’s ex wife: “During our weekend visits with his kids I tried to change things, such as poor eating habits. Big mistake. It wasn’t my job. The biological mom was fine with how they ate. It wasn’t a ‘hill to die on,’ and the battle only created stress.” That might be the most important thing to remember when you’re married to a man who has a family from before: there are some things that you can’t change…and it’ll only hurt you and your husband if you focus on those issues. Below are a few things you can try to change (spoiler alert: it won’t be easy to deal with your husband’s ex wife!).

Part of loving your husband is learning what kind of relationship you’ll have with his first wife. That’s what these tips are all about: finding healthy ways to cope with your husband’s ex wife so she doesn’t destroy your marriage. For instance, can you have lunch with your husband’s ex wife? It may sound crazy…but if you’re already at the end of your rope, you may have nothing to lose.

These tips on how to deal with your husband’s ex wife are not meant to solve serious relationship problems or teach you how to cope with an angry, bitter, or possibly mentally unstable woman. It would take more than a single blog post to solve the problems caused by your husband’s first marriage! These tips will get you started, though. At the end of the post I share a few resources for remarriages and stepfamilies.

6 Tips for Dealing With Your Husband’s Ex Wife

Remember that how you deal with your husband’s ex wife will affect your marriage. That’s why my first tip is to try to create a bond with her – even though this is the one tip that most readers do not like at all!

1. Invite your husband’s ex wife out for coffee

One of the best ways to build a healthy remarriage is to get your husband’s ex wife on your side. I know this sounds crazy, but think about calling her up, telling her you want the best for her kids, and asking if she can make time to meet you for an hour or so.

how to deal with husband's ex wife

How to Deal With Your Husband’s Ex-Wife

Tell her you love her kids and want to learn more about them. Notice the good parts of how she’s raising them – she must have done something right over the years.

This tip for how to deal with your husband’s ex wife isn’t about being sneaky or pretending to like her. It’s about genuinely trying to connect with her. If you reach out with sincerity and grace, she may respond in kind. And who knows…maybe she will lower her defenses and cool her jets.

2. Let your husband’s ex-wife get to know you

If your husband’s ex wife is angry and bitter, it might help if she got to know who you are as a person. She may be less likely to criticize and hate you if she knows you. It’s incredibly easy to criticize people we don’t know, people we’re perhaps jealous of (after all, you’re married to her ex husband and her kids probably like you!).

Of course she’s an angry ex wife – you’re succeeding in areas she didn’t. But, it’s more difficult to criticize people we know and like…so maybe if she got to know you, she might ease up a little. You might not be able to change her, but you might charm her by being nice to her.

“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb,” says relationship expert and author Barbara De Angelis. “It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.” Connecting with your husband’s ex wife may be one practical, hugely valuable way to love your spouse.

3. Tell your husband’s ex-wife what she did and does right

Is she a good mother? Does she have a super clean or well-decorated house? Focus on what she does well, and tell her how much you admire that trait. You’re not being a sycophant or brown noser; you’re focusing on the positive qualities of your husband’s ex-wife. That might soften her, make her less angry or negative. To build a better marriage, you might need to take the first step towards peace and friendship.

4. Learn as much as you can about how to deal with ex wives

The more you learn about coping with angry, unreasonable people – and setting your boundaries – the better off you’ll be.

Do whatever it takes to make your remarriage successful: attend workshops, read books with your husband, go to family counseling. Learn how to dial down your own angry, frustrated responses and how to get the most out of your new marriage. I know it’s difficult, frustrating, and even aggravating – but when your husband’s ex-wife causes marriage problems, you may have to bear the burden.

You may also have to learn about dealing with difficult husbands, because sometimes they cause unnecessary problems with their ex-wives.

5. Leave your stepchildren out of your marriage problems

How to Deal With Your Husband’s Toxic Ex-Wife

“How to Deal With Your Husband’s Toxic Ex-Wife” image by accasperberry via DeviantArt

No matter how angry his ex-wife is, or how frustrated or hurt you are, don’t involve your husband’s kids in the problems. The kids are (probably) innocent bystanders – and you’d be better off focusing on connecting with your step children instead of involving them in adult marriage and remarriage problems.

To solve marriage problems before they begin, read Second Marriages That Work – 10 Tips for “Happily Ever After.”

6. Forgive your husband for his past marriage (and choice of ex-wife!)

If you think your husband made a bad marriage choice in the past, shake off your resentment or anger. He was a different person when he met and married his first wife – and so was she. He made the best decision he could, he fell in love, and he thought he was doing the right thing.

Don’t make him pay now for a decision he made years ago…that’ll just tear at the fabric of your marriage. Instead, accept him for who he is as a whole man – and that includes his first marriage and his angry ex-wife.

If you feel like your husband is part of the problem, read How to Fix a One Sided Relationship.

Help for Dealing With Your Husband’s Ex Wife

How to Deal With Your Husband’s Toxic Ex-WifeThe Girl’s Guide to Marrying a Man, His Kids, and His Ex-Wife: Becoming A Stepmother With Humor And Grace by Sally Bjornsen will help you cope with your husband’s toxic ex-wife – and other toxic family relationships – by showing you how to survive the holidays, custody, finances, and other complications of marrying a man who was married before.

Stepcoupling: Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today’s Blended Family by Susan Wisdom and Jennifer Green will help you learn how to tailor your expectations of your husband and children. This book will help you remember that no family is perfect. You’ll learn how to set boundaries when you’re dealing with a hostile ex wife or a demanding stepchild, and realize why traits like flexibility, tolerance, forgiveness, and openness are especially essential in a stepfamily situation. This book will also give you practical tips for making “us” time for talking, problem-solving, weekends away, and enjoying your marriage to constantly renew and strengthen your bond as a couple.

Do you think your husband’s ex wife is impossible to deal with? Read the comments below – you’ll see you’re not alone. You’ll find inspiration and wisdom, issues and conundrums, and problems and solutions.

I can’t offer advice on how to deal with your husband’s ex wife, but it might help you to share your experience. Writing can bring clarity and insight, and other wives may have suggestions for you.

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484 thoughts on “How to Deal With Your Husband’s Ex-Wife

  • donna

    My husbands ex girlfriend …we have been together almost 8 years, married for nearly 6 years. yesterday I told my husband I wanted a divorce because I don’t know what else to do, it feels like my whole world is falling apart because of his toxic ex girlfriend. My husband left his girlfriend 18 years ago due to her having an affair, They had a daughter together who is now 22 years who has always lived with her mother. My husband went on to have another relationship of nearly 10 years which his ex ended up destroying, now fast forward to me she doing it again.
    When I first started going out with my husband his ex girlfriend befriended me, which made it great that we was all getting on, I had a good relationship then with my husbands daughter that’s when things started going wrong. we used to take his daughter back laughing and joking his ex hated it she started picking on the daughter. after that the daughter said she had a problem with me, she started disrespecting me not happy that I was marrying her father, rolled her eyes and tutting while we was getting married.
    fast forward to now I have had nothing but disrespect form ex girlfriend and his daughter, the ex would keeping calling my husband and texting him it got so bad my husband ended up blocking her number.

    • Cheryl

      Tell him no woman would put up with her crap so he can either fix it or lose you. The good news is he blocked her from calling. Now he needs to have a conversation with the daughter that mom is never going to like anyone he is with, did this to last relationship and remember how daughter used to go home laughing? The only thing that changed was mom’s attitude and he would appreciate it if she would be respectful of his relationship. She can love her mom and still be respectful to you. Trust me I was in the same boat but my man talked to his daughter and put baby mama drama in her place. And the daughter was 30 when we met… so yeah. I get where you’re coming from. Some women will always play the kiddie card even when the child is an adult.

      • Donna

        yes my husband blocked her from calling and texting which was good for us. Which pissed the ex off so much she has started lieing to his family to make him look bad. My husband’s father died last year, the ex turned up disrespected my married by following my husband around she wouldn’t leave him alone. A few days later I told her to move on with her life 18 years was more than enough time to get over it. She’s was to stop with her obsession because she will end up hurting her daughter. The answer I got back was so disgusting and vile, to be called A BARON C??T because I was unable to have children myself. His ex got the daughter involved, she never spoke to her father for 10 months. I got the blame for standing up for my marriage, so know going back for me now regarding his daughter she hates my guts because her mother poisoned her against me. Which makes things very difficult now.

  • Alexis

    I sometimes feel like it’s too much to handle. My husband has full physical and legal custody of his daughter. Her mother gets about 25 hrs of visitation time every week. I’ve basically become mom because I take care of her 6 days out of the week.we have a wonderful bond. His ex continues to tell him he owes her additional time and how he is keeping her daughter from her. I just don’t see how he is obligated to give her extra time all the time when this visitation schedule was made for a reason. She’s bipolar and just goes off on him a lot and says such nasty things to him. She always threatens to tell our daughter how bad her father is and how she’s gonna hate us one day. She done and said some things that don’t make use feel comfortable giving her extra time let alone take her out of state for extended periods of time but she thinks she deserves it. I sometimes just want to scream and go off on her as she likes to try to throw my name into the mix to make some issue. I become so discouraged thinking is this what we get to look forward to every year. She now has a new bf who has multipl children from other women who he left and now he’s attached to her and got her pregnant. It’s just not a healthy environment and so confusing to our daughter. Does anyone have any advice?

    • Cheryl

      Keep on being who you are. That said suggest he tell Baby Mama Drama to go to court if she wants more time. Her actions have proved she doesn’t deserve more time but if she takes her meds you’ll revisit the subject. Whenever she starts her crap tell her to focus on what is best for the child and it will all work out. Thank your lucky stars this fool doesn’t have more time with the girl to mess things up.

  • Liz

    My defacto (as good as married) would not allow me to meet his ex, calls her psycho. She carries quite a load as there is mental and physical issues with the theee adult children , all living with her. She hates me, that her daughter got on with me & reached out to me when she was struggling. He talks to her with a very fond tone which is a little off-putting and he did go back to her after his 2nd marriage failed to try again for his kids sake, but it was a bad idea. Then I came along. That brings up some insecurities for me. I have my own children, the last thing I need is 3 more special needs adult kids, but what I do need is calm as her neurotic outbursts are harmful overvtgecnow three years.

  • Karla

    What if the kids hate you, because the ex wife has filled their minds with negative concepts about you? How do you deal with that? My husband and I met quite some time after he got divorced and yet, she said to his kids he cheated on her with me. And they believed her, because shes their mom. So, long story short, they hate me and our son. They are cruel to him. So far I have tried to keep him away because when they visit they are cruel to him. One of them even hit him because he tried to hug her. My son does not understand why they despise him, he is hurt. I am hurt. How do i deal with that? What can I do? because at this point I am willing to leave the house with my son every time they come to visit. I do not care anymore. I have tried to talk, to reason with them, things keep getting worse. I cannot ask my husband to stop seeing them, but I do not want my son to be mistreated. Talking to the ex is not an option. Last time I tried, she called 911 and said I was attacking her and I had to get inside my house and lock the door.

  • Heather Maness

    My husband ex wife.. we have been together almost 5 years, married 4 years. We have certain times to exchange kids. If I show up 2 minutes early, she will tell the kids not to come to the door. It is still her time. So then when it is time, their stuff is never ready (backpacks, clothes, sporting stuff). We are there sometimes up to 20 minutes sitting in driveway waiting on her to get them ready. Then sometimes when I pick them up, she will ask them if they want to go with me or stay with her longer. Court papers state that step parent can pick them up. We go to sporting events that one kid is playing, she will tell the other kid that they cannot sit with me or have anything to do with me. The child has to stay right beside her mother. She has let her boyfriends of 2 weeks pick them up from school with out notifying their dad. She continues to tell the kids lies about me so they wont like me. When they ask me for the truth, I will tell them. Her and her family calls me names in front of the kids. I don’t talk about her or her family in front of the kids. I take them to sporting events, school, buy their clothes etc. They get in trouble if they talk to me on the phone or if they tell me they love me. We let the kids talk to her, her parents, her boyfriends or whoever else wants to talk without interrupting them. She makes them talk on speaker phone when my husband calls and majority of the time it is Bluetooth over car speakers. I am completely fed up with her. I am lost for words. No matter how nice I try to be, it always back fires on me.

    • Cheryk

      Wow. She’s awful. This is how horrible women exert control. Pretend like it doesn’t bother you in front of her. Tell kids mom is confused you’re not _____ whatever she says. See if you can take her to court over kids never ready on YOUR time and going with unauthorized boy friends. In person kill her with kindness. Tell kids mom just wants you to sit with her. Someday the kids will hate her for this. Hang in there.

    • Brooke

      I am so sorry. I’ve got a very similar situation. I honestly did not know people could be this crazy. It is such a shock to me. I’m afraid it will never get better, but reading your story somehow at least makes me feel I am not alone. I wish you well and hope things get better for you. I have to believe there is a special place for women in our situations in heaven.

  • Tori

    This article sounds like the new wife should be kiss-up. If his ex wife doesn’t like you, so what! You’re married to him, not her. It shouldn’t matter if a past person likes you or not.

    • Cheryl

      Have you read any of the comments on how to deal with your husband’s ex-wife? If it was a simple matter of dislike, I’d agree, no big deal, just avoid her. It’s what some of these women do with their hate that is the problem. Try straightening out the mess they inflict onto their kids – all so they can interfere, intrude and otherwise attempt to destroy the relationship of their former spouse. Either they don’t move on or they can move on – but he can’t without a whole mess of trouble from her. The husband is trying to have a relationship with his present wife and get along with the ex but she’s baby mama drama and is a trouble making b***h – all while crying to anyone who will listen about how the present wife is awful. It’s manipulation and you can’t get away from her because he has kids with her. So if you are lucky enough to have mere dislike going on, count your blessings! A lot of times it is a freaking nightmare trying to deal with an ex wife who is unreasonable and won’t let go, move on, get along. Nope she’s all about being a trouble maker. In my case I was lucky because the ex wife showed herself too many times and my husband stood up to her, but he had to do it several times. There was no way to be friends with her and she wasn’t interested in that although she’d whine to his family about how I was awful to her etc. Hey, when you act like an ass, I’m not going to like you, we’re not going to be friends and you’re not my husbands best friend. LOL…

    • Cindy

      I wholeheartedly agree, Tori. The wife/stepmom doesn’t owe biomom/exwife anything, including any concern about being liked or not.

      • Emma Stevens

        Wow! This is dejavu. I certainly wouldn’t make friends with my husband’s ex. Even though its been at least 30yrs since they parted she can’t move on (and she never re-married) and when they see each other she brings him to his knees in humiliation and causes him so much stress and anxiety he goes into depression. I’ve never had anything to do with her (there was 15yrs after the divorce before I ever came on the scene and married her Ex) although, I have had a good. relationship with her two sons both adults now. All she wants to do is cause trouble to him and be as cold and unreasonable as possible so she gets the glory. As we are approaching one of their Son’s Wedding, it is placing a huge stress on my husband and making him very ill. Again, I keep out of it and support him but this time it is driving me to a point where I feel it is effecting our Relationship/Marriage and I don’t know what to do anymore. I am a internally strong Women but I feel the bridges weakening. My husband tries talking to her but she won’t entertain it and brings him to his knees. His Ex Wife is unreasonable and just will not let go.

  • Jacqueline

    My new husbands ex wife…. my husband and I have only been married for a month, he came home from being deployed in january and to prevent us from being separated we did a court house wedding, none of our family or friends know because we still want to do it traditionally later this year.. rewind… my husband and I met in fall 2015, a month after his ex wife and him filed for divorce and he moved out and started going out and we met at a local place and hit it off.. his divorce was 8 months long and throughout that we were on and off, he was very secretive of me because the divorce wasn’t final yet. After the divorce was final and she found out about me she wasn’t happy, 2 months later I get a message from her on Facebook telling me that I am a rebound, I’m nothing to worry about because he still misses her and wants her and that they have been sleeping together the whole time including a few days before, followed by sleeping with me. After that I was done, we didn’t talk for weeks and then he came back around begging for another chance. This was a month before he was meant to deploy, so we got back together under a lot of stipulations and rules, and things were great and during the deployment he still let me know every time they talked (they have a 5yo together so they needed to talk) and we grew really close and excelled over the deployment and got married once he got home. Now that he’s back and has to see her face to face and deal with her about there son it’s hard for me to not get mad about her all the time.. I let myself get so obsessed over past thoughts and just negativity every time I know they talk. She has a new boyfriend which his parents met when they came to visit at Christmas, he met when they ran into each other at the grocery store, and has seen him at her house. I have asked for him to let her come up to our door when she comes to pick up there son instead of him running out there to meet her, I want her to see me and it be known to her that I am around and not going anywhere, he says he doesn’t hide me but he also isn’t going to flaunt me to her. I feel like I am a secret to her and he tells her way to much of his personal life about work and our house, and I feel like she sends him random things about there son just to talk and relate on random things. When we go pick his son up from her house he parks just enough away so I can’t see her when she opens the door, he won’t respond to some of her messages when I’m sitting close, and they talk way more than I wish they would and about irrelevant things. When I voice my concerns he always just says he hopes a day comes when I quit getting mad or worrying and not so uncomfortable.. I wish I could get closure with her and we could all be adults but she refuses to be nice or communicate with me (I haven’t tried but my husband won’t let me.) idk how to move on with our successful marriage and life when we still have to deal with her and the negative effects it has on me.

    • Mimi

      Your problem is more with your husband than his ex wife. You don’t trust him. I would seek counseling to help you heal from his betrayal with sleeping with her because that thorn is what has led to you feeling like this.

    • Karla

      I am sorry but the one to blame here is your husband. If he truly did not care about her he would not have slept with her. It seems to me the problem is your husband’s feelings. Even though he married you, he is still unsure if he wants to let her go. The only way I see is counseling if you think its worth staying. If not, move on. There are plenty fish on the sea.

  • Lynne

    My husbands ex… My husband and I were married recently after nearly 6 years of “off and on “. I never met his ex wife. They have a grandchild together, I thought it might would help to initiate amicable communication. We live in the house where they raised the children. The divorce was final in Feb. 2010. We met that year in September.

    My husband had her as his beneficiary “for the kids sake” (adult children). Of course, all that would change due to our marriage. I introduced myself over FaceBook. and sent a friend request (I wasnt trying to be ‘friends’, just wanted her to know I have no mal feelings, we have the grandchildren to think about). I said ” I look forward to meeting her. Apparently, she isn’t as open to that – as well as not a very nice person (I found out later) and didn’t appreciate my amicable attempt. She replied, “Im sure we will meet at some point, “my concern is only for the kids” .

    My husband said they, (the ex and adult daughter are concerned about the inheritance). The adult son said “dad, dont worry about it, t….” I wrote to her saying that I have been around – off and on for the last 5 years and I ‘think a lot about the kids’. I have been through a lot of ‘bad stuff’ with him and the kids. They have always been respectful and amicable with me.

    She and her boyfriend came to pick up the baby one day, and I went outside with my 2 year old grandchild to introduce myself. She was amicable, she did seem a bit ‘edgy’, or nervous. I extend a short hug, and she was reciprocal. The interaction seemed to be fine. Im not trying to be ‘buds’, just amicable. My husband (jealous) makes derogatory comments about her b/f and doesn’t know him either. My husband actually went outside with me that day and met the guy for the first time, (they have been together for several years).

    My husband still has several photo albums of their past history – kids growing up A couple of weeks later, my husbands ex decided she wanted the pictures for the first time in 6 years. She said to him, she was ‘concerned’ – wanted to “get them, before something happen to them, before I destroy them”. Im thinking, “what the?” Anyhow, I have never behaved in a vindictive, or derogatory way towards any of them. I do have strong boundaries and do not put up with disrespect.

    I wrote to her and assured her their family photos are safe, and I have no problem with she and my husband working it out. Next, I added, “on a lighter note, it would be nice if he would take your name off the water bill, LOL”.

    The next thing I know, he says he, “immediately got a call from her, telling him- “TELL THAT PSYCHO NEVER TO CONTACT ME AGAIN!

    I asked him if he defended me? He says, ummm “I was between two ‘hot women’, (meaning-upset). I was livid he allowed her to speak about me in any disrespectful way!

    Ok, so – fast forward to now- almost a week later. Im not exactly sure how to proceed. I know its just ‘stupid stuff coming from ‘low-self worth and a relationship that apparently never had closure.

    I also know, she is not welcome in our home (used to be her home) ugh, if she is going to make derogatory comments about me ( even if its not really about me).

    My husband appears to be ‘afraid’ to defend my honor with her. ugh (Did I really marry a man with no balls when it comes to to his ex?)

  • Ally Diaz

    My situation is a bit different and I am hoping to get an outsiders viewpoint. I have had a great relationship with my stepdaughters Mom for the past 3 years. We were friends on Facebook (and friends with her family members Ex. Her Mom), would communicate often, whenever I would pick the girls up I would go inside, say hello to the family and chit chat. She even asked me to help her with the girl scouts group. We would laugh and joke and we would exchange gift on Christmas. We told each other a few times how much we appreciated each other and the relationship we had. I have 3 stepdaughters and we are really close. I swear they were made to be my step daughters. It was just a great blended family scenario. The girls Mom had recently remarried but already had a daughter with her new guy, which I also would babysit and have sleep at my place because the girls wanted her to be a part of our life too. So we all agreed. Now, fast forward to 2 weeks ago. Our wedding day finally came and people posted pictures all over Facebook before the ceremony was even over. The girls Mom and I always liked each others posts and would comment and goof around, she didn’t like one single post from our wedding day. Not even of the girls all dolled up in their dresses. I thought it was odd because I complimented her on every photo of her wedding day on Facebook. But I let it go even though I thought it was odd. No, fast forward a few days after the wedding, she shared a memory on my now husbands page of a post from 6 years ago from when they were together that had said “I have the best man in the world and the most amazing father for kids. I don’t know how he deals with all us girls!” and she tagged him in it. I thought it was a little odd and a bit of a boundary cross, because I just married him a few days ago and I don’t find it very appropriate, but she has odd logic sometimes and I figured it wasn’t an intentional thing so I liked it and went on with my day. Now, a few days later, she deleted the post and she blocked me from her Facebook. Ive been blindsided. She never congratulated me, never said a word, just blocked me. I am hurt, I feel like we worked so hard to create such a harmonious relationship and now I feel pushed out. and It hurts. All of a sudden I feel a certain way that I had never felt with her before. Unwelcome. and I don’t know how to handle the situation other than to act like I know nothing. Just a few side notes, My now husband and her were never married, they had two children together and the oldest is hers from a previous relationship but my now husband raised her since she was a baby so in our eyes we have 3 all together. They ended on a decent note, no infidelity or anything, they just were toxic together, she had a baby almost immediately after their split with another man and married 6 months before us. We have been together for 3 years and married a few weeks now. We all get along, there is no hard feelings, and now since the wedding I feel outcast-ed.

    • Donna

      Sounds like you feel similar about moving on from relationships if they dont work, and being amicable… glad someone out there understands. My situation has still not been resolved. If my husband does not tell his ex – that her disrespectful inflamatory comments to him about me will not be tolerated Im not sure what that will mean for us. I know I intend to let her know face to face – that she is no longer welcome in our home unless she can keep her nasty comments away from me and my husband. Its more about him avoiding defending me – and being ok for her to blast me.

      • Ally Diaz

        Luckily I have never dealt with her blasting me. That would be a tough spot. If your husband and her have kids together I would assume he is just trying to not rock the boat. At the same time, it truly is unfair to you. I can see the matter from both sides. I am so sorry you are having to deal with that aspect of it. I can imagine that is a difficult spot to be in. But please, don’t allow her to ruin your marriage. Your husband should stand up for you, in a way that will not cause any issues. I considered reaching out to the ex myself as well, but decided against it because I didn’t want to be the cause of her keeping away the girls from us. It truly is a delicate spot. Sometimes you have to pick your battles knowing you will be the “loser” afterwords. Kill her with kindness, dont stoop to her level, and ignore her comments. It comes from a pace of jealousy and intimidation and it is not worth your energy to concern yourself with her insecurities.

    • Cindy

      Your husband’s ex wife was playing you. She was never your friend. Her having a relationship with you was just a way for her to stay close to her old family and it made her feel included. I think the wedding photos were just too much of a reality check for her – her ex has moved on and her daughters are officially part of a family that doesn’t include her. Maybe she couldn’t stand the fact that you were a more beautiful bride or your husband looked happier with you than he did on her wedding day. Maybe you guys just looked right together and that was enough to send her into despair, questioning her past marriage, etc. Two things jump out at me: She is neither a genuine nor stable person. Props to you for being open to her in the first place – your good nature will not always bite you in the butt, but definitely do not internalize her behavior. She’s deeply jealous and she has issues. Just move on and focus on the only relationships that matter: the one with your husband and the ones with your stepdaughters.

      • Ally Diaz

        Thank you so much. I truly appreciate your reply. Still in the same boat with my husband’s ex-wife. We used to speak a few times a week and since the abrupt halt, it is still completely silent. Not one single word. I haven’t even seen her. When I pick up or drop off the girls she is no where in sight. Its hurtful but I am coming to the realization that you are right, she was not genuine and she she truly is not stable. I am hurt because the girls loved it. I alone made the relationship what it was by forcing her to interact with me, and within moments she was able to crumble that. My parents also divorced when i was young and they always got along in the same manner that I was trying to create with her. I remember how awesome it was knowing there were no hard feelings between my parents and their significant others and so I worked hard to make sure the girls would have the same experience as I did because it was truly amazing and the feeling of love and content was overwhelming. I was proud of my family and looking back I can appreciate the effort it took to have that relationship for us kids. I guess not everyone is cut out for that. It takes a big person, a secure person, a confident person, to choose that path. I thought she was – I was unfortunately wrong. To make things clear, I treat her no differently. If I would see her today I would be the same person she dealt with before all of this. Her actions will not change my approach to her. That is the only way I can “win” in this situation is to not change my approach. Thank you so much Cindy for responding again, I truly do appreciate it. I have been going back and forth in my head trying to figure out what went wrong. I think you explained it perfectly and spot on.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Ashley,

    I can see how difficult this relationship has been for you – and how much you love your boyfriend. The problems with his kids and his ex-wife are stressful and disheartening, especially when all you want to do is build your relationship with your boyfriends. It’s difficult to know what you want in a relationship, but not be able to get it because of people and situations that are beyond your control. My heart goes out to you, but this is a difficult situation. And there are no easy answers

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me that your boyfriends ex-wife wanting to have a sit down meeting over dinner with you, your boyfriend, and her husband might be a good thing. It sounds like she at least wants to try to work through things, and maybe she doesn’t know how it will go or what it will accomplish either.

    It’s difficult to plan in advance what to say or how to respond because you don’t know what your boyfriend’s ex-wife is planning to talk about! But, you can prepare yourself by reminding yourself to stay calm and not overreact or get defensive if she says things that aren’t true or that don’t make sense. It might also be good to remember that your boyfriend and his ex-wife want to do what’s best for their children – hopefully. Maybe it would be good to let them figure out what they need to do while you take more of a back seat… But I honestly don’t know if this is a good approach or not.

    Let me know how it goes. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. May you find courage, wisdom, and strength as you have dinner with everyone and talk things through. May you be pleasantly surprised with the discussion and decisions that are made. And may your relationship with your boyfriend grow stronger and healthier because of everything you’re experiencing together.



  • Ashley Johnson

    I feel somewhat better knowing that I’m not alone in all this mess. Here’s a brief sanopsis of my story. I’ve known my boyfriend for 12 years. We dated when we were 20-21. Broke up, went our separate ways. Both got married and divorced. He had two kids by his ex-wife and I have no kids. We got back in contact with each other back in 2015 and now have been dating for a little over a year now. I have been around his kids maybe a handful of times in the last year. Every time they have been around they have had a blast. I’ve always tried to get my boyfriend to bring me around the kids more but it was always a knock down drag out fight. He always made excuse and such. If he had them and I wasn’t around he would barley communicate by text or phone with me. It was like he didn’t want them to know I existed. Then all of a sudden about 6 months ago the kids stopped wanting to come around him. Almost every time he would go to pick them up for his visitation time they wouldn’t want to come. They always asked if I was going to be around and of course he would tell them no. They still didn’t want to come around even after they knew that I was going to be around. He never made them come with him either. Lately his ex-wife who is a very controlling and muniplative has started saying stuff about me to him. Calling me names, saying that I ruined my chance to get to know the kids because the few times I got to talk to my boyfriend when he has his kids, we argued on the phone while the kids were around. I understand we should not have argued while the kids were around, but that’s not something in my opinion that should keep kids from wanting to be around someone. Now my boyfriend wants to gradually re-introduce me to the kids and play nice to his ex. Not sure how well either will go over. He’s saying we can’t move on with our relationship until his kids come around. But honestly who knows if his kids will ever come around because I feel that his ex-wife keeps saying negative things about him and I both to the kids. Therefor keeping them from wanting to be around. He’s also very afraid to stand up to her and just tell her I’m going to be in his life regardless if her or the kids like it. He’s pretty afraid to say anything to her that’s not what she wants to hear because he has a huge fear of her taking the kids away. He’s not a bad dad at all. He owns his own house, has a good job, pays his child support on time every time and has never been in trouble with the law. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Should I stay and wait it out or leave…. she wants to have a sit down meeting over dinner with my boyfriend and I and her and her husband tomorrow night. I’m not sure how that’s going to go or what it will accomplish but we will see. My post probably doesn’t make a lot of sense but if it does to someone possibly in my shoes, I would appreciate any advice or support you could offer me.

  • Disgusted and over it all

    Everyone’s marriage/situation is different. Mine has made me physically and emotionally ill. I hate my marriage, I’m disgusted with my husband and I’m sick and tired of hateful, self centered people. We met 16 years ago, nearly three years after his divorce. Got married 13 years ago.nwhat a flipping mistake I made.
    His ex is so so sweet to his family, she can’t let go and they think her intentions for hanging around are sweet.
    Rewind 16 years ago to the beginning..she would send hate text messages directed towards me to my husbands phone (no way would she get my number). She called me horrid things, untrue thugs. She then made up stories to tell my mil and others about how bad a person I was. I don’t know this woman, I live 75 miles away from her and have only friefly met her once. We don’t know the same people, other than my husbands family.
    Then exwife got my email address from my mother in law! She created a fake email account and sent me a message about how I needed to be a good mother and wife and stop preventing my husband from seeing his kids (teenagers) and my mil. I wasn’t stopping him, I found it wrong that he avoided his family, but eventually I realized he avoided them because he wanted nothing to do with his exwife who was always sticking her nose in his family business. Not here are way too many things to write about here. Many emails from this woman, not sent anonymously, hate texts to my husband about me, accusations that I was sending his daughter text messages and emails from his accounts, all untrue. And of course she would tell my husbands entire family that I was doing these things, which I wasn’t doing. Eventually husband believed her too. Wtf? Once she called him and told him his entire family hated me, that his kids would have nothing to do with him as long as he was married to me, that I’d ostracized him from his family. Of course he bought into this, I never understood why. Unless he still wanted her. No don’t know and personally I could care less at this point.
    His daughter is no better. I’ve had Facebook posts from her calling me horrible names,meshing me dead burning in hell. He would say nothing to her about these messages, but accused me of upsetting her. Those kinds of messages have gone on for a long time.
    Two years ago, stepdaughter pretended to make amends with me. What a farce. Just a month ago she texted her father telling him I was a fat ugly c@@t and a father stealer, and again I should die and burn in hell. She’s a 31 year old woman. Daughter also called her brother and other family members and told them how horrible I was. I had not even spoken or communicated with her n 6 months, so why is she so angry with me all of the sudden?
    They’re all mental. I hate this marriage, hate my husbands family Nd resent the living day lights out of my husband. He says things to me like ” poor thing, yo think everyone hates you” omg, open your eyes! They freaking do.
    Vent over. Stay married to your first husband no matter how rough it is because ther is nothing worse than stepparent and wife hell. Why are people so mean? I’m done.

    • Cheryl

      This is sad. He should have believed you and told his family what she was actually doing. Sadly the ex has managed to poison everyone. Too bad they didn’t see her lies.

    • bobrt

      My husband’s ex-wife is bad…..really bad….but your husbands ex would win the title for the worst, I’m afraid.
      That’s horrible – that they say these things to you and about you. I can’t say that I know how you feel but I definitely can relate to the tone of your comment and the feeling of regret, resentment and frustration. I printed the comment from “tina” below, I read it often.

    • Futuresixthex

      Be happy it’s only one ex! I have to deal with five of them and four children from four of them. I wonder why I’m even here. I don’t feel he will ever take me serious.

    • Clark

      Exactly what I have been going through with my husband’s ex-wife for the last 6 years.
      It’s incredibly difficult as these people are toxic and extremely manipulative and it’s you having to defend yourself alone against a pack of wolves who only want one thing… to destroy your relationship, and they enjoy every reaction they can get.
      The best thing to do is not to react at all. Leave them to their pathetic game… trying to defend yourself only reinforces the power they want over you.
      Ignore them… they are not worth a second of your time and energy.
      Reacting only gives them power over you… ignoring them makes them nothing.

      • Cheryl

        Some women see “ignoring” as they just need to try harder! LOL… We’re not talking about reasonable people we can simply avoid. We’re talking about folks who are stalkers. Constant texts, phone calls at all hours and for days on end. It’s not about the kids and so many emails you’d think you were the best of pen pals! Then add on all the uninvited “just show up” visits and wanting to be at all family gatherings, it’s constant weirdness and unpleasantness. Then there’s all the lies they tell and the family and friends don’t know the truth because they know her and probably still love her, hey she’s family or their kids play together or grew up together. Try being part of a family where their former in-law is a saboteur but pretty sneaky and the family has to put up with her because if they don’t, then the grand kids don’t get to come around. It’s a lot more complicated than just ignore it. Yes we need to limit our reactions and live well but in our experience, he had to deal with it, repeatedly, or it never would have stopped. Eventually her ridiculousness comes out but it may take a few years to get there and the ex is hoping too much damage will be done for the relationship to survive.

    • Deborah

      I am in exactly the same situation & I actually get hated by him for letting the lies & stories they tell others upset me when it finally gets back to me , I moved into his house but had to leave because his ex wife was worried about the girls inheritance ( he is 49) but he is allowed to stay at my house & rent his out !!!
      I have left but it cuts deep that these ex wife’s move on get married have more children but still won’t let the ex’s go or maybe he isn’t letting her go ..
      but best of luck to you all & thanks for sharing it helps us all knowing we are not alone in these problems

      • Cheryl

        Your husband should have understand that his ex wife’s lies are upsetting, especially if they are believed by his family and friends. Also, he should have been paying you rent. He was getting his house payment made by the renters so he should have been able to afford that. If you two ever get back together do what I did. I told him, “No woman is ever going to put up with her crap so if you want to be alone forever, be sure to not handle it and then all you’ll have is her.” Hahaha, if the marriage was bad enough, the guy will do what my husband did and repeatedly tell her to knock it off.

  • Healthy Woman

    Most articles say that it is the abused party’s responsibility to leave. Why on earth should we be forced out of OUR homes when the abuser is one hundred percent to blame? We should uproot ourselves and move to a shelter because abusers can’t deal with the same emotions the rest of us can handle?

  • Anonymous

    I need any advice I can get ladies. I’m 26 and just recently married my husband two months ago. He was previously married and has three children from his previous relationship. His ex wife and I had a very civil relationship up until the wedding. The week we returned from our wedding our life and marriage has been a complete rollercoaster. a quick synopsis.. She is 28, lives in her parents basement, is a freelance photographer so there is no steady income, and is not currently in a relationship). My husband and I both work full time for corporate companies and just purchased our first home. We are generally very happy and have always treated one another with the upmost respect! However, the latest harassment I have been receiving on a continuous basis is that my husband has been cheating on me with her. She claims he is always the one to be inappropriate. I know I should trust him especially with how gracious he has always been to me but my self esteem has really plummeted. Because she sends these accusations frequently I’m starting to believe the words she is saying. Has anyone ever dealt with a similar scenario and how do I cope? Again, I want to be able to trust my husband and move forward in our marriage but I also don’t want to be completely naive. Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • Cheryl

      She is probably lying. Do not listen to her. Unless you see signs of him cheating she is simply trying to plant ideas in your head and from what you say – it’s working. I guess she is just upset that he has successfully moved on and she has not. Do not let her ruin your life!

    • Staci

      Dear Anonymous,
      If you truly believe your husband is cheating with his ex; and by truly I mean your heart and gut and mind all believe the same; then call him on it. If you don’t then why not just tell him about the accusations she is making and tell him exactly how they make you feel. I am my husband’s entire world and he lets me know that everyday, he makes sure I feel it everyday, and his actions all add up to that. So if you aren’t feeling like you are the only woman than you need to speak with him about it. After all, marriage is supposed to be open and honest with communication. Plus, how can he help you feel better if he doesn’t even know what’s going on. No one is a mind reader. As for the ex, I don’t know how her job or where she lives is relevant information to what you’re asking about. Not to make you feel bad or upset you or anything but that just sounded like you telling everyone on this forum something about her to make YOU feel better about your own self esteem. Her living situation and her income have nothing to do with whether she is having an affair with your husband or not. I would stop talking to her. I do not talk to my husband’s ex unless it is about the daughter that the THREE of us share and raise. If it isn’t about my baby girl then we don’t talk. You guys have absolutely nothing you must discuss that is outside of those kids. Don’t let this woman ruin a marriage that is otherwise happy. Talk to your husband. I wish you the best.

  • Tina

    Hi there,
    I have to comment to help every women here on this board. Here is the deal. You are worth MORE than the EX Wife and the Children that he brings with him as BAGGAGE. Second does not mean Second best…so do not ever feel compelled to be “the nice” person or to give in to “save your marriage”. If anything HE should GIVE IN because HE is the one that carries the BAGGAGE. He should feel badly about his Ex Wife’s behavior and do everything to KEEP YOU from leaving because his side of the world is messed up. So set boundaries early. If you feel uncomfortable with something then say it like it is…it will not get better with time or change…it will get worse. Give the Ex an inch and she will take a mile. For the women who moved to accommodate him and his child…I say move back to where you both enjoy your time together. It is not about the kid…it is about YOUR RELATIONSHIP…after all you met him and feel in love with him…not the child. Otherwise if you fell in love with the child first…then go an adopt a child…it will be a lot easier and you will be able to be a real mother to this child. Do not sacrifice your happiness for someone else’s. Nobody is going to give you a “Step mother of the year” Award for your sacrifices and you will end up feeling resentful and bitter. FOCUS ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR HUSBAND and forget about the Baggage and the drama that goes with it. If he cannot push back on the negativity and the Ex then he is a man that you do not want to be involved with…You come first…remember this. All this commentary about being her friend and trying to have coffee with her is BS…the ex will always be jealous of you since you represent what she lost. And if your husband is happier with you and a better man…the Ex will always be upset since he was not like this with her. So DO NOT WASTE YOUR ENERGY…focus your ENERGY on being a Better you: A better lover, wife, career, mother to your own children, friend. Focus energy on YOU. Trust me…there is better ROI when you focus on YOU 🙂 I say this from experience and what has worked for me. If your husband truly loves you…he will work with you and build a strong marriage and foundation. It took a lot of heart ache and pain to get here…but if I could do it all again…I would have taken a stand earlier and not fight his battles unless it impacted me for the future financially. He put himself there…he needed to get himself out. He will learn that his children are not “innocent” like all the articles tell you…especially when the kids are involved in telling the ex everything you do at your home…aka Big Brother. The kids are not innocent when they act up at your house and are perfect angels at her’s. Remember…if you feel uncomfortable with a situation…you have good reason to push back and stay strong. YOU ARE FIRST. YOU ARE NEVER SECOND BEST…YOU ARE FIRST. If you keep this stance, trust me, your husband will feel this way too and treat you as FIRST too.

    • Cro

      I love love love this! Thank you. I’m dealing with a toxic ex and unfortunately a stepdaughter that mimics her toxicity. This makes so much sense!

    • bobrt

      This is exactly what i needed to hear. I never imagined it would be this hard and honestly it NEVER occurred to me that a bitter ex-wife could ruin my marriage – but it is happening and I don’t know how to stop it. I am going to read your post daily, because right now it seems like the only thing that will get me through this!

    • Lerato

      thank you so so so just nailed it. I think I can now deal with that crap from baby mama.Ever since my husband and I wedded..the bitter ex has been frequenting our house, which is something she never did.And only for her to make funny comments about furniture in the house and other trivial matters.

  • krista

    I can relate to many of these stories. I have an ex-wife from hell. And, instead of rehashing everything that has been said, I come to the conclusion that my husband and I will keep our relationships separate from their mother’s and her daughters relationship. His children know where we are and can reach out to us at any time. We are not wasting anymore of our precious time on this earth with people like his ex-wife. His kids will figure it out and hopefully control their mom. She is their problem, not ours. I’ve never been around people like her and I continue not to be. Peace out and have a nice life away from us.

    • Cro

      Soooo important! “I’ve never been around people like her and continue not to be”. That is my motto too! Life is too short for such negativity!

  • Stephanie Pacienza

    I need help. I am struggling SO much these days, I fear I am loosing my sanity at times. I am recently remarried (married for 14 months). I have a 6 year old boy and my husband has an 8 year old daughter. At first, life was great for all of us. We all seemed to mesh very well together. But as things between my spouse and I got more serious, his ex made life hell for us. Let me just start off by saying that I met my now husband while in the divorce stage of my ex. My ex cheated a handful of times and was physically abusive to me on 3 occasions. Irregardless, I gave him 50% custody of our son, never asked for child support, assumed the house and all the debt from our credit cards and sent him on his way. It was the easiest and cleanest way to break up without having to draw out the battle in court. We actually have a pretty good relationship with each other now and never fought in front of our son. My son loves his father and he is a bad husband, but a great dad. Stable, kind to his kid and dependable. This is the type of relationship I guess I figured all sane women wanted for their children. I never went to court with him bc I knew it would have an effect on our son, who is my world and I will fight to the death to protect him from any emotional damage. That being said, my now husbands ex-wife has done so much to damage not only me and my husband but my son as well. I am loosing myself trying to keep it together. It all started when she filed a baseless protection from abuse order on my husband bc his daughter lost her first tooth at out house and I was not willing to let her have it. Why should I? She lost it here and the tooth fairy visited our house that evening. She went to the courts and claimed that my husband ripped her tooth out on purpose and that she had to take her daughter to the ER for bleeding. Obviously when the matter went to a hearing all was dismissed.
    Then she tried to move 5 states away with his daughter and proposed that she get full custody with him having visitation via Skype in the summer. So then we had to go back to court for that. Did I mention her proposed move date was the day of our wedding that her daughter was the flower girl for? During the waiting period for a relocation hearing, she moved anyway, without his knowledge or consent 38 miles away behind his back and tried to put her in a new school. Well, the judge put an emergency order in stating that daughter stay in same school district until the hearing which was 6 months away. So I make twice what my husband does in earnings. I funded all the legal nonsense and am currently footing the 25K bill for legal fees. At the time of the relocation hearing, he only had 33% physical custody and 50% legal custody bc of all the lame abuse allegations she had on him and courts here are quick to believe a woman over a man. I couldn’t stand by and watch this happen so I paid my layer to fight back. Anyway, the judge ordered that he and his ex-wife, who is a Licensed PHD in neuro-psychology by the way, go see a court ordered therapist and let a third party decide who the child should be with. He didnt know what to believe after 5 baseless abuse allegations that never had any valid proof like police reports, medical visits etc. had been filed by her. The court ordered therapist testified that it is she, the ex-wife, who is actually abusive emotionally to my husband and bullys him and she stated that she has caught her in so many lies during their sessions, there was no negotiating with the ex-wife. It was her way or she lied and cheated to get her way. She also, because of the 38 mile unjust move, foreclosed on a house that she was supposed to refinance in her name solely when she and my husband divorced and never did. So now he has crap credit and is in the foreclosure process. She did this so she could buy a new bigger house, 38 miles away without anyone’s knowledge and without court approval. we found out when his daughter told us one day that mommy packed all her toys and was moving in a week! We had to of course move too. So i had to rent my current house out, move my son away and actually, I bought a bigger house than she did, in the middle of the two families so my son was still close to his dad and my husband wasnt so far from his daughter. My step daughter will never be loyal to me. Every time there is a disagreement between mom and I, or between dad and her mom and she finds out about it, which she is almost 9 now and smart enough to pick up on things, I never get anything from her but attitude, eye rolls and kicked to the curb. She loves to choose sides, but never mine. Her daughter makes me feel very unloved and disrespected and unappreciated. My husband loves me, I know he does, He is wonderful and when its just he and I or he and I and m son, I feel on top of the world. But the reality is, he has a daughter and an ex, who is remarried and should move on, but constantly finds ways to bother us and emotionally and financially screw us. I have to accept them all as I have accepted him. But Im dying inside and Im depressed and I dont know how to stop the hate I have. I dont and will not give up on this marriage. My hubby and I are meant for each other. But how do I cope with his ex and his daughter? I have talked to my husband about all this and he is very defensive about his daughter, She can do no wrong.

  • englishrose

    This came too late for me, or maybe I actually had a lucky escape, I met a lovely man in summer 2015, he had moved to my country because he couldn’t find work in his own country, and needed to support his family. When we got together, he had only been officially separated from his estranged wife for 3 months. I didn’t realise it had been such a short time until I had been with him about a month, but I think that was a big red flag. They must have been married for 20 yrs as the eldest of their 3 kids was in his late teens. Whenever I asked my guy what went wrong, he would say “She changed.” He was alone in my country, very isolated, and I now realise that I was simply someone to make him feel less lonely. He seemed to adore me, but very early on I picked up on the fact that she was constantly texting him over the weekends when we were together. He would often be in a low mood, and very early on I said to him that I understood him needing to communicate with regard to the children, but when she was asking him stupid things like how to fix the computer, I didn’t think that was reasonable. At the beginning, when he was desperate to hold on to me, he seemed to agree, and stopped instantly responding to her texts. I very naively thought that I had done the right thing by setting boundaries so soon.
    However, as time wore on, and they were after all in the early stages of separation, he was often down, really missed his children and family life, and I sensed that perhaps I, a woman without kids of my own, might not be enough for him. Furthermore, we were only together for 11 months, but throughout that time I felt sure that he and her weren’t really “done” with each other. He seemed easy going on the surface, and with his guy friends and fellow ex pals, but he was often very withdrawn with me at my place, and I felt very lonely at times with him and sensed I wasn’t always being told the full story of what was happening with him and her.
    To my eternal regret, I did a very stupid thing at the end. Certain that he didn’t love me (he never said it in the 11 months we were together), I stopped taking his calls, hoping he would show me that I was as important as her. But I also thought he would be better with a woman who had her own kids, so I guess I kind of let my doubts, my sense of sadness about my own childlessness, ruin the love I had for him. I was absolutely broken hearted when he did finally get in touch and wanted to meet me. After stringing me along for a while, he told me that he had met someone else within just a couple of weeks of my going silent. I don’t know anything about this new woman, but I did tell him I still wanted him. He left me thinking we might get back together, and finally live together. It had been me who had wanted this earlier but he said it was too soon. Neither of had ever friended each other on FB, me because I didn’t really want his wife to see my pics or know too much about me, and it seemed a bit insensitive (he also had an open profile), and perhaps I didn’t want to flaunt us. Sadly he just disappeared out of my life at that last meeting, and I never heard from him again. He was kidding me. It hurts a lot, he ackowledged that I had “healed my broken heart”, yet he very quickly walked away from me and found someone else, as if I hadn’t existed. What hurt even more was that I wouldn’t look at his FB page as I dreaded seeing any news about the new woman, yet just weeks after I’d met him, his ex was referring to her as his “new lover”, so he obviously went public with her after just a couple of months. It also wouldn’t surprise me if he is living with her already too, and they won’t even be 4 months yet. I know I should never have looked at his ex’s profile, and let my insecurity get the better of me. But, clearly if he could replace me so soon, he didn’t really care that much for me.
    One thing which makes this easier is that his ex often made barbed comments about him on her FB page (despite the fact that their kids are old enough to see this). and with all her posing and flirting with other guys on there, plus my knowledge of her regular and very long messaging him when we were together, so I suspect that had he and I become more serious, I would have had years of this stuff to deal with.
    It still hurts a lot, I was a very supportive girlfriend, and loved him very deeply, and I am the one left alone again while he sets up home with yet another woman. But honestly, reading all your comments, and particularly because I am too old to have my own babies, I believe the lifelong ties he will have with his ex (their youngest kid is only 9 and has a serious health condition), the fact that they have kids together and i couldn’t with him, would have eaten away atme. I would always have been “the dud”, the 2nd best woman, we never would have made it. It hurts a lot now, but perhaps I have saved myself more inevitable hurt in the long run.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t even believe the amount of problems I am seeing on here. I met my husband at a young age (24), and he had been divorced for 2 years and had a 5 year old. We kept our relationship secret for numerous reasons (one being he was 12 years my elder and my father is Sicilian and I thought he would kill him). Anyways, we fell in love, and his daughter loved me from the start. We moved in together eventually, and everything was going great. Then his ex started putting things in her daughters head like “daddys girlfriend is a teenager”, etc. etc. After a year, we found out we were expecting. This is when it really went bad. She began to fill her daughters head with crap, and she would come to our house and say “the baby is not my real sister, she’s my stepsister” and “you should be married before you have a baby”. This is all coming from a 6 year old child who obviously knows nothing about what she is being told. Now I am severely pregnant and emotional as it is, and this put mw over the top. Mind you, the mother had no problem pawning her daughter off on me so she could go on dates left and right. She’d get to our house and say “Oh mommy left so and so because he’s a cheater”…..this went on for months and months. Then we lost our house in hurricane Sandy when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant, and this woman did not say she was sorry, send a baby blanket, nothing!!!!!! After that, I was fed up with her, but she had met some guy, and told us they were “starting a life”. Thankfully we found a rental house to move into in time for the baby to be born. My husband now proposed to me the day we brought our daughter home. She was super bitter about that. Anyways, we opened our house up to meet her new boyfriend (2 weeks post partum still in hospital pads) because she requested it and he seemed like an OK guy. Then she sent the daughter over with lice 3 times, one of the times which I contracted it. I contacted the school freaking out, and they said they sent her home with it and told the mother how to take care of it. I had to pay a company $280 to come to my house, comb us all out, and clean out the house. She did not chip in. She actually had the balls to ask ME to comb through her hair and check HER??!! And me being the nice person I am, I did! Next situation was when we got married, she tried to tell me she couldn’t take her so we could go on our honeymoon. This was like the last straw….I had been through soo much in the past year I couldn’t take much more. My husband had to take over because I was ready to lose it. Now, a year later, we got pregnant with my second daughter, and built a 4 bedroom house. While the house was being built, she would send me side texts like “i wanna build a house too”. They take us to T.G.I. Fridays one day for a “meeting” to tell us they are gonna move away. My husband didn’t agree, and they sent us paperwork, which we never signed. She could have very well bought a house around here. She bought a house over an hour away because that was the only area she could afford a house with 4 bedrooms like ours. The difference is that we have 3 kids, and we HAVE to have 4 bedrooms. All she has is her, her boyfriend, and her daughter. When I questioned her, she replied “Im simply getting what you have”. Now the problem we have is that she is living over an hour away illegally, she finally got engaged and is getting married (if he doesn’t get cold feet), and we pay an immense amount of child support. We have not adjusted it since my step-daughter was 4 (required day-care), and now he has 2 other children to support, as well as me since I am a full time student. They both have full time jobs and apparently plenty of money to take Caribbean vacations all the time. We have been the only ones to take this poor kid on vacations. I just don’t even know what to do anymore. She comes to my front door dressed head to toe to the max, constantly!!!!! Like is she trying to get my husband back?? I finally put an end to that and she has to wait in her car now, because when she would come to my door, my toddlers would walk up behind me and say “hi” and she would literally ignore them and turn her back. Don’t come to my door and ignore my kids…they are innocent children, so if you want to act that way, stay in your car and ill send my stepdaughter out. Whenever her and I text, it turns into a battle. We fight constantly. She provokes me, and I tell her how I feel about her as a mother (not very nice but I speak the truth), and it never ends. She sends the kid over in dirty shoes and clothes 2 sizes too small, but yet she is dressed to the nines. Im just over it.

    • Cheryl

      Stop expecting his ex to be a nice person. She’s a jealous b!@#$. That’s why she dresses to the nines and gets a 4 bedroom home. She wants your life. Also, why was it necessary for you to meet her bf in your home when you were recovering from pregnancy? Stop agreeing to things that aren’t good for you. Your husband should be the one dealing with her. I’d advise to get a restraining order against her contacting you for anything besides an emergency or basic communication. Have your husband let her know texts only and if the texts are inappropriate, it will be reported. Have him get the child support re-evaluated. While he’s at it, check into what can be done about her moving more than an hour away. Make it so she has to transport the daughter every single time if she stays there. She’s going to do anything to aggravate you. Lower your expectations of her accordingly. What else can you expect from this horrible person besides her acting out? Meanwhile use what you can against her – for example: the move to a location more than an hour away – make it a problem for her. Give her a taste of her own nastiness. Standing up for yourself is not being mean to her, it is being nice to yourself.

      • Tina

        Cheryl is correct…Stop agreeing to things that are not Good for you. If she chose to move away…make her do all the extra work for moving away. This is not your problem…you stayed where it was good for you and your family. DO NOT Sacrifice your happiness or the stability of YOUR family. If your husband is upset with these arrangements, be clear that this is HIS exwife and HIS baggage…so he should deal with it. Cheryl is correct…once the Ex has to deal with her own BS that she created – and her alone…she will loose energy to continue. As the saying goes…there is no fun when you have to play alone…MAKE HER PLAY ALONE…which is what she deserves 🙂 ENJOY YOUR new Baby…What a blessing! Spend energy on what gives you the greatest return (your child) Big Hugs of strength.

    • Stephanie Pacienza

      Take her bottom back to court!!!! She cannot move without your hubbys consent or court approval. That got my hubby 50% custody and child support from his ex-wife now when she did that same exact thing to us. Do not let her one up you. Stand your ground and fight back legally. You need the money with those kids you have to support. Any judge will take his current situation into consideration when calculating custody and child support now. Trust me!

  • Maria

    I’ve been searching the web high and low for a supportive forum for women coming into the lives of a divorced family. I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for two years. He’s 9 years my senior (I’m 28), has two young children from a marriage, but has been separated/divorced for almost as long as his youngest (6 yr old) has been alive. While his ex cheating was the absolute last straw that led to the divorce, there were plenty of other areas in which they never complimented each other as partners. They split custody “50/50” (though my partner is technically the primary parent and the children stay with him far more than 50% of the time) and have no financial dependency on each other. At this point in our relationship I have a very fluid relationship with his children and we already know that we want to be married and have a child of our own together in the near future. Though we don’t quite live together yet, I do stay 90% of the week and help him run his household: put kids on the bus, bring them to their practices, attend games, cook, clean, grocery shop, etc.. Though I’ve always been respectful of his ex (knowing how important that relationship is to keep civil), I find her irresponsible behavior with the kids and incessant texting with my boyfriend to be aggravating. I believe in boundaries, but she consistently crosses them with the amount of texting she does through out the day in spite of my boyfriend telling her multiple times to strictly keep it to emergencies or quick questions (we both agree that it’s better if she skypes with the kids rather than texted him about them all day long). Her job also requires frequent travel and she goes up to a full week without ever seeing her kids. But that isn’t what bothers me. What aggravates me is that after a week of her daughter sobbing at how much she misses her mommy, the woman doesn’t take any interest in keeping her daughter for a night when she’s finally home. Most recently, she took both kids for the afternoon after school but didn’t feed them or do homework – which both myself and my boyfriend had to do late that night at 8:30 when she finally dropped them off. In the heat of the moment, I let my aggravation get the best of me and I called her a skype mother in ear-shot of the kids – whom then told her the next day they saw her. I’m usually very good about controlling my temper about her in front of them, but after witnessing her daughter sobbing for another night in a row, my heart broke for the little girl and I let my anger win. I don’t want my emotions causing animosity between families, nor do I wish to “defame” her in front of her children (as she called it). But I just feel at a loss of how to handle these situations when I’m so protective of these kids. It’s causing me copious amounts of anxiety and stress and I feel helpless. Advice? Help!

  • Lindsay

    How about an ex wife who pawns her child on not only her OWN family, and she has primary custody and refuses to give more custody to her ex husband regardless and then even goes as far as to contact her ex husbands family to watch her child on HER day of custody because she has something better to do even after her ex husband told her not to. She’s impatient, super controlling, barely works when she LIVES WITH HER DAD and yet gets full child support and we even help her with her car payment because it was premarital property and she could NEVER afford it on her own. My point, I am so fed up with her controlling the custody when she pawns her child off anyways and tells us we cant keep my stepson over night just because she can and then wants us to drive him to HER house because shes “tired” when we work 40 hours a week and she works maybe a day a week!!! She then refuses to pay any medical bills for her son!! We are required to, BUT if it’s 10$ cant you just step up and pay that with as much money as we already give her! I am just fed up with her only doing the absolute BARE MINIMUM because she can and she can get away with it!! We want equal rights with her and her ex husband, now my husband is amazing with his son and all he wants is more/fair time with him. And its almost like he’s punished. She also guilt trips him into watching him for her convenience and treats him like a babysitter. We have agreed to take her back to court because things have changed. We are now married, we have a daughter now among other things,.. but now my husband says we can’t afford it or its just that he really doesn’t want to go through the hassle. I am just so fed up because I have no control and no say when this is a HUGE stressor in my life. I could go on….ADVICE PLEASE BEFORE I LOSE IT!!!

    • Dayle

      I’m going through pretty much the exact same thing. She cheated, she left. He gave her more than a fair amount in the separation. Enough to buy a beautiful townhouse (although 45 mins away from our house and the kids school) car, and live off of spousal and child support without working. She yells, calls her ex names and berates him as a father and man Infront of the kids since the kids have been preschool aged. When we first got together we also kept it a secret towards her and the kids for almost a year in fear of a blow up. Eventually I met the kids, they liked me and we all had fun. Custody is 70/30 but my partner has always wanted more and have always asked and been willing to take them ANYTIME. On her weekends she often pawns then off on her family and friends to “work” aka go party. He has asked that the kids come over instead of going to their family members home bc they constantly just brainwash the kids on how horrible we are. The kids are now 14(g) and 9(b). It’s like when she turned 13 a switch turned last summer and now she says I’m fake and try too hard. This past year when she is over I am polite ask her how she is, but pretty much leave her to do her own thing. Family vacation comes around again this past August. She is being rude and disrespectful, her dad gets mad, yells at her once but says this attitude needs to stop as she is influencing her younger brother. He does everything she does. Threatens to cancel the trip bc she refused to come over to the house on the weekend. Why would we go on an big expensive trip if she does t even want to be kind or come visit with her dad. ( we realize this is all her mothers influence but she’s still playing all of us) she begs for trip not to be cancelled. We go, she literally says 20 words to us in 8 days!!!! She refuses to spend time with us and does her own thing by herself the whole time texting her mom. We tried to sit down as a family and discuss the issues she’s having with us but she just locks herself in the bathroom and cries. Next day we try to talk- 9 yr old spoke with us and told us how he is feeling and how he thinks we should deal with her. She again refuses. She won’t even look at me while I’m talking. She gets us to drop her off at her moms even tho it was her dads bday the next day. We get there and ww3 starts. Since then (8 weeks) the mother and daughter have been playing with us changing dates, times and place for pick up. Every time my partner drives all the way down to her house to pick them up (which they are supposed to take the bus but she insist on picking them up from school, driving them all the way back down to her house just so he can drive more than an hour in rush hour to get them) the mother manipulates her kids to feeling bad if they leave. She started saying that we are mentally abusing the children and she’s calling cs on us. My partner is the most caring, loving, honest man you could ever meet. He treats these kids like gold and our house is a happy safe place. Now the son will come over but says he feels guilty about coming bc his mom and sister don’t want him to and I WAS MEAN to his sister?????WTF??? His mom shows up at school every time my partner now picks up his son to create a huge scene in front of everyone. There’s no need. Also she now brags she has three jobs and her life is so hard. If she has three jobs how can she be able to go in the middle of the day to cause all this drama. Again this weekend on thanksgiving she said they couldn’t come over. Then last minute (I assume she was trying to make plans for herself) agrees to let him have them for a late dinner today. His daughter calls and says she doesn’t want to if I’m there- this has been here new thing the past couple weeks. I’m away at work thankfully and hoping Sams finally going to be able to spend time with his kids. He is calm speaking to her, she misunderstands and thinks I’m home so says she won’t come and starts crying- mother jumps on the phone says we are abusing her, he just hangs up. Texts his daughter asking wth just happened and if his son is still coming. Ex says no he ruined her thanksgiving and now won’t let the son come. He is so heartbroken and lost without these kids it’s so much stress and drama!! This woman is totally brainwashing and its soooo sad bc they are just a witness and sponge to this behaviour. She’s mad she can’t control what he does anymore and that we are actually happy and the kids do like me. It’s starting to tear us apart. I obviously feel guilty that they are using me as their reason not to come over- but I’ve never been anything but my fun easygoing caring self! The mother of course says it’s not me to my face…. There so much more I could write 100 novels and it’s only been 4 years. Cheers to all you ladies hanging in there!! Take a breath and remind yourselves you are okay and she will not get the best of us! She will not make our lives hell. Love and peace to all!!

      • Stephanie Pacienza

        Go back to court and get holidays ironed out. Pick up and drop off times too. The best thing you and your man can do, it make every single min of custody spelled out so she cant change anything based on emotions. And if you do get that and she derails from it, file a police report every time. This is what I did. when you go back to court with a stack of police reports on how mom couldn’t keep with the court order, they will likely give dad more custody, and that lowers child support. I feel for you. How horrible it must be to be put down and made to feel like you are nothing by your step daughter. Thats just awful. Im so sorry that you are going through that. Just continue to try and be as nice as you can. her hormones will calm down one day and she will come around. Especially if your man gets more time and she is forced to be with you and him. Let her see how and who you really are without her mom constantly in her ear, psychologically abusing her. How awful for the girl too! Her mother is ruining her and her emotional health. Maybe file some kind of abuse against her. Emotional abuse is still abuse, just bc its not physical doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be handled the same way. I would call CYS and let them know that this little girl is displaying signs of emotional abuse and if her mom has more custody than her dad, its clear who is causing it.

  • Tessa

    My husband of 15 years and his ex divorced long before I was in the picture. Their son was a baby at the time of the divorce. She got everything she asked for in the divorce settlement; all the money in their joint accounts, full & physical custody of their son, and three times the state’s allowance for child support. (My husband wanted the marriage over so badly that he agreed). Additionally, the ex has been getting $2400 per month in alimony for the past 20 years. During his childhood and teen years he had visitation with us 4 days per month. These days were always filled with his scheduled activities so we really had little personal time with him. This was very detrimental because we didn’t really develop a close parent/ stepparent relationship with him. (Of course we were always loving, fun and friendly with him). When it was time for him to go to college, my husband paid his tuition and gave him a monthly allowance per their divorce settlement. He lived in a townhouse with a roommate during school and even stayed there during the summers, so the ex got used to having her home to herself. He graduated from college three weeks ago and she agreed to let him live at home. Last week she sent my husband an email stating that it was now our turn to have him live with us until he finds a job. My husband has not responded to her. We feel that it would be up to my stepson to ask us to live here, since he is a 22 year old man. In truth, my husband and I don’t want him to move in. During his childhood, we lived in a low income area with a high crime rate . Two years ago, husband and I both inherited money (not an enormous amount, but coupled with no longer having to pay child support or college tuition we were finally able to get ahead). We’ve recently moved to a new home in a safe suburban neighborhood. Our new home is just the right size for us, but would be extremely crowded and uncomfortable with another person and their stuff living here. Not to mention, after raising my kids to successful adulthood, I’m completely finished with having to deal with someone else’s needs and schedule. My husband and I want to be empty nesters and stay that way barring a true emergency with our kids. Also, my stepson is working part-time and has over 100K in his savings from inheritances. I think he could find an apartment with a roommate and live on his savings until he gets a job. It makes me mad that my husband’s ex continues to try to control our lives now that my stepson is an adult. Money is not an issue for her, as she is from a very wealthy family. Are we horrible people for feeling the way that we do? I really feel like the ex made mine and my husband’s relationship with my stepson weak by so controlling our time with him. Any suggestions on how to handle this or how to gently let our son/stepson know that moving in with us isn’t an option.

  • Jackie

    My husband and I very recently got married after dating for four years. They finalized their divorce the same month that we met and she remarried soon after. They have 3 young school age children and I have two young girls myself. They have always had joint custody and his children go back and forth quite a bit. I was always so happy that his children accepted me right away and got along so well with my own daughters. It was a very smooth transition as we began to spend more and more time together. Here is the issue though…his ex wife is extremely controlling and sends him so many texts a day that it feels like harassment. I’ve watched as he grows more and more anxious and has developed stomach ulcers due to stress. She recently stopped letting him see his oldest daughter and we are going through the courts to get everything worked out. It feels like she is using her daughter to hurt him but I don’t understand why she would feel the need to do that. She was the one who decided she didn’t want to stay married and she has already moved on with another man. It’s funny that your article talks about sitting down to coffee with the ex wife because I had thought about doing that myself. I’m just afraid that she will somehow use it in a negative way or twist my words to support her own agenda. I’ve been praying for God to touch her heart and open her eyes to the pain she is causing. I don’t know what else to do. I hate seeing my husband in so much pain.

  • Laurie Post author

    You sound like an awesome person, Needs Advice! You feel guilty for going against your boyfriend’s ex-wife’s wishes…because you understand her position. I really admire you – you are a good woman.

    It sounds like your boyfriend’s ex-wife is trying to protect their child from getting attached to you, until you and your boyfriend know what your future holds. Objectively, I respect her perspective. I’m sorry to say that because I know you came here looking for support!

    I know you love your boyfriend, and you want the best for him. You want to build a relationship with him and his child, and of course the only way to do that is to spend time together. But in order to have a “clean” relationship and strong bond with him and his child, I think you need to respect his ex-wife’s wishes.

    It’s difficult, and it’s not fair…but it sounds like that’s the only route you can take that will allow you to sleep at night.

    What do you think you should do?

  • Need advice

    Any advice would be so lovely!
    I started dating my boyfriend while he was going through his divorce with his ex wife. They got divorced a few months ago but ever since she found out about me she has had nothing good to say about me or my boyfriend.

    She recently has asked me to not spend any time with their child until we know we want to get married. I don’t want to get married anytime soon but I am definitely serious about my boyfriend and have never felt a better connection. After this request it has made our relationship extremely difficult as I can’t see my boyfriend much to begin win because he travels for work. So when he is with his kid I feel like I can’t hang with them. I did hang out with them once recently upon my boyfriends request and I felt an enormous amount of guilt I could barely even handle it.

    I know everything says to form a relationship with the ex wife but it literally feels impossible. I know she hates me and she is still hurt and bitter over the divorce I feel like there’s nothing I can say to make it better. I want this relationship to work so bad and I can see it working—but not if she continues you to feel this way.

    I feel so lost and guilty. I have no children no ex spouses and am fairly young. I know I could take an easier route in life but I don’t want to give up the relationship.

    Any advice or perspective?

    • Rabbiah

      i think the your boyfriends needs to get his own priorities in order, find his own strength and stop jumping to his ex wife demands – or life will always be like this. My boyfriend stopped receiving text messages from his ex and only communicates by email as she was way over the top and sending far too many messages and being abusive. Using email has stopped 99% of that crap. Also, the children need to see that you are your own people and need to know that his father has strength to stand up for himself and needs to understand that you do not treat people the way his ex is treating you. The only way to do that is to show the child that you are your own person and will not bend to the demands of unrealistic people. The ex is getting her way and your losing your life with your man. (Plus, you’re losing yourself in the process of letting another person dominate your life) My question to you is what is more important….the happiness of your mans ex or the happiness you can create as a family together now despite her unrealistic demands. My partner has 2 kids under the age of 7 and his ex is extremely difficult – we cannot allow her to control our lives or it will never stop and the children must feel loved on both sides, not just on her side. Also, they need a stable example of how to treat people properly and a good example of a connected and loving family where both parents support each other.

    • Frustrated

      I feel your pain. I was in the same situation when I began dating my now husband. His ex-wife wanted to dictate our relationship, insisted on meeting me, and basically wanted to run our relationship. The truth is… they aren’t together anymore. When your boyfriend has his child HE gets to choose who he exposes his child to. HE is half of that equation and unfortunately many ex-wives have a hard time realizing they no longer control their ex-husbands. You don’t need her approval or consent to be in his childs life. That is up to you and your boyfriend. Trust your gut and don’t let her run your relationship. What she is doing is alienating you and its working.

      BTW: I am an ex-wife and a step-mom. My ex and I had (he is deceased now) an amazing co-parenting relationship and respected each others space and private lives. We had the co-parenting relationship you rarely see but we worked to establish. So I do know both sides.

      Good Luck and don’t let her ruin your relationship!!!

  • Brittany

    I met my soon to be husband during the divorce process of his ex wife. She had moved out and left the kids and had no desire to ask for the in the divorce. And at the time the kids were 3 years and 16 months old. I also have 2 kids that were 6 and 3 years old. Soon after we moved in together his 3 year old started calling me mom all on her own. We made sure she knew i wasn’t her only “mom”. The ex wife was seeing the kids regularly but right before the 16 month old turned 2 she moved to a different state about 3.5 hours away and her regular ever other weekend visits turned into a very 6-8 weeks. At first before I came along they had a mutual agreement about helping pay childcare. But that stopped soon after. Now we are battling the court system. She got remarried and was still working and starting to agree to help pay for activities. But just recently she quick working because he makes enough money but when my fiance brought up about the activities she stated she couldn’t help because she isn’t working. I dont understand how she thinks she can stop working if she cant help take care of her kids. I dont ever communicate with her because I dont have anything nice to say. She only see the kids when its convenience for her, does call them and when the kids are with her she doesnt allow us to talk to them. We are waiting on another court date in October to see if they are going to make are pay but now she doesnt have a job either.

  • Jessica schneider

    I need help. I love my boyfriend. We dated about 2 years. He was currently married but separated from wife. They got divorced. They have three kids. She is a horrible excuse for a person and mother. She even came to our house and assaulted me (I had her arrested). His kids were rude at first too! We eventually split up for a year and are now back together. I don’t know how to deal with her and the kids. I want to help him. She is hell bent on destroying him now that we are back together. She says every nasty thing under the sun about him and me to the kids. She is trying to financially ruin him and even threatens to have him arrested (for stupid things). She even threatens to hit their daughter if she wants to call her father. I adore the children but they are so traumatized they barley speak. She screwed him over so badly during the divorce he is barley keeping his head above water. she tries to keep children away and we had to call police to get them. If she sends them over for the weekend she sends him with nothing no clothes no toothbrush not even a pair of underwear and tells them “you’re dad owes child support and is a peice of s**t so he can buy you clothes”. I really love this man and want to spend the rest of my life but told him he has to have this resolved before we move together and start a life together. ive had him talk to police and a lawyer but nothing helps. Can anyone offer advise?

    • Cheryl

      She sees you as succeeding where she failed and she is miserable. Your husband’s ex-wife is trying to spread her venom. Is there anyway the lawyers can have it put in an agreement that the children must bring adequate clothing when they come over? If not, perhaps purchasing enough underwear, toothbrushes and inexpensive outfits like sweats to get them through the weekend. Then send them home in the outfit they arrived in, washed of course. Any bad things she says to the kids, have him say mommie is confused Daddy is current on his support, not sure why she said that. Sounds like you all really need to go through emails only, no texting and do not answer the phone, listen to the voice mail and then decide whether or not to reply. Do not engage in any pissing matches. This only feeds her fury and pays attention to her bs and it will get worse… Good luck!

  • Laurie Post author

    Jun, what does your boyfriend say about you going with him and helping him with his ex wife’s cancer treatments? That’s the first step – talk to him and allow him to take the lead on this situation.

    My feeling is that you should let your boyfriend go and help his ex wife. Cancer is an extremely scary, painful, difficult disease to cope with. This is not about you and your relationship with your boyfriend; it’s about his ex wife’s health, possible death, and his boys.

    Don’t make this about you. Don’t let jealousy or insecurity cloud your thinking. Be strong and courageous, be graceful and kind. Allow them the freedom they need to take care of themselves.

    The more kind, loving, and gentle you are, the more your boyfriend will appreciate you. And if you allow your best, most loving self to rise to the surface, you’ll be able to sleep at night with a clear conscience. You’ll know that you made healthy decisions that weren’t motivated by your own fears or insecurities.

  • Jun

    My boyfriend ex wife is now is a stage 2 cancer and he is going to visit his family as his boys asked him to take care of her. I can understand that he is doing it for the boys but I feel uncertain. I am thinking to go with him and help him too but don’t know if his boys or his ex wife will agree? Can I have advise?

    • Qtipoulaki

      If your boyfriend wants to look after his ex-wife and kids during this crisis, you must love him and support him even more. He is a caring and compassionate human being.

      I have been going through breast cancer for three years.

      If you really want to help:

      Ask what she can eat and
      cook for her and the boys
      and have your husband take it to their house, as a first step.

      If your boyfriend and she are in agreement, help with their children (school runs, after school activities, take them out to a movie on chemo days)

      Offer to run errands (pick up meds, go grocery shopping, take the kids shopping when they need something)

      If you can and your relationship allows, offer to drive her to treatment and keep her company

      Take her out for a manicure and pedicure

      Be as kind and supportive as you can. Being jealous is the WORST thing you can do in this situation.

      Your boyfriend sounds like a real catch – don’t blow it. If you are a reason for more stress, it will only backfire on YOU!!!

      I have been dealing with the ex-wife from hell for almost 30 years. In three years, she hasn’t so much as sent an email to check on me.

      I pray she never gets cancer, but I would rise above any hate or bitterness she has for me and ultimately help my husband and stepchildren.

      I love them all more than anything. Not to mention: I love myself and it would be the right thing to do.

  • Karen

    I have been with my bf for 5 years, he has a daughter from his previous relationship and his ex is such a nightmare. He has a court order that says that he is to have their daughter every other weekend and she is supposed to meet us half way as we live 3 hours away from them and she does not follow the court order. He had to pay $800 perr month for their one child for years, at that time she was partying hard and would let us take their daughter for long periods of time after the money hit her bank. My bf was in a dangerous field of work, he is a tree faller and was hit and half his body was crushed. After that he could not work and after his accident he could not afford that $800 payment every month, she didnt care one bit and took him to court and tried to ruin him. She keeps their daughter away for months at a time because she doesnt get her way, she feels entitled to his money and because she wasnt getting that high amount we dont get their daughter. She is making our life miserable, I feel like giving up because of how depressing it makes me feel. She is married with two other kids, but yet still feels the need to make our life hell. She has never worked a day in her life, my bf and I on the other hand both work hard to have a good life but she is making it so miserable for us. She puts things in their daughters head about us that is just down right disgusting. I dont know how to deal with it, im at my breaking point. I am 26 and my bf is 39, we have been together for 5 years. I want to get married and have my own babies, I dont have any yet but i feel my bf doesnt want to do these things because of the stresses he is dealing with from his ex. His daughter absolutely loves me, ive been in her life since she was 3, she is going to be 9 soon. His ex would not meet us at the pick up and drop off location which is an hour drive for her because she was pregnant and “couldnt drive” now she is saying that I cannot take care of their daughter because I have a drinking and drug problem which is not true. I work 6-7 days a week and am a pretty serious person trying to get my life together. I hate that I let her get to me, ive broken down crying and almost giving up on our relationship because she wont butt out and be civil. Its always something with her, she is finding any excuse to keeep their child away from us and we are good people. My bf is a really good father who loves his little girl so much but everything is taken away because his ex is still so bitter. She plays the victim really well, she is always writing in the emails that he abused her,, that she is to scared and not comfortable meeting uus herself, that we threaten her and that my bf is unstable. She has called the cops many of times saying that we threaten her, which is not true. I dont know what to do any more. I love my bf to much to leave, but dont want to stay and feel like this anymore. I want my own family but sometimes dont feel like it will happen for us because of all the stress she puts on him and i. If I knew it would be like this before I got to serious I would have never ended up being with a man who has a child because of all the problems that come along with it.

    • Dayle

      I feel your pain. Similar in that I feel like all this stress is making him want more children ( with me less and less bc this experience for him so far as a father has been so hard and stressful). I love him too much to leave as well although last year I almost did a couple of times. We have gotten stronger but it still doesn’t seem fair that my life and wants for the future doesn t matter as much as the rest of theirs. It’s heartbreaking to watch it happen and frustrating as all to get pulled into it. Stay strong!

  • Laura

    The Ex-Wife Who Wants My Husbands’ Income as a Go Fund Me Page~

    Ex-wife of 15 years. She has been in a non-marital relationship for 9 years. Husband and I married and together for 6 years. Between them, an 18 & 20 year old young adult children. Child support is completed. Relationships between everyone is amicable.

    Now ex-wife believes he should continue to assist with the young adults living expenses. Her excuse??? because “she can’t do it on her own.” She failed to plan for life post alimony and child support (e.g. did not obtain a degree or stable job with security) and prioritized trips, plastic surgery and being super mom on my husbands’ dime. Ex-wife enables the young adults to be irresponsible (verbatim “Susie will never be able to self support and pay bills until she graduates”). Ex-wife sends my husband texts and emails whining about her financial woes and how destitute she is, although she chooses to work as a personal trainer and part time secretary at plastic surgeon’s office. In my opinion, one can’t live on a champagne budget on a beer salary.

    We plan to meet with the young adults to discuss what we are willing to assist with during college. From the ex-wife view, because we are excluding her input, it is being spun as we are leaving the young adults high and dry, and everyone is stressing out because the ex-wife cannot pay the bills. We would like to start preparing for retirement and saving financially is within reach with child support off the table. We are open to providing assistance for the young adults at a fraction of the child support, but directly to them, not the ex-wife. Our finances is not her personal Go Fund Me page, as it appears she believes, based on her behavior.

    My question is and please be straight with me… How should I proceed and how cautiously???? I am in need of sound advice.

    • Amy

      Laura- You and your husband are absolutely right to provide the monetary assistance directly to the kids… However, you did not mention whether or not the adult children reside with the ex or are they away at college? If the ex is still putting a roof over their heads, it makes it dicey. As she is incurring the cost of housing them. BUT your husband has provided on her behalf enough already with alimony.. It’s tough. Maybe the ex should downsize and live more within her means..

      • Laura

        Thank you for your input. It is appreciated. As you know it is difficult to put all details into a short narrative.

        For clarification, the 20 year old works minimally with less ambition to pick up more hours even when not in school during summer. The question is is this intentional b/c it is expected money will continue to flow? The 20 yr resides at home & at the moment the 18 yr will be on campus.My husband and I still pay health insurance for them. We are there to ‘help’ through the college years not ‘support’ especially when the ex wife or adult kids refuse to put skin in the game. I question how much responsibility ex-wife and kids will take.

    • Tessa

      We paid for my stepson’s college and have given him personally a monthly allowance throughout college. He graduated three weeks ago and is job hunting. We told him that we would continue with his allowance (it’s not much $200 per month) until he finds a job. Now ex (who is very financially well off -has family money, a high paying job, and a live-in boyfriend with a high paying job) wants stepson to live with us until he finds a job because she doesn’t want any more financial responsibility. We really don’t have the room in our new home and if he asks we’re going to gently say no. Perhaps giving the kids a small allowance to cover their gas and a bit of food and encourage them to work! I worked 40 hours per week and went to college full-time, so I don’t have a ton of sympathy for adult kids who can’t work. I think it’s time for you and your husband to focus on yourselves and your future. It sounds like your husband has been extremely responsible, like mine was, with paying child support. Now be generous and responsible with yourselves. That’s what we plan on doing!

  • Pat

    Help. I have been with my partner for about 20 years. He has 3 adult children, all over 30 who I get on with well. We had split for a round six years but got back together and it took me a long time to decide to move back in with him and I thought we had gotten over our issues – namely his ex wife always seemed to be involved in ALL our activities with his adult children. I don’t mind us being together at birthdays, christmas times etc but she seems to be trying to involve herself in other things – namely she said she would take us to the airport for my partner and I going on holiday. I said thanks but no thanks my sister would take us as normal. My partner phoned his daughter to see if she could take him to collect his car from the garage – his ex wife went along too!! He didn’t tell me this as he didn’t want me to be upset/angry. She mentioned it to me at lunch I had for father’s day. I told my partner she had said this and I asked him why he hadn’t told me. He said he knew that I would be upset but he hadn’t known she would be coming along with his daughter, but we ended up rowing because I was upset and angry because he hadn’t told me! Am I wrong? I don’t know how to resolve this. My partner won’t say anything to his ex as he doesn’t want to upset the applecart. I don’t want to say anything either as I have a good relationship with his children. BUT I don’t want to live like this and have her think she can continue in this way. Any advice would be appreciated. Do I just leave?

    • Laura

      In my opinion, consider the following questions…

      Does the ex-wife consider you close or feels she has a bond with you that makes you and she equal to the spouse? Is it possible she does not see two as company and three a crowd? Does she believe the adult kids are the gateway to any and all interaction to the dad? Do you believe she privately desires to have the husband in her life again?

      Has her behavior in the past been vindictive, intrusive, or shown lack of respect for your relationship with the husband?

      Do you believe you can talk to her, woman-to-woman, and air your feelings with tact and yet no holds barred? Are you capable of standing for yourself to the ex-wife and putting limitations on her intrusiveness?

      You cannot make your relationship with his children more important than your happiness with yourself. As 30 year old adults, they should be capable of seeing beyond the curtain of politeness and may respect you more for it. Is it possible that the ex-wife hasn’t moved on because YOU have not shown her the behavior is not appropriate to you?

      Some men are non-confrontational and while he may acknowledge your feelings, is uncomfortable being the go between to his ex-wife on your behalf. It does not make him right or wrong, but may cause him to try to avoid any frustration or anger on your behalf, further putting gas on your proverbial fire.

      Pat, seriously examine the benefit of leaving (again) and if it will solve the issues and recognize what are you hoping to achieve. Is there counseling you and your husband can attend? I do not believe anyone will be comfortable advising you to leave in this forum. Only you can answer that question. Best regards.

  • Amanda

    I am grateful that i have found this site. Whilst it is comforting to know I am not alone in experiencing these struggles, it is so sad to read some of these comments.
    I have been with my partner for 3 years. He had been in a very long relationship with his ex wife and they have 3 children together. I met my partner after they had already been separated for almost a year. and in many similar cases they had seperated becasue she had been unfaithful amongst other reasons.
    My partner is an amazing father and he has always been very flexible with his ex wife demands. he provides more financial support than he is required to, he attends as many activities as he can with the kids, he has always agreed to her weekend swap requests and he does all of the driving when it comes to picking up & dropping off the children. he has never complained about any of it.
    We are in a bit of a tricky situation.
    we currently have the kids 5 nights each fortnight. this has been the set arrangement for the past 3 years and has generally worked well. this year, the ex wife has decided to enrol the children (all under 12yr old) into so many activities that they have something on every single week night as well as every saturday and occassional sundays. not only are we concerned about the childrens well being (they are being burnt out!) but this means we are not getting to spend quality time with the children.
    when she suggested the latest activity for the youngest (6) my partner said he would not agree to it. (this is the first thing he has not agreed to) as a result all hell has broken loose. for the last few months he has continued to cop abuse from his ex. she bombards him with horrible text messages and worst she involves the children. eg she turns up to school when he is supposed to get them and she says things like ‘your dad doesnt want you this weekend’
    i am proud of my partner for never involving the kids. if she tries to engage in conflict with him he does not participate. but its now becoming a bigger issue. she is demanding that he change his nights with the kids (which is not possible due to work committments – i might add that both my partner & i work full time, she works 2 days a week)
    i am worried about my partner, not only does he have a highly stressful job, he has to cope with his ex wife constantly trying to make his life hell, he also has to deal with the kids (that unfortunately get manipulated by their mother to think he is the worst dad in the world) and try to maintain a happy life with me.
    i try to be as supportive as i can of him but i feel like a sitting duck. he is going through the process of mediation but i wonder whether this will help? im at the stage where i am wondering what is worst.. agreeing to her every demand which would involve having no quality time with the children as we would be too busy running them around to their multiple activities which is also very exhausting for the kids and us OR continuing to stand our ground on this particular activity that we have not agreed to and dealing with her constant abuse over it and her threats to not allow us to have the children when we are supposed to.
    in an ideal world, i would love for her to just be happy that her kids have a loving father that does put alot of time & effort into his children. and that I as his partner treat the children well as if they are my own. i cant stand the woman and i hate her for the constant hurt and stress she causes but i would even like for her to find a decent man that makes her happy – FOR THE KIDS SAKE. I would like the kids to have a happy environment to live in and to have a healthy relationship with both parents. its hard watching her constantly put herself before the children but we cannot control her actions.
    im feeling a bit lost at the moment. my partner and i try to remain positive and strong but it all takes its toll and has left us feeling a bit deflated. we arent sure which direction is best anymore.

  • Amy

    Wow I can relate to so many of these comments!!
    My husband has a psycho ex. They have a child together which gives her a great excuse to hassle him. Always ringing him, always demanding more money, always questioning how he affords things. Saying things about me! That she saw me with another bloke etc! She lies so much so as if I want to have a coffee with her. Her daughter calls me mummy too and I find that hard.
    I’m sick of it. So many times I’ve wanted to leave. It’s gone on years and we now have a child of our own so I feel trapped and like I have to stay.
    If I could go back I would NEVER get with a man that’s got a child.

  • Tracey

    I have a very similar story but only with a very different ending. SadlyMy husband eventually took his life 18 months ago. He could not take the stress his ex caused in our life. She was out to destroy him and succeeded. His ex did everything in her power to destroy him financially and finally where it hurt most by taking his only son away from him. He lived for his son who was only then 11 yrs old. She was the one who had an affair. When I met my husband that had been divorced for 2 yrs already and living with the man she had an affair with and is still living with him. My husband was good to her went the extra mile. Never defaultEd paid more than he actually should have all in good faith but all changed when he met me. She made our lives he’ll. Now I am left to deal with her. Yes now she obviously wants to get her hands on his money. Its disgusting. We are devastated and broken by this tragedy. He deserved better. He was a well known business man and respected in the community. I ensure his legacy lives on and run his business in honor of him and for everything he stood for but it does not take away the void I feel everyday by not having him by my side. I miss him at work I miss him at home. Life is not the same. I only wish I went searching for answers long ago. It would of been nice to show him that we were not alone and others were also going through what we were.

    • Tracey

      What advice can I give. I regret fighting for his son. In hindsight we should of let things be and hope that one day the truth will come out. But we thought we would fight for my stepson as we knew he was being manipulated by his mother. She turned him against us. We never saw it coming. I have so many regrets. If only we just let her get her way just maybe just maybe my husband would be here today.

  • Cheryl

    “the only thing that will break us up is you carrying on about her interference” Oh really? Translation: “I don’t know what to do about it or I’m afraid of her and you will put up with it and shut up.” Run from a guy like this but before you do, tell him: “This will stop or we will stop. And good luck finding a woman who will put up with this.” This will either motivate him to confront her – or the next woman is getting more of the same BS. Eventually she will leave him too or he will grow a brain and some balls and stand up for himself. Meanwhile you move on to a guy who isn’t afraid to put up boundaries to an overly intrusive, needy ex.

    • lisa

      lol so true why didn’t I do this all in hindsight, he made me out to be some type of lunatic. In the end she was the hero and I was the evil intruder

  • CM

    Wow–this is very insightful. Feeling very grateful for this page.

    One month ago I started dating my boyfriend so this is all very new to me. I am trying to educate myself now so I can make decisions for myself (i.e. can I handle this kind of situation?) and, if so, work toward building a solid foundation and healthy, open dialogue with my new partner.

    The situation is not unlike a lot of the comments above, with the exception that I’ve never met his ex-wife (yet?) and wouldn’t say she is a bitch or conniving…because I really don’t have any idea!

    My boyfriend and his ex were married 17 years. They have three children, a wide age range but the youngest is 6. Ex and kids live in another state, but my boyfriend is in contact with his ex OFTEN. I understand he wants to be involved with his young son’s life and that communication with him goes through the ex. It was weird to me to see his ex-wife’s name pop up on his photo so much, but the son texts using Mom’s phone. What I realize and understand is that will never change, and truthfully (unlike some of the posts above) I don’t want it to–because my feelings aside, that little boy deserves his Daddy and I love that my boyfriend is an involved parent, even from a distance.

    I am exploring my many, varied thoughts. So far he has been amazingly patient with me, willing to answer my questions without judgment and open to talking it through. My gut tells me that my best chances of long term relationship success with this man are to eventually integrate his two lives rather than try to isolate his ex, and thereby risk isolating myself. I honestly don’t know if/how I handle it–again, this is all so new for me–but I care about him and I want to try.

    My question is to those who have achieved a kind of (or real) friendship with the ex-wife: what does that look like, and how did you get there? I’m in no rush, but if I decide this isn’t for me I’d rather do so sooner rather than later.

    • Cheryl

      You’ve been seeing this guy for a month. So far all you’ve noticed is that they’re in touch a lot but it is all about the kids. A six year old is going to be very attached to both parents most likely. This sounds normal and reasonable.

      Most ex-wives are not evil, sabotaging bitches, just like most remarriages don’t occur to an cruel, unreasonable step mother. I happen to be in a relationship now where the ex wife simply could not accept that he had moved on. I have been in relationships prior where the contact between parents was reasonable and simple co-parenting – and the ex-wife was pleasant and had moved on and had a life. So don’t invite a problem onto your doorstep that hasn’t arrived.

      She will probably wish to meet you in a few weeks/months to see who her kids are around. When that happens, be nice, just as you would meeting anyone new. Hopefully she will be respectful and pleasant. If she is unpleasant – do not engage. Walk away and talk to him about it later, out of earshot of the kids. If she is manipulative, in his face, bending over with her tits in his face – chalk it up to tacky bad behavior of a desperate woman who either wants him back or can’t stand to see him move on. He will likely be ignoring her and any rise out of you would make her savagely happy for some weird reason. When these things happened to me, I would simply try not to laugh in her face and be polite as this would usually occur at a funeral.

      So – be observant. Do the calls all seem to be about co-parenting and keeping in touch with his kids? Great! Do the calls come late at night, several times a week, during dates, weekend getaways, on vacations? Is she texting Merry Christmas every morning for a week? Does she text to ask when his sister’s birthday is when they’ve known each other for decades? Does she call him to ask where to take her car for repairs? Those are red flags. Make sure he knows you’re fine with co-parenting but not with intrusive, nosy, needy ex.

      I hope you meet a nice lady who has moved on and is simply trying to co-parent with the father.

      • Mary

        You sound really together and nice-
        I’m an ex wife with kids and believe me, I haven’t witnessed any one being so rational as you. It’s very easy for people to assume that ex partners are head cases , hormonal b**hes with no moral compass- lets just bash them all.I have found it really difficult to deal with my ex’s new partner as she just wants so much attention. My Children want attention- so in reality, she should back off and allow them that privilege, not fight it and get antsy. I’m finding the whole business really upsetting . I can’t sleep or eat- it’s awful.

  • Cheryl

    I met my now husband when he was divorced for 3 years. In the first month that we barely knew each other his father died and his only child had her 31st birthday. Shortly after his father’s death we started dating in earnest. We really hit it off and ended up going on vacation 3 months after meeting. He met my parents and brother after 2 months. Everything is going very well except I notice his ex calls and texts him a lot – and it is very intrusive. I find out there’s a lot of emails too. She would call late at night often. He always answered thinking it was about their daughter or family. Her grandma was dying… yeah, so is mine. I asked him, “does she know you have a gf?” He said yes and no worries she doesn’t want him back and in fact is dating a guy. I ask when did they meet. Apparently 2 months after we did. Anyway, she continues to text and call whenever she wants for whatever she wants. We could not go on vacation or even a weekend away without her getting in touch, either the day before we’d leave to discuss daughter’s health (she’s fine in reality) or right after hotel check in time to try to interrupt us. It was obvious to me what she was doing but not to him. In his mind since he no longer wanted to be with her, it didn’t matter. His best friend finally had a talk with him about it and asked him how would he feel if my ex was in touch constantly and I allowed it. My husband doesn’t have this problem since my ex was respectful and left us alone. So our first holiday with his family she calls him. I told him, don’t answer it. Let it go to voice mail. He is panicked, says it might be about his daughter. I said, It might be, but it NEVER is and I’m sick of the instant gratification of being able to interrupt us. So he does not answer.

    She’s the evil ex wife. He’s my husband and is acting appropriately towards shutting down her lies and BS. And I think without him taking charge finally and telling her to bug off when she tried to interfere, I would have left long ago. I did in fact tell him on several occasions if he wanted to be alone for the rest of his life, to put up with her intrusions but that no woman would ever stay with him if he did. I think he finally saw through her BS and realized what he had to lose. His best friend was a huge help too.

    So ladies, enlist the help of his family and friends if you can. They are not afraid of making his kids mad by being mean to Baby Mama Drama – especially if the children are grown up, successful and independent – and there truly is no need for all the dependence from an ex who simply can not take care of herself and expects her ex husband to go back to being her benefactor.

    • lisa

      Oh gawd I read this after 18 months of breaking up when I doubted myself the whole time blaming myself for getting so crazy/pshycho and I see that it is NOT normal for an x to be in contact so often. I see you too nearly left. My x bf’s x wife would constantly call even when we were in bed late at night or early in the morning. Using the kids as an excuse. I would have to say there was only a handful of times that she didn’t call in 9 months. I now know by reading your post that this was not normal and would drive anyone crazy, if they weren’t smart enough to leave. I tried to get his family involved but I have a feeling my x was talking to them behind my back. He seemed to play the victim a lot. Like he used to bag his x to me, she started texting me and telling me he used to tell her all about me hmmm. His brother was also in one of these abusive x relationships and now with a new partner, his x had even hit his new gf and chased her. Silly gf married him a few months ago, who would put up with that!

      • Cheryl

        Yep, you meet another guy who has intrusive ex wife, tell him what I told my man, “You can either go back to your past or leave it there and move forward. Do you want to stay stuck with her – or have a future with me? You can’t have both. And no one will put up with her crap. So if you want to be alone, keep on letting her pull her bs. Don’t give me this, ‘We’ve got a kid together.’ She’s not calling/texting/emailing about VALID EMERGENCY issues regarding your daughter. This is everyday stuff – mostly exaggerated when it is about your daughter – and there’s a pattern of calling you just to chit chat while we are on a date, on a weekend getaway, on vacation. I’m sick of it. She’s trying to run me off. Keep letting her do this and I will let her have her way.” Also, if his friends are your friends and know the ex, ask the pals what they think. It’s likely they will let him know he’s going to lose a good woman!

      • lisa

        Hey Cheryl,
        His family and friends didn’t tell him that.
        I have a feeling my x played the victim and told everyone that both me and his x were giving him a hard time. His brother said to me at one point, poor Rob he has everyone in his ear. What about his poor girlfriend, copping it from the wife and his kids. Once the eldest got violent with his father, the x was calling non stop. One time I spoke up and said why does she have to always call, I ended up being the one getting into trouble for complaining. I even remember him saying to me ‘the only thing that will break us up is you carrying on about her interference’

    • Karen

      Thank you Cheryl for posting that.
      We’ve been married 5 years. He tells me everything.
      I just don’t understand people , some women nowadays. No respect for relationships. She’s never said one unkind word to me but has made jabs at both of us. Just April 9th, our anniversary, as usual, she texts him and says Happy Anniversary, she’s a saint. I’m so over the intrusive texts and calls. She knows that he’s thinking it might be important. Then if he ignores it, then she tells our daughter that he’s not interested in her. She twists and manipulates , controls , lies, I’m sick of it.
      We try to take the high road and display Christian principles in front of her but we obviously cannot change who she is.

      • Cheryl

        Next time she intrudes via phone call – tell him what I told my man, “Your past is on the phone, let it go to Voice Mail; It’s got nothing new to say.” Then any response should be via text message – much later on. This worked great for us at our first Thanksgiving with his family and she wanted to attend. No instant response to phone call and a text stating it was a bad idea an hour later to keep her away. Intrusive texts? Don’t answer them right away. Calls/texts right before or during vacation? Text back he’ll be in touch once vacation is over. Also – call a family member, like a sister or in-law to see if there really is an emergency or if this is just fakery and lies again.

  • Debbie

    Ive been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half now, we recently moved in together (him to my place). He has been divorced for four years now. Long story short. His ex wife had two children from her first boyfriend. Met my boyfriend and had 3 kids with him (he was 17, she 20) horrible marriage. she found another man and had another child. was arrested for domestic violence along with her new boyfriend and its bringing my relationship down. She has no job. Lives off 3 baby daddys and has nothing going for her. She brainwashes the kids to not spend time with their father. I am 26, she is now 39, i understand the jealousy part (i would probably be too) my question is how can i save my relationship? How do i become that rock my partner needs?

    How can i make this situation better with what i can control?

    • Amy

      Debbie- I hate to say this, because you seem to want this relationship – but this man has 3 kids.. That aren’t yours.. The ex is a loser with obviously a mean streak in her. You are only 27 and have your entire life ahead. Make certain that THIS man is what is best for you! Because it sounds to me that his choices have been less than intelligent. Think long and hard before you bother trying to change a doomed scenario! -Amy

    • Marisa

      Hello ladies. I’m really sorry for everything that every one of you is coming thru. I’ve been in a very abusive relationship for a amazingly long time and I finally got rid of that. I met my boyfriend last year and we’re dating for almost a year now. He has a son with this ex-girlfriend that today already has another child with another man whose she is not with too. I love the kid, he’s super polite and cute and seems to like me a lot as well, but lately I’ve been noticing that the ex gf is making herself as present as she via social network and stuff. She goes to my mother in law ‘s Facebook and make comments like “Hello guys! Miss all. Send granny a kiss.”. As I have been on this ridiculous conplicated relationship in the past, I’m starting to get afraid that this one may potentially transform itself into a repetition of the other. The ex bf was verbally (and sometimes physically) abusive and when I finished up the long term thing, he sad all this outrageous things about taking advantage of my innocence and “naiveness”. I’m afraid I might be missing something again and falling into the same hole, this time with an ex gf and son involved.

  • Julie Anton

    It helps to see that others have similar issues that I am currently facing. I would love some advice. My boyfriend of 10 months has an ex-wife who is completely insane! She left him and moved out over 3 years ago because she was having an affair. May it be noted that she is still dating the same man she had an affair with. She refused to file for divorce, so my boyfriend finally did and their divorce was finalized in Sept 2015. They have two kids, ages 9 and 6. She hates me with a passion and I have yet to understand why. I am a good, kind-hearted person who has been nothing but nice to her and I adore their kids. She adamantly refuses to let me watch their kids when my boyfriend has to work and the kids have no school. She has gone to the extent to take days off of work when she shouldn’t, all in order to make sure I do not watch the kids. On top of this, she verbally abuses my boyfriend every time I am part of the discussion – things I can’t write here. I love my boyfriend, but I am also reluctant to get into a relationship that may have this sort of drama for the rest of our lives. I got out of a verbally abusive marriage last year and the last thing I need in my life is more verbal abuse. I have asked my boyfriend to stick up for me more and create boundaries with her, but he feels he is in between a rock and a hard place because he is worried that his ex is trying to alienate him from his kids and he doesn’t want to give her any sort of ammunition. What should I do? Counseling with my boyfriend and I? Write a letter to the ex wife? Or leave now before it escalates to the point where it becomes toxic for me? Help, please!!!!

    • LindaSueblu

      Sorry to say but, leave now. I’ve been in this situation for 8 years and it is only getting worse. Of course each situation is different but if I knew then what I know now I would never have started this relationship, no matter how wonderful he is.

    • Amanda

      Hi Julie, reading your comment hit me like a ton of bricks–it is exactly what I am going through as I lay here at 4:40am trying to google ways to deal with an ex wife. It’s nice to know I’m not alone but I feel your pain and wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I am at a loss and my current relationship is suffering because I honestly cannot stand his ex wife and feel this drama with her will never end. If you ever want to talk or vent, I’m all ears. Feel free to email me.

    • Tracey

      I have a very similar story to tell but only a very different ending. SadlyMy husband eventually took his life 18 months ago due to a very evil vindictive ex wife who could not accept him finding love again. Did everything she could possibly do to destroy him financially and finally hurt him where it hurt most and that was to take his only child away. After fighting a lengthy court battle based on lies he ended his life. Now I am left to deal with the ex wife who hates me even more now as he made sure he changed his will. I know run his successfull real estate company and ensure his legacy lives on. But Nothing can make up for what she took from us. We are devastated and broken by this tragedy.

  • Allison

    Hello fellow wives in similar situations. I too am going through what I feel is a nightmare ill never wake up from. My husbands ex wife is his brothers wifes sister. Which. Means that lil troll will forever be related to my husband and boy does she know it. His ex wife intentionally shows up to every family event, even if shes not invited bringing her new bf who was supposed to be my husbands friend. Its a big mess. I love my husband dearly. Its just so hard to live a happy life when shes constantly interfering.

    • Amy

      Hi Allison- one thing that you CAN take solace in is that your husband’s ex is extremely insecure and jealous of you. You may not think so, but let me tell you this… If she were, in fact, actually happy with her new boyfriend & herself, she would have NO DESIRE to attend a family party by which her ex husband’s family would be at and show her ugly mug to an event that she was not specifically asked to attend! She feels compelled to be there, show off, ACT happy… Because she needs to rub in your face that she has/had a relationship with his family members. Feels the need to perpetuate that relationship to REMIND them that she exists. That woman is straight up jealous.. And it eats her up!
      Enjoy it!!! Go about your business and know in your gut that she’s a steaming green eyed monster inside. Lol.

  • Lisa

    Rewind my story a while back;
    Lisa October 30, 2014 at 10:47 pm
    I have been dating a man for 9 months, he chased me prior to this for 8 months but i wasn’t interested. After being dumped by someone else i gave him a chance and he grew on me.After our first date his x wife (they have been seperated for 2 years) started messaging me on facebook wanting to know where he was and for him to phone her as he was meant to have his kids. Their relationship was awful, she left him 3 times having numerous affairs and each time he took her back for the kids, 2 boys 16 and 15. We started dating things were good, i met his kids pretty quickly. A few months into it she appeared from behind a bush when we were on the beach, glared at me and pulled him aside and started belting him this was to do with me and how she thought it was too soon for the kids to meet me.The kids saw it and told her they were ok with me. The step daughter was also there and said i dont know why she is carrying on she hasnt wanted him for 10 years, they were married for 20.The next day she withdrew $6k out of his account to get him back.Since then things were ok he said she would get better.Then met someone and backed off.His family dont speak to her they all hate her as she has caused so much trouble.He also comes from a unhealthy upbringing.Things got good with us. He is caring and lovely.My family love him.
    About May of this year his eldest son started playing up. Smoking drugs at her house, she was never home. My partner trying to help. Things just got bad with us from then on, i started fighting with him about all this stuff. Sometimes he wouldnt be honest about what was going on with the kids and her and then i find out later. I felt he was lying to me.She wanted a settlement he gave it to her. The kid just got worse, he stole my partners wallet and didnt let on for 3 months after my partner found it after ramsacking his room for drugs. He even came to police station when it first happened to report it.My partner didnt discplined him he told his dad he found the wallet with no money in it, my partner believed him.Every time i saw my partner he was depressed.She would call a bit as well whilst we were together, blaming me for the kids behaviour and saying he wasnt spending enough time with his kids. Then my partners father got cancer he is now dying. The kid then got expelled after many suspensions. We were up at my partners house a few weeks before the kid broke in and lied to his dad that he was there as i was in the house.The kid was also bad before he met me.Then my partner confronted his son about lying he slapped him and the kid pushed him through a glass door and punched him the mouth.He had to go to hospital.He didnt speak to his son for 2 weeks the wife never made the kid call his son to say sorry. My partner tried to text his son to tell him his grandad was dying no reply.I have also asked my partner to get a divorce he said he will but he hadnt thought of it even though he has paid her s out.We had huge argument about this. I told him to leave and he slept in car that night due to drinking.I always have to ring and apologise he wont speak to me for days.This particular fight he took the kid away, i tried to phone him that night he didnt answer he rang me the following morning. He said he was working in the shed and drinking. The wife’s text said dont worry she is getting a divorce and for me to stop hassling him and from what he has said i sound like a stalker. How would she know i was ringing that night? This made me worry all week. We went away last weekend and i felt weird towards him gave him silent treatment he was trying to be nice. Next day i just did my own thing and he just disappears doesnt want to sort it out. Thats all i need though, comfort.he told me she said she wanted a divorce he said good cos lisa wants me to get one, what why couldnt he say i want one too. Then my partners brother came over and his girlfriend they have similar issues and started arguing.i started crying i went to bed my partner came up didnt try and talk just shut door i said its over. he ignored me. i tried to talk to him later this turned into huge fight i pushed him he punched me. i said this is not my baggage. he said dont you call me f kids baggage i didnt. he said my kids are no 1 you were level with them but not now. you have been awful to me all day. then he says she has been texting all day being nasty and threatening to turn oldest off him. we go to bed he doesnt talk to me in morning say’s its all too hard. not working. she sends me another text saying he is a liar awful he likes to hit things and that she was with him in that house a few weeks ago wonder why he wouldnt answer your calls. i told him he said she will never let him be with anyone. after this he wont talk to me its been 5 days we had a holiday booked today he cancelled due to his dad on death bed. he said its not working you always fight with me i have never fought with anyone like this. he wont answer my calls. i dont know what to do now im so depressed i told him i missed him he asked y, he wont say he loves me, i dont understand as only 2 weeks ago he told me not to dump him and im the best thing that has ever happened to him.

    18 months later and we never spoke again, now the x wife has a new boyfriend and flaunting it all over facebook, which is something she used to crack it about with us posting pix of each other.

    Why is she allowed to have a boyfriend and he wasn’t?

  • Dessy

    So this works for my ex and his spouse, we get along great but it doesn’t help with my husbands ex who is a truely toxic person… She has borderline personality disorder and is insane most days…

    • Dessy

      When I say insane I mean she made threats when she’s manic to cut my head off and put it in a bag if we don’t let her have custody ect… She used to call CPS on us and the police for random crap luckily the police told us they would tell her to leave us alone or encourage us to file harassment charges, Cps also said we were obviously being harassed. She really could have hurt our family I am thankful CPS didn’t come on a day where one of my kids feel of their bike or something ugh I couldn’t imagine. She LOVES contention and I am a super passive person so in short she makes me want to run and hide.

  • Linda

    Wow are there really that many crazy women out there? I really did think I was alone, but thank you ladies….I am not alone. Crazy ex wives are apparently rampant.
    I really do feel better.
    My boyfriends ex is just as crazy as these other women. My biggest issue is how on earth do these women not understand the damage they are doing to their own children. Not me, Not the ex husband no one but these poor innocent little children. I WOULD NEVER let that happen to my kids. PERIOD. I’ve been dealing for 8 years now, just hoping it would get better, but as a very intelligent lady told me “Hope dies last”!

  • Lucy

    Hi! I’m a stepmom to two great kids, teenagers now, and I just had a baby of my own with my husband. I had a very good relationship with his ex wife for the first seven years my husband and I dated and lived together. I would even watch the children at her house when they were sick, go to birthday parties, pick them up from school, etc. I’ve shown this woman nothing but the utmost respect, and I’ve loved and cared for her children for all of these years.
    When she learned of our engagement, and quick following pregnancy announcement, she began accusing my husband of neglecting his other children, and even brought us back to court to increase child support (which was denied). She has since blocked my phone number from the children, and goes out of her way to be intentionally cruel, such trying to convince the kids to change their last name, and limiting the time we spend with his daughter because she thinks we’re a “bad example” (there’s an age difference). I haven’t spoken with her since she began acting this way, but I’m concerned for the kids, and wonder if I should reach out or if this would makes things worse? She’s also remarried, is usually very kind and attractive and is a teacher. I don’t understand why this woman has gone so completely apeshit after I’ve been very much in the picture for the better part of a decade, and I’ve always been good to her children. Any suggestions?

    • Donna

      I’ve lived with this type of problem almost 30 years!! I’m tired of kissing their butts! The Ex and my husband! They didn’t want your husband, but they don’t want anybody else to have them either! Grow up! They need to live their own life and leave you alone! They can’t stand to see you with their ex husband, because they know, they failed as a wife, and you have not! Little town of Charlotte Michigan is Peyton Place!! And she’ll never stop! Take your husband and your family and move very far away from HER!!! She’ll turn her kids into same person she is and will make them hate you! People like this need therapy!! A lot!!!!

      • Lucy

        Oh man, I’m sorry you’ve dealt with it for so long! Unfortunately we can’t move, as part of their divorce they agreed to live in a 5 mile radius for the children’s sake. We’re in NYC, so it’s not so bad in terms of bumping into her or anything, but she’s making it very difficult. She’s flat out refused to coparent anymore, and has accused my husband of smoking weed (which is hilarious because he’d end up in the hospital if that were the case due to the medication he’s on), and can’t seem to decide if we are too harsh or too easy on the kids. The kids still love us, and enjoy their time with us and the baby. I’m just shocked because this is an educated woman–a teacher with two masters! I’m glad that the kids are teenagers, and are able to see through a lot of her BS, but it’s still upsetting after so many years of being what seemed to be a perfect blended family. I’m in my late 20’s and I’m able to handle this situation, this woman is 43 and is acting like a child throwing a tantrum. I’m just still so shocked.

      • Lisa

        How funny after 18 months of me being dumped cos of the x wife’s involvement and the kids, the x wife now has a bf and posting their pix all over social media which she absolutely hated about us, she even commented one day under a pic he took of me saying ‘Why’. Why is it ok for her to have a bf and not her x hubby have gf, talk about double standards.

  • Ann

    I am a stepmom for two different children with two different moms, one mom is easy going she was my husband’s ex girlfriend before he got married to his ex wife and the ex wife is terrifying, he was married to his ex wife for 10 years, so about four months ago I planted the seed to take the ex wife to lunch but had no response, only today did she ask to be friends, can’t help to think she has a master plan up her sleeve. My husband and his ex wife are like oil and water, both want to communicate though me, this is very stressful.

  • Julie Sayre

    I like this idea, just don’t know if if it possible. I have personally been divorced for over 10 years, and stayed single. I have searched for and found the perfect man, and am looking forward to a new life together with him. We both have a mindset to live our lives regardless of who says what. We both have fully grown children, a total of 7. Our youngest 3 are in college, and stay at home part of the time. His ex is manipulative and vendictive. She actually burned his clothes in their (very nice) bathroom shower stall, and destroyed the entire bathroom! This was about a year before we met, which was 6 months ago. His divorce decree bans her from all of his properties, an away from him and his immediate family notwithstanding her children. He wants absolutely nothing to do with her, and we both just wish she would get some help and move on. I truly do feel sorry for her. Recently his grandmother passed away, and she showed up at the funeral. This was the first time we’ve ever been in the same room together. She had the nerve to sit right behind him and poke him in the ribs the whole time. She kissed him on the neck when she sat down too! Afterward, she was attempting to take him by the hand and pull him away from me like a little child on the playground! LOL – She was saying she wants to talk to him, and he told her “NOT HERE.” Which means… NOT EVER. 🙂 – Here is my dilemma, we are planning to be married sometime in the next year, and we are now at a turning point, seeing no reason for me to keep paying rent and bills where I have lived for a long time, so he is helping me move to his place. This place (beautiful place) was their former marital home. He was awarded it in the divorce decree, and she is not allowed on the property. We do plan to sell it once we do a little work on it, but it will take time to market and find a new home…. However, she shows up at the neighbor’s house to “visit”, and she drives down his driveway and backs out. I will mention here that she has been destructive to his property there, by crashing in the garage door with her car, and tearing down the fence with her car, etc…. Last week, we had a new garage door installed. Also, he is installing a security system, with 24 hour cameras. We caught her at one of the other properties on video, she ripped the camera off the exterior of the garage on Christmas Eve! He did call the police this time (she busted out 6 windows in that house this fall, which is why we put in cameras), he called the police then too, but had no proof it was her. She did come into the marital home and bust a TV since I’ve been around (she did this also once before I met him, so I don’t totally think this is ALL about me) – NOW, my dilemma: I spoke to his sister at length over the holidays (who has known and hated his ex since day 1, and KNOWS her pretty well!!)…. She suggested I “protect myself” – I told her that I will. I stated that I’m not afraid to press charges on her, and that the security system will see anything that she tries if I am at the house alone. I have to admit, and I have told him this…. I am scared! I don’t want my fear to intrude on our happiness, but here I am willingly (because I’d do anything for this man!) putting myself directly (am I?) into harm’s way. Am I making a mistake??? Should I just roll on into the situation (it’s not going away if I don’t), and take the risk for love? Or should I sit on my haunches and hope she fades away or that he will put her behind bars?? I guess my fear is that she will become a sniper! LOL …… all for LOVE in WV.

    • Ladonna

      you need to be worried about her, she obviously has not moved one, she is bitter and I feel from what you have written, she has the ability to cause harm. Be wary.

    • K

      I completely agree with that statement, my husbands ex is an extreme case of crazy! Currently we have the courts involved trying to deal with the situation in which she created by her talking negatively about myself and my children and that turned into my step daughter having anxiety and that diagnosis is being put on me and my children bcz we are” mean” to them and we “bully” them! My whole thought on this is that my step daughter doesn’t want to displease her mom due to anytime she has in the past mom puts her through the ringer with guilt. I actually remember the day my husband and I brought our baby home from the hospital my husbands ex came to pick up my step kids and she cried on my front porch bcz I had put a peekaboo strip of purple in her hair and she told my step daughter “I thought I told u not to let her do that kind of stuff with u, I thought I told u that type of stuff is for real moms to do with their kids” I was in disbelief. Anyways now we all have to go to court ordered thearpy to help my step kids cope with being a part of a blended family, I’m a little apprehensive on sitting down with this woman. She’s the type to create problems then turn around and back away from it saying “I had no part in this” and she’s never in the wrong! We will see!

      • Erika

        K, I am completely intrigued on the outcome of this! I would LOVE to chat with you. I am in a very very similar situation. We go to court on Monday and the ex has created a whole slew of things I and my children have done wrong. She also states her daughter has anxiety and it is caused by my children and the “toxic” environment we have. My boyfriend and I are pregnant and due in August. She is remarried and pregnant, having a baby in April. You would think she’d have better things to do with her time then to blame us for everything. It’s tiring. Please, update if you can!

      • K

        Sure! We went to court and the judge wasn’t any help! He told my husband that he would not force her to visit him if she didn’t want to!!! And to get rid of me.She’s 11 and I believe in no way mature enough to make that kind of decision, anyway they came up with a temporary order which stated that my husbands two kids cannot be around myself or my kids at all during the temp order(3 months)? All of this went down and there is no abuse going on or prof of abuse, just that my step daughter doesn’t like me due to me telling her to be respectful to myself and her dad when she’s in our home- she can get mouthy! But she’s a kid and learning, no biggie on my side, kids will do what u allow! I don’t allow disrespect from any of my kids! Anyway we are at a stand still cz now the mom is being picky as to what councler they use and dose t want to help pay for the thearpy.( no surprise there) she also want the court papers to state that it is my husband who need the thearpy to learn how to be a parent- the mom has caused all theses issues with my step children. She also wants it to state that the kids can’t be alone with my which I’m totally fine with, I’m to the point where I feel that I need to protect myself and my kids from all of them- who knows what they will say or do in the future. As of now my step daughter has been going with my husband when he takes my step son for the temp order- it was just for him to go with dad every other weekend for 8 hours Saturday and Sunday and he could not come to our home… Dumb. My husband has asked his daughter if she’s ready or wanting to come back over and she told him that she doesn’t want to put too much on her plate! To me that sounds like mom talking! I believe this will end up with my step kids choosing to come over or not- the judge we got is a complete a$$

  • Z

    Just venting here – I’m sure no one will be able to solve this but hopefully someone can read this, relate, and know they are not alone. My boyfriend (been together over a year now) has an extremely angry ex-wife. I have had to block her on every social media site — when we first started dating she would go to lengths to even make fake Facebook pages just to be able to message me and harass me. That’s since stopped (maybe because she’s still blocked) but she still speaks meanly about me to their children. She has told them I’m a b!tch, a piece of sh!t, and that “that b!tch will never be your mom.”

    I try to hold my head high and take the high road but this just tears at me. I understand what it’s like to deal with the other woman – my ex has been with his wife for 5 years. And while we don’t go out for coffee together, we are very civil and able to text each other and speak to each other with zero resentment. I also have a child and have never behaved in the way this woman has been behaving. She also tries to tell people I broke up their marriage when they weren’t together for a year before we met!

    My only hope is that the more time that passes, the less drama we will have …

    • LG

      I actually do appreciate you writing this, as I can totally relate on almost every level. My boyfriend’s angry and jealous ex-wife, the nasty things she tells her kids, how I get along fine with my own child’s father and his current wife (like you, we don’t go out for coffee or anything, but we can carry on lighthearted conversation), blaming me for their break-up even though we started dating long after their split – which, no less, was due to her own infidelity – the nasty facebook emails, etc.
      I really do wish that befriending her, as this article suggests, is possible… but in this instance it seems more likely she has simply decided to hate me for no other crime than her ex-husband is now with me. 🙁 I’m really not sure where to go from here, other than what you have said, hoping that the drama will dissipate with time…

  • paige

    What I found is my husband ex is quite manipulative to the children. Her behavior is less than desirable. Recognizing that she is still in love with husband. She tore down her own house with her own hands. That makes her a foolish woman. I actually feel sorry for her because she will NEVER be over to move on completely.

  • Clea

    I’ve been trying to find an article with a similar situation to mine because I really don’t know how to deal with it, and I came across this one. I’ve found some general thoughts and I’ve been reading a lot about relationships, but when it comes to put it in practice in my particular situation I get very confused. I’m not married, and my boyfriend wasn’t married either, but he was in a relationship for 20 years with a woman. They worked together all that time, and they still do. Because of the nature of their work they travel together around the world a lot and for kind of extensive periods of time, therefore they spend a lot of time together. They don’t really have that much independency during their travels, so they do experience most of the traveling time together. They are usually not just the two of them, but it still affects me a lot because I feel there’s a lot of the relationship that hasn’t really been “broken up” (even if he doesn’t admit it), specially the emotional part, and I don’t feel relaxed the way he is with her. She is a very complicated ex, she hasn’t really moved on in many ways. When they are not traveling and he is here, she expects and asks a lot from my boyfriend. She really doesn’t let one day pass without calling him, she is very often having some sort of crisis, she’s usually the victim of situations in her life and needs immediate help, she shows herself as weak, incapable, broke, in pain, lost, lonely. The times when she is present in an event or some sort where we are, my boyfriend gets very influenced by even the minimum manipulative behaviors of her such as her facial expressions and reactions, and he acts differently with me trying to please her and not make her upset. She also has many manipulative tactics with the car, dog, apartment, work, money, time, etc etc. Both my boyfriend and his ex are much older than me, and I feel like it’s very hard for them to change patterns, habits (but I also get hopeful that things could change) I often feel like I’m the mature and sane one. Although for the past year I feel like I’ve been going crazy with all this weight. I’ve lost a lot of my self esteem, some times I really lose my balance and motivation for days, and feel very lost and lonely at times.
    I feel like something in him gives priority to her than to what we have and I really don’t know what would be a good way for me to change that or help him with it, since it affects me so much. He still feels very responsible and codependent with her and truly feels he has to save her or be there for her unconditionally because she is “unlucky, lonely, helpless” He doesn’t really say no to her, and is always trying to find the best way for her comfort and wellbeing, sometimes at the cost of our wellbeing. We’ve talked a lot about it, but I don’t feel the talks have really helped, we just talk for hours without getting anywhere and we get very defensive. I’ve become so oversensitive to any situation that arises related to her. I find it hard to feel neutral or even have a fresh start with all this, because I’ve built a lot of resentment. Recently I felt that my last option would be to really try to like her, because I find her very hard to like, and she seems very dishonest and filtered in many ways. I asked her to meet up and talk, and she agreed but didn’t really happen. When I’ve mentioned it again, she just agreed again without really committing, I know she has no interest in it and she probably wants to keep the power she has right now. At this point, it’s very hard for me to find the motivation to persist in this.
    Everything else is amazing with me and my boyfriend, it’s sad how much this situation has stained our relationship, because we really have something special between us and have we are very in love with each other. Sadly, I feel like the codependency with his ex has spoiled a lot of our relationship, and maybe my reactions and behaviors in response haven’t really helped to make things better. I want to believe that there’s something I could do that would really change the direction of all this, and hopefully break that emotional attachment they have, but I don’t know what, or how to do it while feeling so hurt and affected.
    Any advice would be great.

  • H

    I think I learned a lot from the comments above. Dealing with ex’s wife can be difficult. However I am on the other side of the spectrum, dealing with my ex-husband’s current wife is difficult. My son is 10, honor student at school. But she keeps complaining that my son has ADHD, and my son does not use common sense, which is not true since he has not caused any accident on himself or others due to lack of common sense. My ex is actually polite to deal with, we both love our son. But his wife keeps writing to me from his email box and he is too lazy to confront her on daily basis. I get 5 pages emails often with all accusations such as I did not cut my son’s nails. I am a working Mom, independent, bought my own house few years after divorce and succsefful. Even that can not stop her from trying to put me down. I had to disagree with her in the doctor office about ADHD yesterday and the doctor agreed he is not a problem kid and he is fine. She tried hard to put him down by saying he runs, walk faster sometimes, but hey he is a 10 years old boy

  • Wife

    I was just wondering if my feelings are justified. I feel as if my husband’s ex-wife is intrusive with buying a gift of a shirt (dress shirt) for work and casual that she claims is from the boys’ for Christmas. Well, for one, I know for a fact their boys have never stepped foot in Jos. A. Banks or L.L.Bean and this is where the shirts are typically from. I feel as if she is “dressing” my husband by giving this gift for every occasion, birthday or Christmas which she claims are from the boys. Any help with this? Should I just let it go and let her “dress” my husband? I just feel like every time I am snuggling with him that the shirt he is wearing is from another woman. Help me get this out of my mind! Thank you!

    • China B.

      Your husband needs to tell her that, going forward, you will handle the kids’ gifts to him. He should tell her that her assistance is not needed and, if she feels compelled to spend money in support of the boys, she can buy them something they need. He needs to be firm, prepared to reinforce, and anything else from her goes in the trash.

      • Lucy

        I just had this issue. Over the holidays, boyfriend of two years, was asked that we as a couple deliver her gifts to his family. I don’t mind that she wants to give his family gifts, but I am not delivering them. His family still spends time with her along and his child at her home, they can exchange there. Seems self serving to ask us (me) to deliver the ex-wife’s gifts. My boyfriend told her no, she threatened not to let his daughter go if we didn’t take them, he caved, because when we went to pick his daughter up, she handed the bag of gifts to her to put in the car, put her in the middle. It’s just one of a million things, she doesn’t stalk, doesn’t call all hours of the night, she plants small seeds, just enough to cause problems at least once a week. She’s smart, this way she doesn’t look crazy. This

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Staci, thank you for sharing – your love for this man is evident in everything you say! You want to do everything you can to build a strong relationship with him, and I can see how much you love him.

    Your sweetheart’s ex-wife won’t become less difficult to deal with as time goes by. She won’t be less toxic, and she won’t be easier to deal with. As difficult as it is, you need to decide if you can continue on in this relationship with the things the way they are right now.

    She won’t change. You and your partner have to be the ones to make the concessions, who have to do all you can to smooth things out. Can you do that?

    • China B.

      Laurie, I see it differently. Staci and her husband do not need to make concessions or otherwise tolerate inappropriate behavior from the baggage. Instead, they need to establish boundaries that keep the toxic ex in her place and protect their relationship and family from this nonsense. The question is whether the husband will actively establish and reinforce these boundaries. If so, there is hope for the relationship and Staci’s happiness. If not, I believe that is a deal breaker.

  • Staci

    Hi everyone,
    Reading most of these comments helped me and I was hoping by posting my own experience it would help me even more and maybe someone could even give me more advice.
    I have been with the love of my life for only a short year (he truly is the most amazing thing that’s happened to me only second to the birth of my son) and he is recently divorced to his ex wife of 5 years. They have a now 4 year old daughter that I might earlier this year. My son, my fiancé, my stepdaughter and myself all live together. Now I couldn’t tell you if she wants her ex husband back or if this is money driven. Without judging her, the facts are she’s gotten fired from a job and as a result was facing eviction notices, her power was cut off, she couldn’t put food on the table and the child (unbeknownst to us) hadn’t had health or dental insurance for the better part of a year. Once we found out about the health insurance we did what we needed to get her covered without any issues. We’re now facing a custody battle for his daughter (fortunately my own ex and I get along very very well) that doesn’t happen for 3 more months. Until then we are doing a week on and week off. Now she wants this schedule to work the way she wants it to and she doesn’t ever like having to lay eyes on me. So she will email him about how things will go, not ask and not suggest and definitely not seek his suggestions. Unfortunately this is what my stepdaughter is used to seeing between her parents but my son, however, absolutely is not. All we wanted was to all say goodbye and it has to be ugly. I guess my concern is not trying to change his ex because I don’t care about changing her but we have FOURTEEN years ahead of us all. That’s a long time and I’m not going anywhere so is there hope that we can even be cordial. While we don’t want to fight her on things that aren’t worth it we definitely won’t be doing everything she says just because that’s how she wants it. I want us all to coexist but is it even possible???? Last night was shameful but I’m honestly over it now I just don’t know how to move on. Do I stop picking up my stepdaughter even though it’s what I’ve always done? I don’t know I love her to pieces and her father and I are disgustingly in love that it even weirds me out at times but what is the common ground?

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    The thing with having problems with your husband’s toxic ex-wife – especially if she gets a kick out of causing marriage problems for you and your husband – is that it won’t stop. It won’t change, it won’t likely get better.

    The only person you can change is yourself. The only attitude shift you have control over is yours.

    Is there anything you can do that will make your life easier?

  • Lori

    I know this post is old but reading the responses gives me hope. I have been with my husband for 8 years. We have 2 boys together and my step daughter whom is 12 lives with us week in week off. Her mother is a very toxic, lazy, selfish unstable person. She has always claimed I verbally abuse her daughter and has threatened to get a restraining order against me. I have been in my step daughters life since she was 4. Her mother doesn’t work, drive or stay at their home ever. They bounce from grandmothers house to friends house. Her mom takes and takes from people until they stop talking to her due to all the taking and no giving. My step daughter does go to school due to her mom not waking up or not having enough food to make lunches. She also smokes in the house with her. My step daughter has to share a bed with her mom and always has. We pay and bring her to all her extra curricular’s (when her mom allows her to go). I speak kindly of her mom when my step daughter Speaks about her mom. I drive her to school on her moms weeks pay for all the school lunches and field trips. Volunteer in her class as well as my sons. Help her with homework. I ask her to do chores and occasionally watch her youngest brother. I’ll admit that I can get heated when important things like her school bag, lunch bag, homework, new clothes, winter coats, boots just go missing at her moms. My step daughter claims it’s too messy at her moms to keep track of things. I have never been there but my husband claims she is a very dirty person. She lies and gets my step daughter involved in our affairs. She minipulAts her into saying things about us she doesn’t mean and twists her words to make it sound like she’s not happy with us. Recently my step daughter started cutting herself. She has heart pulpulations due to anxiety and has gone back and forth stating she is gay. Her mother just last night called to tell us my step daughter told her that all we do is talk badly about her mom and she is not comfortable here and I am the reason she cuts…I am just at a loss. I have no idea where that is coming from. It makes me beyond sad as all I want is for her to be happy and healthy and successful. I feel like all I have done over the years will not matter and I’ll just be the “step mom” that is disposable. It is hurtful and I’m having a hard time dealing with it this time.

    • Jessica

      I am in the exact same situation you are in. Not sure how much more I can take. I’ve never met anyone as evil as my husband’s ex. Would you be willing to talk with me sometime about it?

  • Theresa

    I have been with my partner for 5 years and i have to say his toxic ex wife is causing me stress. I have tried not to involve myself but to no fail it gets the better of me. My partner does not stand up to her and she continues with demands for more money, more ridiculous stall tactics to delay divorce proceedings. We hardly see the kids because the mother comes up with some excuse and when we do it always a crazy mind game that i resent my partner for not standing up to her. He avoids any calls from her which creates more stress. I have even had the ex wifes boyfriend come to the house looking to pick a fight over money. When i try to talk to my partner about how it is affecting me he tells me that I am overacting and i expect too much of him and thats life. I have asked him to buffer some of the stress that is created due to all this and i become the lunatic. None of this has anything to do with me but i get the brunt….help needed

    • Helen

      He is either going to fight for his kids and for you or he isn’t. While waiting for the divorce to go through perhaps he should apply to the courts for set times to spend with his kids as this is their basic right. If he thinks you are overreacting in the situation then he is really not being fair to you at all. In a situation like this I would consider telling him to shape up or ship out. To make a relationship like yours work, with children from a previous marriage and a nutty ex, you have to be solid and work together at all times. If he isn’t prepared to do that, you might be in a losing battle.

    • Jen

      Hi Theresa. I am in the same situation!! Somedays I feel like he just dosen’t want to deal with any of it and it stresses me out and I look like the bad guy or she immediately says “tell her to stop telling you what to do!!!” In reality thats what she needs to stop doing. Well stop demanding un neccessary things. It irritates me that he dosent stand up for himself…….sometimes we come to a stand still and I think that its not going to work..

  • Helen

    Five years on and a court battle later I still find the presence of my husbands ex a painful thing in my life; in both our lives. Since joining the British Second Wives Club and using their forum to offload I have found that my story is actually fairly typical. When I met my husband they had not been split up long; he ended the relationship although she had made it clear for many years that she didn’t really want to be with him. She was in a new relationship and seemed happy but when we started seeing each other things went really bad.
    I would say she has done everything and still continues to do so, to try and break us up as a couple and break us individually. My husband had a breakdown when she stopped him seeing the kids as soon as he left hospital and took them abroad while telling our friends she wouldn’t be back. She returned when we threatened her with a European arrest warrant and that’s when court proceedings began. She took the children out of school for two years and we had to fight through the courts to get them back into school; the authorities were useless because she kept moving between areas to avoid them. In many ways I believe that was also to punish their father.
    In my life I have never had to deal with such a vindictive person. During the worst time when my husband broke down, I got through it by not letting myself hate her but coming out the other side my anger is still there; I am starting psychotherapy soon and I hope to address it there. The worst thing is that I feel totally gagged and powerless; I basically have to put up and shut up or leave the relationship because there is nothing either of us can do more than we’ve done.
    The thing that keeps me going though is my deep love for my husband; I absolutely adore him. I know that in the end the reason she is so bitter is because she isn’t capable of loving; she can’t even love her own children, she puts her hatred for their father well above that. So she will almost inevitably end up a lonely and bitter old woman. At the same time I wish for everyone’s sake that she would just MOVE ON!
    I would say to any woman thinking of starting a relationship with a man with a nutty ex who is mother of his kids – don’t rush in to it!

  • Sherri

    I do not have step children to deal with but, I have to work with my husband’s ex wife. I have been with this company for 16 years and she works for the same company in a completely different department. It is a global company. Their divorce was over 16 years ago, she has remarried 10 years ago. My husband also works for the same company in the service department, so he comes to my location when service is needed. Yesterday while I was away she approached him and made accusations that he did not honor his vows to her, until death do us part. She is married to someone else. How should I deal with this? I think my husband’s toxic ex-wife has lost track of reality.

  • Casandra

    I have posted on here before about my husbands crazy ex, this now takes the cake for me. About a month ago my husband received a text from his ex stating that he will not have his kids for an “undetermined” amount of time and that someone should be contacting him to explain the situation. Well we come to find out that his ex took my step daughter who is 11 to the doc bcz she was complaining of “heart flutters” ?? The doctor said she’s probably suffering from anxiety due to becoming a blended family on our side, she feels unwanted and is having a hard time coping!! I say great, she would gain a great deal from therapy and some family therapy as well!!! Before I came into the picture when my husband had his children everything was always just about them, they had no rules at his house. Together we have 6 kids between the two of us so we need some kind of structure here. My step kids don’t like this and have been made to think that I’m being abusive when I get stern when they become out of line. Anyways we have a lawyer to fight this and just the other day received doctor notes to get the correct diagnosis. Basically what was noted was about me and how I’m unfit to be around my step kids, it even said that I called my step son stupid and that I called my step daughter a bitch! Never happened. My step daughter is now refusing to speak or visit with my husband, ( I believe she feels guilty for creating this drama) she had just recently done the same thing over the summer, telling her mom that I pick on them and that they are always in trouble and not my bio kids.. Again not true, when they all do something wrong they all have the same consequences. My step kids want to be the exception. When this occurred over the summer my husband stuck up for me stating I was not being mean or picking on them and that I do have the right to get stern with them when they are in my home bcz this is in fact my home as well and I’m an adult and am apart of making the rules for our household. Apparently his ex doesn’t like this and has told my husband and my step kids that I shouldn’t be telling them what to do bcz I’m not “blood” related! Ridiculous! His ex lets the kids have too much say in adult matters when it benefits her. If the shoe were on the other foot everyone knows none of this would be happening. My step daughter had a intake thearpy appointment yesterday and supposedly the therapist told jade that she can come over on her terms. My husbands ex is allowing my step son to come over this weekend and has stated that we are not allowed to ask questions about jade or herself.. Not that we would talk with my step son who is 10, but in reality she cannot say what we are allowed to talk about. And if I’m such a horrible verbally abusive step mom why would you allow your child to come back into my home if I’m unfit and she kept them away from us initially bcz of me. I’m so confused by all this and it really does suck that she is manipulating doctors and her children to believe that this is going on in my home!! I’m at a total loss!!

    • Marie L.

      Casandra, this is a common “game” that a lot of bitter ex wives play with their own children to benefit their own sick insecurity, in turn the ex wife puts these vulnerable children into the crossfire of everything. The sad part is that the ones that will get the most hurt, even well into adulthood, is the children. Not your husband, not you, not even her… but the children.

      What I would suggest to your HUSBAND to do (it is really his battle to fight, not yours, yours is to support him, not fight his battles for him)
      First: What I would suggest is to try to obtain legal help with a well advised lawyer who is familiar with parent alienation related abuse cases, obtaining Cease and Desist Orders when it comes to slander against either your husband and yourself and if necessary, no contact restraining orders unless if there’s an emergency with the children.

      Keep a written journal of every incident that is caused by her. Do not answer any phone calls directly, instead, force her to leave a message and respond to only the urgent ones, keep a recording of the rest, screen then save all texts and emails. Again, only respond to the urgent ones.

      Hardball must be played with these sick women whose evil intent poisons everyone and they must be stopped, along with protecting the children against their parent alienating abuse they bestow upon them. Parents that abuse their children like this should have them taken away for the safety of the children!

      Hopefully she will get ripped apart in court along with her lies being exposed… with a good enough lawyer and some hope.

      • Casandra

        Thanks! Yes, my husband has a lawyer and I’ve brought it to his attention about parent alienation and he plans on talking to his lawyer about how he can go about it. We currently are having her served for a temporary parenting time order to restore their normal schedule. I know this is not my battle, but as of now because she’s making all these allegations that I’m abusing my step children, so my husbands lawyer has brought me into the case. As of now we have my step son in our home for the weekend and everything is fine. It just baffles me that she would let him come into our home if she thinks I’m verbally abusing him.

      • Marie L.

        Like I mentioned, this is a common game they play. An experienced lawyer will strategize situations to disprove her false accusations against you. The proof will be in the pudding not only in the relationship you have with your step son, but also what her true intentions are in what she is actually trying to do, and most likely, it has nothing to do with concern for her son but to comfort her own sick mind.

  • Gerina

    “Forgive your husband for his past marriage (and choice of ex-wife!) . . . If you think your husband made a bad marriage choice in the past, shake off your resentment or anger . . . . He made the best decision he could, he fell in love, and he thought he was doing the right thing.”

    See, that’s my biggest problem tight there. You tell me to forgive his stupid decision-making, but that’s the hardest thing to get over. The FACT that he made the “best” decision he could and that he “thought” he was doing the right thing… that’s exactly the problem! It makes me wonder if the dumb motherflocker is even capable of making an even marginally intelligent decision about anything!! I mean, his ex-wife is literally the biggest piece of sh*t I have ever met. What the hell made him marry her? The reason he gives is, and I quote,” “I wanted a baby really badly, and I thought she had good genes because there’s no heart disease in her family and her dad was in the military.” (WTF?!?! Oh, yeah, let’s form an entire eugenics program around them based on those two criteria. He’s a real genius, that one.) Meanwhile the broad is fat, a daily blackout drunk, not very bright, and a complete sociopath. She cheated with several of his friends AND openly had a long-term affair with his twin brother; she drove drunk with the baby in the car repeatedly; she doesn’t take care of the baby and instead dumps her off on the grandparents 95% of the time; last week she robbed his mother for a couple hundred dollars… yeah, she’s a real genetic miracle.

    My man hardly ever stops to think before acting, and will make decisions carelessly that can have devastating long-term ramifications for himself, the people around him, and future children. This ex-wife of his is proof of it. And he married her only about 3 years ago. Please tell me how I’m expected to forgive him for such a glaring and dangerous character flaw.

    • KRH

      If he makes such bad decisions, then what are you doing with him. Maybe it’s time to reflect on the quality of your decision to be with him? You cannot fault him for the person he used to be with…

    • Marie L.

      I agree with KRH if you are not married to him. Hardly any relationship that is not bonded by marriage that causes this much extreme stress and hostility like this coming from either party, including you, is unhealthy. I can tell that you are very angry and that’s okay to release it. The Lord knows how much I needed to throughout the years. But If you are married and beyond everything that is happening now, still value marriage, then, you have more to consider in being able to forgive your husband in his prior choices. I know this because the forgiveness I had for my husband was sometimes the only “glue” that kept me in my own marriage. Believe me, there were PLENTY of times that I certainly didn’t feel warm, fuzzy love for him and/or his decisions or lack of. But I stuck by him anyway and it is working now.
      What I suggest to you, is that you take a step back and let him deal with his ex wife without you getting involved at all. It’s like creating an inner “ignore” button that you push whenever she does something or acts in a certain way.
      We are all human and we all make mistakes, nobody is in exempt from this.

      • Marie L.

        Noticed a bit of a typo in my previous answered post:
        What I meant was “Hardly any relationship that is not bonded by marriage and causes this much stress and hostility can withstand itself and is unhealthy”. Sorry about that if my original post sounded confusing.

    • Amy

      I think you are correct, your man cannot make a reasonable common sense decision! Dump his ass. There’s something wrong with him… Clearly an idiot (true idiot… Dictionary version)

  • nr

    No way in freaking hell would I have lunch with my husband’s ex-wife. After 2 filed miscellaneous harassment charges, endless abusive texts and emails, even through Family Wizard, parental alienation tactics, and showing up looking “spiffy” when she knows my husband will be at a certain place without me, I’m thinking this is war. I’ve stayed passive for too long. We are now taking every opportunity to work towards getting her a psych eval. She went so far as to text my stepdaughter’s Girl Scout leader and tell her I’m not allowed to help out (I had volunteered my time). the GS leader texted to tell me she thought originally I was the problem, but now realizes it is the biological mom. And she used the word “crazy”. I’m done with it. It wasn’t until the month we married that she started begging for my husband back. In one email she calls him compassionate and kind, in the next she calls him mentally ill. We’ve blocked her from all communication except Family Wizard. If you don’t know what that is, look. it. up. Has saved us. And all court admissible.

    Anyway, done venting. Good to know I’m not alone. Best to you all.

  • Britt

    My husband’s ex is toxic not nearly as bad as some of these others, I guess luckily. However, how do you deal with a situation when your husband enables her behavior by basically given in to her constantly and consistently?

    They have 1 child together who is also autistic and has been spoiled. I find that they both use her as an excuse. His ex uses her as an excuse cause their child “needs” these things and he uses her as an excuse cause if he doesn’t do it his ex will make their child’s life suffer. How do you deal with that?

    • Samara

      If the child is autistic, then it would be very difficult to “spoil” them, and there would be little other choice. You can’t just discipline autism out of a child. Just saying.

  • Rob

    Perhaps I can have some advice from you all experienced here. I’m busy going through an acrimonious divorce and I have 2 boys (3 and 5). It’s been dragged out by the ex for a year now from her being unreasonable. I decided it’s time to reconnect with my goals and started looking to date. I recently met an amazing person and we connected. I remained open and honest with her and I explained my situation divorce kids money etc… This out the new relationship on a stalemate because she is needing to get used to the fact I have kids and that I will have an ex wife. Our interaction has reduced since that conversation and I’ve given her time to think about dating me. Am I doing the right thing? Is there a way I can reassure her that I will do my best to minimize conflict between my ex and us? How should I introduce the children to her and visa versa? So far my ex and I have no common friends and our interaction is literally as the court order is. Help?

    • Benny

      Patiently. Go to a park. Play a game. Toss a frisbee. Laugh constantly. Just go slowly. In my situation my new gal was wonderful. Kind, considerate and gentle. All four of my kids want her to live with us. Their mom is nuts. Abusive, drunk, drugs, stealing, grossly promiscuous and disregards court ordered rules at will. Attacks me on Facebook and throughout our close community.,it really stinks but the only way to deal with these victimblaming monsters is to cut them off at every level possible. They don’t stop. So what do you do? My gals dad is a man familiar with farm animals, cows, for example.everyonce in awhile they’d run across a bad cow. Now a bad cow can kill a man. So how does a farmer get this bad cow to behave??? Well they grab a two by four and crack the cow right between the eyes. No more bad cow. Now obviously I am not touting violence against your crazy. Absolutely not. It is an analogy to legal tactics. I wavered, didn’t want to wipe her out, tried to set a fair settlement, close the deal and be done with it. Nope. She wanted more. Tons of obscene charges, and grotesque demands. I was reeling. My god I’m getting crushed. Than reason set in. Remember they are crazy. They probably made u crazy, too. Well now that your out and your head has somewhat cleared the time to fight is now. One by one reveal their lies with evidence. Hire a private investigator. DONT DO IT YOURSELF. Stay far away. Soon their stories begin to unravel. There OWN actions are their downfall. Gather it and document it. It won’t take you long. Believe me. Remember they are crazy. Once you have a still joule of their abuses etc turn it over to a good attorney. Let the attorney pool the evidence up into a two by four and WHAM strike that cow right between the eyes. Smack me good. No remorse. Hit them so hard that the truth of what they are is going to be exposed. That their bullshit victim story is just that bullshit.
      In my case, dealing with a diagnosed BP1, borderline, drunk, drug addicted and molested as a child, negligent and abusive mother…pretty, charming sweet, the two by four shattered her world. Reeling she fell to pen and paper and signed an agreement, hugely favorable to me. I had gathered evidence that she was already cheating on her latest meal ticket, child abuse, extortion and was an inveterate liar amongst numerous other things. I hit this cow squarely between the eyes. Sent her reeling. Now, this cow is a tough cow and petitioned the court to withdraw her signature. Ha. Before she could achieve that unlikely outcome, my attorney hammered her with another two by four regarding visitation. Pow! Another round of evidence proving her unfit. Well here’s the outcome, and I only got this because I absolutely battered, legally, this cow. I got the home, I got sole legal custody, she has to be supervised, I had to give her a fraction of the money…which has already pissed away. More importantly she can’t come on my property, approach me in public etc or face restraining orders.
      You see folks, if your dealing with crazy you gotta tuck that white night compassion bullshit away and pull out the Thor hammer and bash their noggin in. Than, and only than can you earn the peace you covet and deserve. Take my word you literally, legally, have to crack them over the head a few times to keep them away. One last word. Tell your kids the truth. You’ll find out they already know anyway. Don’t sugarcoat it. I told my kids, 15 and up to stay away from their mother, their grandmother and their aunt. These people are toxic parasites that must be eliminated. Bad cows. Bring out the two by fours!

      • Marie L.

        Benny, WOW! Way to go brother! Though I don’t agree with all , but with 99.99 percent of what you wrote, YES! Your posted answer has been tremendously refreshing coming from an ex husband who has the drive, the perception, the courage and the fight ability to protect your children!! Wish there were more like you! The only thing I would consider is what you tell your children about their mother no matter how crazy she may be. It does have a profound effect on them later and may cause damage even though she has been the cause of the damage to begin with. What I would suggest instead is to get your affected children into counseling as soon as you can. But, again, I COMMEND YOU! 🙂

      • Dea

        Thank you for the Family Wizard info, best advice yet on how to deal with your husband’s toxic ex wife. Thank you

    • Marie L.

      Well, for starters and in a lot of situations where an ex wife is “unreasonable” and “dragging out a divorce” is usually because your ex wife is bitter and has personal, unresolved issues over the impending divorce. It also depends what and who caused the proceeding of divorce. With a lot of us who have husbands with toxic ex wives, their ex wives were the ones who initiated the divorce in the first place, usually with infidelity but yet still pursue their ex husbands with mind boggling envious ferocity along with abusing their own children with parent alienation, especially when they find out their ex husbands are dating someone new even though they had caused the divorce in the first place. They are tremendously insecure, very vindictive, extremely envious and selfishly hurt their own children so they can feel better about themselves. A lot of them are also plagued with numerous personality disorder traits like narcissism, borderline and/or are bipolar.
      As far as your GF is concerned, though you may be your ex wife’s main target, your new GF will “feel” the brunt of it because for many of us gals, it’s in our DNA to try to harmonize the situation between our significant other especially when children are involved. When we feel a situation may be hopeless due to a toxic ex wife, especially when our significant other has not set up the necessary legalistic boundaries with a toxic ex wife beforehand or if you try to minimize the situation too much without recognizing the impact when boundaries are lacking, has on a relationship with a woman could explain why she is stepping back. Perhaps she has also been through this before in another relationship with a former BF, etc and does not want to endure it again. I know if I had a chance to do it over again, I would’ve seriously reconsidered. Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband to death, but at the time I certainly was not prepared for what followed and did hold a lot of resentment towards my husband for a very long time. It’s diminished over time only because communication with the ex wife has ceased considerably and the children are grown adults and don’t live with us.
      Maybe her lack of pursuing the relationship is because she is either waiting for you to step it up and take realistic steps toward your soon to be ex wife and set firm boundaries or is having second thoughts about having to endure all the future heartache and drama.

  • natasha

    These points can help with the basics of exes, however i am dealing with a neglectful ex wife and mother of the kids, she disappears for the weekend only telling us when my partner spends all day phoning her and texting her as we’re meant to drop kids back on a saturday morning (it was her weekend asked if we could have them friday night) and she isn’t home and then tells us she won’t be coming back on the weekend.

    I can put up with the manipulation to try and pull him away from me and the money grabbing tactics thinking she’s owed all our money, even the deliberate lies about the kids and us to everyone and making out she is an innocent victim, but the neglect on the kids, theres just no way to handle that, the daughter was so underweight when we moved nearer (my partner had been working away so could only get them on every other weekend plus she wouldn’t allow him to have the kids on his own before only in her presence and no domestic violence of any kind just she wanted control), i make sure i cook proper meals and feed her up, but it was scary when i saw her. its just not good enough to think all you have to do is feed the kids (and not even much of that other than sweets and crisps all day) and pur. So where i believe these tips on how to deal with your husband’s toxic ex wife will help for some cases, but I’m situations like mine its just not enough

  • Ashley

    Hey I have been married for a year to my husband and he has three children that he just got to see for the first time in 2 years about 2 months ago .. At first hid x wife said she didn’t want me going on The visites tell they got to no each other again last vist his oldest daughter asked when she could meet me .. And my husband said when ever u want Wil the x wife jumps in and said she only 8 she don’t make the choices . that she want to wait tell we been married over 2 years before I can meet his children this hurts me so bad I don’t no what to do ..

    • natasha

      Ashley it seems way too long to wait to meet his kids, me and my partner waited about 6 months, before i started spending time with them. She did not like it she wanted him to keep seeing them in her house with her watching him, but i was a force her telling him no.1 you have to develop relationships with your kids on your own away from her (good that he did cause he didn’t have a great relationship with the boy as he didn’t get to spend alone time with him) and no.2 if i was to be in their life eventually i had to meet them and slowly build up a relationship. i was super careful when i met them, didn’t force myself on them, and now a year down the line i have an incredibly close relationship to my step daughter and close-ish to me step son but he is overly attached to the mum, we have some development issues with it tbh. but the relationship they have with their dad is brilliant now, and you become this family unit when the kids are with you and they will love it. but waiting two years is ridiculous, he has a say in the kids meeting you its not just all her, this is the popular mistake we all make thinking the mum has all this control, but only if we let them

  • Casandra

    hello ,
    My husband and I have a blended family all together we have 6 kiddos!!! Which of one we have together, I have been struggling with my husbands ex for the past 3 years now. I stay out of issues pertaining to their children but in some way his ex involves me by either talking bad about me or stating that their children don’t want to come over bcz of me. I have tried building a relationship with my step children and always make a point to have them be apart of our family. My husbands ex thinks that our family isn’t as important as hers with the kids, we are secondary if that! Anyways anytime I get any leeway with my step kids it always back fires and it ends up with my step kids and their mom talking trash about me. I feel like I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t. She is making it nearly impossible for our family to grow by her actions. On many accounts I have thought about just telling her the “deal” but I choose not to cz I don’t want to add fuel to the flames! My husband and I can agree on most situations involving his ex or his kids which is great but there is always some kind of back lash when his kids come back to our home from their moms. If one of my step kids gets into trouble and gets disciplined for their wrong doing it goes back to their mom and she expresses that whatever the situation may have been should have been handled differently and it’s my fault that their dad is disciplining them in the way he chose to, which only consists of going to their room and thinking about how or what they have done. This last weekend has been the straw that broke the camels back, we took my step kids out for school shopping & then took the kids back to their mom. I guess what we got wasn’t up to her standards bcz we didn’t buy everything on the supply list or the clothes weren’t to her liking, we spent a lot of $$ and my husband pays child support. We do more than what most people in our situation does. We always buy the kids this and that year round bcz she refuses to or tells her kids to tell his dad that it’s his job or makes it sound like he doesn’t do enough for them? all the while she takes these extravagant vacations multiple times a year then complains she has no money, but that’s none of my business. I feel bad for my husband Bcz he does so much for everyone and is a good man, he had more time with his kids before we married and now he gets 4 days a month. I sometimes feel that it’s is my fault that my step kids aren’t around like they were but quickly remind myself that I can’t be faulted for falling in love and marrying my best friend and being happy! I guess I just don’t know what to do or if I should even do anything, life is too short to be unhappy all the time!

    • me

      NOT TO FUEL.

      • Ben

        It’s tough. My husbands ex just brutalized him. Really tried to destroy him. He overturned the insanity and won out in the end births damage she inflicted upon him and his kids is tremendous. The ex is supposedly bi polar 1. I tend to believe it. She tried to have he down kid arrested for kidnapping, is a prodigious thief and loose woman, shows up and torments my man, has alienated all of her kids, and pretends to be the ultimate victim andmotherofthe year at the same time. I’ve seen these behaviors, read the emails, read the heinous accusations she levied against my man, and seen the sadness in his kids. So lunch? A chat? No way. I just pray this horror show disappears.

  • AtALoss

    I read this article and my first impression was someone lives in a fairy tale world and cannot honestly think that having lunch with a toxic ex-wife will lead to something positive. I almost hit the “back” button to find another link on how to deal with toxic ex-wives, but then I started reading the comments. I have never responded to an article or even reached out to seek support so my hope is to find a positive from those that are going through similar situations. My story began 5 years ago when I met my current husband of 3 years. I was raised to always find the good in people, but also have a natural instinct to go with my gut instinct – whether good or bad. From Day 1, the toxic ex-wife reared her ugly head. She gained access to my FB page through her children’s accounts and then sent me a friend’s request of her own. She immediately began looking into my personal life and using the information on my page to keep an account of her ex-husband’s life. It didn’t take me long to unfriend/block her and the children’s access. She then created fake FB accounts and started sending me private messages bashing her ex-husband, and when I didn’t respond she started sending me private emails at which time I had to block her from this account as well. When she realized she didn’t have a direct way into my life, she started and continues to use her child as pawns to get information on me and her ex. Two weeks after my son and I first met my husband’s children, the ex-wife took the children to the doctors and alleged that they were sexually abused. How sad that a mother would put her own children through an ordeal like this. When my husband and I decided to get married, we tried involving the children in aspects of the wedding – having their names put on the invitations, having them try on their outfits, going to get them altered, etc., but knowing that the ex-wife was evil, we decided not to tell the children in fear of the ex-wife not allowing them to participate in the wedding. The end result was she didn’t allow them to participate in the wedding anyways. After we married, the ex-wife called my place of employment (govt) on more than one occasion alleging that I falsified documents that would allow her children to be on my health insurance. I had to go through a thorough IG investigation and was found not guilty of her shenanigans. She has stated in court documents that my husband and I were jeopardizing the children’s lives because the children are severely allergic to cats. Although we knew the severity was a lie, we had the children tested for allergies, and found that one was mildly allergic to animals. This ex has her children calling me the red headed demon, and now when visiting, these girls do not even speak to me upon entering my home – not even to say hello without being told to do so by their father. Bottom line, I’ve given these children a better life. I helped their father fight an ongoing court battle that gave him a life back with his children, and the children a life not only with their father, but his family. Every child has a right to be a part of their parent’s lives. In saying that, I’ve had enough. Five years of dealing with an abusive, controlling ex-wife who tries to manipulate every visit the children have with their father. The disrespect from these children and the ex-wife has been tolerated for too long, and it is no longer acceptable in my home. When their adverse behavior starts affecting my happiness, something has to change. I put my foot down this weekend, and told my husband that the children are no longer allowed in my home, my sanctuary of peacefulness and love – a home that I bought a year ago to hopefully bring our family closer together. He keeps asking me what if the tables were turned, what if it was my son who treated him in this manner. My simple response is I raised my son better than that. My son was raised to respect everyone and to be kind-hearted, and if he ever stepped out of line, there were consequences. My love for my husband is strong and I do not have any intentions of allowing his toxic ex-wife to come between us; however, I told him I’ve fixed everything else in his life and I did not have the fight left in me to fix this battle with his children of flesh and blood.

    • Nik

      He’s got to set the boundaries and put his foot down with his children. He needs to have an honest talk with his children and tell them that mommy has said some bad things about you that aren’t true because she’s jealous and hurting and how they can handle that without hurting anyone. Then set the rules and boundaries. If daddy lets them treat you that way it will only get worse. I’ve been there. My hubby set those boundaries. His daughters understood they were only their mom’s pawns yet did things anyways. They didn’t want to respect the rules and boundaries so they’re no longer allowed in our home. I know it drives them crazy. I think they expected him to give in and be a pushover like he was for so many years. They pushed this stepmom and their daddy too far!

    • Amy

      To AtaLoss-
      Your experience sounds terrible. At the end of the day… You are in control of this situation now. It sounds to me like you have done so much for both your husband and his children. (And their bitter, vindictive mother! Without your insurance, what would they have for healthcare? I’m sure she isn’t going to cover them at an expense to herself.) I say GOOD FOR YOU! Your decision to no longer allow those kids to disrespect you in YOUR HOME is a great decision! You’ve called the shot and you deserve to run the show now! I completely agree, you’ve fought for him and them – but now you’re done. You enjoy your peace and tranquility without rotten brats pissing you off. And if this matter places extra burden on your husband to see them outside of the home… So be it. He should’ve set things straight and set a presidence years ago. ?

  • DontWannaBeSecondFiddle

    I tried to be nice, and tried to be her friend… I was called horrible names and informed that she was not interested in being friends. Then she goes to him and complains about me. He says they “only talk because they have a kid”. The thing is, their kid is 17, doesn’t talk to him, and doesn’t want him in her life right now. Its not like the kid is 5 and relies on her mother. She doesn’t actually live with her mom, her grandmother has custody! So am I stupid for sticking around?

    • Nik

      That’s a tricky one. Just because the kid doesn’t want anything to do with them and just because grandma has custody doesn’t mean they don’t or shouldn’t know and discuss what’s happening in her life. My ex and I have 2 young adult children we still discuss and help out from time to time. We’re not done parenting. Our oldest daughter wants nothing to do with him but he still has a responsibility. We also talk about some of the memories with the kids to keep a positive relationship for the kids, nothing more, and our spouses support that. If neither of them have custody, I would probably wonder if there’s other issues and question having a child with him. If they’re just talking to each other about their daughter, I wouldn’t worry about it. Maybe, they’re hoping to establish a relationship with her.

  • Unknown

    I needed some opinions, advice or recommendations from other stepmothers. I have been with my husband for 5 years. Married for 3 years. He was married before and has 1 daughter with his ex wife. Now I try to be the best step mom I can be but I dont like be taken advantage of or not being appreciated. The ex wife is always texting since the beginning talking s**t about what a whore I was or how I look compared to her and that my husband lost something good when he walked out on her. She thinks she is ghetto and loves to talk through text but when I go with him to pick up his kid she has had many opportunities to tell me something to my face and never has. Through text she says that her daughter hates coming to our house because of me because according to her I make their daughter feel less which is not true. I have a son with my husband and she went on to even tell their daughter that my son was nothing to her. Of course the little girl asked us if that was true. But Karma is a bi**h because the little girl adores her brother and I guess that piss her off more. The ex wife says that we always do more for my son than their daughter which is not. I even plan our family vacations including her which I think I might stop if Im not being appreciated at all. The ex even texted me and said I have to treat their daughter as I treat my son which I dont agree with. Yes I need to respect and love the child but the things I will and would do for my son I wouldnt do for her. Because for that she has her mother. Another thing she is always saying she is going to take us back to court because my husband and I are married her child support would increase since I am the main salary in the house she would get more because they count both our salaries which I know is not true because their daughter is not my responsibility. We always gets text saying how horrible we are especially she is always putting down my husband and etc. can we apply for no contact with this crazy woman? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • Nik

      I’m both the ex-wife and the step-mom. I divorced my abusive, cheating husband. He remarried who he was cheating with. I was not friendly with her in the beginning. My kids hated her. They still don’t like her, and for many good reasons, however, I require them to treat her with respect despite the fact she didn’t respect them enough to leave their married dad alone. We have started to become friendly. I figure it’s going to be important if something ever happens to me–I want my kids to see I am ok with her being mom to them when I’m not there. Also, they now have a child together. When my ex and I were married we mostly argued about him not following through and having enough to do with the kids. He was always getting their hopes up, disappointing them, letting them down. He was always controlling but then his anger with the fighting caused control to turn to abuse. Now that he and his current wife have a baby together, they are fighting and I figure it’s just a matter of time before he’s beating her and she will need to feel safe coming to me to use me as a witness to his history. My husband’s ex, on the other hand, is the psycho ex wife, that acts like they are still married. She was emotionally abusive towards him, she cheated on him and she left him, yet she acts like I’m “the other woman”. And she was remarried with a child by her new hubby before I ever met my current husband. You’re correct that she has no access to your money. Child support is only figured on the parents incomes. At least in most states I know it’s that way, and I suspect it is in all. In fact, since you now have a child together, his child support to her for their daughter would likely decrease slightly. If the ex is name calling and stuff through text to your husband, I wouldn’t worry about it. Your husband can ignore it and really shouldn’t be hurting you by telling you about it. You do not have to treat his daughter the same as your son because he is paying her child support to take care of the majority of her material needs. Technically, child support is figured so that the non custodial parent can financially maintain clothing, shoes and basic needs for their children at their own too. Personally, the way kids grow out of clothes so fast, I think it’s silly to do that and send clothes and supplies with my kids. In return my ex buys school supplies and other things the kids need. Myhusband’s ex has been trying to get my money ever since we got married. It drives her crazy that we don’t support her family as well as ours. She is flippin’ crazy! As far as the ex not being supportive, appreciative, respectful etc, why do you care? Who are you doing it for? If the daughter appreciates it and is respectful and thankful, isn’t that enough? Who cares about the ex? If the daughter doesn’t appreciate it and isn’t respectful, don’t do it. We’ve put a stop to everything for my hubby’s daughter’s, due to their selfishness, using us and treating us like crap, playing games along with their mother. They didn’t even get a Birthday gift this year, only a card, Gma did the same. They are no longer allowed in our home due to stealing jewelry from me and my daughter along with other things. When they visit, they have to stay outside. It’s your home Hun. If she’s truly toxic, there’s nothing you can do. If she’s not, you just sit back patiently, give her room, don’t react to her tantrums. Try to comply with requests that are within reason. The way to tell the difference has a lot to do with the relationship between you and your husband. Did it start out as an affair? Were you the other woman, the one that had an affair with her husband? That kind of betrayal by another woman can make a woman seem like a toxic ex-wife but she’s dealing with a horrific pain the only way she knows how and it almost always gets better unless she truly is toxic. It takes time, sometimes years, but it’s worth the wait because when your two families join as one big whole crazy family, she’ll be thankful to have you in her life and you will be blessed to have her in yours. Believe me, I know. ?

      • Unknown

        Thanks for your reply. Don’t mind it being long at all. Thanks for the insight. Actually we met when he was already separated from her and they were already living in separate houses. The child doesn’t appreciate either like her mother I guess they are training her right at her mothers house because she is just like her mother. She doesn’t even appreciate my husband and he does a lot for her. But I guess that is life. He has learned not to pay much attention to it even though I know deep down it hurts him. This ongoing drama has been going on for 5 years already I thought by now her mother would be over but I guess not. I just think whenever we do things I will just make it my husband, me and my child. Because I don’t like being appreciated at all. Good thing she cant touch my money that is what I thought. Again thanks for the advise.

      • Nik

        Sounds to me like she’s just truly a toxic ex like my husband’s ex-wife. Despite what this article suggests, there is not a thing you can do to deal with them. The best you can do is keep your relationship strong and protect your son from them. My husband was so hurt by his daughters, over and over and finally I decided I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was going to move out until they “grew up” or moved on or whatever. Honestly, I knew when I moved out, it would probably be over but I just couldn’t keep watching them torture the man I love. Then my husband said “No, they are not worth losing my family over. You, your kids and our son are my family now. I only hear from my kids when they want something from me. Youre right, I need to establish better boundaries with them.” It will be hard for him to establish boundaries but your husband will be so much happier not being hurt all the time. Your instinct about it pretty much just being you, your husband and your son now is right. I wish these crazy exes would wake up and realize they are only hurting their own children. I kept it civil with my ex and his girlfriend, finally wife for my kids and now we can all actually enjoy each other’s company for awhile. We had a combined kids’ family photo with me and my husbands son, me and my exes kids, my exes and his wife’s son. The kids I have with my ex wanted pictures with all their siblings, we were in same state at the same time, our spouses agreed it was a great idea, so why not? I pray all the toxic ex-wives (and husbands) wake up and learn to put their kids first or we are going to have a lot of dysfunctional individuals in this world!

      • Marie L.

        Wow Nik… We’ve been on here for a while and I read your reply as well… and didn’t know you have the worst of BOTH worlds :(. . My ex wasn’t the greatest either, he didn’t cheat, at least not that I suspected at the time but he did abandon us without warning. Then after the divorce, he filed and received joint custody of my teenaged son. Still, he is nowhere near as crazy as my husband’s ex wife… !! And no trouble from his current girlfriend as well, confirmed by my son when he is with them. And the relationship between my son and my current husband is great!
        My heart goes out to you that not only you have to deal with a crazy ex wife but a stepmother as well.

    • Loss2

      Wow. Your story sounds exactly like mine. Scary…and hard to live with. I found relief in reading these posts and HOPE knowing I’m not the only one dealing with a mess like this. Court…accusations… Constant drama! I’m an educator and my husband’s ex has pulled every trick in the book. When does it ever end?

  • Jackie

    Morning i were seeking advice and found you. Im married now and my husband is my one and only the one i wanted since i was young but now comes the evil ex wife. He only has one child with her and the marriage only last for 2 year. I love his son like it was my own, but his mother is destoing my marraige. I know she will always be there I KNOW THAT but everytime she sends my husband an email about what his son needs his so unhappy. Because she call him names and even told him his stupid just because he gave his life to God. He really is a better person now when he dicided to be for and with God. But she ask silly things of him like they pay half on everthing theby need and he still pay her money for his sons food, clothes and school but now she want more… what to do because she is bringing me into the picture and i didnt do anything to her?? How can i deal with someone who thinks everything se does is right and that he belongs to her when she was the one who cheated??? She even told her own son that shr only got married to have a child who says that to your own child…. I NEED HELP PLEASE

  • China B.

    This is some of the stupidest advice I have ever seen. First, when you marry anyone, you are NOT marrying their children or their exes. Regarding the other nonsense here, please do not try to get the ex-wife on your side or let her get to know you. Do not engage with her, period. You do not need her approval in any way, shape or form. And definitely DO NOT tell her what she does right. Your opinion of how she parents etc. should not matter to her and you do not want to open the door to her commentary on you…b/c her opinion does not matter. See “You don’t need her approval” above. The rest of this article makes more sense; however, when you study the advice on how to deal with difficult or toxic people, you’ll see a pattern: Minimize contact. This is exactly the opposite of what the author of this article is recommending in suggestions to take the ex out to lunch etc. You absolutely should leave the kids out of it – just b/c their mother is repulsive doesn’t mean they should pay for it. I know this can be difficult and it comes down to a conscious decision to choose to see the kids as their own people. Just as you don’t love them even though they share your husband’s DNA, you don’t need to reject them just b/c they share their mother’s DNA. As much as some desperate ex’s try to suggest otherwise, the truth is that a woman’s children are separate individuals from her. The last piece of advice in this article is really important – your husband made poor choices in the past and he knows it. No need to pour salt in those wounds. Show him some grace. If you cannot forgive him for his past indiscretions, you will never be able to respect him and that will eat away at your relationship. There is one key piece of advice that is missing here: Your husband needs to have boundaries with the ex. For example, if she tries to exert control by showing up at your house anytime, he needs to make it clear to her that is considered harassment or trespassing and she only has permission to show up at 5pm on Wednesdays to pick up the children. Period. Dot. His communication should be limited to topics that require parenting coordination (not all child-related topics do) and it should be via e-mail.

    • Robin

      THANK YOU!!! The husband is the one who needs to manage the x, set the boundaries and expectations. Our role is to love, respect, support and encourage the growth of the new family. We can’t force ourselves on the x’s if they aren’t willing to accept the situation. I tried the ‘olive branch’ and it turned into a whole new area for her to be angry about.

    • Kate

      Glad you said it! I’m so sick of these “authors” talking about how stepmoms should bow down to these crazy exes! They need to grow up and move on, def not the step mothers job to make her feel better. And you are 100% right, you don’t “marry” the ex. She is no longer a part of your husbands family…ie divorce. Thanks for your reply! It’s nice to see someone else has a grip

    • Gloria

      Wow! This response is perfect.

      How much effort are stepmothers supposed to put out to try to fix someone else’s huge mistakes?

      I don’t talk to my husband’s ex and I don’t plan on it. Whatever issues she has are between her and my husband. I had/have nothing to do with it. I’m kind to her children and that’s the end of my responsibilities as a stepmother. She keeps trying to involve me, but I refuse. I don’t see how that is my responsibility. In fact, she is trying to modify her divorce decree to require quarterly visits to a therapist at “my expense” to discuss her children’s emotional state. Damn crazy. Can’t wait to pay a lawyer to defeat her crazy demands.


  • Becky

    Im married a man whos had one daughter. Every time some event about his daughter happen. They (my husband, his ex-wife and their daughter) always took picture together. A falimy picture. 3 only!! no one else… not me, not his ex’s boyfriend, not grandmom, granddad,.. and every time i saw that. Im sad, felt down and cried many time.. i told my husband how i felt about that kind of pictures. He said im over act. I really wonder!!!!! Am i really wrong about that???

    • Sarah

      Hey Becky,
      I do not think you are wrong at all about that. Not at all. I’m married to a man who was married before me. I have two stepchildren. I have for three+ years dealt with and worked through a lot of issues and scenarios of being a stepmother and coping with a biological mother/ex wife out there. It ain’t easy, is it?! I found an incredible website about 2 years ago called Steps for Stepmothers. There is a posting board where really positive stepmothers go to discuss issues. I think you would really benefit from it. The very thing you are writing about in your post is just the thing that is discussed. IMO, what your husband and his ex-wife are doing by taking these photos together is acting like a family. They are no longer family and it sounds like he or she or both of them can’t quite get that. You have every right to be upset and hurt by it and you have every right to tell your husband how you feel about it. I encourage you to check out Steps for Stepmothers. It has done wonders for me. Peace to you.

      • Becky

        Thank you Sarah, I will visit that website. Must be some good tips for me..I met my husband when his daughter was 14. At beginning everything was going well between me and her. We out eat and shop also with her friends many times. But after 2 ys things gone up side down. And was sounds like she don’t like me cause I took her father away from her. I remember once she said, ” I’m no.1 and I want to be only one”. My husband and I (we were not marry yet at that time) tried so hard to take care and explain things. Nothing get better. Until this day she and I are not good friends anymore ..

      • Nik

        Becky, I think your husband is being incredibly insensitive. They are no longer a family and really shouldn’t be acting like one. A picture together very occasionally for child’s benefit is ok but every time is unnecessary imo. My husband’s youngest daughter was 12 when we got together. It seemed like we got along great, but I later realized she was only using me to try to get material things and get information to tell her mother. Now that she realizes she can’t manipulate her daddy to get me out of his life, she absolutely hates me and his horrible to me. Good luck and hang in there. 🙂

  • KRH

    Would love to do something like this, but it is just not an option! My fiancé and I have been together for five years. We are expecting our first child in a few months time. His ex wife refuses to acknowledge anything about me. Won’t allow me around their son if she will be present. No school events, sport events, birthdays or anything else. This has been addressed many times by my partner and he just can’t seem to get anywhere with changing the situation. She even dictates to her son that I am to leave the room in my own house if he is calling her. It just doesn’t seem appropriate especially after so long. She has dragged out the divorce for fours years, which was finalised finally. However, she refuses to get the financials sorted and Denys everything through her lawyers. I am so worried what life our unborn child will have, as I don’t want an innocent having to deal with these things. any suggestions for an ex who refuses to communicate, meet or even acknowledge my presence when standing near one another?

    • Nik

      There is not really anything you can do about an ex like that. Don’t push her and who knows, maybe some day, if she’s not truly a toxic ex, she’ll come around. Til then all you can do is be your fiance’s wife (so to speak) and try to be there for your stepson without stepping on her toes. That being said, your man needs to step up. She cannot dictate what you do in your own home. You mention dealing with lawyers. Get your lawyer involved to put this in writing and make it clear. As for public events she cannot dictate whether or not you attend (make this clear also). That being said, in this case, you and your guy have to decide what’s in the best interest of the young boy. If his mother is going to be going off on him the rest of the night because his soon to be step mom was there, it may be best to just let it go. Of course make sure he understands you’d really like to go but you want to respect his mommy’s feelings so you’re going to stay home and watch video or see pictures and celebrate with him later. He will love you even more for protecting his mom’s feelings. Once he’s older he will see his mom’s crazy antics for what they are and his response will be “I want you there, and if she has a problem with it, then she doesn’t have to come!” You’ll know then, it’s all been worth it. The best advice I can give you is to focus on keeping your relationship strong so her antics don’t have such an impact. If she’s truly toxic, she will try to turn the boy toxic against both of you and trust me, you will need your relationship at it’s best to deal with the horrific things that could come your way. I pray you’re one of the lucky ones and she humanizes again and if she doesn’t, that she is not able to turn their son into one of her pawns. I’ve gone through it first hand and wouldn’t wish it against anyone. Good news is, if you keep your relationship strong and your man is committed to your relationship and not willing to be abused by a toxic ex wife and children turned toxic pawns, you and your children and marriage can survive and be even stronger. Makes the ex even angrier, but the kids grow up and move away and she loses control. 🙂 Hang in there. Blessings to you and baby.

  • Stacy

    It’s nice to see comments that relates to me in many different situations. I’m suppose to be marrying the man I believe is my soulmate in a few months but his X makes it difficult for me to consider. She a nightmare!!!! She walked out on her husband and 2 children for over a year and now wants to play mom when I got a ring on my finger. We’ve been living together now for a year and raising his 2 girls and mine. We’ve never asked for child support but now she wants to do a equal custody 50-50 but on her terms I don’t even see how that’s right for the children and for my fiancé. She copies everything I do for her girls. I feel like I’m in competition. She finally got a two bedroom apartment because we called her out on her having the two children share a small sofa on the two nights she would keep them. She finally gets her children to school on time the one day of the week because I noticed Tardes. I buy them new clothes and shoes so she goes out and does the same. We are having our house built and that drives her nuts. Since the house started to be built she wants custody 50-50 and she wants to slam my name to the children and tell my fiancé he’s blinded I’ve tried many times to make it work with her but she feels everyone owes her she has no family here but she gave up the family she had because she couldn’t be faithful!!! I use to call her up if I was in the area where she works so she could have lunch with her kids and stop by time to time so the kids could see her. I tried my best to be a friend but it’s never enough I can NEVER do enough!! I’m not perfect but I’m not going to keep trying if she can appreciate any effort that I put towards her and her relationship with the children the children love me enough to consider me mommy but I’ve been there for them every day. I’m so tired of the disrespect that she gives towards me and my fiancé and my daughter who is only a year younger than her daughter she’s just really rude and shallow and selfish. I’m worried about this new 50-50 schedule that will start in a few months she doesn’t know how to be a mom more than two days because she will call us if the kids are sick or upset or need diapers she doesn’t know how to do anything on her own nor will she apply herself. The daily discussions and arguments because of her is tearing my relationship apart I just don’t know what to do anymore that’s why I’m just kind of standing back on marrying him till things can smooth out .
    This x wife stuff is NO JOKE!!!!

    • Marie L.

      Hi Stacy 🙂
      Yes, this x wife stuff isn’t a joke! And sadly, it is rare that things just “smooth out”. Most of these ex wives have severely negative personality disorder traits that never get resolved. I’ve been married for 7 years to my husband and although his ex wife’s escapades have drastically reduced after being warned by letter not to harass us anymore, she still manages to try to manipulate her adult children (approaching their 30’s) to disrespect us and they do. Though lately the one does so more than the other. I think one has finally started realizing their mother’s negative and damaging tactics. Sick, demented and evil as she is, she managed to corrupt her own children even though she was an adulteress and the cause for the divorce. .
      I feel that you are wise to take your time and think this through before marrying into this. On the other hand if your fiancée is made of the right stuff and doesn’t allow her to continue intimidating either himself or you and takes the appropriate action legally against her such as pursuing a “Limited Contact Order” unless it’s an emergency concerning the children. (Needing diapers is NOT an emergency worthy of calling an ex husband for when a next door neighbor can do the same.) Then SCREEN all phone calls coming from her forcing her to leave a message. Ignore all “nonsense” calls, texts and emails but save them to use against her as proof, responding back to only the critical ones. Hopefully she gets the message or risks getting into legal troubles. If not, then your fiancée has to step up and play hardball leaving nothing to chance, that is if he wants a marriage with you that can sustain all of this. Along with protecting his children from the parent alienating abuse their mother may bestow upon them.

      • Marie L.

        Adding on..
        Sorry, but when these bio moms use their children as pawns or as excuses to cause trouble between their ex husbands and their significant other, really hits a nerve with me.. they really do poison everyone around them, even their own children, so allow me to elaborate: The fact that if she wants the 50/50, then she must also accept the responsibility as a normal parent including providing everything they will need during the time they are with her. That includes diapers, clothing, food, shelter, transportation and medical care that she can take responsibility for by taking them to a doctor. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize these responsibilities, especially if she’s filing for 50/50. I’m sure she already knows this but is playing games to maintain control.

      • Marie L

        There is one thing I do want to express to you in part of how you mentioned that the children like to call you mommy. That is something that should not be encouraged. As sick as she may be, still, she is still their mother and should not be encouraged to call you mommy no matter how much they want to. Instead have them call you by your first name or It will send off mixed signals and may cause a lot of damage to them.

  • Silver

    This is unbelievable and getting completely out of control. The ex drops off her son tonight and I’m outside minding my own business because I know she’s dropping him off and I know she is going to have a conversation with my husband. And I know I cannot be a part of this conversation so I make myself invisible. I hear them screaming at each other and run into the house. They’re in each other’s faces and she’s calling me a whore. He’s telling her to get out of his house. That’s when I lost it. I apparently charged her yelling at her to get out. My husband grabs me so I can’t get at her (which is good because I was furious). I didn’t want him to do something he might regret while she was prodding him trying to get him to lose his temper. Fortunately, he’s dealt with her psychosis for more than a decade and has learned to control himself. Whereas I, on the other hand, have never met anyone like her in my life and my fuse is very short with her. She and I exchanged words while my husband called the police because she refused to leave. She had to be heard while telling me what a terrible person I am and that I am the reason her daughter and my husband have a failing relationship. She’s 11 and has been “tolerating” me for the past year. We have them every other weekend and enjoy the hell out of each and every one. I even got a voluntary hug from my step daughter the last time she was here. That is a major triumph! We want to take the kids to meet my parents so my husband asked if we could. That started another crazy spell with her. She claims her daughter has no interest in meeting my parents. To my face she says that she’ll never let the kids go anywhere with me. I’ve been nothing but the model step mom and I love both of my step kids. She says I’m jealous, but I’m pretty sure she is the jealous one. My husband and I have a wonderful marriage and we get along famously. We banter back and forth because that’s what we do, but we love each other to the ends of the earth. We met in junior high and found each other again a few years ago and haven’t spent a day apart since. I don’t know what she intends to accomplish with her constant power struggle. I’ve been trying to figure out her master plan, but I’m not devious and manipulative so I have no idea. I can’t imagine that it would be something as transparent as breaking my husband and me up. As amazing as she thinks she is, she’s not that good.
    This is nowhere near the whole story and we’ve only been married a year. I moved my whole life and moved across the country to start a new life with the man I love. My only regret is who he decided to marry over a decade ago. (Btw….just for the record, they’ve been divorced for 10 years, the majority of the kids’ lives).
    Thank you for having this webpage. I know this rant isn’t going to solve anything, but it’s nice to be able to get it out somehow. I don’t want to rant to my husband too much. He has too much stress as it is. And as terrible as this situation is….it’s nice (in some screwed up way) to know I’m not alone.

  • marlies

    I have been married to my husband for almost a year now and I have been on the crazy ex wife roller coaster as well! I read the one with the bi polar ex wife so sounds like my situation! I thought I was the only one. I try to be nice and she flips out , try to give friendly advice and she flips or just acts completely fake. Now, she is suggesting things that I suggested like a year ago that we should all do? Uhh.. it took her this long maybe she finally sees what it is doing to our daughter! She flipped out when our daughter started calling me mom instead of my name. I’m glad she finally got over that. I try to text her and talk to her like I do my friends but no response what should i do? I tried calling straight to vmail or maybe she just blocked me.

  • Gisèle

    I am sad to see how common this situation is… My partner’s ex also blames me for the failure of their relationship, does not want me to look after her children and is still trying to get him to return to her after two years apart. I wish she was open to meeting with me but she has banned me from her email contacts and even forbidden him from saying my name in her presence. I pray she finds a new parter, although I can see clearly she is in no state to create a healthy relationship, because as the very least it would take some of her attention away from me and her attempts to seduce my partner.

    If anyone has coping tools for dealing with such a situation, I would be glad to hear them.

    • Marie L.

      Hi Gisele 🙂
      There are many coping tools depending how serious your circumstance. The fact that there are so many of us is sad, but it’s still comforting to know that you are not alone. ((hugs-to-you)) 🙂 Read through previous posts left by some of us as replies trying to help others especially with ways that we cope.
      Love, Marie L.

      • Marie L.

        Adding on:
        Praying that your husband is a loyal, faithful and trustworthy man, than you shouldn’t have much to worry about when it comes to her “seduction” game. Keeping it in mind that it’s just another one of the many childish games a toxic ex wife will play. She lost her “property” (your husband) and feels the loss of control over “it”. In most cases that’s pretty much the main reason, it’s not love that they really feel, but the loss of their “property” and the control they had over it before. I am quite convinced at this point that these toxic, chronically jealous and insecure women have a severe problem with feeling and experiencing real love.

      • Marie L.

        adding on (sorry, I “add-on” a lot so bear with me 🙂 )
        continuing with my last “I am quite convinced at this point that these toxic, chronically jealous and insecure women have a severe problem with feeling and experiencing real love.”

        When you think of it, it’s quite sad that some of these toxic sick women can’t experience or show real love or empathy for other people. But then again, neither did Hitler. We should actually feel sorry for them to an extent which does help some of us to cope, eventually leading to forgiveness which will be the ultimate healing for us in the end. What I mean by “an extent” is based on the scale of how evil she could be. There will come a day when everybody will be held accountable for their actions.

      • Marie L.

        adding on–>You can’t manipulate, make excuses, lie or justify sins with and before God. He sees through their smoke screen. On the other hand if it helps you to cope by beginning to feel sorry for her instead of feeling threatened, etc, that is if your husband has your back so to speak, then it does help. But since it is difficult for someone who is a victim of this to cope, this is a great place to vent away and release the anger and frustration. Also to know that you aren’t alone and there are many of us here that can give advice. The author of this blog may not be able to offer on a more direct level, which I can understand being that she is a professional and it may be a bit unethical for her without you seeing her on that level. Which is why most of us suggest one on one counseling and/or marriage counseling. 🙂 but posters here including myself may be able to help a bit more with basic advice. 🙂 Then again, there’s only so much you can get from a blog post.

  • KatieC

    What does one do when the above steps were tried and failed? I tried with husbands ex and after about a year I stopped. We are married 3 years, he has a 10 year old precious daughter, I have two sons, and we are a very happy blended unit. My husband is an amazing father and spouse. His ex is medically DX bipolar and he left her a year after his daughter was born because she physically attacked him and it was the last straw for him. She attacked him while he was getting his baby girl out of the vehicle at 2am because bio mom was driving with her while drunk. He pushed his ex wife to the side to get his daughter and she started hitting him. (Of course her story she tells to their daughter is that daddy hit her) he does not have that in him towards anyone. He’s a nice man and he is aware that is the reason he stayed up until that moment. First year of marriage she almost had me fired, wasn’t allowed to brush stepdaughters hair or hold her hand, no allowed to wash her clothes, and the kicker was when she threatened to not allow my husband to see his daughter because he moved me and my two boys in and they might “touch” her daughter. And yet, after everything she did or said, I never once retaliated or bad mouthed her in front of any of the children. First time I met her after her shenanigans I walked up to her, smiled, and introduced myself in front of her and her entire family. Wish I had a picture of her face lol. Year two and three she quoted down here and there but still randomly tries to start things. Recently she told stepdaughter that someone said I make her call me mom. My husband freaked out once we were alone. And just the other day told stepdaughter that SHE (bio mom) tolerates me but doesn’t have to like me. I think I’ve been the one tolerating her. My husband and I are happy and have never fought nor even had a little spat regarding her crazy antics. My one and only issue is that there never was a legal shared custody between them. Just by mutual agreement. So that being said, she dictates when he can drive to get her on his weekend and refuses to give a time as to when to drop her off. Some weekends that are his he is told ex and her husband along with my stepdaughter have plans and
    then we find out there never was any. My husband works out of state and is gone most days of the week and drives long hours to go and get home. The kicker, he’s the only one allowed to get her and must pick daughter up which is 45 minutes away. If he doesn’t go get his daughter he won’t see her for his weekend. This ticks me off because I know she does this on purpose with a smile. My husband has the papers to file and has them filled out but his legitimate fear is ex will keep his daughter out of spite until hearing. She took him for support right before her son was born two years ago so he always pays on time. I just want my husband and stepdaughter and I to have a stable routine instead of the ex controlling the visitation. It’s her last ounce of control and she knows it. How do I get him to file and let God and the universe show him everything will fall into place and be ok. This crazy excuse for a woman needs to stop using her child as a pawn and to leave me alone. I tried to be friendly and she knocked me down everytime or tried to manipulate me. She figured out she couldn’t control me and became irate and trying to find a button to make me go crazy on her. Yes, she did hit a few buttons but she will never have that satisfaction of knowing she upset me.

    • Nikki

      My suggestion is file for state visitation if he’s paying support he’s candidate for at least the minimum visitation. Set in stone, with times & limits, etc or mediation to work a schedule. I have this with my sons father & it’s saved allot of heart ache. My soon to be ex didn’t hsve arrangement either just he was primary & it was constant drama with girls mom too even when they didn’t want to go see her… I’m sry & hope it helps

      • KatieC

        It does help. Thank you. She’s now starting to sling verbal attacks at me hoping it pushes my husbands button for him to engage in a fight with her. We love each other and have great communication so it will never happen. Yes she started using his love for me against him but he’ll never let her know that it made him angry. He’s a very logical thinking man and after a minute or two of getting angry and pacing he’s back down to earth.

  • Nikki

    I’m not sure to post or not. We’re attending marriage counseling today & are seperated 3 months now. I asked for seperation and moved out. I’m a mother of 2 boys & stepmom to 2 girls. The ex wife in hindsight has always been unkind. She started by walking in our home as she owned it & snide remarks at ball games encouraging hubby to consider old flings. She has lied, she consistently calls, texts & plays on his & girls emotion. She has stolen from credit cards, committed tax fraud times two & has had girls steal from our home too things like jewelry from my sons, was first present they bought me & sentimental. She has now stolen from oldest step daughter & wrecked Her credit (she’s 20) both girls have stolen, lie consistently, have behavior & emotional issues galore. My husband is no angel in it as he has never set boundaries & allows whatever she does to continue without filing charges or protecting the rest of us here. It isn’t the only issue in our marriage but after 15 yo stealing lying getting caught drinking at school & deciding to run away & raging at me after I picked her up & brought Her home I asked for seperation. Trust was broken in marriage before all this, my husband & I had been working to repair things from his need to text, fb & chat up women in secret… Is all very hard because I do love my husband but don’t know how to protect myself or my boys in our own home. Bio mom has been to jail, has a history of moving at least yearly, goes to hospital every 30 days (I’m guessing for pain pills) and has had ppl call my phone using my husbands last name (which hasn’t been hers in 10 years). How do I end all this with her? How do I know girls won’t go crazy & steal, lie, cause harm to myself or children now? They both since split live in our home with their father 24/7 & say they regret their actions but social media still shows them running with same thug friends etc… I’m open to criticism & comments but really looking for advice & help as to stay out, go back, or how to view my marriage as salvageable

    • SC

      Im just curious if she has been arrested for the credit card fraud and theft. And there are many things here that have me going no way. I would be asking for court intervention or a court appointed guardian to see whats in best interests of the children. Sounds like you have yours hands full. Marriage counseling is great cause there you can both see if you can save your marriage.

      • Nikki

        She was arrested for stealing from places she was employed, the last was before I was in the picture. She had around $14,000 my husband paid off for her to sign over him being primary custodian. I never understood why he didn’t let her go to jail & file for full rights. None was over credit card. It’s just stealing from employers & shop lifting each time he paid fines. Since I’ve been in picture it’s been directed at him me or kids. She had her daughter take out a loan at 19 & never paid it back, she took all of her money to pay her own bills & wants. It breaks my heart but idk how to fight it as most has been directed at me since marriage. Fun thoughts in the counseling office waiting room. I’m absolutely terrified of this appointment today. Keep me in your thoughts & prayers please

      • Nik

        Hun, the only thing you can do to deal with the toxic ex wife from my experience and in my opinion is to keep your marriage strong and let her get caught in her own little shit games. As far as the kids go, strength, love and trust in your marriage is critical and establishing boundaries and with and requiring respect from those kids is a must! I hate to say it but if your husband has been hiding communications with other women from you, he has essentially been cheating (hiding a relationship, whatever that relationship may be). Cheating doesn’t always have to be sexual. This type of activity is incredibly damaging to relationships. I suggest you focus on this first and foremost. If you want to save your marriage, continue working with your husband but don’t let yourself be a doormat. If he’s not going to change, it’s not worth dealing the rest of your life with an unsupportive husband, a toxic ex wife and horrendous step kids. Cut your losses and start living a life that you are worthy of. Put yourself and boys first!

      • Nikki

        Thank you… Counseling is weekly. She suggests we live seperate until his youngest hits 18. 3 years of dating when we can. She felt nothing can be done with ex, suggested antisocial personality disorder & that being friendly only encourages acts of unkindness to self & kids. So it is possible you can’t work with or be nice to fix things with certain ex wives. She was as perplexed as I am as to how she isn’t in prison on a long term sentence. Long exhausting day. I do think your right on us focusing on our issues with other mentioned issue & we are. I appreciate the thoughts & advice through counseling. It is very sad to be closing this chapter of being married, even if married we are unable to live together due to the issues at hand with safety & making home secure.

      • Nikki jones

        Just an update on ours… We’re divorcing. He won’t resolve boundaries with bio mom & girls are still running wild… I decided enough is enough. He wouldn’t compromise & manipulated things to get me into counseling. Our counselor didn’t suggest reconciling either. I’m glad to be out & hong divorce is over soon. I just couldn’t live in fear anymore & wish everyone better luck than us. Bio moms if truly ASPD ( termed in past sociopaths) can’t be worked with & is best especially if kids are teen or adult to just get out & move on. I’m hopeful it is a fresh start without having to move to get away from them

      • lisa

        Hi Nikki
        Oh your story sounds like so much like mine although i was only in it for under a year. His kids were stealing, breaking in to the house although i think they were already doing that before I came along. I actually had a nervous break down in the end, he left me after i had an outburst one night when i found out he had been telling her the x all our private stuff, i never heard from him again but of course i heard from her, his kids even there friends it was full of abuse.

      • Nikki

        For the record… I’m perusing divorce. He won’t set limits & she’s absolutely not changing not are teens… It is impossible, per my experience & therapist input to deals with aspd (sociopath) ex wife… Only people hurting are children & myself. Praying divorce is smoothe & I don’t have to move from here to get away from him or her or all of it. It’s bad enough I lost my marriage to it. It is very hard to be a 2nd wife or a stepmom & some people, like myself, get the 1 in a million ex who commits crazy harmful acts & crimes & the husband who lets her… Best of luck & my ear is here if anyone needs help getting out of moving on or just a person to relate too.., is helped me much having support. I don’t think we’d of made it out of this without kind souls

    • Nik

      Nikki, Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you. I hope your transition has helped you find some peace in your life, although I know how painful and difficult it can be. Just remember your boys will grow so much stronger and safer because their mom–you–is standing up for her worth!

  • Dawn

    I can’t believe that I am even typing this but I feel like I am at the end of my rope. My husband and I have been married for 3 years. We have been together for 5 years. The problem is this his ex wife continues to constantly attack my husband and myself. She states she needs to have a relationship with him. The problem with that is she wants to text h at 10 o’clock at night about how an old friend of theirs is going great things. I have 2 children from a previous marriage and I would never think about sending a text to my ex about one of out friends from the past. Ex wife has verbally attacked me does not want me to have anything to do with the kids like for example if he is at work I am not allowed to discipline the kids (make them have a time out). The kids are getting older and they always have a blast when they arw here. Which is not very often because we all love so far apart. She statdd that i never let the kids have alone time. So i step aside and let them have all the time they want alone with him. Then she flips it around and says that I dont pay them enough attention. I am damned if i do and damned if i dont at this point. I just feel that she is the one who wanted a divorce from my husband. He caught her in bed with someone else but we are the bad people. I don’t know if any of this even makes sense. I just feel like I am going to scream. I love my husband and I would do anything for him. I feel like she coming in between us. I have asked him to have her stop attacking me. That if they need to talk they should be talking about the kids and leave me out. I am not sure where to go from here. My kids leave for the summer and they will be here which I am excited about because they will get all the attention they need. But we have been down this road before and it gets turned on us because the kids had no one to hang out with. I need some advice. I am building more and more walls everyday. I don’t want that.

    • Yulia

      Hello Dawn, why don’t you try to become friends with her? Invite her over lunch or smth 🙂 Sounds crazy, but u have things in common, you are both mothers. By establishing dialog, you may slowly establish boundaries you want, as she will get to know you better and may like you 🙂
      Another thing getting her a bfriend would be good 🙂 as she would be busy with him, instead of texting messages to your husbant, as she sounds like she is a single person at the moment.

      • Dawn

        Yulia thank you for response. I assure you I have tried being her friend. She also has a boy friend. Honestly don’t know what do to. But thank you.

      • Jenee

        Yeah, my husbands ex wife HATED me for no reason for years but I think it’s because she wanted him back ( she left him ) but after she finally found herself a man she backed off and we became civil. We would talk for an hour, go shopping together, have joint birthday Parties and everything. Then the children decided they hated her new husband so then she turned them against me saying I was the reason they got divorced and if I was out of the picture her and my husband would get back together. So needless to say I do not have anything to say to her. I do not want her in my house I do not want her breathing the same air as me. Hearing her voice makes my skin crawl!!!! My husband and I have been together over 12 years now and I still can’t deal with his ex. Mostly because she’s still in love with my husband and everyone knows it!!! Good luck to you girl. I hope you and the ex wife can get along. It is not easy being the new wife!!!

      • SC

        I am seeing that exact same thing. She has told him that it should have been her that has this life with him. They have not been together in 6years. We have been together for 3years. She only started back in her childs life when she found out we were getting married. She has told chris he could do better than me. I have nothing i can say to her. I agree with you.

    • Marie L.

      Most ex wives that are truly considerate do not look for ways to antagonize the situation. Being “friends” can be helpful ONLY if the ex wife knows the boundaries and doesn’t “feel” inclined to upset the balance and respects (key word is respect) the situation mutually, when it comes to her stand, the father’s stand and the step mom’s stand. With an honest intention and without resentment due to personal, unresolved issues due to chronic jealousy, etc , for the mental health of the children that are involved. They respect boundaries and realize that any positive person in their child’s life that shows love is a GOOD thing. And not something to compete over or become overly and outrageously jealous of.

      Unfortunately, I agree with a former poster here who said, that type of ex wife is an exception, NOT the norm.

      My advice to you is the next time she attacks you is to keep your cool and ignore, ignore and then ignore some more. To let all interaction be done between her and your husband, to your husband. It is his battle to fight, not yours. Yours is to be supportive to him, (but NOT a doormat) and to be maternal towards the children in caring for them. Even discipline should be more his job than yours. If her behavior gets worse, I hope your husband will take legal, affirmative action against her by at least limiting the contact to only emails, etc and only concerning the children.

      • Dawn

        Marie L. Your right most ex wives are not like that. I am a ex wife and I know without a doubt that I have to trust my ex husband to take the best care of my daughter. I think the biggest thing is she has lost all control of my husband and wants to control all aspects of her life including the kids. As far as discipline is concerned I totally agree he should be the one who does that. But sometimes when the kids are swinging at each other and he is not home someone needs to stop them lol….at the end of the day all I want is to live in peace and not feel like I have to be on the defense.

      • Marie L.

        So am I, being an ex wife myself. My ex husband has a girlfriend and just as long as she is good to my teenaged son, that’s all that matters.

        It’s astonishing (and frightening to some extent ) how situations like this are so similar to so, so, SO many out there.

        My suggestion is to certainly break up the fight, etc, when your husband is not there and keep them apart either by interacting them with something else, etc., then wait for their father to come home to discipline them. I hope and pray he does it with the intention of really lovingly correcting them and not either evading, pacifying or leaving the situation entirely up to you. Because that not only sends the wrong message to his children, it is not fair to you to put you in that position entirely.

      • Dawn

        The whole correcting them has come with time and I know that it will get better. When the kids have gotten corrected they call their mom and everything usually goes into some kind of war. Life has not been easy keeping my mouth shut is hard at times. I have learned that it is better. I feel better talking about it on here makes me feel not alone. Like I stated before just want things to go smoothly while they are here and just want everyone involved has a great time.

      • Marie L.

        Vent away dear 🙂 They are many of us here! Don’t forget to have a good time yourself, not just everybody else. This is an enormous burden and struggle and you’re important too. Don’t get lost in the shuffle.

      • Dawn

        Thanks for the reminder. We often forget to have fun. I know I am usually trying to make sure everyone is not upset or filling left out of something.

      • Marie L.

        Hi Dawn 🙂 I came back here and read over your post and the part: “The whole correcting them has come with time and I know that it will get better”.

        I can’t help but get the feeling that it’s lacking there. I know what that feels like too, if that’s is the case. My adult aged “stepsons” were disrespectful to both their father and myself and continue to be. They are both highly influenced by their bio mom who “wore the pants” even when married to their father. She in turn raised her sons to be co-dependent towards her to make herself feel better about herself. It resulted in the same immature, blame shifting characteristics in her children that In turn, turned them into duplicates of herself. They still have no real grown up responsibility for themselves or respect for others, especially their father and me. They are basically still children even though they are approaching their 30’s. And I hate to say it, the situation isn’t entirely the ex wife’s fault, but also their father who allowed her to do this. Now one is in constant trouble with the police, has warrants against him in 3 states and is addicted to drugs and is pretty much a fugitive. He still continues to blame everyone else but himself for his situation. The other lives with his mother, has been going to school for years and years with nothing to show for himself but the inability to be able to be independent enough to live completely on his own. And if he does get a “real” job, he’ll probably spend a lot of his life paying off all the student loans he accumulated.

        So, it is very, very important that your husband assumes the role as a parent, not a “friend”. And one who expects respect coming from his children and nothing less. Otherwise they will be disciplined accordingly.

        My husband had slid into a more receptive, being a friend instead of a parent type dad and would try to use that method instead to combat the bio mom’s lies and blame shifting. He was very lax in discipline for quite some time which is the worst thing to do. The only alternative and relief to this was the fact that he finally recently realized the situation was unhealthy for him, I, our marriage and especially, his adult sons to continue this way. Unfortunately, it’s too late. They are now way past grown adults and have to learn the importance of being responsible pretty much on their own along with being over-run by a highly manipulative and chronically insecure and jealous mother.

        And if I didn’t mention, he wasn’t the one that initiated the divorce. His ex wife was an adulteress and refused to end the affair. It was her that caused the divorce but she still manipulated her children against their father.

        Like I mentioned… I hope and pray that your husband doesn’t fall into that same trap. That he reinforces the role as being a father, especially if they are still young. That he doesn’t get intimidated by their mother and guides his children to learn the value of respect. At least they will get a strong foundation from him.

      • Marie L.

        My own little add-on was finding out that the eldest son does still live part time with his mother when we thought he had other more permanent arrangements. Guess that was just another fib. What is important though is that his dad has finally stood his ground. His son must learn to be a grown up, independent adult in spite of it. And he can no longer live with us. Nor will we tolerate his lack of respect for us and our home. There are many people in this world that never had good role models so to speak and still live productive lives.

      • Dawn

        Your right Marie kids needs role models. My husband calls and speaks to the kids all the time and tries very hard to be apart of their lives when they aren’t here. I feel bad for him because most of the time they won’t give him the time or day unless they want something from him. He pays 2200.00 in child support and 1000.00 a month in alimony and she still has the kids call for new shoes clothes etc. Which we don’t mind most of time but she states she carries the financial burden for the kids and he has to help more. I get floored when she pulls that cause most of time he does give her more. I don’t know how someone can control someone by using the kids to get what they want. She keeps them under her finger makes them call her every night before bed and sometimes during the day. So he can never really have alone time with them cause she is always making sure she is in the picture some how.

      • Dawn

        Hi Marie…well I am going to start off by saying that everything you wrote was like reading my last 5 years. I would love for my husband to take a more active role in discipline when it comes to the kids. He normally waits until he is about to loose his mind before he does anything. You are right about if he doesn’t it will turn out bad. They already think they can say pretty much whatever they want to him. I informed him that I do not let my kids talk to me disrespectful and I will not allow them to. She tries to control everything we do and up to this past year did control my husband when it came to the kids. I remember they came up for summer break once and went back and told their mom that I had hit their father. She called ranting and raving about how I shouldn’t put my hands on him in front of the kids. We couldn’t believe that they had said that. So we spoke to them and sure enough they said that they saw me put my hand on his shoulder and thought I had hit their father. They later admitted it was all a lie. I have tried like I said to not say much. But it seems sometimes that keeping to myself is the best way to keep from loosing it completely. Thanks again

      • Marie L.

        Well, for starters, I know it’s an extremely difficult situation that is almost impossible to handle alone. Ignoring the ex wife’s escapades is one thing and it is highly recommended to do so as a result. That is when it comes to your reaction directly towards her. But it doesn’t mean that you should put yourself into a position where you are not heard or alienated. So no, I don’t think you should just shut your mouth about it. That could lead to a great deal of resentment that compiles over time towards your husband along with basically turning yourself into a doormat to his children. Remember, you are a precious child of God and deserve the right as a wife to be loved. On the other hand, having a realization that you can support your husband and urge your husband to do the right thing when it comes to his children, but it is ultimately up to him to actually do so. Suggesting to go to a counselor may be a good start to help him realize this. If he doesn’t go, then maybe you can go alone at least to help you cope with all of this. Whatever you do, please don’t alienate yourself or succumb to a resolution that you are “stuck” with this for the rest of your life. If anything, YOU can be strong and overcome. 🙂

        In this situation, I have grown more faith, perseverance, wisdom and trust in God than ever before. It has been a long road but it is extremely helpful to surround yourself with friends (from church, etc), to get help from counseling, to let go of anger and frustration on blogs like this one instead of harboring it and to grow more and more stronger in this. Along with the hope that you will come through on the other side. 🙂

    • KatieC

      At least she allows the kids to be with you when husband isn’t home. Lol. My husbands crazy EX will not allow that with his daughter and I. It’s been 3 years with us also.

  • SC

    So i have a different situation. I have been in a relationship for 3years now. We are getting married in a few months. About a year ago we were contacted by the ex. They were never married but have a child. He has full sole custody of his child and mother only has supervised visitations. There’s quite a bit of negative history and mental health issues with the mother. She has made it clear that she would like to see her son. Now here is where senario is vastly different. When we got together it had been over a year since she had seen her child. Then another year went by before she came to a birthday party. So in essence she had gone almost 2 years without seeing him. She left the birthday party and almost another year passes before we get to where we have been for the last 10 months. he decided to do about 6to 8 weeks if texting or phone call before he would even allow his child to have a phone conversation with her. Then we graduated to public park and restaurants. Now she called 3 times to talk in the phone and 2 times in a public place. So since July of last year she had seen him 5 or6 times. He turns 7 this year. So now the new conversation is that she cant handle seeing her ex with his new family. That she sees him and the life he has created and has with me and cant take it. I know she is jealous, i know she has unresolved feelings. I have been the only mom he knows for the last 3 years. How do i tred without hurting this poor child. I know she will leave again. I know she will hurt this child again emotionally.

    • Marie L.

      Well, realistically, even though it is difficult, I suggest that you don’t interfere with the relationship she is trying to regain with her child, regardless if she has unresolved issues, it is best that you take a step back. If you try to interfere with it, it may show the child that you are trying to keep the child away from his bio mother and may cause more harm than good. Although, what I do suggest as well, is to keep a close watch to make sure that she doesn’t try to alienate the child’s father or you by trying to set the child against either of you, which is common when it comes to overly jealous and toxic ex wives. That can be viewed as child abuse. In turn, always keep a positive view in front of the child when it comes to the mom.

      Good luck and God bless.

      • SC

        So we have had a few visits since this post. Due to her lack of contact in the last few years, she has very akward and limited conversations with her child. She was recently asked if she and her new boyfriend would like to visit at our home and she could see his new room and toys. She informed chris that it was too hard for her. That she sees the life he has built with me and its to much for her to deal with. She told him that it should have been her. She has very little to say to me ever. I always say hello when i in see her and i always tell her good bye and i hope she had agood visit. She also told chris recently to tell me that she appreciated everything i have done and thanked me for taking such good care of her child. Now me being the type of woman that i am i was offended. If another woman was caring for one of my children, I would be telling that woman myself thank you. It was as we found a ploy on her part to cause problems and make herself look better to Chris. There are things she has said to her child that we both have questioned her why would you say that to a 6yr old. He has talked on the phone to his bio and there have been whispered conversation where he has said daddy doesn’t like this or that. Or he calls her annoying or stupid. Last time we met she was vulgar to chris in a public restaurant. Its just a train wreck because he doesn’t want her to flip out and start using her child as a pawn. I have say she needs very clear rules and boundaries. If you don’t tell her when to stop or whats not ok she will continue. I am just trying to keep my footing and not sink.

  • JJ

    My husband and his ex-wife, who is toxic, were married for 9 years and had no children together. She was abusive and controlling during their entire marriage, and their divorce was an ugly, drawn-out affair. He and I have been married for almost 14 years and have 3 children together, and to this day, the ex continues to harrass and torment me. She has made obscene phone calls, threatened me and our children, and is a general nuisance. She spent the first 2 years of my marriage destroying my relationship with my husband’s family, even going so far as to telling his family that our oldest son doesn’t belong to my husband. My husband has confronted her in the past, to which she replied with a laugh, “Now would I do something like that?” She refers to me as his whore and his “legal secretary”, which is really bizarre! I do not respond to her and never have, but after a decade and a half of abuse, I have finally had enough. My children do not know their family because of this monster’s behavior and I still suffer from abuse from my in-laws. I feel so alone! I love my husband so much, but I don’t think I can make it through this. I’m beginning to feel vulnerable, and want to ensure my children’s well-being and happiness. Sometimes, I feel that my husband doesn’t even try to understand the depth of my feelings. I was never married before, so he can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be “second best”. I really need help and/or advice from someone who has been in a similar situation.

    • Marie L.

      Well, the one thing I can reassure you with is that you are definitely NOT alone. It may help you to know that… 🙂 As far as your husband is concerned and how he is handling the situation, I know what that feels like too, as well as knowing that some husbands can be in denial of the real problem because of fear, intimidation, manipulation and/or pride in connection to the ex wife. A lot of times the husband carries his own baggage from his prior marriage into the new one. There could be many reasons for this. I think it would be fair to say that most of the time it has to do with a deep rooted shame and insecurity in knowing that they allowed their ex’s to rule him the they do. So they compensate with the new wife, sometimes way, way, way too much. Also, I’ve read in other blogs that some husbands may even miss the drama they had with their ex and can get bored with a normal, quiet wife.

      Have you considered marital counseling? If you have in the past and your husband doesn’t want a part of it, you may want to consider going alone to a counselor. Not because YOU are wrong, but just getting outside help to deal with this horrible situation. There is only so much someone can help you from a blog post, though, they are great places to release and vent the anger and frustration by writing it out here. Along with counseling, I would also suggest to surround yourself with female friends and family who do support you along with connecting yourself with a local church.

      This scenario is NOT EASY and is extremely difficult for all of us… that is the reason why most 2nd marriages do not last 75 percent of the time and it’s all due to the toxic ex wife. So it would be fair to say, you are not over-reacting. Hang in there hon…

      • Marie L.

        Also, I forgot to add (I do that a lot here :), as well as walk away from my pc a lot, so bear with me.. :):

        Some husbands may also like the attention they get coming from both the ex and the wife, as well as the ex wife having the power to make you crazy as well… So I then say, don’t give attention to it, especially towards the ex wife. Ignore her. And if your husband reinforces the need for that negative attention, don’t let it rattle you. His job is to protect you from that and f he’s not doing his job, then you have a right to protect yourself from it by not feeding that negative wave of attention coming from either of them. You are loved by God, therefore someone very precious and special. And know that. 🙂

      • Marie L.

        ADDING ON: (sorry, again)

        The reason why I am emphasizing more on the problem with your husband is because gathering from what you wrote, he shares no legal obligation to his ex wife. There are no kids and the marriage many years ago.

        So the question is, why is he even allowing her to continue her harassing behavior towards you. Where is the “No Contact Restraining Order? Where is the Cease and Desist Order? Especially now that you have children with him and they are being affected by her.

        I am not saying you shouldn’t love your husband, you certainly should. But it is HIS job to protect you and his children from this. This is an ex wife that he has no obligation to. There are no children from this woman involved. The only connection they HAD was they were married and divorced several years ago. He needs to step it up.

        If he doesn’t, then you have the right to protect yourself and your children from this. If I were you, I would make logs of every single harassment related incident towards you, whether it’s slander or harassing phone calls. Then go to your nearest police station and file either a “No Contact Restraining Order or a Cease and Desist Order against her. With or without your husband. Hopefully with.

      • lisa

        Hi Marie, what are the other blogs you are referring too? wouldn’t mind having a look.:-)

      • Marie L.

        I haven’t posted to other blogs aside from this one for quite some time (several months), that I can’t recall others off the top of my head right now. Because this is such a topic that can be no longer be ignored, there are quite a few of them to keep track of through the years.

        Many women are suffering tremendously and it’s not because they can’t “go to lunch”, it’s because the ex’s in their lives, especially the female ex is set out to destroy, not befriend, or even have a mature capability to sustain a normal, civil relationship with boundaries as other divorced couples do with a real interest and concern for their own children. They don’t seem to understand what boundaries are and they keep their children (minor or adult) as co-dependents towards themselves to make themselves feel better about themselves. Hence, the blame shifting continues in the children instead of taking a grown up responsibility or even learning how to do so. In turn, they make “duplicate” copies of themselves. It’s sad and this is happening ALL the time. Everywhere. There’s too many to count. So I’ve lost track.

        Besides, keeping to just one blog from time to time is better than spreading out, and also due to the fact that this one is quite popular. I have read many situations here not only very similar to mine, but there are compounded with an arena of advice, even though the author may not be able to give it herself. For now, this is good enough. As for myself, I have grown tremendously in faith, strength, perseverance and wisdom. All through grace that has poured on me directly from God.

        I suggest, keep reading here. Although I come here off and on it is still filled with many, many others going through this same horrible situation that can help you as well. 🙂 I prefer not to be singled out. 🙂

      • Marie L.

        Sorry Lisa, when I got back to my pc, I realized I had gotten distracted and misread your question. I thought meant posts I posted in the past. Now I realized you meant what I read.

        There is a site but it is a secular site, which I try to avoid most of the time because they stress more on separation and divorce than trying to gain faith and perseverance in the situation. Divorce may be imminent in SEVERE cases of emotional and physical abuse, which is NOT my case. Though did have fellowship with married women who did find themselves in such conditions in which I did support them for the sake of peace and safety. Though I do not push divorce if individual faith, strength and perseverance is what is needed.

        Also, to give warning to some that may be dating (not married) a man who has a chronically jealous and toxic ex wife to know what they may be in store for and to consider it strongly before marrying him.

        I’m not sure if I’m allowed to post a link to it here, and if I’m not allowed,, Laura please free to delete this part… :—> You can google it: The Good Wife – Who’s helping you, when his ex is a borderline”

      • Donna

        I’ve been with my spouse now for four years, and his ex-wife is still angry, bitter, and down right vindictive.

        I, too, have learned so much about myself and what my marriage means to me, and quite frankly, no one can change the ex-wife or her behaviors.

        I’ve not met the ex-wife, nor do I care to. Not because I am a rigid person, but because I am a firm believer that how ones relationship with the ex-wife or husband is, is a barometer to how the new wife/husband’s and ex- will be. If the ex-wife and my husband can’t co-parent together, why would ours work?

        Solution: BOUNDARIES. I cannot, and will not meet this ex-wife unless I have a lawyer or judge present. She has called CPS twice, the police once, and has told her children she will beat me up. Childish? Yes. Workable relationship? No.

        I don’t believe the bad-mouthing, parental alienation, or slandering will end. TRUTH: some people are impossible to deal with. They are high-conflict people, who thrive on drama, live to put others down just to build themselves up. They are damaged people. Possibly suffering from some personality disorder, and have had numerous failed relationships.

    • KB

      JJ I can honestly say I understand your feelings. Nobody can understand this nightmare unless they have lived it and sometimes people find it hard to believe that an ex would take that much time to invest in the new wife. I lived the nightmare and currently dealing with an ex-wife but my emotional approach is different now. Let me tell you how to get that monkey off your back. Do you remember when you got married and you took your vows it said for better or worse? This might appear to be part of the worse but this should make your marriage stronger if you are looking at the situation differently. I know it sounds crazy but here me out. If you can bear 13 years of harassment you and your husband should be able to withstand anything. It doesn’t sound like your husband is protecting and defending his family. The only reason I could say this is because you wrote in how you feel about this ex-wife after 13 years. 13 years?? This shouldn’t be an emotional rollercoaster for you 13 years later. This ex-wife is your husband’s baggage and he is not listening to your feelings and doing something about it. Until he treats this woman like she has Ebola, not feed into his family’s relationships with her, stand up to his family for disrespecting you and your children you will always have these troubles and feelings. The ex is winning because nobody will tell her where to get off. Sometimes family enjoys drama. Sit your husband down and talk not argue with him and devise a game plan that will create this imaginary brick wall between your family and this ex. I suggest you come up with a list of questions that you want answers to and ask him how you can help him to make your marriage stronger. This ex is not relevant!!! Remember that. You have been married for 13 years and have the 3 children. She obviously has no life. After 13 years she’s still acting a fool? Your husband has to be willing to fight for his marriage, protect his family and you have to hold your husband to it. If he is not willing to do that you might want to seek counseling to address the issues. We did and it helped. He needs to step up and talk to his family and straighten that crap out. If they want to be a part of her life so bad and disrespect you he needs to pull away from his family until they respect you and your children. Once he starts to stand up for you and your children you will feel a load lifted off of you, you will not feel so alone, you will not feel frustrated and angry. It will make your marriage stronger. Trust me you will be happier once your spouse has your back and makes you the #1 person in his life. We do more together now than ever before. The ex brought my husband and I closer. I can honestly tell you my husband’s ex doesn’t bother us anymore. It took us 3 years to get to this place. She continues to do the craziest things and we just laugh because we feel sorry for her. Also, don’t remind your husband of the ex. He doesn’t want to hear that constant reminder of how he picked a crazy woman to be in his life. He made a major change when he married you. Make time for your husband. Make sure he feels loved and supported. The average man is not going to say honey I want to talk about how my ex makes me feels. The average man will try to block her out mentally. Sometimes we keep harping on the ex and they are trying to forget about it. We can drain our husbands also, make them feel worthless and they shut down. Make time for your husband, don’t argue with him about someone he can’t control and watch how things change. If you are Christian, check out the book Love Dare. Amazing book!! It’s a 40 day challenge to repair marriages. Don’t let this ex destroy you or your marriage. Take back your power because you have given it all to the ex that’s why she gets under your skin 13 years later.

  • cate

    I have sadly maybe not dealt with things the best… I tried to encourage initially the kids to get that their are two sides.. however ive watched a malicious ex wife do everything she could to discredit my fiance even though he went through a bad time.. in almost 4 yrs weve caught up and got current on child support and paid in over 37k … however he doesn’t see the kids… they are alienated and she is seen as the perfect mother.. she also has the support by his sisters who come from a dysfunctional family and who haven’t spoken to their brother in well over 7 yrs.. none of them know what hes been through or care… he is not a criminal or does drugs or drinks yet they think he does thanks to the ex… they cant forgive him and sadly the kids constantly belittle and berate him.. I can only think they learned it somewhere.. but you know… they hate me too and have never met me and do not know me.. I merely helped get the child support up and going again and youd think shed appreciate that …she doesn’t.. they don’t… its hurtful to both of us.. and we just continue to do the right thing.. he deserves a relationship with his kids but it seems too late… we aren’t bad people – and sadly it doesn’t have to be this way —- im tying to find ways to let go and not let his toxic ex-wife consume us and our lives…

    • Nik

      It’s kind of hard to understand what exactly is happening. Is the ex really toxic or is she and the kids unforgiving of the past? You mention your fiancé went through some bad times and having been behind on child support at one time. It sounds like you are a great influence helping your fiancé meet his responsibilities but unfortunately there is still a long ways to go to repair relationships. Sometimes there’s just been too much damage done and the children aren’t willing to risk getting hurt again. Just a thought. I have older children that remember things their dad did and didn’t do and they have as little to do with their dad as possible. Our younger children are too young to remember the things he did and didn’t do but they are getting old enough to realize they can’t count on him and it’s starting to impact his relationship with them. Keep doing what you’re doing and understand that while you’re both doing the best you can, you may not be able to change things. However, if he really does want to change things with his kids, the best thing he can do is to talk to his kids, apologize for not meeting their needs or being there or whatever the case may have been, and letting them know that he’s doing everything he can to make sure it never happens again. He can ask them “what can I do to help our relationship?” It shows them that he is serious about wanting a positive relationship with them. If the ex is truly toxic, there’s not much you can really do but let her get caught in her own pathetic games. If she’s not really toxic, she’ll come around as she begins to trust you and your fiancé and that will come with seeing a positive relationship develop with the kids. Best wishes!

  • Joan

    Been reading all these posts and find them very interesting as I’ve recently found myself in a situation I never imagined I’d be in. I’m in a relationship (about 10 months now) with a fantastic man who has an evil ex. They have a court decreed maintenance and access plan that he follows very diligently, but she is constantly harassing him for more money; money that he does not have. I recently bought a house and he moved in with me. I then decided to go back to study full time and hence he is paying the monthly bills. I paid for the house and he pays the gas, electricity and recycling. She’s started being extremely nasty towards me – spreading rumours about me sponging off him, taking away from their kids and causing their kids to suffer. she has also sent him a few very nasty emails referring to be being financially dependent on him and hence intruding on the welfare of their kids. This is a woman who was let go from her job and now relies on social welfare and maintenance from my partner. I am also someone else’s ex wife and have absolutely no animosity towards my ex husband’s new partner so I just can’t understand this behaviour. It’s very upsetting and I’m tempted to lash out and set the record straight but my partner thinks ignoring her is more effective as the woman thrives on conflict and a reaction would only fuel her behaviour. Any advice, ladies? Should I fight or ignore? thanks.

    • Nik

      Ignore. Hold on tight girl cuz you’re in for quite a ride. If there’s time to rethink your decision, you still may want to run, despite the wonderful man he is, you will begin to resent him for bringing this horror into your life. She believes she has a right to your money in addition to all of your man’s. She will constantly spread horrible rumors about your honey not paying a dime of child support although he is obviously paying above and beyond. You are really in a no win situation and the best advice I can give you is to focus on your love of yourself and your man so that her games don’t hurt you or come between you and your man.

    • KB

      Joan the best advise I can give you is ignore. Do not give in to her foolishness. Once you engage the fight is on. Let her say whatever she wants. Women don’t roll in the mud with pigs.

  • lisa

    hi there yes i remember you, you helped me a lot. im actually not messaging him at all on fb, he deleted me when he accused me of damaging his car and the kids started sending abusive messages. this new woman once sent him a message whilst we were together and i queried him on it, he told me she was friends with him and his x wife? hmmmm i know i shouldnt be looking at his fb page, i feel so rejected like whats this woman got that i don’t? why is his x allowing him to be with a new woman when she gave me and him so much grief. why did he tell me she wont allow him to be with anyone. maybe he ended is as i wanted a child and time was running out for me?

    • Marie L.

      Hi Lisa 🙂
      “i feel so rejected like whats this woman got that i don’t?”

      Answer: She has a very unstable man who has an anger problem along with an overly jealous and manipulative ex wife with control issues who may now be trying to “cover up” her bad behavior with this new person in her ex husband’s life. Many toxic women like this can “pretend” to be nice on the outside to save face from “looking” bad. But inside they are really seething. Sweetie, most likely, it will be only a matter of time with this new one too.

      Regardless though, you REALLY ought to concentrate on putting this behind you. 🙂

  • lisa

    So after 8 months of us being split up, when I thought we had split up cos of his evil x and crazy kids, I find out he was pretty much with someone else 6 weeks after and seeing her. I cannot believe this, he told me she wouldn’t let him be with anyone and then he had to fix his kids then straight into another relationship, whats wrong with me? this woman sent him a facebook message one night i queried him on it, he said it was a mother whose kids hung out with his, i was still very suss. I know the kids are friends but……i feel so rejected, why isn’t the x wife carrying on now about this one?

    • Marie L.

      Hiya Lisa,
      Remember me hon? The question I need to ask is why are you even looking at his FB page? The best thing you can do for yourself is to BLOCK him within your FB settings. That would help you in closure. This guy was just not meant to be… His ex wife wasn’t the only “toxic” one, so was he. I actually feel sorry for whoever this new woman is…and her kids! I wouldn’t be surprised if one day she also finds herself posting here!

      • Marie L.

        Adding on (sorry, I walk away from pc a lot) The only thing that is “wrong(?)” (I wouldn’t call it something “wrong”) with you is that you are finding it hard to gain strength to close this chapter and move on with your life.

        The first thing you ought to do is to fight the temptation to check up on him by looking at his FB page, etc. and the continuation of trying to keep some sort of contact with him. You really should stop that.

        I understand that everyone grieves in different ways. Break ups can be very hard.. And some grieve longer, where others, much shorter… You are one that grieves longer. And that’s ok… 🙂 But in your case, you need to turn your
        “grief into relief”.

      • Marie L.

        And thank God that you didn’t marry the man!!! He was just a boyfriend, though as serious as the relationship was… he was just a boyfriend. Imagine if you did marry him and had to suffer years and years of this. From what you wrote before in months past, he sounded like those types of men that don’t ever support their new wives and allow their ex wives to torture them relentlessly. Then they basically turn their new wife into a housekeeper, baby sitter and scapegoat… So imagine that instead and consider yourself lucky.

  • Marie L.

    Hello everyone again..
    🙁 I had a bit of a set back in my situation. My hubby’s ex wife had called on our landline for a stupid reason even when warned not to by letter by my husband. In the past she liked to try to “mediate” phone calls between her adult sons and their father (1 is approaching 30 and the other is in his later 20’s and don’t live with us) She claimed that her son couldn’t get through to us and she called for him. A few moments later, he then “magically” was able to get through and called us on his own cel phone. Now mind you, she hasn’t done this in quite some time. Smells kinda funny, like she’s testing the waters or something and is up to her old tricks again. The distressing part is that my husband seemed to handle it in a similar way like before, without enforcing his own rule of her to stop harassing us with nonsense phone calls because she has no legitimate reason now that all legal bindings are over. It was just one call so far, but how many normal parents do you know that are divorced that “nonsense” call for their approaching-middle-aged- adult children that live on their own? And she had done this several times in the past before to stir up trouble.

    I am not sure how to handle this now. I’m thinking about breaking my own rule and interfering. I told him from now on let me handle her if she calls. I am not afraid to calmly tell her straight to her face that if this behavior continues, we will take legal action and file a “no contact” restraining order against her, period. And then enforcing it if she does again. With or without my husband. I live here too.
    Pray for me ladies… thanks! 🙂

    • Marie L.

      ADDING ON… For those of you that don’t know my situation and feel that I am over-reacting (read my prior posts), believe me, I’m not. This one call IS a cause for alarm. She pretty much did everything in her power to destroy whatever relationship left between her sons and their father. She is an evil, manipulative and envious woman. So I have good reason to be concerned.

  • Sarah

    the above advice is a recipe for disaster and a road to being a doormat. You’re essentially saying to compliment, respect and make friends with a person (which is smart if you are dealing with a normal adjusted individual). For most women I’ve met, a well adjusted, kind ex-wife is the exception, not the rule. I would like some advice on how to deal with a toxic, manipulative, jealous, insane ex-wife who in return has manipulative, jealous, problematic children??? Being nice has not worked.

    • Nik

      You can’t reason with a crazy toxic, manipulative, ex-wife. Doesn’t matter how nice you are, they will only find a way to use it against you. The only way to deal with them is let them get caught in their own crazy sad game. I tried the be nice to her game for 4 years. I lifted her up in prayer. I spoke positively about her around her children even though she was trashing me. She constantly used it against me. They find this as weakness and continue their games as long as you continue to give them the power. Playing nice gives them the power. I knew from my husband’s kids comments that his ex was stalking my Facebook page and was always careful not to put something that might “set her off”. Well, after my husbands father died, she went too far. The family respectfully asked that she does not come for the funeral (because of drama she created at his mother’s funeral). She was told she could come to the visitation. She went over the line when she showed up anyways so I made a very general and polite FB post about divorce and funeral etiquette–how the ex family member should approach going to a funeral if they want to go which linked to an article. in all honesty, when my ex-husband’s grandmother passed away, I struggled with how to approach it and wished I had found the article sooner. My father in law had just passed away and of course she did not follow proper etiquette. My ex husband’s grandmother had recently died as well so she shouldn’t have assumed it was posted in reference to her. However, as expected, she did. She blew up. She started spouting nasty things to me and my husband on my FB page, instantly making herself look like the crazy fool she is. She got so worked up that she made comments making it clear that she was stalking me and my family, including my children from a prior marriage. I responded for her to listen good because I was only going to warn her once. Her “monitoring” activities were unwarranted, unwanted and illegal. I said “I don’t know why you are stalking me and my children but I’m telling you it better stop right now because I will take immediate legal action if it does not cease immediately. Remember, there are hundreds of Facebook friends and family that have witnessed your tirade admitting to your recent deplorable activities. We have no problem getting a restraining order if that’s necessary. If you have questions about this, DO NOT contact me DO NOT contact my husband, contact an attorney that can explain it to you. It has been the most blissful, peaceful 3 months since I met my husband. Don’t get me wrong, I know she won’t be able to stand staying away for much longer and will be back to harassing us but at least now I know enough not to sit back and smile as she punches me.

      • Amy

        Sarah & Nik- I DO believe that showing weakness can create something that a bitter ex-wife will feed on! Not being “aggressive” but making it clear that you WILL stand up for yourself is very important. (Assuming that all measures of maintaining a adult, positive, reasonable relationship have been exhausted) My husband’s ex wife caught to relocate to Florida where her new fiancee is from. After 3 years fighting over it, my husband agreed to her to let her move with very specific custody terms.
        My husband’s ex wife had moved on to a man that APPEARED to be “wonderful”. The ex stays in constant contact with my husband’s sister and others in the family – she continuously stated that that this man, was a great guy who was the best thing to ever happen to her(yes, she told my husband’s sister this!). This new guy was the VP of a company, making terrific money, driving an expensive car, never married, no children….but looking to be a great step parent. Spent lots of quality time with her & the kids- going expensive day trips and racing his car – having them record his races..they all apparently loved this stuff. She was saying he was much better than my husband ever was with her & their kids! (My husband rolled his eyes and didn’t seem to care about her statements. But I know when people push information like that- they’re usually lying.) She actually tried to say these things to me one time! I was astonished! I asked her, “do u realize who you’re talking to? Do hear the words coming from your mouth? You can’t pull this crap with me, I see the pay check deductions, I see the checks written to you for everything other than the required payments! Why would you even try to say this crap to me?” As time went on, we came to see that the new guy wasn’t so perfect. Needless to say, I have a connection that made it very clear that this man has been married 3x, 2 bankruptcies, 2 home foreclosures, 2 children carrying his name that he does not pay for any longer (still minors) and had a lawsuit against his place of employment of which he claimed false reasons for not attending work regularly. After finding out the my husband’s ex was telling his children: that he never wanted kids, doesn’t want to be a father, that he doesn’t give her money for them (all bold face lies of course!!) I decided to let her in on our findings. She argued to he ends of the Earth that it was not our business, wasn’t true, declined to admit all of her lies, refused to admit that she said any of the awful things to their children and she intentionally screwed up our Christmas visition of 1.5 weeks; we came to the conclusion that she is a compulsive liar that is hiding more than her (now) fiancées past. With further investigation we found a domestic violence arrest. We confronted her on it (worried about the children of course!!) and she denied it. All of it. We pushed and she admitted it happened but it occurred between the fiancee and his brother- she and the kids were not involved. Again, after further investigation, it was found – IN THE POLICE REPORT- that it was her & him! Confronted once again… She lied about it. Lied again??? Yes, she lied again.
        The kids often state they love their mother but they need a break from her. They love her and feel safe with her, but she says things about daddy that they know aren’t true & things that they aren’t sure if they’re true or not. (Awfully sad!!!) They feel bad for her because she has no friends and because she’s a good mom, but they realize she hides certain things. They beg us to not let her know that they’ve confided certain things in us, because they’ve been told “what happens at Mommys house stays at mommys house” and “Our business (mommy, the fiancee and the kids) is our business- not daddy’s”.
        There is no reasoning with liars and deceitful people. The unstable and eternally bitter will never change. Pray, stand up for yourself and try to rise above. That’s all there is. Period.

    • Emzie

      I agree with you 100%!!
      I am a former wife and my former husband has a new lady in his life.
      I have zero desires to meet her. I don’t see the point, as long as my babes come home with a smile on their faces after they visit their father. Which they do .
      I see no reason to infringe on that and make someone else uncomfortable. It makes me sad to read about the inferno that all you ladies are going through. I guess some ladies just don’t see the damage they can cause in the lives of their children! A happy father = happy children.
      We divorced because we weren’t happy. I’m very pleased to see my former spouse happy now.
      The purpose of my response is to let all you wonderful ladies know that not all ” ex- wives” are trolls. Also that I agree that befriending one could be recipe for disaster . I don’t foresee disaster if my former husbands SO ever wanted to meet me, but I would like to keep her faceless. From what I hear from my children, she is a lovely person. That’s all I need to hear to be content about the situation .

      • Silver

        Emzie, thanks for posting that comment. I’ve been reading these off and on because I am in a situation where my husband’s ex is pushing for the three of us to sit down and talk to set boundaries and expectations. Well, she and I do not get along and do not see eye to eye. I wish she was more like you and understood that I don’t need to have any conversations with her. I would, but if I don’t do, act and dress as she tells me to, we will continuously have the same problem. I am her polar opposite and I wouldn’t change for anyone, least of all her. The kids like me and we have a great time while they’re with their dad and me and I think that should be enough. She’s always using her daughter (or trying to) as leverage to get my husband to bow down to her every command and it’s honestly infuriating. It is nice to know that there are some women out there that will live and let live. I never had a problem with my ex-husband’s new wife. I was happy he was finally happy. I’m not friends with her, but I don’t dislike her at all. She’s good to my son and that’s all that has ever mattered to me. We have the kids every other weekend. I only hope that I can instill some humbleness in her to combat the egotistical holier than tho attitude of her mother. I don’t and will not say one bad thing about her mom to her or around her. She’ll figure that out on her own. I hope that doesn’t happen. I hope her mother sees what she’s doing to her daughter and changes her attitude. Although, I don’t see that happening because she’s a control freak and I’m a loose cannon. She doesn’t know what to do about me. Until she gets it through her head that I’m really a good person and only want the best for my step-kids….I don’t see this conflict ending.

    • mary

      Exactly! The wife must make it clear to the ex-wife that she is not a door mat and that her manipulation won’t work. The kids need to learn as well. When the mom is not sane and well adjusted; the kids aren’t either. There is no like or love for the kids and no positive compliments for the mother; hence no reason for lunch or talking. This is the real world. Exes need to know there place. I’m an ex and I know mine. My son’s stepmother loves me! I don’t interfere and I respect the relationship she has with my son. She doesn’t have any problems from me. My husband’s ex is a NIGHTMARE. She’s a cheater, liar, manipulator, crybaby, fake, spoiled and unattractive moron. She’s also a terrible mother. Her kids are rude, mannerless, spoiled, violent, mean, evil, dirty, unhygienic, disrespectful, unintelligible brats.

      • Nik

        It’s really sad what they turn their kids into. They see what their mother is like and have a choice whether to be like her or rise above. My stepdaughters claimed for years they wouldn’t ever be like their mother. Now they are just like her. My stepsons, thank God, see right through her and can’t stand her. I made the mistake in thinking I could have a relationship with these already very damaged children. The girls used me and abused me. They stole from me. They lied to me and about me. Now I know that the best thing to do in these situations is focus on loving their dad and if they are a normal child, the relationship will develop naturally from there as mine has with his sons.

  • Marie L.

    I’ve been posting on and off here for quite some time, mostly to try help out those going through this situation. Briefly I’ll repeat my situation: My husband’s ex wife cheated during her prior marriage to him, was the one who initiated the divorce, had two children (adults) and I married into it a year later. She was and is an extremely insecure, envious and manipulative woman. She intimidated her ex husband (my husband), manipulated her children, undermined me for almost 7 years and harassed us with threats, calls about nonsense and set his children against us. But now all legal bindings between my husband and her are now over. (7 year obligation of alimony is over and the children are adults and don’t live with us, therefore no child support) Because the legal bindings are over and she has no more valid excuses, my husband informed her by letter to leave us alone or else.

    Now it’s been several months and so far all is quiet on the home front. I’ve come towards the wanting to now put this whole mess behind me and move on with our lives and that may mean less postings here and elsewhere, so, I’ve come up with sort of a plan for some of you that is more direct to try to help:

    For starters, if you are dating a man and it hasn’t become serious (and if it has, you may seriously want to reconsider) who has an ex wife that exhibits these behaviors, or when asked about his ex wife, is told that she was and is an overly jealous woman…. STOP! Seriously stop! You don’t want this mess, you don’t!

    If you are married already it is probably best to let your husband handle his ex wife in almost all matters. This can be extremely difficult when he doesn’t take appropriate action in standing against her to protect his children and his new marriage. If that’s the case, go to a counselor, seek therapy, see a pastor ANYTHING to try to get help for him to do this. If you take the reigns, that could lead to far worse things! His ex wife looks at you as though YOU were the one that took away HER “property” (her ex husband). And you may get tangled into something that you may far regret later. So don’t give her any ammo to attack you back with, no matter how subtle. If you must respond, respond back with a stance that is not exhibiting any kind of emotional anguish or drama. (They like to stir you up and make you crazy) Be calm, mature, straightforward, logical and sensible. Sort of like a trainer at a job speaks to a new trainee.

    When it comes to minor step children: Don’t badmouth or exhibit negativity about their mother in front of them. Be a shining example of a good step mom. If behavior becomes a problem because of their mother influencing them, reasonably discipline them without bringing the mother’s name up. If they say something that is not true, correct them by saying “No, sweetie, that is not true”, etc. Or have their father conduct much of the discipline.

    If the children are adults and their behavior towards their father and/or you is disrespectful, especially if they live with you.. then it’s time for the father to take the appropriate action by telling them to leave. Your house is supposed to be a safe and secure haven, not an insane asylum.

    When all legal bindings are gone like in my situation, your husband should cut off all communication from the ex wife.

    Hope this helps… 🙂
    Marie L.

  • SmartLady

    Thanks this fantastic article. The ex-wife is as negative as an electron cloud with a equal size ( if a single atom was 120lbs and 5’5). Her idea of managing her child is to run up bills and surprise us with them. Along with a notice, pay it or your a bad dad who spends all his money on his new family. I’m a child of one of those type of dead-beat dads and wouldn’t tolerate it. (Heck we couldn’t find my dad to send a bill too — and he was rich)
    The ex-wife is oblivious to the fact she left the home, took more that 50% of assets, collected alimony, collected 20% over the legal max of child support, the son’s medical/dental/vision, forced her name as the life insurance beneficiary until the child was 21, took part of his pension, and had college payments written into agreement . All this happened because my husband was obliviously to the surprise divorce and didn’t get his own lawyer. Six months after the divorce he asked me out; and 6months after that we were married. I am degreed (she’s not); and I have worked most of my life. After we were married, low and behold, he was not forever broke and the consequences her plan for is mass destruction were diluted.

    She followed this up with telling his Catholic family was the cause of their demise. When I assure you had I been around before the divorce; this insane divorce decree would have never been signed. 15yrs later his long-distance family is more assured that I was not problem in their marriage.

    Then I had children and stopped work while the babies were small. At this point my step-son was flunking high school. We got him through an online diploma. But now we were being bombarded with paying of his college work which he couldn’t complete. After several failed college and vocational attempts, we quit paying for things. Now he lives with mom, and she is constantly sending us his bills. He has a chronic non-dibilating health condition; so we carry his health insurance. So what does she do? She cosigns a bunch of unsecured credit for the young man. Next, the ignores the past due bills, and now it’s our pile marked … “pay if you love your son”.

    I am sorry he is having all these problems. But back when he was a kid, I suggested throwing down the gauntlet until grades improved. Instead, they bought he nice Ford Explorer. (WT?) We have small kids, my husband needs to recover his retirement, I need to plan for my kids college, and my step son needs to grow up and escape this manipulative person who is turning him into the same.

    The sad thing is the ex-wife keeps this kid in a co-dependent state to avoid facing her own life. She is always playing the victim and seems to take pleasure in extorting money from my husband by threatening parent / child relationship between father and son ; as alienating me.

    Sorry for the typos or grammatical; and the angry in my note. There is no where to vent. If you vent to your hubby; you add to his problems. If you vent to your friends; you wear them out. If you keep to yourself ; you eat a pound of chocolate. … So thanks for your site and your prayers.
    I release from this anger to God and other women in prayer.

    • Nik

      My hubby’s ex is much the same. She’s constantly trying to create a disabling health condition for one of the kids, taking them doctor to doctor until she can con one into saying what she wants. she ises them to get more money out of us and public health services designed for people that actually do have disabling conditions with needs. It amazes me how much these women extort from their ex and they believe they are entitled! My husband’s ex-wife’s husband got fired from his job and low and behold that’s OUR fault because we don’t pay them enough to live without having to work. Unbelievable! Now that her daughters are older, she’s turned them into her little mini mes. I have done so much for them and paid so much if my own money to buy them things they needed and wanted because their mother wouldn’t. The money goes to pay for what she wants, not to meet their needs, we’re expected to take care of that on top of the child support. We get medical bill after medical bill because she lists my hubby as the guarantor even though the divorce decree clearly states otherwise. His daughters are constantly calling for money for this or that. They only call when they want something otherwise they treat us like shit. Their dad is a great dad but because we have rules at our house, we are the awful ones. They are incredibly jealous of my children that have developed a relationship with their dad because they treat him with respect and have taken advantage of the opportunity to have the love of full time dad in their lives. My kids treat him way better than his own kids do. Then we have 1 child together. Several months ago he told me he was done with the girls. They had done the unimaginable and lied in a court hearing about an incident where his son’s stepfather had assaulted him. Their mother convinced them to lie to protect her husband. They told lies about their brother and their dad, my hubby. Their brother was crushed. The protective order was thrown out. My hubby was devastated and decided he wasn’t going to let them use and abuse him anymore. Well, now, he’s letting them come around a little again and it’s causing some tension between us. I just can’t stand to see him hurt by those bitches! I’m sure I sound awful but if people knew half the things they’ve done to this wonderful man, they’d get it. They don’t deserve such an incredible dad. They treat him like trash. :(. Thanks for letting me vent.

  • Mia

    Hi, I read your blog. I have tried all those suggestions already. The ex-wife could really care less. It’s been 8 years since my husband and I met, dated, and married. The ex-wife remarried about a year and a half ago. The only thing that has changed is that she puts a charade in front of her new husband and her parents in acting nice and friendly, albeit very intrusive (taking pictures of me, etc.) but when it comes to me emailing or texting her about school-related events or subjects relevant to the kid’s well-being, she absolutely refuses to communicate or is rude and pushes unnecessary “power plays.” The two-faced conduct was amusing at first, but it’s becoming manipulative. She turns it into arguments for these other people, my stepdaughter included, that she’s the good guy and because I’m keeping my polite aloofness, I’m the “problem.” What suggestions do you have for a person like that?

    • Amy

      Mia- the only thing left to do is to shine a blaring light on her behavior. Then wash your hands of communication with her. Simply stop. If communication is necessary, make your husband do it. I am to the point of wanting to punch my husband’s ex right in her throat… She’s a horrible liar and very manipulative. I shined a light on her lies and blasted it to my husband’s family. (Of course, some still feel as though “she lies to hide her imperfect life, she’s actually a very sad, lonely person”). Blllllttthhhh

      • Silver

        Amy….I am with you. In fact, I’ve often used that very phrase. I would love to punch that b in the throat. However….I happen to love her kids and their father so I won’t. But I would very much like to. I have stopped all communication. I even blocked her number so she can’t text me. We’ve had several arguments via text and yelling matches over the phone. I can’t do a thing right. I’m rude, I have tattoos, I have piercings, I am the opposite of a good example for her daughter. I am real, I’m not a snob and I’m a caring person. I just can’t stand her mother. Sorry about it. Our personalities clash like the Titans. Why do I need to break bread with this woman? Why can’t I just get to know the kids when they are with us and treat them as if they were my own and all is happy? Why is this a problem? Why do we need “boundaries”? Is she afraid I’m going to teach her daughter to have a mind of her own? To think for herself and make her own decisions in life? God forbid.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Hi Jenn,

    It sounds like it’s been a long and difficult relationship with your husband’s ex-wife! I can only imagine how frustrating to have her affect so many different parts of your life – online, home decorating, relationship with your son, etc.

    Have you talked to a family conflict mediator or counselor? It seems to me that you need more in-depth help than a website can offer! Your husband’s ex-wife seems to be impossible to please or placate — and a mediator or counselor might be able to give you strategies for dealing with her.

    It’s important to remember that she’ll never change. You can’t do anything to make her easier to handle, because she is the way she is. You can only change your expectations. It’s sad and disappointing, but it’s reality.

    I wish you all the best as you try to figure out what to do when your husband’s ex-wife keeps getting involved in your life and causing problems. May you find peace — if not with her, then in your home, in your marriage, and in your relationship with your son. May you find joy, emotional and spiritual health, and hope for a future of calm seas and blue skies!


  • Jenn

    I am at a point I have no idea how to deal with my husbands ex-wife. I have been polite for almost 8 years, I rarely let her get to me, but no matter how I handle her she only escalates. She is remarried (long before us), she still text &/or calls 300-400 times per month (no exaggeration I started an excel sheet for out phone Bill in case we have to go to court). Any boundaries we have set, she eventually brings back around to her way. Our son lives 1 week with us & 1 @ his home with her; we had done a Monday exchange – it was hectic on a school/work day & my son changes on Sunday (same set-up), so to make it easier on everyone, especially my stepson that hates the change day & is miserable we change to Sunday’s 2 years ago. His grades have gotten better finally this year, he no longer misses school excessively (always on her week normally on Mondays). But now she insisted on changing back to Monday’s bc she wants to enjoy her day off from her new job & spend it with him, but it causes chaos & expense for us. We do not live in the school district, my older son drives them to school, the extra day means we have to drive him, my husband goes in late for work & leaves early on that day to get him to/from school. If I do not have customers then I pick him up but it is 40 miles round-trip in gas. The extra day means we give him lunch money for both weeks. All to accommodate her, not what is best for him. The most recent situation happene this past week; I had no idea the awful pink walls in out livingroom were her decor choice when they moved here. I had always joked with my husband about being color blind picking this color; after we married his ex-wife was picking up our son & I said I couldn’t wait to paint, she remarked “You don’t like my pink walls” – that’s when I found out it was her decor not his. I have waited 4 years since then to paint, I started the entire house redecorating project last month, posting pics & having fun with it. The house has not been painted in more than 10 years, so all the walls were damaged, it’s lots of repair work & I am going area by area, having fun, joking to keep it from being an overwhelming chore. I posted a pic of a pepto bottle next to the wall saying “goodbye pepto pink”; this is a joke with my husband, out 4 children (2 are grown & live away so we keep in touch via fb often), & my friends who I have joked with only mentioning my husband being color blind (never would I mention his ex-wife). She went crazy, famiy/friends who left positive comments she personally attacked in my page, they ended up putting her in her place, which only made it worse. As soon as I become aware of the situation I deleted it all, posted a public apology to her. This made it worse, she showed all of it to our son, now he is mad at us for others attacking her bc she has manipulated the situation. This behavior never stops with her, when she was asked to knock before she entered our home it caused a huge blow-up & she escalated to entering out home when we were not there. Each situation whatever boundaries we set she escalates to worse. I have lost it with her twice, I didn’t call her ugly names, just was loud & told her to mind her own home, she couldn’t tell us what to do & she was not welcomed. Unfortunately this was in the presence of our son, it does not matter if each situation was in defense of issues she started by fussing at me, my son only sees it as me attacking his mom & hates me for it. I want to fix all of it, but I have no clue how to, any apology or attempt to make peace has always been met with equal peace but it is her “in” for master manipulation; it validates her crazy rants & further proves to our son her behavior is not only accepted but right & we are admitting we are wrong. I want to make his life better without inviting her crazy behavior into our lives & I am clueless after 8 years of dealing with this – any advise?

    • Amy

      Jenn- she is always the victim, right? I say then make her the victim. Screw it. You’re going to have to defend yourself anyway! Tell her like it is, and she makes everything lie you’re attacking her, right? Then own it. Tell her you’re sick of her crap and stay out of your home, your life and off of your FB/Instagram/Twitter and she won’t have any trouble with you anymore. “When someone hates you fit no reason… Give them reason”. I’m so tired of these whining, lying ex wives.
      My husbands ex bad mouthed him for years – till I stepped in and straightened them out. I provided written proof that she lies & even makes their kids lie on her behalf. Now no one trusts a damn thing that comes out of her mouth. I say, “bring it B”

    • Marie L

      Hi Jenn,
      I understand totally and can say “been there and done that” going onto 7 years. Even though my husband’s ex wife had affairs and was the one that initiated their divorce, it didn’t stop her from turning into a toxic waste dump lunatic. That is so common in cases like this.

      In my situation as described in my previous posted answers here, gratefully, my nightmare has come pretty much to an end. In my case my husband’s children are grown adults and there is no longer any legal binding between my husband and his ex wife. No child support or alimony payments, etc. Therefore in a legal sense, she can no longer harass us, call us with nonsense , threaten us or come on our property or we will take the necessary actions against her and she knows it. Before this happened and while my husband was still fulfilling the 7 year alimony obligation (which is now over) she fell into that same typical form of the crazy toxic wife that so many seem to share the same characteristics.

      During that time and the way I dealt with it (as a reaction towards her) was not interfering and letting my husband handle most of her wrath, after all, it is HIS ex wife per say (my husband and I did argue though about him not taking enough of a stand against her, but privately) Try to remember toxic women do these things to “stir” you up to get a reaction and in turn, any kind of reaction from you she will use as ammo against you . My advice is to try to never give her any ammo.

      I also strongly suggest that you don’t react in any negative way in front of her son in regards to his mother. I know this can be extremely difficult because my husband’s adult children were also very much influenced and manipulated and still are, by their mother and their behavior towards their father and myself have much to be desired because of it. They have very little respect. For me, though it may be a bit easier because they are adults and neither of them live with us. I find that when they do visit and bring up their mother into conversation, I don’t add to it, I just nod politely and wait for the subject to change. In your case it sounds like the son is still a minor and that makes it more difficult, especially when it comes to discipline and boundaries. Just try to keep in mind the golden rule of never badmouthing his mother in front of him and being a good example of a nurturing step mom. In time when he grows older he may see for himself what his mom really is. And if not, at least your nurturing, positive behaviors will speak for themselves, therefore again, there will be no “ammo”. Otherwise, if you let your frustrations get the best of you, you’ll be stooping to almost the same level as she is.

      As far as how long you’ll need to deal with this.. that’s hard to say. Women who behave this way just never seem to stop all together, even when their children are grown adults, they are still manipulating them. You didn’t mention how old the son was, but you might be reassured, as in my case, that when there is no longer any legal obligation between your husband and his ex wife (no child support and the children are grown up and living on their own, no alimony, etc) and your husband puts it very clear towards her to leave you both alone (or else), that’s when you may be able to finally take a deep breath and exhale out. The worst should be over.

      • Marie L

        ADDING ON: TO Amy, I do respect your answer to Jenn and I am happy that it worked somewhat for you by taking a stance. 🙂 But I find that sometimes fighting a fire with more fire can cause an explosion far too worse to be easily put out without causing permanent damage, especially towards the children that are involved. I am not saying that one should just become a doormat, but to bade their time to act and to keep in mind how their actions may affect the children. Personally, I feel the husbands should take the stand more against their ex wives and in the end despite what the ex wife does, we should try very hard to not interfere in that sense. Though I know how frustrating it can be when the husband doesn’t totally fulfill that obligation whether out of intimidation or fear of the ex wife. Even so, somebody has to keep a mature, constant, sensible and stable frame of mind in this situation.

      • Marie L.

        In addition (for Jenn :))
        Noticed that you mentioned that you are tired of being “polite”. I know what you mean. At the beginning I too felt that by trying to be polite in combat towards her behavior seemed phony to me. Also, her eldest was living with us at the beginning for a time (he was an adult going to college) and even though he was there at the time when his mother was cheating on his father and was very upset about it and actually stood up for his father at that time, but after their divorce and when I came along, that attitude changed quickly when his mother placed her lying, evil, manipulative ways upon him and twisted his mind,. In turn, he turned bitter, cynical and resentful towards US. If it surprises you that a grown man can actually be brainwashed in that way, don’t be surprised. Remember, that kind of manipulation by her didn’t start after the divorce, but was throughout her prior marriage to your husband along with her way of raising of the children. The children are influenced by her to worship her regardless of what she does. So she ALWAYS had that evil, manipulating power over her children even when they were little.

        Going back to her eldest, well, after he was brainwashed, he was living with us and his attitude changed influenced by his mother. At that time I was a newly married and wanting to so much for his adult children to like me that I virtually overlooked every single bad behavior because of that want. We both (his father and I) received little or no respect as a response. That was in addition to the rantings of my husband’s ex wife from the outside.

        So being falsely “polite” does not work as a combat. They also will probably take advantage of it. But you don’t have to be polite to be civil. As the years went by and the son moved out (was actually and finally told to leave by my husband because of his behavior) I’ve found that dealing with people like this is much better met with more of a judicial response. If you have ever watched the old “Star Trek” shows with “Mr. Spock” ? Sort of like an logical, unemotional stance with no sign of drama. Since that type of “no-drama” attitude is so foreign to them, they don’t know how to respond to it without feeling uncomfortable about it.

        Hope that can help you if you try it. 🙂

      • Silver

        Marie, this is the advice that may actually work in my situation. I’ve never in my life met someone like my husband’s ex and I think your advice to be “Spock-like” is the best I’ve heard. Of course, I’ll have to practice a bit since I have no filter and wear my every emotion on my sleeve. Thank you for it though. I will definitely give it a shot.

      • Marie L.

        You’re welcome Silver.. 🙂 Holding hat kind of attitude does get easier over time. Hoping for you the best of luck.. 🙂

      • Sarah

        Calling and emailing at all times is a boundary issue. My husbands ex used to do this, we sought counseling and the next time she sent me an inappropriate email I responded via my attorney who said that all email and text messages will be construed as harassment and unless she want to face me in court and explain her behavior, she should stop. That put an end to all the crazy behavior and now the only communication is through attorneys unless there is a giant emergency and its email or text.

    • Silver

      I can’t believe this has gone on for so many years for you! It’s only been two for me….and only one married. There are two step kids and no relief. It’s so frustrating and all I want is for her to leave me out of her crazy drama!!! I just want a happy life with my husband and for the kids to respect me. I love them both and I have no desire to fight with their mother or to take over for her. Only to be a good step-mom.
      I’m going by an alias because this crazy evil queen of darkness likes to stalk me

  • Anonymous

    I am so sick of my husbands ex that every time she calls him I have panic attacks. It started out ugly. She cheated on him and tried to come back when she found out he was dating me. She made our relationship hell. I literally beat her ass because she came at me like a crazy loon accusing me of things I didn’t do and I had to defend myself. She thought she was big and bad until her face met that pavement… BUT anyway. She tries to be sneaky. When we first got together she said let’s still have sex but not tell your new girl… So I don’t trust her and never will. He gives her money when she asks. He supports her bad habits… Drugs etc. We have all their kids full time. She has no custody rights. She lives in some fantasy world that he still wants her and she could have him whenever she wants… She is so delusional. When he gives her money it is out of pity but I don’t like it when he tries to hide it or does it when I say don’t…and we have the kids…. He sent her inappropriate texts ranting to her about not liking me and how I was only good for sex and deleted the messages so I won’t ever really know the extent of what they said. I told him just because he is mad at me he shouldn’t talk poorly of me in that way…. He Denys it… But I have caught him in the past saying disgusting things about me. He claims to love me. He claims he won’t do things to upset me, but he just tells me what he thinks I want to hear. His ex calls to talk about money or her life before she asks about the kids… It makes me sick. She has the spirit of evil with her… I’ve tried the “nice” thing but it gets me nothing but more drama drama drama…. She just thrives on drama

    • Amy

      Dear Anonymous,
      PLEASE stop turning a blind eye to the very bad actions of your husband. No man who loves & respects (they go together… Always!) would ever say awful disgusting things about their lady/wife. Period. There is no true love or respect in those actions. You are worth far more than what that man has belittled you down to. you could have peace with the ex, but not while he still cares for her! And that’s where this is all deriving from. Do you maybe agree?

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    Thank you for being here, and sharing how it feels when you’re husband’s ex-wife is causing problems in your relationship. Toxic ex-wives are difficult on new marriages, especially when children are involved. Husbands and other family members often feel caught in the middle, which adds to the stress for everyone.

    My prayer for all women who are dealing with difficult ex-wives is for patience and peace. May you find wisdom to say the right things, do the right things, and live in peace with ex-wives who aren’t making life easy. May you see what things you can change to make your relationship with your husband’s ex-wife better, and may you let go of the things you can’t change. If your marriage is getting complicated and difficult – which is bound to happen – I pray for strong communication, peaceful assertiveness, and a healthy emotional connection that allows you to work things through with your husband. May you and your husband join together and rise above all the problems in your marriage – and may you find the right resources, books, counselors, or whatever you need to save your marriage and restore your relationships. Amen.


    • Anonym

      After 14+ years of the nightmare he calls his ex wife, I am at the end of my rope.
      His family has a philosophy of forgive and forget the past. Which is all good and well, but they have their own unique definition of how that works. For example, ex wife sends a hate filler text message to me, calling me filthy names, etc. I become upset and would like this behavior to stop, I’m told I should just forgive and forget and move on. How simple. Except the ex wife doesn’t want forgiven, she wants to continue her behavior. So the philosophy is more like, forgive, forget…until next time.
      I’ve left put the part where my husband justified his ex wife’s behavior by becoming angry at me and saying that I certainly must have done something to make her act in such a manner, he says people don’t just lash out like that without provocation. Interesting, so if that is true, what was my provocation to create a problem with his ex? Why does he defend her and attack me? This has gone on many times and he always thinks that I’ve created the issues. I don’t. I want nothing to do with that woman, she makes me a nervous wreck. I’ve never experienced anyone so filled with hate for me in my entire life. And for no reason. Their children were older teens when we met. They never lived with us nor had visitation with us. That was just status quo before I was even in the picture. The 30 and 31 year old “children” live in other states now, thousands of miles away. Yet I still receive emails from his ex telling me to stay away from her children. Weird. I don’t communicate with her children, or her. I avoid them at all costs. Who would want this drama and hatred in their lives by choice? Last email I Received was just this past Christmas. I don’t respond to her email or text messages. Which I think makes her more vengeful. If she wants her husband back, trust me, I’d pack him up and ship him off to her in a heartbeat.
      Did I mention that she lives 65 miles away and has been married for ten years to another man”. She lives in a nice house on a golf course, doesn’t really work and has no financial worries? So why is she doing this to me?
      She is also friends with my mother in law and sister in law. Active friends. Needless to say, the mother in law doesn’t think kindly of me either. I know I sound exceedingly innocent in my statements, but I honestly didn’t create this with any of them. I have had mean words with my mother in law via text and email. But she’s been equally as mean with her messages. Same with the adult step daughter. Of course that is all my fault. If my husband had become involved in repairing these relationships I probably never would have had mean words with them. I just get frustrated hearing gossip and lies about me that come from the ex and the step daughter and I had no support from husband. I lost it and responded negatively. However, I never communicated with his ex. That woman is scary psycho and I’m not certain where her stopping point is, I wouldn’t be surprised to find her outside my office one day, or my house. I’ve known no one who acts like her.
      The thing in my marriage that bothers me most happened about seven years ago. I know, why am I still upset about something that happened way back then, I guess I don’t know for sure why, here is what happened. I came home from work and didn’t know where in the house my husband was. I hear talking from the back office room, apparently he’s on the phone. I opened the door a bit just to let him know I was home and he reacted by snapping at me to get out he was on a phone call. Wow. That was so not like him. I knew the caller had heard him yelling at me, I was so confused. Twenty minutes later he gets off the phone and begins screeching at me. He tells me that I have ostracized him from his family, his whole family hates him because of me his kids hate him because of me and so on. He is pushing me into the walls as he is screaming, I was a mess. I put my coat on to leave to escape the situation. He ripped my coat, took my car keys, pretended to break my cell phone. I was hysterical. I finally made it put the door, waited a bit, then snuck in and got his car keys and took off. I didn’t come back until I knew he was gone to work for the night.
      And yes, it was his ex wife on the phone. She told him all of those things about me. They spoke for over 30 minutes total. What kind of husband allows anyone to bad mouth his wife like that? Let alone his ex wife! To this day I have never understood why that ever happened.
      He’s never shown remorse or apologized. He’s never explained why that call even occurred. We’ve been through counseling three times, but he is closed off and not honest with the counselor so it is worthless to go any longer.
      His an is getting married son, in another state. He wants me to go to the wedding. I can’t. I can’t be around the ex who has told me to stay away from her children, just three months ago being the last threat. She has threatened to press charges of harassment against me if I go near her daughter, although there are no grounds for her to do that. His kids don’t like me. His son told him in an email last summer that family is first and my husband should “kick me to the curb” so they can have a relationship.
      Their relationship problems existed long before me. Both his kids will come to the state we live in and not have time to see their dad, they admit that they are too busy with their friends when they are here. They have no time to visit him, their words. But then blame me for lack of relationship.
      My husband is. It on my side when it comes to his kids and ex wife. He will throw me under the bus in two seconds if it appeases them. It’s happened many times in the past. I’ve been excluded from holiday dinners with his kids at my mother in laws house more than a few times. I sat put and said nothing because I wanted to keep peace.
      Now this wedding? I don’t want to travel a thousand miles to be around people who hate me, be with a husband who will turn on me as proven in the past. I can’t win,
      Now his sons fiancé has even emailed me to tell me how bad of a wife I am for. It wanting to attend the wedding, seriously I thought it would be better to not have drama on her special day. I don’t trust his ex and think it would be likely she’d create a problem. She hates me from 65 miles away when I do nothing to her, imagine what she will do in the same room as me. Especially since she wants me to stay away from her kids. Surely the last place she wants to see me is at her sons wedding.
      I can’t win.
      Thanks for letting me vent. I’ll probably be writing my next post from the insane asylum. That’s where this is pushing me….right over the edge!
      I just want a quiet, drama free life. Life is hard enough without people doing this crap Who wants this? Not me.

      • Martie

        Dear Anonymous,

        He is not worth it – you are such a nice woman – let him go back to her – then maybe he will come to his senses!

      • Marie L.

        I HAD to repeat again:
        I am not one that jumps to the “D” word (Divorce), mostly because I am one that honestly feels that marriage is a covenant, for better or worse. And to Laurie,, I too am a practicing Christian… 🙂 BUT, Laurie, there is such a horrible thing as severe emotional abuse. I had fellowship with a woman who was in a similar situation and endured it for years and years with a man who clearly did not show any real love towards her, that is when it came to the part of “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church”. This man too had an adulterous, evil ex wife who terrorized her and her husband LET her do it. Then actually stood up for the ex wife, along with the “posse” gathering of children, friends and family against her. This can be construed as emotional “abandonment” and borderline “adultery” (not so much in the physical sense, but the emotional sense) some husbands conduct towards their new wives. Two areas of scripture that does allow divorce in such matters for the sake of peace for the victim, a child of God.

        Going back to my friend, she underwent years of emotional torture at the hand of her husband’s allowance only to be led by the Spirit to strengthen herself by faith and grace, to finally leave him. During this time, she struggled enormously with the concept of divorce, but within her prayer, the Spirit of Jesus gave her words of wisdom. This is what He told her: “Yes, I hate divorce, but I hate abuse more”.

      • Amy

        I must agree. Getting divorced should be the last resort. But being able to live out your life in a quality, happy and fulfilling way is so very important! If your main source of stress and unhappiness is your husband’s ex wife… And he does not support you and back you up… Your world will never change. So change it yourself.
        Prayer and friends can be a step toward mental salvation. I suggest telling your husband that you must have his full support or you will have to end the marriage. If he says anything other than “Absolutely, I will from this point forward…” You are lucky… If he does not say that, look for an attorney and a friend! Xox

  • shay

    I have been with my fiance for 5 years now. I not only have to deal with problems from the ex wife but my mother in law too. In the beginning me and his mom got along great and she always talk about how she disliked the ex wife calling her a bad mother (she has had child protection called on her a number of times and it’s not far from the truth) I have always try to have a good relationship with the ex wife. I always wanted her to feel like I was someone she could trust with her son. I started dating my fiance when his little boy was 4 they divorced when he was 1. The ex wife would call me all the time to keep her son. sometimes there would be a week go by without her calling, I would text and call so she could talk to him and she wouldn’t say anything. My fiance works away so he is not home often. I always loved having his son at my house. When she would call to get him she would scream at me and tell me to stop trying to be his mother and that she is his mother and I will never take her. place. I would always politely tell her I’m not trying to take her place, I know I’m not his mother I’m just trying to be a good step mom and help her as much as she needs. (since my fiance is gone so much!) 3 years ago we decided to have a baby. When we finally found out we were pregnant she called my fiance crying and saying that she did not trust me to be with her son and that I was not allowed to be around anymore. she went as far as calling me and telling me that me and my child needed to go away and leave her family alone. keep in mind that she is remarried and has two kids by the other husband. Everytime we take a step forward in our relationship she called saying this. Her husband has called my fiance upset about it saying he knows she only does that because she’s jealous of me and that she still cares for him. My fiance always blows it off and every now and then tells her she needs to stop. A week before I had my baby we went to drop off his son at her house. she came out to the car screaming and yelling as in my car door and started punching my stomach while I was still buckled in the car. turns out she got child protection called on her and she accuse me of calling. I did not call. I finally able to close my door my fiancee pulled out. After that time and after dealing with it for so long I told him that for now on I was not going to deal with her. He agreed. we were scared for what she would do to our daughter. so I no longer get to keep his son while he’s gone. and when he is Home he is the one that goes and picks him up and drops him off. In the beginning his son will call me upset because he wanted to see me. I would all is gone see him at my mother in laws house or my mother in law would bring him to me for a visit. I never wanted to stop seeing him I just didn’t want the ex wife around my daughter. That last a a few months. At first I would call to visit and they would always make up excuses. Now even when he comes when his dads home he has an attitude with me and tells me I’m not his real mom. he had never said that before. He even says that my daughter is not his real sister. My fiance never stands up for me or says that’s not right. Even in the beginning when she would say things about me he never said anything he would just say I’m sorry. He said he feels like there’s nothing he could do. I feel like he could say something. The ex wife’s husband has even taken up for me. telling her she needs to respect me like my fiance respects him. Now my mother in law and the ex wife get along. I’m mother in law has even told me time she has taken the other two kids to her house or to the zoo many of times. she even cuts the other little boys hair not just my fiance’s sons. My fiance’s mom never calls anymore and never ask to see my daughter. And now its like both of them are teaming up against me. I have even called her at times to see if she could watch her for an hour and she ends up talking about the ex wife and her kids and doesn’t give me a chance to ask. my daughter has even cried to go with her when she comes to get my fiances little boy. My mother in law ignored my daughter. The ex wife still continues to text my fiance wanting him back and telling him if we ever break up to think of her. she still tells me to leave her family alone and that me and my daughter just need to go away. it seems like no one is on my side anymore and it’s getting closer to our wedding. everytime I think about planning the wedding I cry and I just don’t know if I can do this for the rest of my life. It has been a battle since the beginning and there are things that I have left out because I could write a book. I’m looking for advice is it just me or does anybody else deal with anything like this. One of my friends said I should let it go and just focus on me, my daughter and fiance but when he is gone it’s only me dealing with it . And them saying things to his son and going against us every time we get on to his son it’s causing us problems also.

  • T

    I have read several comments and am looking for some advise. I am dating a guy iv know for 9 years. We only started dating 3 years ago so I know his ex wife. When we started dating she told her then 3 year old she hated me and that she does not have to listen to me. I have three kids and I do try to make them respect me as much as I can. His ex wife has tried several times to say my son has touched her daughter, and when that did not pan out she blamed it in my niece. Come to find out it was her best friends kids and her daughter that we mutually touching each other. When I heard that my boyfriend would only tell his ex he would talk to the kids about it and never said anything to stand up for my kids I went off on him. I did go off on her as well and told her I did not appreciate her trYing to ruin my kids lives with that comment. I informed her that her daughter was very rude and has a problem with athority and she need disapline she just stared at me and proceeded to tell my boyfriend that all she got out of our conversation was that I don’t like their daughter. This child his slapped me, told me she hates me, she does not have to listen, rolls her eyes and sticks out her tongue at me. She has to be attached to her dad at all times. If he’s in the shower she in the bathroom. If he is using the bathroom she waits outside the door. My kids have a hard time with her because of her lying and constant need to be touching some part of them. If I try to intervene he and I get into a huge fight. we have lived together for 3 years and I support them all. He does work but apparently feels the need to not pay for anything. he does not mow the lawn, shovel the snow, take out the garbage, clean the house,he doesn’t take car of the vehicle that he drives that I pay for. he doesn’t pay for anything other than his gas and food for him during work. I pay everything in the house. When I bring this up his excuse is he takes me out to eat. He says I’m controling because I take care of everything when it a rises instead of waiting for his response. We have been on vacat ion 4 times and he has never paid for anything. And if I tell him to talk to his ex about taking his daughter she waits till the day before we are leaving to tell him if she can go. She wants to know where we will be and what we will be doing the whole time we are going and she has to be back by a certain time when we do arrive back home. When his child participants in sports he is only told the day before when and where they are. When I have talked to her about playing games with their child she simply stated she can do whatever she wants and does not need to tell him anything. Their child 90% of the time runs his life and tells him what she is going to do. After 7 times of telling her no he let’s her do it anyway and she will tell him “see”. I have sat back and watch this now 7 year old play head games with him and my kids, but when I say something G it’s a big fight. I can admit that yeah I’m probably controlling but there are reasons. I get stuff done. I’m to the point with this relationship that I’m ready for it to end. He is a great guy and is good to me and my kids but he is a kid himself. Sits on the couch for hours playing games on his phone. I have to ask 4 or 5 times for him to do something. And when I told him I wanted to sell a truck that I bought that he was going to fix up it turned into me taking it away from him. I was punishing him. I’m at a loss here.

    • shay

      My fiances little boy treats me the same way. And your story sounds a lot like mine. I never have any say so of what goes on and if I have a problem with what is going on it is a fight! Im at the point of giving up. Me and child deserve better. But then I feel I’ve been here for 5 years and I don’t want to give up and feel I should try and fix it. But I’m tired and I feel my fiance should stand up for me and our child together and he doesn’t!

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    If you can find ways to accept and bless the situation, no matter what it is, you’ll be able to cope with it with peace, love, and acceptance. If your husband’s toxic ex-wife is causing problems in your marriage, it doesn’t seem natural to accept and bless the situation! But acceptance and surrender to what is somehow brings serenity and clarity.

    Our instinctive response is to fight conflict with conflict. Maybe we need to rethink our natural response, and treat the toxic ex-wife with compassion, kindness, and gentleness.

    • Amy

      Shay-Do NOT marry into that family. From what you have written, you are better off walking away and filing for sole custody of your little girl. Your fiance clearly doesn’t have your back… It’s obvious it will never get better. Run woman! Run far and fast!!!!
      T- dump him. He’s a loser. I bet he pays the ex for whatever she wants him to…
      Laurie- Please stop trying to make everyone see the good where there isn’t any! Give some good advice… Like to walk away!!!

      • shay

        Amy-Thank you for your advice! I love how straight and to the point you are! Lol I talked with him after reading all this. We cancelled the wedding. I told him I couldn’t marry him with the way things are. And that if it didn’t get better I couldn’t do anymore! He is supposed to be trying to make it better! So I will see. I will give him a chance since we do have a daughter. But if it don’t I can’t do it anymore. I’m upset constantly and we end up in a fight and I don’t want my daughter around that! Thank you listening!

      • Amy

        Shay- you are very welcome. Try to remember, people very rarely change who they are – at their core. Lady, YOU are a great catch for this man! The entire family should recognize this. If they don’t-there is a man & family out there that will see it! There is NO reason on the Lord’s green Earth that you should suffer that insanity. Good luck to you. Please let me lnw how things work out. Keep your head high & your mind grounded. Xox Amy

      • Marie L.

        I am not one that jumps to the “D” word (Divorce), mostly because I am one that honestly feels that marriage is a covenant, for better or worse. And Laurie, I too am a practicing Christian… 🙂 BUT, there is such a horrible thing as emotional abuse. I had fellowship with a woman who was in a similar situation and endured it for years and years with a man who clearly did not show any real love towards her, that is when it came to the part of “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church”. This man too had an adulterous, evil ex wife who terrorized her and her ex husband LET her do it. Then actually stood up for the ex wife, along with the “posse” gathering of children, friends and family against her. This can be construed as emotional “abandonment” and borderline “adultery” (not so much in the physical sense, but the emotional sense) some husbands conduct towards their new wives. Two areas of scripture that does allow divorce in such matters for the sake of peace for the victim, a child of God.

        Going back to friend, she underwent years of emotional torture at the hand of her husband’s allowance only to be led by the Spirit to strengthen herself by faith and grace, to finally leave. During this time, she struggled enormously with the concept of divorce, but within her prayer, the Spirit of Jesus gave her words of wisdom. This is what He told her: “Yes, I hate divorce, but I hate abuse more”.

  • Susan

    Toxic ex wives are awful Ihave had to undo all the revolting habits she taught him but also the envy and jealousy she taught her daughter are unforgivable Ive been abused and held in contempt by the jealous rages of ex wife and daughter to the point that ive had to cease contact with the deranged payback Yes Im better looking younger but mostly nicer I took on these horrible children as my own until tge ex decided to make up incredible lies Example she slept with 9 men during her marriage her daughter had an affair with her boss whos wife was pregnant but because my boyfriend left tge ex she has decided to make me the scapegoat suppose it makes her feel better albeit falsely about herself Some people just cannot handle warranted rejection. Susan Robinson

    • christinme

      Wow! Your use of words spews such hatred that it is hard to focus on anything other than the fact that you tell on yourself more than you tell about them. I say this not to condemn but to possibly help you identify your own anger and how that anger can do not only damage in the way you respond to this situation but, in all situations. It is not capsulated. Being the bigger person is never easy. And believe it or not, there are actually some things more important in this lifetime than being right! It is hard to look good when all you say is bad. As hard as it is in the beginning try doing this and I assure you it will not only get easier to do, it will also minimize your frustrations and make you look GREAT! PRAY FOR THEM!!! Ask God to forgive them for everything rotten they did that comes to your mind. Ask Him to work in you and thru you. Then focus on YOU! Let God show you areas that might need adjusting. When you focus on you, you are making a positive investment. It helps to know that God sees the situation for what it really is. There is nothing that they have done that he doesn’t see or know about. One thing I had to do is STOP retelling all the stories to others of the wrongs that had been done to me. Why? Because you put yourself right there again and relive it. They victimized you once but you do it over and over to yourself when you retell the story. It takes so much energy to try to make others see what one has done. Ask God to give you eyes to see and love them as He does. Because at the end of the day, we have all done wrong and sinned and we all fall short and we all need God to forgive us. We cant get this gift of forgiveness if we cannot in turn forgive ourself! Again I only say this out of love. Love for another who although has been wronged, doesn’t need to hold on to the hurt. Be better. Rise above with LOVE! Don’t let the devil keep u from enjoying your life. And please, never say things about someone (even if they are true) that you wouldn’t want someone to say about you if you had done it! Why? Because those who judge will be judged in the same manner. Just wanting to help. hope this will help.

      • Marie L.

        “Wow! Your use of words spews such hatred that it is hard to focus on anything other than the fact that you tell on yourself more than you tell about them. I say this not to condemn but to possibly help you identify your own anger”

        TO : christinme

        Well, I agree that hatred is not a very healthy emotion for anyone and if asked at other times when tensions are not as high, I would believe that most of us would express our frustration using different words less harsh than “hate”. Also, most of us have already repeatedly attempted different avenues so to speak to stop the harassment and are exhausted by it all and it shows. Yes, prayer is always helpful, but when an ex wife continues to harass, manipulate along with sacrificing their children’s mental health and stability just for the purpose of intentionally and maliciously destroying their ex husband and their new wife, then that’s a different story and more understandable when a “victim” comes here to vent.

        Also, the biggest reason in almost all cases like this, the ex wife is overly (and I mean WAY beyond) and obsessively filled with such envy and jealousy to such an extreme, that they go out of their way to achieve their evil goal of destruction, even carelessly using their own children to get there. What makes it so hard for some of us to understand is that in most cases, the ex wife was the one that ended the marriage to begin with, usually because she committed adultery. In the old days, women who did were stoned to death.

        If someone comes here to “vent” so to speak, the rest of us are hear to support the person. If that person is angry, we understand that because we are going through the same horrible situation. There is nothing wrong with showing anger and releasing it. Even Christ expressed anger especially towards the Pharisees and at the temple .

        And like I mentioned, prayer is always helpful. So in turn, maybe you should pray for this woman instead of showing such condemnation for her yourself,.. just because she is angry and venting it here, which I believe is a much better place than screaming it at the “ex wife” in her life which would make the problem much, much worse.

      • Marie L.

        ADDING On: Also, very hard to forgive someone who does not want to be forgiven. These kind of sick minded women don’t even think they have a problem and refuse to even accept any kind of mature responsibility for their actions. They lie, manipulate their children and those around them to selfishly suit their need to comfort their sick minds. Most of us new wives and our husbands are the ex wife’s primary bulls-eyes. And sometimes it can go on an on for years and years. So, should we hate them? Well, hate is a strong word. I believe that most of us just want them to STOP! . Why do we come to post on boards like this? . For support and to talk about this madness as a therapeutic release.

        So, . What helped you may not be the same for another, especially when the harassment is so severe that violence is involved. Every woman going through this insanity deserves the right to be at least heard, no matter how many times the same “story” is posted.

      • Marie L

        And as far as what is misconstrued anger and what is not, that all depends on the situation. I am sure that many of us “overlooked” minor occurrences with problems concerning the ex wife, especially at the beginning. Then as more time goes by and it gets worse and worse, anger starts to grow more because we feel victimized by it along with some helplessness to stop it. The new wife’s marriage is also strained along with the personal stress that comes after the ex wife’s attacks.

        And again, there’s nothing wrong with expressing anger that is not misconstrued and is legitimate, even to the point of being righteous. Instead, maybe you should be more concerned about the ex wife’s anger, hatred and evil vengeance instead of their victims. I’m just surprised since you appear to have already been in the same situation that you don’t seem to have more compassion for those that are still going through it.

        What you seem to say about those here expressing anger is as close to saying that the Jewish people that were tortured by Hitler did not have any right to be angry after he murdered their families. This might be an extreme comparison, but some ex wives actually hope for the same thing to happen to their ex husband’s new wife.

      • lisaa

        why do they hate for their husbands to be with a new woman if they were the one’s that cheated and left the marriage in the first place?

      • Anonym

        I think there are many reasons why an exwife could be so jealous. My husbands exwife cheated and was miserable in the marriage. She initiated the divorce.
        I use to wonder if it was the regret at cUsed her to hate me.
        Or maybe it was that she lost the control she use to once have over my husband.
        It could be that she truly thought he was a no good loser during their marriage, but now she sees he is remarried and doing well. His new success discounts her theory that the guy was a total loser. Maybe this makes her reexamine herself as being a reason for the failure of the marriage instead of placing it all on him.
        And when it comes to kids, young or adult, maybe the exwife feels that if the kids like the new wife then she would be left all alone. Her ex husband would have won it all and she would have nothing.
        Or maybe it is just pure evil hatred that lives in this evil ex wife
        Mental illness, personality disorder? Who really can know for sure. I am certain the miserable, psycho exwife doesn’t even understand why she acts the way she does.
        Kind of like a small child, they get frustrated and don’t have the skills to deal with their emotions so they behave Inappropriately. They act out and throw fits, sounds a lot like the ex I deal with.
        It is sad. I really feel sorry for her. She wastes her life hating me, hating my husband,and spends lits of energy playing junior high school games with my husbands family convincing them that I’m a horrid person. They don’t even know me, so I know it is nothing I’ve done.
        What a pity, living with so much hate and frustration inside of her. So glad I’m not like her.
        Bottom line, they are just miserable people who blame others for their unhappiness.

      • Marie L.

        “Bottom line, they are just miserable people who blame others for their unhappiness”

        Sad but true and couldn’t put it better myself. 🙂

      • Marie L.


        I gotta tell you, I really, really loved your above response. Not only did it hit home for me and probably for others going through the same situation, I even chuckled a bit at your wit. 🙂 It felt good too. Sometimes the best medicine is laughter when you are in the midst of all this lunacy.

      • lisa

        yep, well the x wife got what she wanted in my situation.
        she cheated 3 times and left in 20 years. told my x to find someone else as she didnt love him anymore. when he found me she hit the roof she stalked us, hit him, harrassed him whilst we were together then eventually turned their son against him, to the point where the son stole, did breakins and hit his father all cos his dad was trying to discipline him and she did nothing. she then stopped him from speaking to his dad whilst my x had a dying father. I couldnt help it i got so frustrated at his lack of strength and protecting me, i started arguing with him and basically nearly went loopy, I had the kids and the wife giving my x a hard time. In the end i lost he dumped me blamed our arguing. we only argued about this situation. i find out later she was dating sites throughout our whole relationship. i then get accused by his kids of vandalising his car, i got abuse from kids i didnt even know, he even abused me. I have never even spoken to him since the day we broke up. He wouldnt take my calls, I now see they all friends again, the wife, him and the kids. The wife has now gone into business with the father of her first child after my x pretended the child was his for many years. I cannot believe it. Photos of her x and her hugging and my x boyfriend has pressed like on fb. She has poisoned them. I got a threatening text from her, i didnt reply i went straight to police, when they said your husband she yelled X husband dont call him my husband. She also said she wasn’t happy about her kids harrassing me. hmmmmm i just dont get why my x just suddenly disappeared and treated me like i was the leper or evil one.

      • Marie L.

        Lisa, did you get a chance to read some of my replies to the earlier posts that I responded to and left for you previously below this one in January? Hon, the only thing you lost with this guy is a temporary lapse into insanity. I gathered from what you wrote before, he was bad news from the beginning to the end. Not only did his ex wife have him wrapped around her finger, but he took his insecurity out on you. And a female push, (unless you pushed him down a steep flight of stairs or out a 3rd story window), does not equal the man’s return punch in your face! Good riddance to the woman beater, cowardly piece of sniveling trash. Let his ex wife have him. They deserve each other.

        When you get a chance, read the “newer” replies I left for you in January (below).

      • lisa

        oh hello, i had to look for this as I didn’t get the email alert. thanks so much for taking the time to reply.
        firstly he didnt punch me in the face he punched not hard but got me in the chest this was after i pushed him first, i had done this on two occassions usually due to his lack of empathy or strength in standing up to these ppl and wanting to leave my house each time i called him weak.
        also you say my third paragraph sounds like a sign of the manipulating wife, which paragraph and situation was this?

      • Marie L.

        It was this one: “That night I got a lot of abusing texts from him and nasty message’s from his kids, even some of their friends on facebook accusing me of keying his car.”

        Why are his kids getting involved? Do they have proof about you keying the car? (gut feeling-I know you didn’t do it) Where are they getting all of this info from and why are they even bothering to try to get some posse going against you with FB friends? After all, it was just a relationship that is now over. But yet, the drama continues. Why? I doubt very greatly that your ex boyfriend was the ring leader in all of that drama.. so that leaves you know who.

        And also dear, physical violence in any relationship is not good. On either part. I misinterpreted what you wrote before. I do understand how you might’ve been driven to it.. He was also not an innocent in all of this… but it is still wrong. If anything, this was definitely something that was not made to last for your own good, and as for him, he’s still allowing his ex wife to conquer him.. Scenarios like this can bring out the worst in people. But now it’s time to forgive yourself, pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes.. and move on. 🙂

      • Marie L

        Still, a female type push is not equivalent to man’s return punch, anywhere on a woman’s body. A man that is so full of rage that he can be driven to the extent of that just by a woman pushing him, then my God, what if you accidently stepped on his toe during those horrible arguments? What would happen then?

        Any form of violence is not good. But you have to realize that at times these kind of situations can bring out the very worst in people. Arguments are frequent and common especially when the person who’s ex causes problems and they do very little or nothing at all to safeguard their new relationships from it. They are horrible gatekeepers. How you reacted was understandable, if not justified. Most important is that you forgive yourself for this. A push is a push. Though I wouldn’t categorize a push as really trying to initiate violence, or at the least to justify what you got back for it. The Important thing is that if YOU do, first forgive yourself and if anything, be the better person who is responsible for your own actions. 🙂 You see what I mean? It is good that you feel that responsibility. That is something that they cannot do, unfortunately for them. So for them, it’s a vicious cycle of control, blame, manipulation, jealousy and a crap load of insecure pride, if that makes any sense. Horrible existence for them, unless they get help.

      • lisa

        Hello, you made me chuckle when you said ‘you know who’ lol, I had names for mine, buggerlugs or mental mel. I do feel bad for getting physical and personal, I was nasty. Something I still can’t move on from. when we broke up he said our fights our getting violent i cant do this. but then he told me she hit him that day on the beach and she had also text me telling me he likes to hit things, whats the truth really.
        to be honest those fb messages from the kids and friends sound just like her antics. At one point she was pretending she was her son and messaging my x’s mother saying her daughter was giving her son drugs on facebook, she logged in as him. When the police rang she said she was horrified on what the kids did to me. I still don’t get why all of a sudden he just switched overnight and acted as he hated me and wouldnt take my calls. It took him months to give me back my house keys he wouldnt answer my calls would only reply in a text. Do you think this was her doing? I was not the one in the wrong here.

      • lisa

        and yes, I feel like i was the mental one the way they all called me pshychotic, him abandoning me.
        maybe it would have worked out with someone else a bit calmer than me.
        i was close with his brothers girlfriend that also went through the same situation i helped her, she told me to leave my situation as she didnt want me to put up with what she had for the past 3 years, now she doesnt even bother to contact me after all the support i gave her. they must all think im the nutcase.

      • Marie L.

        “. I do feel bad for getting physical and personal, I was nasty. Something I still can’t move on from”

        You really have to forgive yourself for that. Let me give you an example: Some of the arguments I have had with my husband about his lunatic ex wife: I had a habit of following him around the house without giving him a chance to respond or breathe a word in contrary, to the point he would make a dash to escape to his “man-cave” lol! (his office) by gently pushing me back to close and lock the door. Now. when he pushed me back, even though he was upset, it wasn’t taken by me as being violent in the least. Of course It certainly didn’t make me very happy, but I knew It’s just a matter of his escape tactics. Was he in the right to do that? Yes and no. Yes (he’s trying to defuse the argument by escaping and allowing both of us to have quiet time to reflect on it) And no, (he should listen better to my feeling about the whole scenario) And even though I wasn’t happy at the time after his “escape”, it certainly didn’t cause me to punch him in the chest for it. Because his “push” didn’t inflict a violent response. You see what I mean?

        (I can’t help but believe that your “push” also didn’t suggest any kind of initiation of violence either, but because you were just upset at the situation and you wanted to get his attention and be heard, as most women do.) FORGIVE yourself for that.

        I’m now happy to say that our situation has greatly improved! He’s a happy camper now and so am I, since the basis of most of our arguments about his lunatic ex wife is somewhat out of the picture. Along with my salt water gargles to ease my vocal cords have greatly diminished because of it. LOL!

      • Marie L.

        (sorry for the constant “continuing” posts, I need to walk away from my computer a lot)
        Just saying that what he did and what I did were both wrong, but he didn’t physically hurt me or even threatening, and just wanted me safely out of the way so he could shut his door to cool down. On the other hand, I was wrong for constantly and relentlessly trying to argue my point without looking at the big picture in the end, which finally arrived for us. And all the distrust I had towards him for years was really unwarranted. He might have been a bit uneasy about dealing with the ex wife and really didn’t want to cause more trouble than it might’ve been worth, but he did follow through in the end when every single diversion she could’ve used were legally gone. And now I am starting to feel bad myself for the way I behaved.

        Though I still believe that it’s very important for a person who has a toxic ex to set firm and strict boundaries that should never be crossed between them before even thinking about starting a new relationship with someone else. Just to avoid heartache and the destruction that can come from it. Not only to the person that’s dealing with their ex, but for the sake of their kids and any new person that may come into the situation.

        The way your ex boyfriend handled your “push” was as though he was dealing with another man, instead of an upset woman who was dealing pretty much alone with a horrible situation.

      • Nik

        I am in nearly the exact situation as you! My husbands ex is using their children to the point that she’s destroyed his relationship with his daughters. They have become just like her and we will not allow that behavior in our household. A 16 and 19 year old know better. I hear your bitterness and I feel the hatred. I’m living in the same despair. I’ve tried nice, reasonable, pray for her, everybody knows she’s crazy. Her own family can’t stand her, with exception of her mother. It is just overwhelming to deal with someone like this. I don’t know about you, but I thought my guy was exaggerating. Surely no woman could be all this bad. Truth is, she’s worse!

      • Lana

        Wow. I’m agnostic. I was raised Christian my whole life up until I decided myself 2 years ago that Im not Christian. That being said, everything else you spoke on was spot on and exactly what I needed to hear! Thank you!!!! You just saved my relationship, with myself more than with my boyfriend. One love

      • Amy

        There is no need for her to recognize her anger. That’s why she’s here. She’s angry and she knows why. Why you pray for her and give her sound advice – in fact better yet- walk in her shoes for a year and decide if smiling and kindness will work for you.

  • Kiki

    I have been dating my boyfriend coming up on three years now and he’s about to “pop the question!” He has two wonderful children that I thoroughly enjoy and care for as well as a very angry/toxic ex-wife. Anytime there is conflict with the ex she goes straight to taking the children away from their father (who has the kids 80% of the time or more). So, with that being said…if she goes straight to taking the children away over small things then what is she going to do when we get engaged? Atomic melt down?

    How do we break the news to her so she doesn’t hear it from the kids or second hand on facebook?!

    • Marie L

      My sympathies. And yes, you may have to brace yourself. But since you have already experienced the ex’s rages and you are not walking into the situation blindly as some of us have, you may find yourself experienced enough by now to know what to expect. For starters, your fiancée should make a list of sternly set, strict boundaries that should NEVER be wavered from on what his ex wife can and cannot do especially leading to situations that would enter into the realm of harassment. Go over the list with him adding what you would also be reasonably entitled to. I would also persuade him to make sure he makes his ex wife understand the severity of what “Parent Alienation” is and how the courts may punish those parents that abuse their children in this way. Showing the list to a lawyer might also help the situation for rectification. Then send the list by formal letter (hopefully through the lawyer’s office) to the ex wife.

      For the time being, and for you personally, I would try hard to not interfere. In other words, let your fiancée take care of most of the wrath, especially at the beginning. This will also give you some time to build up your defenses or at least help prepare yourself to go into the shut down “ignore” mode if you need to. Self-pressing our internal “IGNORE” button is sometimes the only defense we have. If she does go absolutely ballistic and starts harassing or keeping the children away, then it’s time to play hardball with her through the courts. Not only with custody rights, but also with any future restraining orders that may be filed against her due to harassment. Keeping a written journal helps.

      I know this may seem as though you are marching into battle, but in reality, you are.

  • Helena

    Taking deep breathing lessons and doing yoga are my ways to cope with my husband’s toxic ex wife. She is controlling manipulative and overbearing, but I know she is deeply hurt. She isn’t happy. My husband and I are very happy together, I refuse to let her toxicity ruin my marriage.

    Take care of yourself. Self care. That’s how you deal with your husband’s ex.

    • Tammy Burdick

      I have dealt with my husband’s X wife who is deranged and a psycho whack job after three years into our relationship. 1st off I was never told he had a wife. This is 3 years after dating him. It’s a long story. I broke up with him after first slapping him as hard as I possibly could. I dated and fell in love and moved on. Then he kept calling me all the time. Eventually we ended up together. I made him wait to marry me. Let me just say, if u had to go down this road again. I wouldn’t do it!!

      I am still having to deal with this toxic and deranged psychological b****. It’s been a nightmare worse than any movie I have ever seen.

      He still let his X wife trample all over him. He is Spineless!! She ought to be in jail already just for the crap she has put her children through.

    • Julie Lee

      I feel bad for all of you!! I dated a guy who let his ex and her young boyfriend live in his home for free. He worked 2 hours away, but drove the 2 hrs every weekend and stayed there with his 10 yr old kid, the ex, & her bf. Oh, she nor boyfriend had a job, and couldn’t afford an apartment. So, the boyfriend only spent Sat nights with me, and left first thing Sun mornings. The b*tch had the nerve to say he didn’t spend enough time with his kid…and also wouldn’t allow him to bring the kid to my place for the weekends.
      So eventually, I moved. She went through 2 more loser boyfriends. She demanded more money. Instead of my boyfriend making her meet halfway with the kid on weekends, he’d still drive down, and stay with her every weekend. She had no connections to the town. She just stayed there for loser guys she was with. She wouldn’t move so her kid would be closer to his dad. Talk about selfish!
      He kept defending her selfish, controlling behavior! He even tried to blame me, saying I was wrong, and that I was wrong. I finally had enough of the excuses and MY feelings being ignored. I left the dummy. He tried to apologize & said I was right. But I don’t care. He’s still staying with the ex every weekend. I will not be disrespected. If he was truly sorry, he’d be a man, stand up to that selfish b**ch, and make better decisions.
      What did i learn?? He never really wanted me. He just wanted my attention.
      Y weekend

  • Laurie

    Dear Lisa,

    It sounds like your ex had a very complicated, unhealthy relationship with his ex-wife. She is a toxic woman who doesn’t want anyone to be happy or healthy. She and your ex are intertwined in ways that aren’t easy to understand, and for some reason she has power over him. People are difficult to understand, sometimes even to themselves. I do think his ex-wife was poisoning him and the kids against you, and it may be easier for them to unite with her instead of stand up for you. It’s sad.

    My prayer for you is that you find peace and forgiveness in your life. You can’t change your ex, his ex-wife, or the way their kids treated you. But, you can heal! You can grieve your loss, process the negative emotions, and move forward in your life. I pray you find the right people to guide and support you, and that you live with hope, peace, and joy in your life. May you shake off the toxic relationships of the past and let go of your ex. May you connect with God and become emotionally and spiritually strong. Amen.


    • Lisa

      thanks Laurie, that was really good advice. I have been struggling with depression since we broke up. One minute he say’s im the best thing that has happened to him, then he wont even pick the phone up everytime I called him. He just texts. I cannot believe how he allowed his family to contact and abuse me.
      I am still blaming myself for fighting with him maybe this wouldnt have happend i.e. broken up with me if I hadnt of argued it may have made him realise Im the safe haven and much better than her.
      I just need to move on I really loved this guy.

  • Lisa

    I have also just come out of one of these relationships. The wife cheated 3 times over 20 years and each time he took her back. They have two teenage sons. When she found out about me, she said after 3 months it was too soon for me to meet his kids. She appeared one day on the beach we were at, glared at me then pulled him away and hit him. Next day she withdrew all his money from his bank. He did nothing.
    She used to ring a lot whilst we were together. At first he protected me. Then the son started playing up. She was leaving kids on their own for days. She would ring the kids whilst i was there and ask where I was and what i was doing. The son hit my x and she didnt let him speak to his dad for 2 weeks. We started fighting a lot.
    I wanted him to get a divorce and he kept saying havent even thought about it. We were constantly afraid she would show up at his house and abuse me. She then got my phone number somehow and started repeating their conversations (about me). This was the last straw, I was turning into a nutcase. I lost the plot one weekend after she text me, he did nothing. We had huge argument and I never heard from him again. She then sends another text saying he doesnt want to be with me. His kids also sent me facebook horrible messages. I feel so hurt and I wonder why he just disappeared on me was it because she was turning the family away from him?

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Lauren,

    I think it might help to take power away from your husband’s ex-wife. Right now, she has the ability to make you late for work – and she can definitely has the power to affect your mood, blood pressure, heart rate, and brain! She is controlling your mental, emotional, and spiritual health. You are letting her control you.

    How can you take her power away?

    My prayer for you is that you find ways to stop your husband’s toxic ex-wife from controlling your feelings, thoughts, and emotions. I pray that you are able to come up with simple, effective ways to stop her actions from affecting your life, work, and marriage. May you find solutions that put give your husband responsibility, and may you free yourself from the entanglements that are so damaging to your health and relationships.


    • Wendyb

      Omg. These exes are something else. My husbands ex begged for him to stay then when she realized he was not in love with her anymore she claimed abuse. The funniest thing is that she couldn’t get the years right, once she said 11 yr the 6 the 18. Haha not to mention we found emails where all threw thir marriage she had an internet boyfriend who worked at Telus. He eventually moved here to live with her, I feel bad for the guy, he is her maid. She is all of a sudden day fitness instructor, haha her list of friends consist of only potential we’ll off woe men whom I’ve heard she laughs about with her sister, calling these women pathetic and desperate, she could take their husbands from them is a second. Crazy I call that. She has road blocked every holiday and the children are terrified of her and her Telus partner, whom by the way forgot to tell his wife about her… but on an up side, watching my husband and children together is so heart warming. Love the kids but don’t be the door mat. The children will be brainwashed into thinking your the reason their dad is not their, when they are older they will figure it out on their own..ex. May step daughter told me the other day that she knew the truth and remember her mother on the computer talking to a man showing him body parts. She was 7 at the time, and dad was outside so she realized it wasn’t him…ladies eventually their lies will catch up to them and their friends or as she calls them clients , will catch on and grow tired of fake compliments followed by, can I have or will u please do… Crazy… If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck the it is not a f..k… Chicken is it..

  • Lauren

    I read this article because I am currently going through an awful situation with my boyfriend and his very TOXIC is wife. The most recent escapade being that she is trying to get me fired from my job so that he will leave me to get back with her. The kids stay with us the majority of the time and HATE going to her house because she is lazy and sleeps the whole time they are with her. So every morning she is supposed to be at our home at 7:30 to pick them up. This morning, she showed up at 8:00AM!!! Making me over 15 minutes late for work. This might not seem like its that bad, but considering this is the 15th time shes done it, I’ve had enough!! I am at my wits end with her and I don’t know what to do next. I am terrified of confronting her, because she has left and taken the kids with her out of state before and we are only 2 months away from a court date to try and get custody. I don’t know how much more I can take, just need help!

  • Laurie Post author

    I think you nailed it, Kim, when you said you really just want his time and attention. No matter how toxic or demanding the ex-wife is, if our husbands are attentive and caring, it’s easier to handle. And we need to see that he prioritizes us over the ex, by cutting off conversations with them and putting them second or third or fourth.

    Maybe the reason your husband isn’t annoyed as much is because he’s happy with you. When you first got married and his ex-wife was just settling in, he was easily annoyed. Now that he’s secure in your marriage, maybe the trivial things aren’t as bothersome. He can flow with the ex-wife because he’s really happy with you, perhaps?

  • Laurie Post author

    Thank you for your comments, Lisa! It sounds like you might have experience in some way with this, and your heart is with the family has a whole. You have an objective way of looking at things, and I believe your comments will help readers cope with toxic ex-wives.

    The challenging thing is that sometimes it’s easier to be the big person and model how you’d like this relationship to function. I totally agree that it’s a better way to deal with a toxic ex-wife who is causing marriage problems, but I’m learning that our emotions and gut reactions get in the way of taking the high road. I know I’m always battling what I know I should say and do with what I really want to say and do.

    Past relationships almost always bring problems, even when everything is smooth and easy.

  • Laurie Post author

    If you don’t feel comfortable with your husband’s ex-wife walking around your property without invitation, then I believe you have the right to ask her to call first. After all, that’s what friends and family do, don’t they?

    How does your husband feel about his ex’s behavior?

    • Kim

      At first when the ex would come around, my husband would seem annoyed. But now he doesn’t mind it and I am the one with the problem with it. We are not able to spend much quality time right now, as my ex doesn’t take my kids anymore. So our quality time has been cut off. Therefore, I feel more insecure when she stops over all the time, like everyday to drop off something that her boys “supposedly” left at her house. She is intrusive. Sometimes, she has just walked into the house. One time, she was startled by me being there, and said, “oh, I didn’t know you were here today, Michael said you were going to be at work.” I didn’t say anything out loud, but I thought to myself, so if I am not here, she just comes into the house as she pleases. My husband got upset with me the other night because it was 10:20pm and they were getting back late from a baseball game. She happened to be behind them in the driveway. I was on my way up to bed as I noticed he was outside talking to her. I had just texted him prior to him getting home, see you soon, we’ll talk when you get home. Now mind you, we usually go to bed around 10:30, and here he is outside talking with her. I was upset and opened the door and immaturely waved my arm and said good night! He came in a few minutes later and we started arguing about this. He said I am going to have to deal with him talking to her. I understand talking about the kids, but I cannot handle his asking her for advice on who to vote for, buying her coffee when he stops at coffee shop in between games, asking her to take pictures of his basketball team (after he had asked me to do, I am a photographer, that’s my job), etc. So he basically is not willing to back down and feels I am wrong for feeling the way I do. I just want his time and attention.

      • Jeni


        Leave him now! It never gets better. My husbands ex still causes trouble they split 24 yrs. ago. The kid is 25yrs old. I have no children if I did I think he might understand it better. I pray they get back together and I never have to hear their names the rest of my life I hate every one of them they are toxic.

      • Susan

        Wow…..sounds like I wrote that. My husband divorced his wack job wife in 1998, kids are 29 and 30 and she still uses the “children” as her excuse to contact husband. The things she does are horrid. I’m so sick and tired of this woman and even more tired of my husbands lack of a spine or his attraction to the ex or whatever it is that makes this nightmare go on and on, I agree….run away, and fast. It’s the only solution for these deranged humans.

      • Marie L

        Sorry if this reply is late… My goodness, I feel for you. For starters it seems as though your husband is not only disregarding the commitment he has with you, but also is playing into “her” somewhat insecurity driven childish, High School girl games. Most women who are divorced from their husbands and behave in ways what you would call “normal”, usually don’t follow their ex husbands around at late hours,. Or not having enough change to buy themselves a cup of coffee and persuading their ex husband to buy them a cup. It sounds like she has some kind of agenda other than dealing with adult children (that can be handled with a phone call at a more proper time) They usually are more considerate of others as well, meaning you. I am also an “ex-wife” and I’d rather have all my teeth ripped out than have my ex husband know any of my personal business other than what has to do with my son. And since I got the impression the children you mentioned are adult aged which also proves that she herself is well into her own adult-hood and no longer some kind of a high school girl, although her actions may prove otherwise. I get the feeling that she actually feels threatened by YOU, even though your own feelings portray the opposite. She is looking to stir up trouble between you and her ex husband, that would make her look like some kind of shining star. This type of immature behavior is another tactic they use to comfort their own sick mind. They also love to portray the lie that the jealousy actually stems from those like you instead of the fact that it actually is pouring out from themselves which causes them to play sick baby games like this. What I suggest you to do is to strongly encourage your husband to go to marriage counseling with you because in most cases, the husband is being manipulated in so many ways by their ex to the point of brain washing. Your best bet is to get a non-biased, third party therapist involved. That may be the only way your husband may be convinced otherwise, in turn saving your marriage.

  • Kimberly Myers

    I was wondering if it is “right” or “wrong” to not allow my husband’s ex-wife “into our home” or when we are swimming out back to just walk out there and start talking to us. I just feel that her stepping into our home or coming out back when we are swimming is not appropriate. She is not a part of “our” home or family. She has her own home and boyfriend. She left my husband and her two sons to go be with her boyfriend. She abandoned the “rights” to this home. I just feel it is inappropriate and not “right”. Any comments?

  • Laurie

    Pat, thank you for your very important comments about two sides to every coin. I agree that if a potential partner blames everything on the ex wife or ex husband, then there is something wrong with the partner.

    It’s important to be impartial, and to remember that there is the ex wife’s side, the ex husband’s side, and somewhere in between is the truth.

  • Michelle


    Our plan with the ex-wife is to serve her papers to show up to court for modification of child support. We are requesting it to be reduce by 500.00 a month. We also pay health insurance. total of 20000.00 per year 40% of his net income total that we pay each year. That will be a reduction of 7000.00 She cant afford and attorney. Our attorney has 30ys experience.
    I think she is going go crazy in front of the judge. Then the judge will know how she really is.

    I told my husband after court. He isn’t going to answer phone, texts or email back to her. I will respond if needed. We are going to keep copies and go to the police. In our state it a misdemeanor to harass someone. She can be fined and put in jail. We also have an injunction on her , which is like a restraining order. She isn’t allowed talk to my husband unless its for visitation. any other request are to go through his attorney, which she has dont. She can be in contempt for that too. Once she starts harassing use about the reduce child support, I’m going to call the police to my house and have him go to her house and warn her or arrest her , since we have an injunction. Then when ever my husband has to pick kid up for visitation, im going with him and go to he door with him or go by my self, because I don’t want her to harass him and yell at him. We hope she wont refuse visitation. I don’t think so, since she like us to have them a lot. She likes her alone time on the couch.

    • Lisa

      I think it sounds awful that you would want the mother of his children to go to jail. You just said she can’t afford an attorney and won’t be able to afford this decrease of $7000… Don’t you think that would be upsetting to anyone? At some point a judge obviously thought that settlement was fair…but glad you are looking for avenues to decrease support to his children. Your husband needs to man up and handle things on his own without you butting in. He married her and had children. I’m not sure what the full picture is here but nonetheless he had a larger responsibility to the women and children he chose as his family legally. Why do you think you should be so on this woman’s face? Maybe he screwed her over and abandoned his marriage and she has a right to be pissed? You haven’t said anything that she’s done except that she’s “harassing” you guys. What kind of people sit around making grand plans to jack with someone’s life, then predict her reaction and plan to put her in jail when she reacts to you two plotting against her? Why don’t you try talking to her through mediation like adults, at least discuss this HUGE change with her so she is not slammed with new information when served. You are setting this all up to piss her off. Sounds like you enjoy the drama and want to stick it to her. I don’t care if she’s done xyz to you… Be the bigger people and model how you’d like this relationship to function rather than poking at a bear!!

      • Marie

        Well, Lisa, “Michelle” did explain the situation, the 2nd post below your reply. You replied without reading her prior post. Don’t get me wrong, I too believe there are two sides to the story.. but for a mother to put her own children into positions that they are used as pawns instilled by a mother’s(?) sick, twisted form of insecure jealousy against their ex husband and new wife, then acting out in revenge without the slightest concern for her children, that IS wrong, and yes, she should be punished to the full extent of the law. Fortunately the courts are now finally taking “Parent Alienation” into consideration and concludes that type of behavior IS child abuse and in my eyes, one of the worst kinds! And what I have noticed over the years along with the many posts by 2nd wives including my own situation, that in many instances, the divorce is usually caused by the FIRST WIFE committing adultery, etc. These type of women seem to have extreme personality disorders and are very manipulative, so the ONLY way to deal with them is to play hardball.

      • Marie

        Adding on.. Though I do believe that fathers should be the majority in paying financial support of their children, most of the time I’ve noticed these so called mothers do not spend the majority of child support payments on their children, but on themselves to keep them from going out and getting a job or used as another weapon against their prior spouse to continue controlling them. I also believe that when you have children that BOTH parents should financially contribute to them. Not just the father. If you get divorced whether you are a husband OR a wife, doesn’t matter which, and you have children, that obligation to support should be from both parties.

      • Lisa

        I have been dating a man for 9 months, he chased me prior to this for 8 months but i wasn’t interested. After being dumped by someone else i gave him a chance and he grew on me.After our first date his x wife (they have been seperated for 2 years) started messaging me on facebook wanting to know where he was and for him to phone her as he was meant to have his kids. Their relationship was awful, she left him 3 times having numerous affairs and each time he took her back for the kids, 2 boys 16 and 15. We started dating things were good, i met his kids pretty quickly. A few months into it she appeared from behind a bush when we were on the beach, glared at me and pulled him aside and started belting him this was to do with me and how she thought it was too soon for the kids to meet me.The kids saw it and told her they were ok with me. The step daughter was also there and said i dont know why she is carrying on she hasnt wanted him for 10 years, they were married for 20.The next day she withdrew $6k out of his account to get him back.Since then things were ok he said she would get better.Then met someone and backed off.His family dont speak to her they all hate her as she has caused so much trouble.He also comes from a unhealthy upbringing.Things got good with us. He is caring and lovely.My family love him.
        About May of this year his eldest son started playing up. Smoking drugs at her house, she was never home. My partner trying to help. Things just got bad with us from then on, i started fighting with him about all this stuff. Sometimes he wouldnt be honest about what was going on with the kids and her and then i find out later. I felt he was lying to me.She wanted a settlement he gave it to her. The kid just got worse, he stole my partners wallet and didnt let on for 3 months after my partner found it after ramsacking his room for drugs. He even came to police station when it first happened to report it.My partner didnt discplined him he told his dad he found the wallet with no money in it, my partner believed him.Every time i saw my partner he was depressed.She would call a bit as well whilst we were together, blaming me for the kids behaviour and saying he wasnt spending enough time with his kids. Then my partners father got cancer he is now dying. The kid then got expelled after many suspensions. We were up at my partners house a few weeks before the kid broke in and lied to his dad that he was there as i was in the house.The kid was also bad before he met me.Then my partner confronted his son about lying he slapped him and the kid pushed him through a glass door and punched him the mouth.He had to go to hospital.He didnt speak to his son for 2 weeks the wife never made the kid call his son to say sorry. My partner tried to text his son to tell him his grandad was dying no reply.I have also asked my partner to get a divorce he said he will but he hadnt thought of it even though he has paid her s out.We had huge argument about this. I told him to leave and he slept in car that night due to drinking.I always have to ring and apologise he wont speak to me for days.This particular fight he took the kid away, i tried to phone him that night he didnt answer he rang me the following morning. He said he was working in the shed and drinking. The wife’s text said dont worry she is getting a divorce and for me to stop hassling him and from what he has said i sound like a stalker. How would she know i was ringing that night? This made me worry all week. We went away last weekend and i felt weird towards him gave him silent treatment he was trying to be nice. Next day i just did my own thing and he just disappears doesnt want to sort it out. Thats all i need though, comfort.he told me she said she wanted a divorce he said good cos lisa wants me to get one, what why couldnt he say i want one too. Then my partners brother came over and his girlfriend they have similar issues and started arguing.i started crying i went to bed my partner came up didnt try and talk just shut door i said its over. he ignored me. i tried to talk to him later this turned into huge fight i pushed him he punched me. i said this is not my baggage. he said dont you call me f kids baggage i didnt. he said my kids are no 1 you were level with them but not now. you have been awful to me all day. then he says she has been texting all day being nasty and threatening to turn oldest off him. we go to bed he doesnt talk to me in morning say’s its all too hard. not working. she sends me another text saying he is a liar awful he likes to hit things and that she was with him in that house a few weeks ago wonder why he wouldnt answer your calls. i told him he said she will never let him be with anyone. after this he wont talk to me its been 5 days we had a holiday booked today he cancelled due to his dad on death bed. he said its not working you always fight with me i have never fought with anyone like this. he wont answer my calls. i dont know what to do now im so depressed i told him i missed him he asked y, he wont say he loves me, i dont understand as only 2 weeks ago he told me not to dump him and im the best thing that has ever happened to him.

      • Marie

        I am sorry that I replied late… My goodness, my heart goes out to you… So many times when the ex wife has narcissistic traits, she contaminates every one around her. You mentioned that you are dating this man.. are you married to him now?

        Regardless, it sounds like he is letting her hold the reigns over everything and everyone, even you, and I hope that it is only because of fear and nothing more than that. I’m also concerned for you because it sounds like it’s becoming more physical and that is not an excuse for a man to react harshly just because they are embarrassed by that fear and tries to hide it behind anger. Mine was too, although not to the same extreme as yours. 🙁 I am sorry to break that to you.

        Because I feel your situation is grave, I strongly suggest that you may want to reconsider your attachment to this man… that is if you are not married to him. If you are, then in order to save your marriage is to go to a marriage counselor immediately or if you belong to a church, seek counseling from your pastor. Find a professional that will have a non-biased opinion in your situation so your husband/partner won’t feel as threatened. You both will need to reach a compromise, along with setting severely strict boundaries drawn between yourselves and the ex wife.. or else the relationship or marriage will fail eventually. PLEASE get help soon. And if you are not married, maybe the wisest thing to do is to just let this one go. Your mental and physical health is worth more than this.

        I am sorry Laurie, although I do believe that you have a sweet spirit and only mean well for everyone, I don’t believe that just trying to get along with the ex wife will not help this particular situation. This one seems pretty grave and physical violence is coming out from it that something more has to be done, and soon.

      • Lisa

        Regardless, it sounds like he is letting her hold the reigns over everything and everyone, even you, and I hope that it is only because of fear and nothing more than that. I’m also concerned for you because it sounds like it’s becoming more physical and that is not an excuse for a man to react harshly just because they are embarrassed by that fear and tries to hide it behind anger. Mine was too, although not to the same extreme as yours. 🙁 I am sorry to break that to you.

        Do you mean this man could still be in love with her? What was you situation?

      • Lisa

        I keep blaming myself for arguing all the time and losing control, do you think it was my fault for arguing? and thats why the relationship ended?

      • Marie

        “Do you mean this man could still be in love with her? What was you situation?”

        Sometimes the men in this type of situation can succumb to their ex wives threats and continue to be manipulated even after the marriage ends because they are afraid of what their ex wife is capable of doing if they go against her. They tread lightly because of that fear. I base this on experiences not only on mine, but from some of the new wives that I know as personal friends and from other postings on boards like this one. This is why I come to believe that these situations are not uncommon. No man likes to admit to that fear so they get angry when questioned on why they are not holding their ground well enough. They just don’t want to admit to it, it’s embarrassing to show that weakness. But, by doing little or nothing but trying their best to cater to their ex wives because they are feeling intimidated accomplishes absolutely nothing and gives the ex wife full reign to carry on her destructive tactics knowing that she will get away with it. It also harms any new relationship that comes along.

        In my case my husbands ex wife was both threatening either directly towards us or indirectly through my husband’s adult children. Since he was married to her before for so long and knew how she was, he felt that by not stirring the pot so to speak would keep the situation from getting worse. Which in “normal” circumstances where the ex wife behaves somewhat rationally, may be a good thing to do.. but in these type of situations where the ex wife goes on a jealous induced warpath where her only intent is to destroy their ex husband and their new wife (or partner), that is a totally different scenario that must be dealt with a stern fashion and firmly set boundaries.

        The reason why my situation is different from yours is that although he didn’t like me arguing or nagging about it with him and a lot of times we would have arguments between us , it never lead to violence. And I also knew in my gut where his heart really was, there was no question of his feeling for me and he also stood up for me along with both of us knowing that when the time came (and it has) that she would be pretty much be removed from our lives. Fortunately for us, that time has come. According to their divorce decree, the 7 year obligation for alimony has been all paid up… Their children are adults so there is no child support. My husband has informed her by letter to pretty much leave us alone, (or else).

        He no longer has any reason to feel intimated by her any longer, so that fear is now gone and our marriage is now what it should’ve been from the start.

        Although in your situation, I didn’t feel that your partner has really stood up for you along with allowing his ex wife to treat you the way she did without much consequence for her actions. I also feel that a man punching a woman for whatever reason is not only just flat out wrong, but it’s also illegal. I can understand the fear a man may feel from the wrath of his ex, but even that type of fear doesn’t justify punching a woman.

        So, please never, ever blame yourself. You didn’t cause this situation, they did. Neither one has justification for their actions. If I were you, thank GOD that you no longer a part of it. And sweetie, there are plenty more fish in the sea. 🙂 Look at this as God’s providence in sparing you any more anguish.

        God bless

      • Marie

        Marie L. says:

        November 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm
        Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        “Do you mean this man could still be in love with her?”

        From what I gather it seems as though he may feel he has made himself vulnerable to her…allowing her to control him. Maybe because he’s grown so accustomed to her treating him that way.. I am not sure I call something like that “love”. On the other hand, it seemed he took you for granted to make himself feel better about himself as a man afterwards. Although my perspective is vague because I am not personally there to see it, that’s what I gather from what you wrote.

        I also think your now ex- partner would benefit tremendously if he sought some serious one on one professional counseling along with taking anger management classes. If it’s really as bad as it sounds, I doubt that he would be able to hold any kind of relationship with anyone until he breaks that grip she has on him. I feel bad for his kids, no wonder they turned out the way they did.

      • Danielle

        It’s interesting how the ex wife always has a “personality disorder” after being cheated on and dumped for some whoring homewrecker and left to try and survive.
        Also how these “new and improved..perfect wives” are so effing controlling.
        Let your new husband be the “man” and you try being the woman..if you know how.
        it’s HIS business..not yours..your little boy doesnt need protecting from the woman he cheated on and abandoned. YOU made the choice to chase/marry a cheating husband / suck it up!!

      • Marie L

        If you read my post, many ex wives that do seem to have a “personality disorder” caused the divorce in the first place by committing adultery, etc. That was the case in my situation. I came along long after what happened. My husband actually had given her one last chance to end the affair she was having and was willing to forgive her again even though she had affairs twice before in their 22 year marriage. She didn’t take it. At the end of the last affair also left her with a child. Now, she is finding herself destitute and desperate and now resents my husband and myself because our lifestyle hasn’t changed for the worse likes hers did. Because of this she has harassed us with numerous calls, threatened to get my husband fired from his job, tries to set his adult children against the both of us and tells people things that I have never said. I barely talk to her on the phone. When she calls I let her leave a message or my husband takes the call and I do not get involved. So if you don’t mind me saying, please read posts fully before you add your reply. As just for your info, I also do not approve of anyone committing adultery, wife or husband.

      • Marie L.

        “Do you mean this man could still be in love with her?”

        From what I gather it seems as though he may feel he has made himself vulnerable to her…allowing her to control him. Maybe because he’s grown so accustomed to her treating him that way.. I am not sure I call something like that “love”. On the other hand, it seemed he took you for granted to make himself feel better about himself as a man afterwards. Although my perspective is vague because I am not personally there to see it, that’s what I gather from what you wrote.

        I also think your now ex- partner would benefit tremendously if he sought some serious one on one professional counseling along with taking anger management classes. If it’s really as bad as it sounds, I doubt that he would be able to hold any kind of relationship with anyone until he breaks that grip she has on him. I feel bad for his kids, no wonder they turned out the way they did.

      • Lisa

        Thanks for you great comments, I must say both of your comments have helped me tremendously, I am seeing a counsellor and she even said they were really helpful comments.
        Its been nearly 3 months now since we broke up. I have been through very bad depression. Time off work and ill. I keep blaming myself for starting the arguments and it was me that physically pushed him first in our last argument, I lost the plot, but this was just after the x had text me repeating coversations that me and my x had had i.e. about me wanting them to get a divorce. If i hadn’t of started the arguments then maybe we would still be together as he did say to me we fight all the time and he never fought with even her that much or any other relationshiop and that our fights got violent.
        He disappeared a few day’s after our argument and quick 5 second breakup phone call. From then on he disappeared for a month wouldnt take my calls. He had my belongings and some money as I had arranged a short holiday for us which he cancelled. I had paid for it. After 5 weeks he text me out of the blue saying he needed to sort out his stuff and that he would like me to return my stuff. That night I got a lot of abusing texts from him and nasty nasty message’s from his kids, even some of their friends on facebook accusing me of keying his car. My mother had to call him to get my stuff he returned it in the middle of the night. I text and said I dont know why this had to get so ugly. No reply. He even answered my call once and said he would call me back nothing. I don’t get why he just disappeared from my life when we were so close and in love. That’s what hurts.

        On the other hand, it seemed he took you for granted to make himself feel better about himself as a man afterwards.

        What did you mean by this?

        Do you think he would have the same problems with anyone else?

        I have never loved someone like this ever before and I don’t know how to move and also stop blaming myself for the fights. I feel like a pshycho.

      • Marie L.

        “On the other hand, it seemed he took you for granted to make himself feel better about himself as a man afterwards.

        What did you mean by this?”

        “Do you think he would have the same problems with anyone else?”

        Now I still like to mention again that my perspective is vague because I don’t know you personally and not I am not there to see it, but from what I gather, it looks as though he might’ve been embarrassed that he allows his ex wife to control him so much and was called on it by you, then in turn, made himself feel better by treating you the way he did. In other words, what is being done to him by his ex wife made him feel less of a man… so to make up for that, he took you for granted to make him feel more like a man without concern that he was hurting you worse. Sort of a like a twisted, backwards “caveman” effect. .do you see what I mean?

        “Do you think he would have the same problems with anyone else?”

        OH YEAH! If he does not emotionally remove that grip she has on him and gets some kind of professional help to control his anger, then I seriously doubt he’ll be ever able to have any kind of healthy relationship with anyone else.

      • lisaa

        thanks marie, my goodness your advice makes me feel so much better,
        my only major hangup or problem and i dont seem to be moving on from this is why did my x just disappear?
        we had an argument, i feel like its my fault as i gave him the silent treatment for a day after his x contacted me by text and got so aggro. i felt he had done nothing to get her to back off.
        she was texting him all that night during our fight.
        he disappeared once again for days after ignoring me(not the first time). he cancelled the holiday i paid for with a few days notice and told me we cant move forward as we fight too much, more so than with his relationship with her and i shoved him he punched me not hard though we both egged each other on., he isn’t an angry person at all. i find it hard to believe he didnt argue with her after he told me she assaulted him on the beach that day?he then didnt speak to me for a month. ignoring calls etc.
        he finally text me after a month saying sorry it didnt work out but i needed to sort out my stuff. he has never spoken to me ever again since. took him 3 months to pay me money for the holiday and return my belongings after i had to get my mother to call him. (he left them in her driveway in the middle of the night). his kids also sent me harrassing messages on facebook accusing me of keying his car including him. i threatened to go to the police.
        i dont get why he just disappeared like that after making me believe he was so in love with me. i even tried to break it off a few weeks before and he begged me not too saying im the best thing that has ever happened to him. and disappearing from my life. there was no need for it to get so ugly.
        this is why i think maybe its my fault for causing arguments and getting so agggressive.

      • lisa

        I cannot believe it, a friend of mine is friends with the x wife, guess where they met, on a dating site. She has been talking to him for 6 months which is the time we were together. She caused so much trouble with us, broke us up, didn’t want me around whilst she was looking for men on dating sites.

      • Lisa

        hi there sorry looks like some glitch happened when i posted this it has repeated some stuff we discussed. my reponse was mean to say;
        Thanks for you great comments, I must say both of your comments have helped me tremendously, I am seeing a counsellor and she even said they were really helpful comments.
        Its been nearly 3 months now since we broke up. I have been through very bad depression. Time off work and ill. I keep blaming myself for starting the arguments and it was me that physically pushed him first in our last argument, I lost the plot, but this was just after the x had text me repeating coversations that me and my x had had i.e. about me wanting them to get a divorce
        If i hadn’t of started the arguments then maybe we would still be together as he did say to me we fight all the time and he never fought with even her that much or any other relationshiop and that our fights got violent.
        He disappeared a few day’s after our argument and quick 5 second breakup phone call. From then on he disappeared for a month wouldnt take my calls. He had my belongings and some money as I had arranged a short holiday for us which he cancelled. I had paid for it. After 5 weeks he text me out of the blue saying he needed to sort out his stuff and that he would like me to return my stuff. That night I got a lot of abusing texts from him and nasty nasty message’s from his kids, even some of their friends on facebook accusing me of keying his car. My mother had to call him to get my stuff he returned it in the middle of the night. I text and said I dont know why this had to get so ugly. No reply. He even answered my call once and said he would call me back nothing.
        I don’t get why he just disappeared from my life when we were so close and in love that my main issue and that’s what hurts.

        I have never loved someone like this ever before and I don’t know how to move and also stop blaming myself for the fights. I feel like a pshycho.Just dont get why he disappeared out of my life and treated me so badly when really he should have treated the x like this, not me.

      • lisaa

        So ending this story I ended up having to go to the police to report the x wife. I ran into someone that knew her and i said she had caused a few issues. The next day i received the most threatening text, saying she better not see me in the street and calling me a miserable lonely old ……. 4 months after we broke up. The police rang her and told her to stop along with their kids or else it would be taken further. She got upset when the police referred to my x as her husband, dont call him my husband he is my X husband. I cant believe why she caused such and issue if that is the case.

      • Marie L

        “ending this story I ended up having to go to the police to report the x wife. I ran into someone that knew her and i said she had caused a few issues. The next day i received the most threatening text, saying she better not see me in the street and calling me a miserable lonely old ……. 4 months after we broke up. The police rang her and told her to stop along with their kids or else it would be taken further. She got upset when the police referred to my x as her husband, dont call him my husband he is my X husband. I cant believe why she caused such and issue if that is the case.”

        Hi Lisa,
        I’m sorry it took me so long to get back to you before, I was pretty busy with important matters and I just didn’t get a chance to respond sooner till now….
        I am glad to hear that you are moving onwards and doubly glad you took the steps to obtain a restraining order against your ex-boyfriend’s ex wife. I hope now you see what you have “escaped” from. She sounds like another crazy nut case of a woman who managed to keep her ex husband wrapped around her finger… and thank God you didn’t marry the man! Sometimes things are not meant to be for our own good, as painful as they may be at the time to let go. I hope now you see what a grave mistake it would’ve been to stay with him. Many women who actually do marry into this mess regrets it now and wished they haven’t. 75 percent of marriages fail because of the lunatic ex wife. Even I regretted at the worst of times when my husband’s ex was at her peak of her destructive tactics. Luckily for me though it has finally ended after her last alimony payment. Now all that happens is some petty BS that can be easily overlooked when her adult sons come to visit for the holidays, etc. You can tell it’s really her that’s talking through them. That doesn’t bother me because then… they… LEAVE. Halleluiah, AMEN! Just as long as I bite my tongue and play “nice” through the day (they don’t stay overnight),the next day things go back to normal again. She is not allowed to call, harass us or come on our property anymore, if she does, we’ll get a restraining order as well, but for now all is quiet on the homefront.

        Again, I am proud of you. 🙂 ..

      • Marie L

        ADDING ON.. What I meant by “her last alimony payment” (my husband’s ex wife) was literally, her LAST alimony payment according to their divorce decree contract of the 7 year alimony. Even though she was the one who committed adultery my husband still had to pay her alimony for 7 years… believe that! Because she sat on her ass and never worked throughout their marriage he was obligated by the court to pay her for those 7 years. Well guess what, NOW she HAS to WORK! And she can not harass us anymore for any reason using her alimony payments, where-to-send-to (which changed frequently due to her constant inability to keep a bank account from over drafting) as an excuse for the “bottom” reason, but was not actually the real reason … the real reason was to harass us with numerous amounts of abuse, etc. Now she has no excuses. She may still be able to manipulate her adult children the rare times they come to visit, but at least to me that is no big deal. I pray eventually they see her for what she really is.

        So again, be glad… And the next time if you meet another man who is divorced with children, you’ll be more wiser now in your choices. I am not saying that all ex wives are like this, certainly not! I too am an ex-wife with a teenage son that I share with my ex husband and I don’t behave this way by either trying to control my ex-husband or by using my son as a pawn! That’s why my son is not bitter, etc against either one of us including my husband and is growing into a mature, responsible and considerate adult despite the divorce.

        Unfortunately for the other ex wives who fester intense child hood based insecurities such as jealousy, the need to control and manipulate their ex spouses and their children, inability to take any real responsibility for their actions and unwilling to let their ex husbands be happy … are the ones to watch out for.

        So if you do meet a man who is divorced with kids, watch out for the flags… Ask him questions about his ex wife, whether she was a jealous woman during their marriage and/or if she was controlling, etc before you go to the next level in meeting his kids.

        We all live and learn. 🙂

      • Marie L

        Answer to your previous, previous post:

        “I keep blaming myself for starting the arguments and it was me that physically pushed him first in our last argument, I lost the plot, but this was just after the x had text me repeating coversations that me and my x had had i.e. about me wanting them to get a divorce
        If i hadn’t of started the arguments then maybe we would still be together as he did say to me we fight all the time and he never fought with even her that much or any other relationshiop and that our fights got violent.
        He disappeared a few day’s after our argument and quick 5 second breakup phone call. From then on he disappeared for a month wouldnt take my calls. He had my belongings and some money as I had arranged a short holiday for us which he cancelled. I had paid for it. After 5 weeks he text me out of the blue saying he needed to sort out his stuff and that he would like me to return my stuff. That night I got a lot of abusing texts from him and nasty nasty message’s from his kids, even some of their friends on facebook accusing me of keying his car. My mother had to call him to get my stuff he returned it in the middle of the night. I text and said I dont know why this had to get so ugly. No reply. He even answered my call once and said he would call me back nothing.
        I don’t get why he just disappeared from my life when we were so close and in love that my main issue and that’s what hurts.

        I have never loved someone like this ever before and I don’t know how to move and also stop blaming myself for the fights. I feel like a pshycho.Just dont get why he disappeared out of my life and treated me so badly when really he should have treated the x like this, not me.”
        Your 1st paragraph: A female PUSH does not equal a man’s return PUNCH IN THE FACE! Sorry for the “shout words”, but I couldn’t help myself. Nothing disgusts me more than a man beating on a woman! For ANY reason. A man like that in my eyes is not a man at all, but a sniveling coward!

        Your 2nd paragraph: Fights are common like this in these harsh circumstances, especially for newcomers. Your ex boyfriend invited them in by inviting his ex wife into your relationship without creating realistic boundaries. Reading your past posts, he also didn’t seem to defend you in any way and put his ex wife above you.

        Your 3rd paragraph: Sounds like the typical form of the crazy ex wife manipulating the situation using her kids as pawns, along with her sniveling, cowardly ex husband letting her wrap him around her finger and being the less of a man his is, lets her do it to himself and his kids.
        My answer to the ex boyfriend not calling you back— Thank God and good riddance!

        Your 5th paragraph: Again, Thank God and good riddance to the ex boyfriend and his whole drama story. (If I want drama, I’d rather watch it on my TV)

        Your 6th paragraph: Sweety, real love can’t be one sided. If he doesn’t feel the same about you, than it really wasn’t love to begin with. But that’s ok, save yourself for the one that deserves your love and returns it.

        Now that you’re wiser, watch out for the flags like I mentioned before. Not all ex wives are like that, but if you do meet someone who is divorced with or without kids, ask questions: Was your ex-wife overly and unreasonably jealous during your previous marriage? Was she controlling and manipulating?

        You can always say that you went you went through a bad experience that you don’t want to go through again. And if the new man really is interested in you, he shouldn’t have any problems with answering your questions. If he does, that’s another red flag!

        Take care hon…

      • lily

        you clearly have never dealt with a crazy manipulative x wife.. I will agree that the husband should take responsibility and protect his new relationship. Seems he has his wife doing alot of the dirty work.. My guess is his x wife is interfering so much because he is being wishy washy about boundries. 40% of his income is insane…He should be allowed to have a life after divorce and she should put some of that jealous crazy energy into working more if she needs more money..I’m sick of these entitled women…get over yourselves

      • Wendyb

        I agree. I hear them in line at grocery stores complaining about their ex es and money ect. Then they pay with his credit card. Hypocrites. They need to move on and realize he couldn’t stand you, that’s why he left. Trying to manipulate someone’s life constantly must be draining because I see a lot of bitter ex wives looking pretty old.

  • Laurie Post author


    It sounds like your husband’s ex-wife has made life so difficult and frustrating! Marriage can be challenging enough, without a woman from the past trying to make things worse.

    I wish you all the best in taking your power back. If you want to share your strategies, we’d love to learn from you!

    Stay true to you,

  • Michelle

    My husband ex wife is in sane. When he was in the process of divorcing she would call him and harass, yell, scream at him; till she got what she wanted. Before he signed the final paper; she would call him and yell at him and tell him that he need to support his family and if he didn’t he wasn’t a good father. She would ask him for money all the time even though she got 1500.00 a month .She inflated his income to get 40% of his gross income. She is only entitled to 20% of his net income. When he transferred the child support to the support agency, she called him screaming and put her son on the phone crying because he wasn’t going to be able to go on spring break because mommy didn’t have any money and its daddy’s fault. She demanded he send her and extra payment till she got her child support. She did pay him back though. She is very greedy. She ran up bills and credit cards in his name and he had to file for bankruptcy. 300000.00. She was anger that he was going to do that and told him that he need to take care of his family. She won’t move on with her life. She got the house she can’t afford. Her income with child support is 4000.00 a month and she can’t live off that. His is only 2300.00. She has a lien against the house for not paying of HOA fees. She lies about her parents giving her money and buying things for her and the kids.
    On our wedding day, she calls my husband and asks him why he is bringing the kids back to the house. She said that it was our weekend with the kids and she thought we were taking the kids with us on our honeymoon. LOL. I had emailed her twice and told her our plans and what days we would not have the kids. She never responded. My husband told her that we were not keepings that we had plans out of town; She text me on my wedding day asking for the address so someone could pick up the kids. I did not respond.
    Somehow she stopped the attorney general from helping reduce the child support and told both of them that they would need to go to court. We are now going to go to court. She is going to make a fool out of herself in court. I can’t wait. We have a really good lawyer; he said she is the worst. He knows how to handle her. She can’t afford and attorney either.
    She is really going to be angry and harass him then when he wins. She use the kids manipulate him. She has them spy on us and ask us about what we are doing in our life and use it against my husband because we can afford to do more things than her.
    We are now taking the power back.

    • kim

      this sounds like my life. it;s been ten years and his ex is still in our lives. she doesnt work and guilts him into giving her money even though the kids are over 18 now. we moved to florida 6 months ago and now she is talking about moving here. I’m so sick of this, it makes me just want to give up.

  • Laurie Post author

    Jean, these are fantastic tips for entering into a marriage with a man who has been married before! Thank you – I really appreciate your input.

    I just finished reading a book of questions to ask before you get married, and think that’s even more important when your spouse (or you) have been married before.

  • jean

    I think all people before marriage should go through marriage counseling- ask tough questions of both like: who will handle the finances? how many children to you want to have? what will you think if your spouse gets fat? what will you do when your spouse no longer puts you as #1? stay committed? how will you handle your future in-laws? where will go every holiday?
    2nd marriage adds a whole additional dimension that is so beyond comprehension of 1st marriage- especially when ex spouse / children are involved. questions you need to ask before 2nd marriage- similar as above and add: who will you put first- ex or me? do you expect me to have relationship with your ex’s family? do you still do housework or yardwork for your ex? if yes, then run. do your ex in-laws still expect your soon to be spouse to be part of their family? are you able to put me first in front of your kids? recommend do not live in house any ex has ever lived in. do not marry anyone looking for money, a cook, or a house cleaner. also recommend to be prepared in cases where step children are not accepting or respectful. Holidays are chaos and stressful. Being a step=parent is not always pleasant experience.
    Love is wonderful- takes 2 to get married, 1 to get divorced. Good Luck and always be sure you know how the marriage cards will play out before committing.

    • pam peck

      My husband sons are 28 and 23 years old. both my husband his x wife treat them like children when it comes to letting them grow up. today’s your moms birthday (because boys dont have good relationship with her) so he tells them but let them do what they want because they are not babies. She expects my husband to keep her up on things going on with the boys but like when they are coming into town. I dont agree they are divorced and boys are grown. its sons place to do this. x wife calls and jumps all over my husband for not calling her. but one is in hospital for medical emergency and she doesnt notify my husband. emergency is different. Im having issue with this.

    • kim

      i wish i had know that question about do you still do housework for your ex? he has been over there numerous times. he was just over there fixing his daughters computer who is 23 and still lives with her mom. neither of them work.

  • Laurie Post author

    Re-reading these comments, I somehow don’t think having lunch with your husband’s ex-wife will do the trick. If she’s bitter, angry, and unhappy — not to mention toxic because she’s emotionally unhealthy — then bonding over burgers and beer is a bit unrealistic.

    And, sometimes the “toxic” ex-wife has every right to be angry and bitter.

  • Laurie Post author

    Dear Renee,

    My first thought is that your situation is so complicated, I think you need to talk to a counselor. I don’t know all the intricacies of what’s going on – I can’t give you advice!

    That said, however, I’m not sure abandoning a marriage to a great guy is a good idea. I think your kids have been through so much…maybe they need to see you work through problems with your husband, and stay together. All marriages are difficult, but kids learn the most when couples pull through the bad times together. That’s how they’ll learn how to build happy relationships of their own – by seeing you and your husband unite and conquer.

    I don’t know how to solve the problems with your husband’s ex-wife, or the problems with his kids. I encourage you to talk to someone in person for support and guidance — and perhaps help leaving this man, if you think that’s the right thing to do.

    You’re right that you need to protect your kids! That’s the most important thing, of course.

    I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful. Please get professional advice, and let me know how it goes!


  • Renee

    Need help: This is my 3rd marriage, 1st one left when our son was born with medical problems, 2nd was abusive, 3rd is amazing. Except his x wife and I love them to death but his 3 kids. So the x and him would fight ALL the time, eventhough they have been divorced for like 9yrs. But when we got together things got better, till we got married. His kids are now 9-boy, 7-boy & 6-girl. I have a 10-boy and 5-girl Since about this time last yr it has been nothing but trouble. First the x tried picking fights at the girls soccer games which I coached. Eventhough she was all the trouble now I cannot coach. Then she hits my son in the face with a door. Then at every pick up/drop off she starts fights has cops called out, we exchange at police stations. Her husband threaten my husband right infront of my daughter. Now the kids, we had to have the cops at our house over labor day as my step daughter threaten to kill everyone, drew blood on me, triped and fell during her tantrum and threaten to tell everyone I threw her down, thankfuly it was all recorded. She also got made because she had to sit in time out and tripped, knocked down my daughter causing her to hit her head. The 7yr old, would either refuse to eat and threatened to tell police I was straving him or spit his food at me, unless I made him exactly what he wanted. This child also smashed a kids face into a chain link fence last year, knocked a girls tooth out during the summer and bashed his brothers head into a pole almost breaking his jaw. He lied to us about things going on in his moms house, abuse, neglect and when cps did an investigation he told them that his dad was lyeing to cause trouble for his mom. The 9yr old, was investigated by Child Protective Services for touching my daughter, although they said he was just helping her wipe, then he tried to attack my son and went after my daughter over christmas break. He is about 100lbs and threw my 5yr 45lbs to the ground and went to attack her. The police had to go to his school after he tried to attack a teacher twice and his mom. The kids can not come over at this point because they have made so many threats and the voilence towards my kids. The counslers fear for childrens saftey. And everytime they do something or break something at my house they get rewarded by their mom, she buys them toys, games, clothes, etc. They have broken mine and my kids stuff when they get made, several $100 worth. Now his x is trying to ruin my coaching church football, which I have coached my son for 5yrs. She has told the organization that I am the dangerous one and Im not to be around her kids. Now if my husband wants to have his kids for the weekends, Thursday through Sunday every other weekend and ever Thursday to Friday night he has to go to his parents. So these kids destroy my house, hurt my kids, his x wife is trying to destroy what my kids and I do outside of the home, and now my husband has to leave us every week. And these kids are old enought to know better and they choose to act like this. I know this is killing my husband, it is destroying our marriage, and Im an adult I can take it, barely, but its hurting my kids. CPS, the police, the courts will not do anything because its a civial matter. We are about ready to split and we havent even been married a year and this has all happened. His x told him yesterday that she hated him and will not stop until she ruins his, mine and my kids lives or until he signs off his rights. What do I do, how far do I let this go until I say enough and walk away because at this point it looks like thats the only to protect my kids. Any advice please ????

    • Sarah G

      It sounds like untreated mental illness in both her and her kids. The kids could be hospitalized psychiatrically for such violent behavior and what sounds like sexual abuse. I would keep calling the cops with every violent incident to build a paper trail. Also keep a diary and see if you can get his kids in to a psychiatrist.

  • Maggie

    ok ladies I really really need your help. my husband and his ex dated the last year of 2 years later they got married had a baby….through all the time they were together she cheated on him 6 times. left him for someone , came on. she hated him…had a baby with another man and then filed for divorce. anyways, me and him meet , fall in love get married. together we have 4 kids. have a great life. then the worst ..he died. me and the kids are crushed and on top of dealing with his death she is now writing on his facebook that she loves him and he was the one (even tho she has had 7 boyfriends in the year that he has been dead) I am ok with her having feelings , being sad because someone she knew growing up has passed and the father of her child but she is tooo much! my stepson (who I used to have all the time) is now not allowed to see us and she told him we are not his family…she told him that her and daddy were happy and we were friends ( he is old enough to know better …way old enough) she is a drama queen and tries to take jabs at me when she can. everytime we hear that she is telling someone that her hubby has died. I almost think she is doing it so everyone will feel sorry for her..seems she only loves him when it works for her. help me understand this casue between his death and her b.s …its killing me

  • Yvette P

    I have read almost every comment and I can somewhat relate to most of them. I am the “Ex-Wife” and I am also dealing with my new husbands “Ex-Wife”. The way I handle my ex-husband is through court letigations. I hate talking to him or his “Women”. I try not to call, text,or e-mail. I don’t want to go to any of his family functions and haven’t been invited to any since our divorce. I had dinner with his former GF once, but we were never “Buddies”. I stay away from him and his abusive ways.

    New Hubby (Who I love dearly), was married to his “X” for about 14yrs, 5 children (one step child included 4 biological). When we meet the situation was horrific, but we survived it and got married. The “X” thought the marriage was a joke, and that he would find his way home as he normally does. So she let her children come to our home, they were able to contact their dad and I whenever. Everything was PEACHY!

    I got PREGNANT, and had a baby. This women now says my husband has been having sexual relations with her, he has been saying he is going to divorce me, the children can’t come over anymore, the teenage children have been sending me hate TEXTS cursing me from my MAMA down. She calls his phone the minimum of 2 to 3 times a day, etc. Totally toxic, totally out of control, and this “X” has a MAN of two yrs.

    My ADVICE: When I am over someone, I’m over it. Kid or no kid. If she/he has left for whatever reason….LET IT GO! Don’t turn toxic don’t be bitter, there are enough “FISHES IN THE SEA”. Now if you are dealing with the ex. IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE. They HATE that. Play it cool. You might be mad, u might want to cry, get a divorce, fight, curse. DON”T DO IT! The “X” will know they have WON.*

    *Listen, this is testimonial advice..take it or leave it. But I know first hand!

  • Michelle

    Hi. This is my first time on this site and some of the comments are harsh. Well, I married a wonderful person, when i first met him he was living at his sister’s house and was separated. See, i did not know he was separated until later that he told me. I explained to him that i did not want to deal with a separated man because a separated man to me is still married one and not divorced. He said to me that they had planned to move on with their lives June 2009. I met him April 2009 when living with his sister. I explained to him that I would wait.Therefore, we just became good friends. Our feelings were growing strong and he wanted me to meet his kids so i did. He did not want me to meet his ex-wife but incidentally we met and was pretty cordial. She was smiley but phony, she said she moved on with someone else and which she did. She would intentionally tell him to come by and fix things in the house because her new man is coming over and that she needed help fixing it up. I thought it was very weird. See, i am a very patient woman! Sometimes you lose your cool when things like this happen. Our relationship became really serious and we moved in together. She was upset that we moved in and that her relationship had failed with all the abuse that she inflicted on him.What i do not understand if you mistreat a human being and they are not happy for along time should they stay? Hell No! you move on life is short! Throughout her failed marriage and relationships after marriage she is still blaming him. You have to look at yourself and see your issue. I love her children and they are the best thing that ever happened to me. I get along with them very well! We are now married and are very happy. She just began realizing how good i am to her children because she thought that i would abuse them or do something to them weird. This is not me! She is very miserable. she is currently in a two year relationship that she hates so much. She told my husband that she would never marry again. Every time my husband goes to pick up the kids she has something to derogatory to say to him. He is a humble guy and loves his children but not her she does not understand that. I feel bad for her. She wanted the house you got it, you left him in debt called the cops and made false accusations that he try to hit you! She is insane! She invites me to events and so forth and i do not go because i do not know her intentions. The reason why i do not want because she is vindictive. See,sometimes we marry for convenience and should not be like that. Marry your friend someone you are really in love with and happy to be with. Don’t change after your marriage because that puts a strain on your marriage. Do i have all the answers No. Although i know what works for me and my man.

  • Karlene Larkin

    This article is pretty sorry. One… there’s NO kissing ass and being phony nice- really… there are MANY- into the millions of ex-wives with kids who intentionally treat that ex-husband like CRAP, add a kid or two and it’s power tripping, control 101. If you new guy has an ex, they have a kid or kids, that ex-female is always going to be this way because like other said- IF that initial relationship had been good, they’d still be together- so if the ex-female treated the guy like crap, she’s going to think she will do the same to the new person in his life. I’ve dealt with mature women and caustic ones- currently dealing with a caustic ex and they just NEED to learn their forever place- an EX. May share a kid, but you don’t get to boss, control or manipulate the guy anymore- many women do this and use the kids as pawns- it’s BS at its finest, it’s selfish and does far more damage to the kids. Women by nature are jealous, mean, nasty, vindictive when they don’t get their way- an ex-wife with kids isn’t getting her way anymore and they intentionally try to cause trouble- it’s drama their insecurities feed off of.

    • pat murphy

      Ex husbands can also be jealous, mean, nasty & vindictive. Which is why i left my hometown and moved 2000 miles away so i did not have to deal w/the abuse or anything else he could dish out. I find there are always two sides to every story and it’s in your best interest to find out both sides of a marriage story. The truth is somewhere in-between. A future husband or wife rarely tells the truth about themselves & i mean the whole truth, because they are trying to make themselves look good . I don’t believe a lot of what men say about their ex’s. I know they are no different than i am(ex-wives) & i feel for them because they are going to help me in the end by telling me part of the truth. That way, i don’t make the mistake of letting “love” blind me to the truth about some man i may be interested in. It keeps it in the “real” world and i do not have to be deceived. My advice to anyone who is going to marry someone who has been married before; Take everything they say w/a grain of salt; It’s “always” the ex-spouses fault, just like all the people in prison are innocent !! Be impartial, do not automatically take your “future husband’s” side. Keep an impartial ear out for the truth & talk to the ex-wife & get her side of the story. Tell her you want to know “her side” of why their marriage didn’t work, because you “know” there are two sides to every coin !!!

  • the ex-wife

    Give your head a shake.. the stepford replacement is the one who lured a married man, who left his loving and devoted wife, now thinks she is special.. trash. they deserve each other and yeah damned right I am angry.. two families were ruined, friends were lost and grief seems to be a dirty word.. who is culpable, which lies do you choose to believe so you can justify your bad behavior?

  • Marie

    OK ladies… to befriend the X or not…. I think it is extremely difficult to be friends with an X wife. Being courteous is necessary because we are adults but the advice to keep you distance is good advice. There is just something about jealousy — it is ugly — I want no part of it. Recently someone said to me that X wife feels she has retained that “special” quality in the X husband’s heart. However, once he has moved on, this is no longer true… but he X wife doesn’t grasp this fact…. and she is jealous. This is demonstrated by her outrageous behavior. My X husband remarried and I do not feel jealous at all. Good for him, he deserves a life as do I. I do not want to hang out with him and his new wife, I do not want to be at his family’s functions… I want my new life — it is why I left!! So, when my husband’s X is at all his family functions, wants to hang with him (us) at functions and complains when he/we don’t talk with her at functions — well the cheese stinks. This is not normal. Too bad for her, we do not go places so we can hang out and talk with her all evening. She still considers them “a family” and has said so — when we had that talk with her about her pawing at him. She is only “a family” when it is convenient for her. I want no part of her and I will do all that I can to keep her out of my house and out of my life. Sometimes, yes, she will be present at holiday functions, but that is it — Thanksgiving at my house, OK, her son’s birthday party at my house, OK, BUT other functions put on by us or parties at my house NO WAY!!!! Too bad… she left because she wanted to “be on her own” — so I say “let her” !! Boundaries are key — and they need t be set very early on in your relationship with your man…. if he is not willing to set them — run for your life.

    • pat murphy

      i can understand why you feel like you do. You seem to be insecure. Jealousy? From who? You or her? be honest w/yourself. You and everyone else in this world knows, that once you love a person, you never stop loving them, ever. It can’t be done. No matter how much you ‘hate” or don’t like that person, deep down inside, you still love them, even if it is a nuisance to you at times or makes you upset w/yourself. If the ex-wife “hangs” on him because she’s drunk or insecure-well, there you go…consider the source. It seems this is a lesson you have not learned yet in life. Yes, that’s right, he’s your man and he will be for as long as “you” choose for him to be. It “is” normal to gravitate towards what you know and are familiar with. So if she acknowledges you at parties or functions & chit-chats about nothing….so what? She doesn’t have a life, you do, get over it. Someone said, she said, “she holds a special quality in his heart”…yeah, that’s right a “special needs quality” place….who was this someone who told you that? Don’t believe everything you are told. Lots of people tell lies trying to start something w/people they are jealous of that seem to have a good relationships. I moved away from my ex, 2000 miles, so i don’t have to deal w/him or his second wife whatsoever. I would suggest you save your money from your work & discuss w/your husband moving to another town, far away from friends & family members who “interfere” w/you & your lifestyle. Even family members can ruin a good marriage or help it, depending on the person. i “had to” be around my ex & his second wife at my daughter’s wedding. I spoke not a single word to either one, because i did not have to. They have accused me of ‘trying to cause trouble’, only because i have my own opinions & don’t believe in lying or sweeping things under the rug. (this all from a 2nd wife who claimed at church she was my daughter’s mother) Oh yes, these are our children they said to the pastor–not. My youngest told the pastor, ‘that’s not true, i have a mother, she’s my step-mother” to which her father promptly punished her for telling the truth–all this from her father “the pastor/oh did i mention he is a preacher?) You don’t have to be around this woman/the 2nd wife, you don’t even have to talk to her if you don’t want to-stay away from her & do not invite her to thanksgiving or christmas or easter or anything-she will eventually get the message. If you know she is going to be there, try not to be there if you can do so. If you see her heading for your table, excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. I find avoiding works pretty well. If that doesn’t work, then i confront, and i listen very carefully…… took me years to figure out i didn’t have to answer the phone!! But when i did, it was such a relief!i

      • Shadden

        It is not true that once you love a person, you love them for life. I do not still love an ex-boyfriend or 2 who I truly loved at one time. At that time, they were the right person for me, but as I stood back, saw who they really were, and how that meshed with my values, and no longer loved them or wanted them in my life. It was a struggle to break the habit of loving them and being with them, but it was better for me, and once I broke the habit, a pattern, or way of being with them, my life was better. And I didn’t and don’t need them around anymore, don’t care to ever see them again, and don’t love them any more. I have found much better.

    • Kim


      I so agree with your post about the ex is the ex! Move on! Yeah, what I don’t understand is she is the one who left my husband for another man. She is the one that walked out of this relationship and was not around for a good long time. Now that I am in the picture, she seems to come around more and more. It is like she is trying to pry her way back into the house, and the relationship. I don’t recall her being asked to be a part of our marriage.

  • Carol

    I have to ask anyone what they think of this.I’m so lost and confused.
    I married a man with two grown children that is also grandfather of two and one on the way.I have a 17 daugther that I adpoted,I have to say she is sweet and so kind.
    When I met my soon to be husband’s Mother she was not kind or nasty but when we got ready to leave she looked me dead in the eyes told me I needed to watch him.I was puzzled. She later played it off. We married and I would go to his Childrens home to the grandkids birthday parties his mother would not speak to me because his x wife was thier and the X’s family she stayed close to them.
    Now lets keep in mind he was marrried to his X for 27 years. But she left him for another man and told him she never loved him.

    I knew going into this it would be hard. But it turned into a nightmare just because I will not jump when his mother thinks I should or listen to her on how to treat her baby boy,visit when she think’s I should, so she she gets back close to the X and so does his whole family.
    My husband’s X mother-in-law told me to my face he would always be her son-in law..
    I find this all strange that after the man my husband’s X wife left him for passed away and one month later she had taken up with someone new, moved out state.That did not last long and she is now back with his daughter.
    My daughter and myself feel left out and like outsiders. My husband will not defend us against his mother or his Grown Childrens actions at all. So I stay away now.I was kind and just played it off for a long time.My Mother-in-law cuts my daugher down and cuts me down.
    So now he goes alone to all the family events without me.I can’t watch us be treated this way and go along with it. So it’s his X and his family at the get togethers and we feel like the toys left on a island and forgotten.We suffered through to many events getting treated this way.
    I never wanted him to pick between me or his grown children and grandkids that’s wrong.We made a deal to start new traditions with his kids and grandkids at our home but they refuse to even come here. He has to go to thier homes where his x wife is always at. His sisters are all still friends with her after telling me they disliked her because of what she did to him, walking off and leaving him for another man..Well thier actions are speaking real clear it was OK for her to remarry but not him.
    I really can’t handle this my nerves are breaking and so is my daughter’s.
    His Mother is a holy terror and the X seems to be wanting him back.She has no income and living with her daughter and husband.I have caught him in coutless lies. He sneaks gives his 28 old son money all the time and still helps his 36 year old daughter while we do without.I know they were a family before I cam along and everyone needs a helping hand sometimes.I pay for our food here and help out all I can.I’m only working part time right now because of a illness
    I stay broke and he has money plus gives his Children cash. Something is worng with this picture.
    I went above and beyond to look over this and try to remain nice.Now to be honest, I have stopped being nice. I won’t be a door mat. I never wanted this.I just wanted us all to get along. But my best efforts failed. I don’t say anything ugly I just stay awy because it’s to painful to watch and to be treated like this. I have not one ounce of support from my husband on this issue.
    What would any of you do in my shoes?

    • Shadden

      Your e-mail is from 2 years ago, but after handling divorce mediation for years, and being in my own blended family situation, I feel strongly that you should leave this situation, for your own mental health and your daughter’s. The only way that a blended family can work is if the 2 spouses are committed TO EACH OTHER to make it work. The 2 spouses must come first, they must commit to work as a team. The dynamics to tear apart the couple are too strong, and the bond must withstand the tremendous pulling. I hate to say it but most men do not have the strength or staying power to withstand the huge amount of female wrangling that makes the situation extremely difficult for the current wife. Please find your sanity again, which is away from this family.

  • Sally

    My boyfriend’s ex partner lives very near they have 2 children. She has a high flying job and goes away often and leaves the children stay with my boyfriend this is happening more after I met him.The children are aged 13 and 15.
    There is no notice and sometimes if we make plans to go away for a weekend and ex wants us to babysit then she sends texts saying she needs a break and asking for us to make arrangements for them, we have to cancel cos my boyfriend wants his kids to be ok and not left alone. We run them around and his ex texts to tell him to take of fetch them somewhere or school,doctor friends. The ex does not seem to want to look after them full time or take responsability and blames him if things go wrong or asks him to sort it out.
    She always asks for money and tells him how much pocket money to give them and rants if he doesn’t by text. Though he has been very short of money and she is doing very very well , but she does not give money to him to feed the kids when she is gone for weeks at a time. When they were together he did a lot and I feel that they act as though they are still together but with no sex. We are making plans for us and my children to move in but his kids still have bedrooms in his house though they live very near, my boyfriend says he always wants them to have their home with him as well, but he also wants me to feel at home and for my kids to move in and this means but this has to mean taking the bedrooms, he cant see this and says everything will be fine. Am I being unreasonable to be worried and anxious as I feel not at home.What advice an anyone give me? Am I being unreasonable? My boyfriend says he does n ot like his ex but cares about his kids.

  • over_here

    My fiance is in his late 50s and divorced his first wife 20 years ago. He was a peace corp volunteer in the Congo and this 17 yr old semi-literate village woman who already had an illegitimate kid by another foreigner latched onto him. Although 27, he fell for it when she got pregnant pretty fast, he felt obliged to marry her and take her to the US. She got the American passport she wanted, so after three years in the USA he divorced her because of her unreasonable behavior. This woman leeched off him and had a meal ticket for the rest of her life. She used the maintenance he had to pay for his biological kid plus her other one to buy herself a house, while he lived in rented accommodation and never managed to save any money. She still hangs around his extended family and tries to maintain contact with him. We don’t live in the US but are overseas and he thinks that I am being unreasonable refusing to ever meet this leech. The woman has kept his name and I don’t see why he needs any contact whatsoever with her. He still defends her if I criticize. Is he still carrying a torch for this woman and should I be concerned?

  • minge

    My husband is having an affair with a just turned 22 year old girl…he is 40 1/2. I’m 46…My husband has asked for a divorce and told me that this was not going how he expected because I told him I would not accept full custody of our children that he would have joint custody. I am devastated that he has left us for this other girl and thinks he is “in love”. I want the girl to know that he is not going to be footloose and fancy free but that he will be having his kids 3 days every week and he works in the evening the rest of the week so there just isn’t going to be much time for her. I’m sure he is not telling her this…because he lied and did not tell her that we were still having sex during their six month affair while he lived at home…so here’s the question??? I thought that I would send her a mother’s day card congratulating her on her new found motherhood. What do you think? At least I’m not stalking her—

  • Amber

    I hate my husband’s ex-wife!
    At first, she pretended to be nice…came to my side of the car…made small talk…about what? About her life with MY husband (boyfriend at the time). I eventually told her that I have nothing to say to her.
    She would call my husband non-stop (at least 2-3 times per week) just to talk “about *******” (my step-daughter). If he didn’t want to talk, she would say things like “Are you okay? Why don’t you want to talk to me?” She even would call him to ask him to pick up the paper for her before he went to pick up his daughter. If he said no…she would cry and do stupid stuff to try to get him to feel bad!
    Everytime we picked up ****** up, she would rush to the car and say whatever she could to make me angry….like “Sorry I forgot to call you on your birthday! I got you this small gift…” He told her that he didn’t want her coming to the vehicle anymore because he didn’t want anything to do with her. He had several conversations with her about not talking about anything except *******. She kept pushing and pushing and pushing…. I got in a verbal argument with her when I got out of the car to get ******* and she picked ******* up at age 7 and tried to walk past me. When I said “I’m going to take her from here. Please do not go near my vehicle.” She FLIPPED and said “Are you saying that I cannot hug my daughter?????” I said “No, hug her here…I’m walking her to my vehicle.” She stormed past me, put ******* in my car, buckled her in, then walked around to my husband who was sitting in the passenger seat. She started banging on his window because it was winter and said “You need to keep better control over this B*t**!” I told her to go screw herself.
    After that, my husband put it in writing to both her and the FOC that she was not to come to our vehicle anymore. Next time we saw her, she said “That’s okay, I know where you live.” Is that a threat??
    She recently went to FOC and had an attorney for more parenting time. They granted her more parenting time and the referee is requiring that my husband have a verbal relationship with her….is that legal???

  • Youmustbejoking

    With all due respect, attempting to follow your advice only enabled my husband’s ex to get close enough, to stab us both in the back,

    At first I thought it was great that she seemed ever so friendly, and seemed to hold a desire for us to “all get along.” What I foolishly didn’t realize that she had dumped my husband because she thought she could “do better”, but what she was really doing was keeping him around as an “option”, just in case things didn’t work out!

    For the sake of my husband’s children, I also saw nothing wrong with her continuing to show up at HIS family functions. We had no idea what a mistake that was until it was far too late.

    So, as soon as her 2nd marriage failed, she then proceeded to chase after my husband. Not only involved his children, but she involved HIS mom, dad, and sister, (ie., her evil minions) who she had convinced that my husband secretly wanted her back, and that I was the only thing standing in their way. Just fact that my husband had never objected to having his ex continue hanging around all the time, was all she needed to convince them that the reason was because he secretly wanted her back, and he was only staying with me out of “loyalty” and convinced them to play all kinds of nasty games to try to get me to leave him.

    When my husband attempted to call his family on their behavior? well, his own mother laughed and asked him how I was ever going to find out? My husband was so upset, he had to leave, and immediately called me, literally crying his eyes out that his own mother had betrayed him.

    When I called his mother on what she had done, she responded by telling me that I shouldn’t worry, bercause they had it all worked out, and planned on taking care of me afterwards! Afterwards? You mean after they succeeded in their evil plot to break my husband and I up?

    That’s when I started screaming, and informed her that before I would allow any of them to “take care of me”, I would live in the sewers with the rats first, because I like rats a whole lot better than I like snakes!

    I was dumb enough to forgive them, and as soon as his psychotic ex broke up with with husband #3, they did it all over again!

    To say that I now hate my husband’s family with an all consuming passion that knows no bounds would be an understatement, and even worse, I have no one to blame but myself. I didn’t even meet my husband until after their divorce, and he warned me against having anything to do with her. He had told me all about how manipulative and underhanded she was, how she flirted outrageously with other guys practically from day one of their marriage, and never had a doubt she was looking to “better deal” him, and that he was miserable the entire time. Only thing that kept him from dumping her first, was that his religion only permits divorce for infidelity, which had to be proven, by no less than 2 witnesses, catching them in the act.

    There is no legitmate reason to have coffee with an ex, or have them in your marriage–at all. Not ex girlfriends, boyfriends, or ex spouses. Do so at your own risk.

  • Marie

    Anna…. when she is expected to drop off the child at your home, lock the door!!! When she knocks, answer and block the door and do not let her in. OR, you pick up the child or meet at a public place — like a grocery store parking lot… lots of ways to keep her out of your home.

    Laurie — you are so correct. We cannot change anyone else, only ourself. This is so difficult. Lately I have been doing so much better at this but then there are those other days where I do not feel like I am doing well or have made progress in this respect. Overall, I know I have but I have to tough out the hard days.

    MY B/F recently told me he felt it was “petty” for me to request he speak with the x wife about her touching him…. I told him it was hurtful for him to think more of how she would feel about being spoken to than how I felt about her pawing at him… like he was taking sides. We finally did speak with ther and things are better with her keeping her hands to herself. He just didn’t see it and I think it is because she had always been touchy with him as he never had set boundaries. She is used to having him to be with at family holidays, weddings, funerals, you name it. I live with him now and I am not interested in hanging out with her at any functions. I am courteous… this is necessary, but I do not want to be her BFF… she has been too nasty as have his sisters — her BFFs.

    It is sad the sisters think they have to make a choice between us. Why can’t they be nice to everyone and if the X has an issue with it then it is her issue and no one else’s. I am steering clear and I will do everything to keep her out of our life and away from us. We both have 2 kids… and all the kids are adults with their own homes and lives. I have stopped trying to control situations so much — read a great book on codependency — to just let events happen is much better and a lot less stressful, and I can do this and my B/F and I can just steer clear if she is there. So much more comfortable for me and I hope for my B/F.

    Anyone have ideas on how to help myself become less resentful of her? I have it so much better than most of you… no visitation issues with kids or phone calls (that I know of, lol) She does follow us around at functions like our shadow and gets so angry when we just move away and do our own thing. She has no one in her life and not many friends or any for that matter (that I know of) except his two sisters. She just gets under my skin. I have been advised by others who have “been there done that” to pick my battles and just let some things go. Sometimes I just cannot keep my mouth shut…. I SO wish I could just keep my mouth shut sometimes! Any suggestins?

  • shelly

    Hi everyone. I have been having issues with his ex. She has not had anything to do with him in 7 years. Now she does not have a man so she is finely letting him talk to his kids. OK so she texts him and the start talking about the past and sending pics of herself and of there wedding were they were kissing. Asking if He misses her. I told him this is not right. But he was scared to say anything to her because He thinks she will take the kids away again. He finally said that I did not like it so she stopped. But the other day she sent another pic of herself from back in the day. I do not get it. He does not ask for the pic she just sends them. And she is always saying she misses her friend meaning him. I do not trust her.

  • Kim

    They never go away. His ex and my hubby don’t even have biological kids and she has been remarried for over 2 years to one of the men she cheated with ……… and still there she is. All over his facebook, e-mailing all the family, trying to get him to pay more for HER kids….

    it’s maddening

  • Marie

    Fran… change your phone number!!!

    Chelly… Yeah! Good advice to keep this forum positive. (She probably is a toxic X ! lol)

    Michelle…. I feel your pain. My B/F’s X is best friends with his sisters… she is at all of my B/F’s
    family function. She and the sisters have been so hurtful… so I refused to have her in our home for any holidays or parties. I think even her grown son’s spoke to her about her nasty mouth and behavior because she asked to speak to us (we were going to address the issue that night anyway!!!) and tried to smooth things over. She would not, however, own any of her nasty, absurd behavior. She denied pawing at him, poking his belly, flicking at him with her fingers and hugging him. She was asked, by him, to keep her hands to herself. He had never set boundaries with her. There are ways… asking politely, and then legal action if necessary. I will play nice up to a point. My objective is to keep her out of my life the the fullest extent possible. I am no longer willing to make her problems/issues mine. If she starts in with the touching again, she will hear from me in front of the people she makes the touchy behavior in front of…. I don’t give a flip who it is… my B/F, his sisters, friends, their boys…. I don’t care anymore! She is out. I am in!!!!

  • Fran

    My huspands ex(11 years) is insane. First of all she was never in their kids life girl 14 And boy 12. She left them for another guy when my steppson wasn’t even a month old. Yes I said it not even one month. Nevered even toook him in for his one month check I come into my huspand and his childrens life about a year and half later…After 8 years of the single party life and sleeping around she gets thrown in jail for aiding/abeiting second degree murder where she starts calling the kids and my huspand from prison..I refuse to let my huspand speak to her espeacially when she haves no respect. She tells the kids and me that I’m not their real mother and for me to stay out of their lives. She allso won’t say my name she refers me to her or she.well anyways she builds a relationship with the kids calling them from prison for about two years and then was shipped to france for being an illegal alien..let me add around this time I’ve have been around and involve with the kids for about 7years thank goodness I don’t have to see her face..the only thing that troubles us noww is that she’s teaching our teenager how to hate us and the life they have with us..she’s says things like “sorry if your new family isn’t what you hope for” or ” how was you christmas and did you guys even have fun?” Yes she treats us like we have been the absent parents that just came back into our kids life after 8 years.phyco! So let’s just say we let the teens keep in contact with their mother but I refuse to let my huspand talk to that women. I tell him she has nothing good to say about me and sometimmes my huspand and she lives so far away she doesn’t even suppport the kids.( the only things they get from her is one gift for their birthday and christmas, and its been only like this for two years)what can she posibly want to talk to you about..I think she’s just tring to gat I wrong for this? Does this make me a bad person? Please give me feedback, need helpp!!!

  • Anna

    hi, i have been married to my husband for the last 1 year and he is 3 adult children. Im not sure how to explain this but here goes. my husband’s ex does not visit our house often but when she comes to drop our youngest one off at times she just walks into the house. Also the children invite her in if there is something we have bought or built new… for example, we got our youngest a drumkit for his birthday. i planned a party and invited the ex who promised to attend and then didnt and left no message. the next day i walked into my lounge where the ex was standing with the kids chatting excitedly around her about what happened the other day. there was no apology. i feel disconcerted about having his ex coming into my house unannounced and uninvited by my husband or me. since then anything we do goes straight to her and she has always been there, in someways nosy. but the children invite her into the house and my husband and i feel awkward to ask them not to do that or ask the ex not to just come in when they do… i dont know what to do. I also have become distant with the children who live with us most of the time, as they dont talk to me unless they want something from me. i have noted that the eldest daughter is pretentious and arrogant… none of the kids say thank you or please and there is a lot of swearing around the place. i have tried to be cheerful and approachable for the last year but have now given up. may be not right but it gets frustrating

  • Counselling Guelph

    Learning how to set boundaries with your partner’s ex can be important – especially if she’s trying to criticize or threaten you directly. I’ve seen it many times unfortunately…nasty text messages, phone calls, etc.

  • Janice Marquis

    Well now my bf’s mom is dying and has days left. He called me tonight and told me his family is all coming this weekend from another city and so is his ex’s family. His ex and him have been seperated for 15 years now and never got back together. Her family has lived 4 hours away for over 20 years as dave came to ottawa when he was 22 ( he is now 50). So why would her family be coming (her brother and her father etc). Also this makes me feel like second best already since dave has 3 grown sons by her. Im feeling very uneasy.

  • Omni

    This is directed to DVK – I have to ask you to consider who is being disrespectful – the husband that pays for his ex-wife’s rent (again) then lies to you about it or the ex-wife that accepts the money?
    You could make copies of your documented proof and show it to him, but what would that do? Are you ready for his reaction? What does it tell you when your husband and his ex-wife text each other every day with no reason to discuss their kids? Why are you in this relationship still? He does not respect you nor has he mentally divorced his ex-wife. Is this the life you want?

  • Lyndsey

    This article intrigued me as it hits close to home. My husband’s ex wife is impossible, and thats putting it mildly. Nothing we ever do pleases this woman. She refuses to listen to reason. I understand that its probably hard to know that her ex-husband is happy with someone else and thats fine if she wants to hate me or my husband.. My problem is she brings the kids into it. They are 7 and 5. I am very good to those kids, I treat them as my own but with boundaries, that when they call me “Mommy” I politely joke it off and say that they only have one mommy and one daddy and they both love them very much. She tells the kids that her new boyfriend is now their daddy. Its to the point of being ridiculous. I’ve tried to be open and nice to this woman. I”ve talked to her hours on end, trying to come up with a civil solution for any issues that may arise that she has with me. Otherwise she will have to deal with my husband on everything else. My husband and I work very hard for the things we have. We have twins as well, so we have a big family. She gets a LARGE amount of child support each month, plus we buy everything the kids need. She refuses to work and just lives off of the child support she receives. And yet, everytime my husband talks to their children she is in the background calling me “a gold digger” and that those little shits (referring to my 8 month old twins) are taking all of HER money. It KILLS me to bite my tongue, but I refuse to play into her craziness and also the kids need a stable “motherly role model.
    Last summer we had them for the whole summer, both of the kids needed haircuts so we went and got my step daughters hair trimmed, and my step sons hair cut. When she saw this, she screamed at my husband calling him a few choice names then turning to the kids, (who have been right beside him the whole time) and saying “Say goodbye to your father because you will never see him again.” Then forced the kids into her car while they bawled, Literally because we got their haircut. When she found out we were expecting our twins, everytime the kids came by us they said that “Mommy says that when the babies come daddy wont care about us anymore.” and so much more I’d be here for days if i listed everything. I’ve tried so hard to be civil with her, I’ve invited her to have lunch to try and squash whatever issues she has with me. She’s denied with a let’s say, less than polite response. I’ve offered to lend her one of our vehicles when her’s was in the shop, something my husband was not too pleased about lol. She called me a choice 4 letter word because we actually work hard for our things and are able to have an extra car but of course that extra car “shouldve been her’s to begin with”. I’m at my wits end. My step daughter has now resorted to not listening to a word my husband and I say because “Mommy says that I dont have to listen to you because you’re not my mommy and daddy isn’t my daddy anymore, (insert current boyfriends name here) is.” I’ve never been a spiteful person, so I can’t really grasp how some people can be that way. Especially when young kids, or kids in general are involved.. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to be civil? You dont have to be best friends just civil!

  • Chelly

    Jeanne says:
    February 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm
    This article assumes it is the ex who is “toxic” as opposed to the adultery partner who takes over the life the ex had and wishes the ex would disappear.

    Guess what? If he is married, find someone who is not. You will never gain happiness out of a relationship based on deception, betrayal, lies and deceit.

    I believe in the statement you had given gives off the energy of you where the EX wife and feel very personal about this subject. I would like to comment on that as far as your approach is not being any helpful but disrespectful this a forum of support and positive words or encouragement. This forum was created for a specific subject of assistance for women out there in similar cases trying to look for a brighter and clear sky for their particular situation. In the words of my grandmother if you have nothing nice to say just stay quiet. BTW that was a judgement call judging situations that have different matters makes one look foolish. Again this a support forum not a judgement forum!

  • Michelle

    I just came back from my husband’s Mom’s funeral- and i have only been married to him for about 4 yrs, and we do not live close to his family. He and I are already having marital problems (communication)and I am not really comfortable hanging out with his family because I don’t really know them. Nevertheless, I do try my best to talk and interact with everyone.
    However, this trip was different because my husband’s X-wife decided to go to the wake, the funeral, and then hung out at the grandfather’s house all day and night. I was very uncomfortable becuse she knew everyone and was flitting around like a butterfly, while I sat there watching everyone. Finally I asked my husband to leave the house, because i was about to cry. It really hurt my feelings that no one thought about how insensitive she was, and I couldn’t say anything without causing a commotion…
    But the real issue is that my husband, my in-laws and she herself see nothing wring with this?! i am so hurt and angry… and confused. If she filed for divorce, why is it that she is still entitled to spend so much time with her x-husband and his family?
    I need some advice. Right now I am considering divorcing my husband and letting her have him. i really don’t have the strength or desire to fight for a man who cannot stand up for me.

  • Angela

    My boyfriend loves his son with all his heart and feels guilty for leaving him. He is almost 9 but he sees him every other weekend an 2 or 3 times a week. This is the problem, his ex never picks him up on time and changes weekends because she has things to do. Am I wrong for wanting to be informed of this decision? I don’t mean for him to ask me if it’s ok, just tell her that he needs to talk to me before making a decision. I feel like a horrible person for wanting to be included in these decisions. He says it’s not my concern and he makes the decisions concerning his child. Am I wrong? I feel like she does it sometimes just to let us know she is still in control and it makes me so mad. I don’t know what to do anymore. Please, someone tell me what to do, I don’t want to lose him but I can’t stand feeling like I’m a nobody anymore.

  • Janiice Marquis

    Hi! Ive been with my boyfriend 4.5 yrs, he is 50 and I am 47. Heis seperated for 15 yrs from his ex-wife. They have 3 grown sons. However I find she likes to keep her claws in- she still at times acts like he is still hers. Whenever something happens that involves the kids and something goes wrong- he gets ragged at. He is an alcoholic so hes not reliable and I try to understand things from her perspecitve as a parent (I am not a mother)…but it appears shes forming a wedge between us and it makes me feel second class. He missed a get together his son and girlfirend were having and the ex called and ripped his head off-and he seems to be so concerned that hes upset her whereas I am the one who missed out gettng to know his son as I only met him twice. I am the one who should be upset not her! She treats this son like a 5 yr old hes 26 now and the party didnt include her at all. It seems every time there is a get together its ruined somehow and I feel its her dong it. The first time I met his other son we took them for dinner at xmas and paid and not ven 1 day went by and someone made stuff up that there was an argument and they got upset-and it wasnt! Someone is also smearing my name as his sister at xmas also makes stuff up on me to make me look crazy! In the meantime his mom is dying and his dad said I could move in there but I dont know what Im up against with this ex- I saw she called multiple times frmo different lines to their phone and my boyfriend moved back in with his dad to help. She tells me about buondaries and she has never made any herself! She has a livein boyfriend for 6 years too and a great job. I want to email her to tell her to budout but I feel its not the right timing now wit his mom dying…its not right for sure..

  • Jeanne

    This article assumes it is the ex who is “toxic” as opposed to the adultery partner who takes over the life the ex had and wishes the ex would disappear.

    Guess what? If he is married, find someone who is not. You will never gain happiness out of a relationship based on deception, betrayal, lies and deceit.

  • DVK

    Some advise please …… What do I do with a husband who has started paying for his toxic ex-wife’s rent behind my back (again)? I have challenged him with this information however he blatantly denies paying rent of any kind, (although I have actual documented proof of these transactions). She has been absolute poison to our relationship over the last 7 years. She’s stooped to trying to manipulate her sons to poison them against me although they have seen right through her and they love me very much. She’s been through 6 boyfriends and one fiance, all of whom have left her over the years. I recently discovered that my husband and her text each other every day (their kids are 21 and 25 so there’s no need to discuss parenting tips). I now realise that I married a liar and I deeply regret it, especially after the hell his ex-wife has put me through throughout my relationship with him (and she still is). My relationship with my husband doesn’t seem to have been worth all the anguish I’ve been sujected to. Their interaction will never end will it? I need to get out of this relationship don’t I? I am an idiot.

  • anne marie

    I am in position where my partner had to take his ex to court to have proper acces to his youngest daughter and i stupidly agreed to collecting her 7 year old from her for visits so she can see her father. Five years on i regret that i ever got involved as the ex still insists on passing messages through me and still has nothing to do with the child father who still cannot collect his own daughter from her mother ! All the ex tries to do critisise and attempts to belittle both of us over petty things and it makes me laugh why she can,t just get on with her life and let my partner just be a loving father to his little girl. Is any one else in this position and i wonder if the ex will always be like this. Even after all these years neither of us have given her a reaction but i wonder should we react or just countinue to ignore her comments. Would a reaction be what she wants to think that she is causing trouble between us ? I would be grateful for any suggestions!!

  • bridget

    i would like to comment on this. i am with a guy who was married to a lady for twelve years and just this last time was told by the oldest that i was not family and yet i live with him and the kids come here every second weekend. i have totally adjusted my life around him and his kids and i hear other things back through her friends and also others around the town (they live in the same town). she rules everything to do with also our lives and frankly i have had enough of the crap. i love my partner but i just wish his ex would get a life and stop intervering and taking over. she is involving her children in part of the divorce and i don’t think kids should be involved at all as it is not their issue. the one i had previously trouble with has now settled down and the oldest seems to be the problem now. so sick of the same crap but glad i am not alone in all of this

  • pixie

    I Hate His/Her Ex is a book for anyone having difficulty coming to terms with their partner’s past relationships – brilliant read! Available on Amazon or most bookstores – Kindle or paperback!

  • Michael


    Thank you for the insight! We did change her cell, we talked about it and she is understanding what is “within my realm” and what is all hers in dealing with her ex.

  • Marie


    I am glad you gave the ex wife’s point of view. I think this will actually help me a lot. I get that his family still exists. To complicate matters his ex is best friends with his sisters. I know his sisters from our teen years and I have to be honest when I say sometimes I feel so excluded… and it is because I am. I just have to let that go and still figure out where I fit into the scheme of things. I have not yet felt like I fit in at all and maybe you are right, the best I can hope for is to be the “intimate outsider in the old family”. I feel most of that old family would prefer I not be with him (excluding his kids, both adults, who have made me feel quite welcome). The ex and extended family like the way things were. If all I will ever be is an intimate outsider in the old family, no wonder I am not anxious to go to his family gatherings. I am more interested in starting new traditions with him and moving forward with a life with him. Intimate and outsider are opposites… no wonder there is a problem. I am with him now, everyone needs to help the ex get over it, accept the change and play nice. By the way, she left him… she was the one having the affair!!!! Recently the three of us had a talk to try and figure out how to co exist nicely at family holiday functions. When I didn’t agree with all she suggested, she stamped her foot, hands on her hips, said, I don’t like you and f*** you! I sucked it up for the kids and my b/f, too a Xanax and went to the holiday function. Perhaps things will get better but it takes effort on both sides. This much I know is true. Good luck!

  • Marie


    You are not responsible for what another person says to your lady. If her ex said it in front of you, that might be another issue but it was in a text? She does not have to read his texts. If he writes filth like that in texts, don’t read them. End of story. She is being unreasonable in asking you to confront him…. that is her job, if she doesn’t like what he says “to her’. Best thing she could do is not read his texts… maybe even change her mobile phone number. She needs to take some responsibility for herself and set some boundaries with him!!! You cannot do that for her. As her partner your job is to support her and help her but you can’t do the work for her. Maybe the two of you could benefit from a few sessions of counseling, if you really care about her. She needs to hear that she needs to set her boundaries, from someone else.

    Recently my b/f’s ex told me she didn’t like me and f*** you!, while the three of us were trying to have a talk about “family” and I wasn’t agreeing with all her points. My b/f did nothing out of the ordinary… he just said hey hey hey lets keep it civil. It was all I could do to keep from laughing in her face. Such a childish and inappropriate thing to say when you are attempting to mend fences. Their children are grown up… so there are not the issues of visitation or child support… just holidays and acting like adults. We did discuss with her “boundaries” and there is to be no more touching…. she was becoming passive aggressive in the hug, poke, flick which progressed to kissing him… which she denied. He set her straight on that… Yes you did kiss me and stop the touching. She has gotten the message thus far.

  • pixie

    I just read I Hate His/Her Ex by Alex Cooper. You can get it on Amazon or other bookstores. It helped me to deal with so many issues that I had with my fiance’s ex – who I really hated!! Now, my relationship is perfect 🙂 xxx

  • Mary

    My ex married his 18-year younger affair partner. The new wife objects to his relationship with our three children (which has now dissipated) as well as to every cent the law requires this man to provide as child support (which he fights and delays every month). She called me on her birthday one year to advise me that my “greed” deprived her of the engagement ring my ex promised her. She demeans my appearance and any other aspect of my life to my children and has rebuffed every effort to resolve the conflict she feels exists between her and I. I found this article to be naive, harmful and unsupportable: the affair partner who ultimately destroys a marriage and family is not “succeeding in areas [the ex-wife] “failed.” My ex-husband must certainly shoulder his responsibility for breaching his vows to me and I accept that I was not perfect either, but the woman has no right to sell her tired lines (“You deserve to be happy,” “I’d take better care of you than your wife,” “Children are resilient – they’ll get over it”) to a man who has those obligations. In my case, discovery of the affair was a complete shock – and now it is as if my ex has rewritten the entire history of our marriage to justify his unhappiness – unhappiness that he was apparently unaware of and never expressed until his mistress came into the picture. I hope their marriage makes it – I don’t want a parade of women coming into and out of my children’s lives. But the affair was my ex’s and his mistress’ failure – his insecurity and narcissism serviced by her immorality and greed – not mine. P.S. Children do NOT get over it, nor does the hurt of betrayal ever completely go away. One can only hope the new wife is worth everything the man gave up to have her.

  • Gina

    So I am an ex-wife, I and I have to say that I think you all are foolish. My ex wife/girlfriend, who had a huge public ( they got caught having sex in her office and my bed) affair – seems surprised that I don’t like her and don’t want to talk to her. She tells me she prays for me and hopes we can move past everything for the sake of my children. I am not really interested in moving past it – I am interested in not having to see hear or deal with her.

    The majority of the drama in my life would be avoided if she would hand the phone to person I was calling and but out. I don’t want my ex back, I just don’t want to negotiate or deal with the person who I did not have kids with – however all of that gets viewed as ” not accepting their relationship” or being controlling and toxic . The best description of a new wife or second wife I ever heard ( I have a wonderful stepmother ) is a intimate outsider in the old family. You all married folks who already had made a family – the fact it did not work out does not unmake the family – it just changes and grows, but you might want to think about how the ruptures in the original family were complicated and become a wee bit more humble – and we bit more willing to see how both you and your husbands may also be toxic to that terrible ex wife

  • Michael

    Different Angle in dealing with a toxic ex….

    My girlfriend is upset that I did not confront her ex after he called her a “C*NT” via text! I am beside myself because at first I thought of having a “man to man” conversation with him. As I thought the scenario through, I figured it would more than likely lead to a physical altercation and end up with me in jail. Now she is resentful and we have verbally fought and I am on the brink of leaving the relationship because she expected me to confront him. I ALSO HAVE A TOXIC EX, however, I NEVER include her in the horrible things that my ex has to say and figure that I can simply ignore her insults and deal with her only as needed regarding our children.

    For some reason I feel as if I need to know I was right; even though we all perpetuate our own take of reality and what is “right”.

    She believes I am a lesser man and that she can only “count on herself”… she blames me for allowing him to disrespect her, and my feelings are that she needs to handle her ex by establishing boundaries and if needed, getting a restraining order. I just know that the scenario would not have been a good one as we are both prior service and I feel he is mentally unstable (he has been diagnosed with PTSD).

    Any insight on this would be GREATLY APPRECIATED.

  • Marie

    Faith… the grandchild had added a whole new dimension. We are nuts for him and see him a lot. Apparently the baby isn’t crazy about his “Nana” just now and that must make her even more insecure and jealous. Hopefully this will pass as the he grows into a tot. No one has addressed my name for this baby’s to call me… it is awkward. The good thing is that children often call you what they want… some darling nickname that sticks. I could not love him more if he were my own.

    Amanda, professional counseling with X wife might be helpful. It is so immature to draw a child into the mix… she is just showing how low she is. I had a lot of counseling before my divorce and some since. It helps a lot.

    Elizabeth, take Sarah’s advice. Stay away from her. She is toxic. You will never win with her. Be proud and confident that your tried.

  • Marie

    Sandy I agree, my boyfriend needs to step up and define the boundary for his X wife, since she cannot seem to understand that pawing at him is not appropriate. I am sure she is doing it for my benefit… but it doesn’t matter. It is inappropriate.

  • Marie

    I would like to hear from an X wife too. I think it would be interesting and enlightening.

    I am the new kid on the block. My boyfriend and I grew up together and after each of us divorced, we reconnected. We are not married, yet. I relocated after a year of the long distance thing… left my community, grown kids, job, friends to be with him. I do not regret this move but I do miss seeing my kids. It has been three years.

    The X wife is friends with his sisters… which I find amazing since she had an affair and left their brother with two boys 13 and 15… did not want the responsibility of the boys or the house!!! Did not pay child support!!! He was always Mr. Mom — did it all, cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry — you name it. Her affair did not work out for her and she has been single ever since… almost 17 years now!! So the X is not happy about me being here and his sisters rally around her. This hurts and saddens me a lot because I feel I have been marginalized by his family… something I was not expecting. They are toxic in that respect and I am keeping my distance outside of family functions. The X has always attended all family functions, weddings, funerals, holidays, birthdays — you name it. She was used to having her X be her “holiday husband” — someone to hang with at these functions. I am told she attended everything at his home… a sister would call and ask if the X could come and he always said he didn’t care… nice for the boys. She on the other hand rarely invited him to any functions she held at her home. Getting the picture?

    I tried. I decided when I first arrived, what did I have to loose. However, she avoided functions where we would be for 5 months! Finally she had to attend a party and we were introduced… but not before she turned her back and tried to get lost in a group of people! Not a good sign. I have hugged the X after a bridal shower, was polite to her at their son’s wedding, I endured her over a long weekend of his family’s reunion (never again!!!), we invited her to a halloween party at our home last year to celebrate the coming of a grandchild, I invited her to Thanksgiving dinner. She had a brunch after the baby was born, invited everyone who was at our party — except us. I have never been “not nice”. However, I am finished with her. No invite to our house this year for the second annual halloween party at our home, no invite to Thanksgiving and she is furious. On facebook recently, when I replied to a thread her daughter-in-law started, she commented: “M – I have been wanting to say this to you since I first met you,”shut up” ” This was totally uncalled for and I received many private messages from the d-i-l’s family/friends saying that what the X said was inappropriate and that my reply to the d-i-l was supportive. What the X really wants is for me to leave town so her life can resume as it was before I arrived… but I am going no where.

    Something else I might add is that during the past 2 years her behavior, when around us, has become passive aggressive. It started with her just about flying off her stool to rush into his arms for a big hug. He hugs everyone. Then it proceeded to poking him in the belly or flicking at him with her thumb and forefinger and bobbling her head back and forth. The last time we saw her 6 months ago… she snuck up on him from the side, bent down (he was sitting) and kissed him on the mouth. I think that qualifies as purely aggressive!! lol We have decided to tell her, together, that her behavior is in appropriate and disrespectful to us as a couple. I have mentioned to him that his body language has to now say more… as in no smile for her and crossed arms and even backing up and saying “what are you doing?”. He loves his boys and doesn’t want to make waves — but enough is enough.

    The good thing for us is that our children are adults now and we all get along very well. They are good to her and respectful. They do, however have her number… she is jealous.

    I agree with Sarah, stay far away from toxic people. “Toxic people will never change, they will only try and bring everyone else around down with them.” I will still have to see the X and his sisters at some family functions but we are not responsible for the X’s happiness or her social calenda or holiday agenda. Amen. Whew. Do I feel better!!!

  • Sandy

    Agree that everyone seems to be making the ex and the new women the problems, when most of the time it’s the husband not stepping up and making boundaries for everyone involved. It is not always a toxic ex wife or toxic new partner, just the fact that there seems to be no boundaries between the adults.
    The children are used between all for information, spying and retaliation of love ! They are the ones torn between this all and must find it confusing.
    I was a teenager when my parents split, and sided with my mother, but I was wrong, my mothers hatred to new partner was total jealously of wondering why my dad left her, when she loved him so much.
    It is not until now that I see my dad is happy and loves his second wife and I have moved on myself from my mother’s point of view and have made my own over the years of this woman.
    I now am in the same situation where I have a new partner with an ex and 3 daughters, the ex has done nothing but has had drama after drama and emotionally influenced the girls on us as a couple. She has turned them on their own father and made it that there are no visitations to us at all. Only their dad visiting them when it suits her and the girls.
    I now have the feeling that there are 3 more girls in this world that feel like I did when younger and that they will grow up and realise that mum was wrong, not in all ways, but to play the game of emotional blackmail on children against their dad’s happiness.
    To all, I ask of ex wives and new partners and dads, please don’t play games, be very truthful to each other and especially your children, you are the adults, so whatever your choices in life are, do not use your children to climb the ladder of love. Because there isn’t one. Love is not earnt or required to be biological, it is just there because you all care for the same cause, which is everyone’s happiness and that the children are the happiest they can be in all the mess created by parents.
    I do not have the best relationship or any really with my partners ex, as that is how she wants it, she has daily contact with my partner, which is something I don’t like, but I am learning to live with it, as sometimes people can not live together, but they can’t say goodbye either.
    Love is pain no matter what kind of love you have ! I have tried to find true love and a trusting one and that’s all I can do, so I just have to see if my new partner can cope with us all and give me the love back I deserve. If not, then it’s my decision to walk away from something I can’t live with, it’s not about the ex or his kids, it’s about how each person can deal with things and learn to live a life with those guidelines, one way or the other !
    I am hoping for the best for myself and wish everyone could see that everyone has something in common with defactor, new husbands/wives or their ex’s and that is CHILDREN…. nothing else just their happiness first.

  • Sarah

    I actually spent the last 12 years being her friend, letting her get to know me, inviting her into our home, including her in family events. What I have learned though is that when it comes to toxic people, it is best to keep them far away. Focus on your relationship with the kids and not the “mom”. After all the work put into this emotinally draining relationship, nothing has come of it other than headaches, heartaches, stress and currently a bad relationship with my eldest stepchild. My advise, don’t kiss her butt and do your best to keep her out of your home and at a very long arms length!!! Toxic people will never change, they will only try and bring everyone else around down with them.

  • Sarah

    Well the topic is toxic ex wife..not toxic ex husband. Everyone has a different senario. My personal dealings are with a manipulative ex wife. My husband does his best he’s a good man. Having kids makes it difficult because they love there Mother or course she has custody of course so they are torn in the middle. Plus living interstate makes it harder for them and dad. But she has them gather personal info about us. If we do anything its like she has to compete and be better..she had made it quite clear she was not getting married ever again and her new partner agreed..then once we did 12 mths later they did. When we moved house his daughter said mum wanted to know if we were renting or buying and wanted photos of the house to show her. We have made plans to buy a house in the next few years and his daughter said Mum is planning to move to a nicer place in 12 mths too. This was after his daughter heard us disscussing it. Years ago when she would call to speak to them when visiting us, I caught a conversation where things were being discussed and shared like “No yes answers the whole conversation like talking in code!And his daughter had a very serious facial expression the most of the conversation. Kids are not meant to be spys for the mother. What is going on? But if the kids go through anything troubling at home its all secrets. My husband cant know any fine details about them to help them be there as a DAD. My husband when talking to his 11 yr old daughter about personal things she might be struggling with,if it gets too deep or detailed.. she says Im not aloud to say more Daddy. I just get the feeling she is competing with my husband I dont understand why as he is a good father. He really tries his hardest to put the kids 1st for the sake of love and nothing more.
    Anyway its all about being kind to the kids as they are stuck in the middle. But some days its so hard. I just cry to let out the frustration. Must be hard on my husband thats for sure.

  • Faith

    Liked the article and the other comments. I can only say that my husbands’ ex-wife ended up being a handful. For several years I tried to be kind; but I made a serious mistake after she wrote some letters to me to reply back to her. My husband passed away in 2003 and though the ex-wife didn’t travel to where we live in another state, the children from the first marriage did come. My husband said before he died that he didn’t want his oldest son to be told that he was terminally ill and he didn’t want us to allow him to attend the funeral. Well, I asked him to reconsider his request even though the son coming to the funeral was going to cause some problems. He was told that his father had passed away and he came to the funeral. Nothing bad happened at the funeral; but he did get my youngest daughter to slip him one of our laptop computers – so he did disrupt our household a little bit; but at least we allowed him to attend the funeral.

    Being a stepparent is great. I would have loved it even more had my husband been able to break down the barriers and get his ex-wife to be more open.

    My story is water over the dam now; but believe it or not, I still hear stories every now and then that the ex-wife criticizes me. I guess it is just some peoples nature to pick others apart. Her picking me apart though, didn’t help the step-kids respect me. I did the best I could.

  • Amanda F

    Is this where I would go to share my story and seek advise? I have a semi strange situation, that seems almost impossible to settle no matter how hard I try. I just want my step son to be left out of it, and she keeps pulling him in as a “bargining tool” as u will. I’ve tried everything to keep the peace.. and now I’m at all loss. Where do I go for advise?

  • Lynn

    My husband divorced over 8 years ago. However remains partners in a business with the ex. We were married 2 yrs ago. For some reason she has never liked me or treated me with respect. I have no problem with e-mails and phone calls pertaining to the business they own. But, she always seems to put personal information in. For instance, that she had a nice week end, or asked him to say hello to his cousins. In addition, its not just an occasional e-mail. I have seen 15 emails in one day each with a single topic. And they come in within minutes of each other. Also she used to text everyday until my husband told her she needs to just put it in email form. And there are phone calls about things that don’t need an immidiate answer! She attends his families events and takes over the place. I once invited her over so that she could celebrate my husbands mothers birthday (His mother had lived with us toward the end of her life)When the ex arrived she did not say hello, would not look at me. She has spread rumors about me and recently criticized a dress I wore to their daughter’s wedding, saying it was white when in fact it was off white with a floral pattern. She is in a sorority with a bunch of other gossipy women in a small town and apparently I am still a hot topic. Everything she says is backed up by their 28 year old only daughter who also never liked me. My husband has repeatedly told the ex to keep it business and to stay out of our personal life. She is either really slow or is doing it on purpose. I was thinking of writing to her but someone told me not to put anything in writing as she will find some way to use it against me. I try not to let it bother me but it’s just really frustrating. My husband and I are wonderful together! Very Happy, but this is probably the only thing that bothers us. I dont want to be rude to her but I don’t know how else to get our point across! Should I write her?

  • Susan

    For Elizabeth…. I think that there is only so much you can do. If she doesn’t want to meet with you then maybe she is intimidated by you? She may just be closed minded. Just say hello, and smile. You can’t change someone else’s behavior. Maybe she will come around. Best wishes to you.

  • Susan

    I think this is a good article. I don’t agree with the powerless comment. It’s really all in how you view it. Think of this as a tip to almost giving you the upper hand. Most people have a positive side. Soceity can tend to focus on the negativity of a person. I am a woman and my friends and I have picked apart another persons flaws before. It’s not right, yet it does happen. I think its a process of rethinking. Why not make things easier? Why not have less stress on your new marriage and with the kids? It makes sense. It doesn’t at all mean that your opinion shouldn’t count or that you don’t have the right to speak up on an issue. Being honest is best. Learning to extend the hand and be the better person can be hard, but it is worth a chance, isn’t it?

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    On the contrary, I think the new wives are very powerful…but they need to figure out the best way to cope with their husband’s toxic ex-wives! The trick is finding the right trick. I don’t think an article on coping with ex-wives can cover all the possible options…but it is a starting point.

    I’m glad to hear from an ex-wife. I should write an article on coping with toxic new wives, shouldn’t I?

  • Tracy

    Why the x wife, sounds a little bitter in it self. Also sounds like the new wife is tip toeing around the husband. My ex husband was a player and has been spiteful twisted to me, his new partner seems nice, my resentment does not lie with his partner god help her, its with him. I think you need to work on this article, your making the man seem powerful and the women are in the wrong

  • Tseng

    I have a boyfriend, we’ve been together nearly two years. He has been divorced about 12 years, he and his ex have no children. Recently I found out that my bf son has continued to be in communication with his ex step mom. She has paid for them to go on a trip together along with his young child. My bf does not like it but he won’t do anything about it. He says he will speak to his son but he hasn’t yet. He says he is angry at his ex-wife and that she should move on with her life but he hasn’t spoken to her about the situation. I asked him if he thought something was going on between them and he said he thinks about it all the time. What am I supposed to do with this situation. I was pretty depressed about it and kind of sick of the whole thing. He and his son communicate in a weird way and they do things to make each other angry. They really don’t understand each other at all. I’ve never seen such painful interaction. I really feel like walking away from the whole thing. Any advice?

  • JJ

    I’m in a different-ish situation. I am step mom to 2 kids who were orchestrated by my new husband’s ex wife. My husband was forced to marry her because she told him she was taking the pill, after he went back to her a couple months after her faking a suicide in response to his breaking up with her. He was in a job situation at the time that would not have worked for him had he “gotten her pregnant” and not married her. While the kids were both breast-feeding, she made him get up to get them all night, which makes me see the kids solely as accessories for her corporate-climbing life.

    After marrying her, she spent all, yes all, of his salary and pre-marital savings through the 5-6 years of “normal” marriage (before she began cheating on him), and her salary, while she saved money she did not divulge in the divorce proceedings. She’s always been trouble, so he knew he was paying her off to make it easy on himself.

    They had troubles from the beginning, and after she forced him to sell their first house which he loved and was near his work, they moved to a house close to her work while she forced him to be home early every day to cook for the kids. A year after that, she began an affair with her boss. They hid everything from my husband, and from his (her boss’) wife (nice, right? Both married with kids). She teaches the kids to fight, lie, and manipulate situations. I’ve seen the daughter paint a bruise on her cheek and claim she was hurt. She also lies very frequently. The kids criticize each other, and tell me “well, mom does it,” and I tell them they have a choice with every action and word they execute, and it’s nicer to be nice to people, just as they feel good receiving.

    She tells me to be flexible, yet will not give my husband or I an inch since we married (only 5 months ago), whether asking for a half an hour earlier to drop off the kids the day after we married to hang out a bit before he had to leave town for work, or to drop the kids off an hour early so he could come to a concert with me. She wins, every single time. I have tried to ask him to put things to her in kind, fair ways to ask for time requests from her, he is always hesitant to do so.

    Finally recently, I chimed in, and saw why. All she could do in response was to lie and waffle, refusing to give me/us that hour for the concert. Her lies happen in a psychopathic/sociopathic manner, without reason except that she needs to be in control. She is unable to give. I am afraid of who she is, moreover, who she is raising her kids, now my step-kids to be. I am also overwhelmed being in what I feel like are voiceless shoes, yet trying to do my best at cooking/providing for the family, and to give the kids a good example to follow, as well as to learn how to deal with these psychopathic lies and manipulations. I end up actually feeling sorry, even, for her new husband, due to things we hear from the kids about their fighting, thinking she’s doing the same thing to him, and taking all of his money too, while relying on my husbands’ parents money, something she’s referred to over and over again, to my husband, and to her kids, and to her new husband, while she herself is making 50% more income than my husband. She is way scary. And I need to learn to “manage” her.

    I’ve tried to get close with the kids, have found some activities they seem to love doing with me, and we get excuses from her taking the kids out of custody arrangements to go to appointments she claims are only open on those times, just coincidentally the same times I have plans with them. As many comments here, one would think a mom would instead relish her kids having a good time with (versus hating) the step mom, and encourage that, not lie and manipulate situations to block the bond. She is a nightmare, and… I just need to learn how to deal with her psychology issues.

    Your book looks like it may be a good help. Thank you so much for this spot to… see others in this absurd situation, and for writing to help situations like this.

  • The younger new girlfriend

    Well I thought I would stick my two pennies worth in! I am the cliche much younger girlfriend that my partner. He left his wife last year, the divorce is yet to be started, however he did not leave her for me, despite her thoughts otherwise, which is course have been made very clear.

    After some months, I have come to the conclusion that I will never be accepted as my partners new girlfriend, and actually it doesn’t matter how old I am, she is bitter about the separation and that isn’t going to change.

    I received several emails, texts messages via the children from her, all of which I have NEVER responded to. She now doesn’t bother. I keep out of her way, and although she still calls me all kinds to my partner, there are no major problems. Occasionally she seems to pipe up with some issue regarding the kids, putting me first….blah blah. We know better, and we also know that the kids are very happy.

    Our/my issue is that I can’t get them to talk sensibly to each other. All they do when on the phone trying to talk about the kids is shout, scream and swear at each other (usually brought on by some comment about me being a ‘slut’) I can half control my partner if I’m in the room but doing ‘calm down’ hand movements to get him to come down off the ceiling. She however is very bitter and can’t help insetting some dig about the kids being unhappy because he ran off with a younger woman. When actually, the kids are unhappy because mum and dad don’t talk. But that doesn’t seem to sink in.

    How can I ge them to talk to each other without ripping their heads off?! We have tried the ‘let’s try and sort this out’ email, but she just says that he shouldn’t have left in the first place. Not helpful.

    I would not be successful in contacting her and she is still very bitter and according to her thoughts, the reason for their marriage to end (very not true!) so attempting to tell her that good communication would be good for her kids…..not going to go down well, especially as I have none of my own so I ‘can’t comment’.

    Any advice would be useful!!!!



  • Happily Ever After....Finally

    It sounds like you all could use some cheering up. We use Our Family Wizard to discuss parenting arrangements and schedules when you have shared custody. Helps cut down on a lot of BS. For those of you where your husband/partner/boyfriend are still communicating with the ex. There are some major boundary issues. I would really consider that you have been WAY too tolerant and it is time you put your foot down. Sending old wedding pictures, slamming you on facebook or myspace, come on get real. Block her why does she have access to your stuff anyway, unless you want her to and are rubbing it in her face. They should not have access to your personal space AT ALL. As far as the children are concerned, they can see what is going on. They love their parents and you too. They are caught in the middle of all of the garbage. Just imagine how you would feel if it was your parents fighting like this. If they don’t get along just leave each other alone, that simple. Be courteous and considerate and just avoid any confrontation. Walk away. NEVER let the kids see the garbage. They don’t need to be involved in this AT ALL. If their Mother is involving them in the fights, or their Father, they are toxic and this is only going to hurt the kids in the long run. Let them sort it out themselves. You can listen but don’t say anything about the parents. The kids will eventually have their own lives and won’t have time for all the fighting and nonsense. Trust me. They will eventually get very sick of it. Don’t take a side, it just causes them to have attitude towards you or blame you in some way. Stay out of it, in actuallity it is their problem. Like it or not those are their parents. My parents have been married over 50 years and are still fighting. I just don’t take a side anymore. You get my point. I listen and don’t get involved or I just say “gotta go the kids need me” works every time. If someone is making things up about you “seriously” how high school. The truth always comes out in the end. Liars always get found out. Besides if she is lieing about you she has probably lied about other things too. Nobody can make up lies about you and force the children to go along with it. I would give up on anyone who doesn’t stand up for you. If he is sucking up to his ex while she is trying to blame you for sexual abuse he is extremely selfish and what is this saying to his children? Run for your life from both of them. They are an extremely toxic family. If he doesn’t talk to the police and to his lawyer about what his ex is putting you through then God help him, never mind you. He is the Father of those children and sounds like a very weak and confused man indeed. You are going to go through living hell. Therapy, mediation, patience, a good lawyer, stamina and lot’s of love and belief in the right thing. That is how you make it work. Don’t let his ex win. If you have to leave for yourself then that is what you have to do. They are not divorced yet. Wait until the divorce is final. Then I would say you have a chance. Get married and DO NOT let her push you around no matter what. In your home you are the Mother. You and your husband make the rules. She has no say and her power only exists in her own home. You make your own rules together in yours. You set the boundaries. The bottom line is you have to be happy. Don’t lie to yourself and be honest about what you want. Tell him how you feel and work together to come up with a plan that works for you. Don’t be afraid to say what you want.

  • new girlfriend

    WOW! It is deplorable how these ex’s behave. I have only been with my bf for less than 2 months. I love him soooo much. He has 2 beautiful kids. He is separated and in the middle of a divorce. She does not want a divorce. She is very adamant about how much money she should get from him. She uses his kids to manipulate him. He happens to be one of the few men who love his kids very much and is broken if he is not able to see them. It breaks my heart to see him that way. He tries to stay happy around me but I know how he feels. She fights to control him and uses GOD as her motivation! I believe in God but I would never use the lords name to justify evil actions.

    To make matters worse, her daughter spent a weekend with her father and I was with them the entire time. To make a long story short, his ex filed a false police report that I touched her daughter!!!!! I am currently waiting to see if charges will be filed against me. One charge is worth a minimum of 25 years to life!!! How can someone be so wicked????? Can someone explain this? I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy (and I dont have enemies!)

    I am lost for words. I am concerned for her daughter who has to endure an invasive examination by a doctor because of all of this. What will her mother subject her to next? He was forced to tell his ex that I am no longer in the picture so as a result she opened up communication with him again and he can see his kids again. I have been praying for her, her daughter, his son and myself.

    I know where I want my relationship with him to go but this is a real test for us both. She is pretty much making him choose btwn me and his kids. Which really means choosing btwn her and me. This is so insane!!! He will need to be strong because after this attempt comes more , and more, and more attacks, accusations, whatever works for her! Anyone who takes these lengths you cannot under-estimate. I told him not to tell her about me but he was being naive and sweet (and maybe a little show off, who knows?) so he told her about me 1 month in. Then after that he allowed me to meet his daughter. Obviously this did not sit well with her and she decided to show her wrath.

    Her soon to be ex-husband is divorcing her, he is happily moving on, her daughter loves the new girlfriend and she couldn’t find anything tangible to criticize so SHE CREATED ONE. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME.

  • mary

    Its the mens fault, all us women bi***ing and fighting over them, grow up girls the husband is the cause of the problem. They should be taking responsiblity to stop their new partner from causing trouble with the MUM of their children, I do not blame exwives being angry, its not really aimed at the new partner its really at their useless exhusband. Believe me men love women fighting over them it boosts their ego, the men are manipulative not the women, my expartner is getting remarried, he was hoping I would fight with his new wife to be, but sorry no I will not, I have invited her to have coffee with me offered friendship and hope we can all get on for the childrens sake, exhusband is very disappointed that I am happy to be friends with her and I feel he is causing the trouble.

    On the other hand his new partner is not happy to be friends with me she is playing the childish game of trying to win my childrens love,loyalty and make a new little family pushing me out in other words and showing no respect that I have been a mother for 33 years, case of toxic new wife.

    Shes welcome if she can do a better job then me good luck. My children are grownup I have two granddaughters she is trying to take over, gets upset if I’m there seeing mychildren and grandchildren, its ludicrous, considering she has bolted from her own three children 12,000 miles away, and guess what my exhusband does not stop her behaving badly blames me for it and takes her side. Its a no win situation. So blame the men they are gutless and afraid of both wives ex and new its mostly their fault the family breaks up. Should write a book about toxic ex husbands and leave the exwife alone.

  • Lisette

    Dear Adele
    I still worry my husbsnd’s ex will try and take me out. I worry that she will do something to my children (that I have with her ex husband). There are some real fruit cakes out there – always watch your back….

  • Adele

    I have been married to my husband for 9 yrs now. When I met him his son was 9 yrs old. I didn’t know what I was getting into either because I never dated a man with a child before. After we started dating his ex found out. She came over one day unanounced and walked in the house through the garage. I found out later that she still had a door key to the front door and was coming over to pay his bills and to visit her son during the week. I think that is wrong. Anyway as it went she hated me, called me names, would make calls during the night to my soon to be husband and really talk bad about me to her son. She threaten suicide twice when we were dating. Now her son is in the Army. She is on facebook daily. She has sent me a friend request again. Two months ago she humilated me by sending me a email regarding a picture of her son that was given to us by him, stating it belonged to her and that I should not post it on fb. She also proceeded to tell me I should stick to raising dogs, because I am not a fit human to raise kids. I chose not to have childern. Anyway before that email we were civil to each other. Now I believe she is at it again. She is baiting me and wanting a chance to humilate me again. This time I am not going to fall for it again. Enough is Enough with her. She is toxic. She is a real bitch and thinks to highly of herself. She puts on a facade on facebook like she is a good mother. It’s make me so mad. I know her for what and who she really is. I feel so hateful toward this female. So that is my story. To this day her and I can never enjoy each others company.

  • Lisette

    JP – I am from Australia – here you need to have court orders drawn up,stating all pick ups (weekends/holidays etc…)- A judge would rule it fair to share the travel (ie pick up half way, or one parent do each leg of a trip)

  • Lisette

    My husbands ex is a nightmare. She is about to be married for the 4th time, and with each husband she has successfully spent all of their money. My husband has been to hell and back. The kids have been so brainwashed. She moved 100’s of times (dozens of schools), lived hours away, and played stupid mind games. We’ve just put up with her antics, because unless you’re cashed up to hire a lawyer, there’s nothing you can do legally to stop the situtaion. My husband just tried to be in the kids life as much as possible.

    The kids have now grown up. The eldest came and lived with us for the last 2 years of school and did exceptionally well. This child still has issues through how they were raised, but we were unable to fix everything. The other child is doing ok and visits us regurlary.

    There’s not much you can do except be there for your kids and be a positive role model –

    Jp – the driving is crazy!!! You coudnt put the kids through a 4 hour drive every weekend. You’d have to do it on school holidays where they can stay with you for weeks. As for the involvement with the family, thats out-and-out weird! And why did they break up anyway – can’t they see they she has hurt your boyfriend by relocating his children? I’m sorry – I love my job, but if I was broken up with my husband I would want him to be nearby to take up his part of the parenting role AND to have a father in their lives (especially if he wanted to be) – I hope you love your boyfriend because I’ve been through 12 years of a nightmare ex wife, and believe you me – there is some crap to deal with at times! If it’s not true love forever, leave now and find someone with no kids!

  • jp

    I need some help on guidance from people who have experienced this…

    My boyfriends has two children with his ex-wife. The divorce was pretty simple and things with this kids have been simple. Nothing is in paperwork with the kids. The children live with their mother in a state approx 4 hours away. The mother moved due to her work. Boyfriend pays more in child support then what is actually required, made schedule to see children everyother weekend, involved with teachers and daycare. Phone calls children everyother day. Tries his best to be involved.

    We are just starting to get over the hump of him “avoiding conflict” with the ex because he does not want to deal with her.

    The problem is that she is highly invovled with his family. She sees his parents probably 4 times a week and his grandparents a little less. They have dinner, go places, sleep over eachothers places…His family states they are only involved with her to see the grandkids. Will this eventually go away? I guess it could be jealously on my part but it just bothers him and I that she is so invovled. It is great that the relationship is still there and his parents help her a lot w child transportation to school….often on the weekends that they aren’t with him they are with grandparents. It is almost like a representation of him without him there. He has tried to talk to the family about it and they agree to try to do less with her but its almost like it is increasing. We will not speak of the issue with his mother anymore because it is almost like she is playing both sides of the fence. The question has been asked if maybe she is so invovled because it bothers him?

    In addition, how do some work out the distance? His parents and brother have offered to drive the kids half way at a meeting point to him. He is in the military 4 hours away as I stated eariler. He asked her recently if on occation she would help drive 2 hours for drop off. She stated that she refuses, that it is not her problem. Is she right?? I can’t seem to find any information on this. She states that he is not respectful to her, though he only speaks to her about the kids— he is not sure if its because he has asked for seperate holidays?? he asked her what he did that was so disrepectful but she did not answer the question.

    Any help with these issues? ↑

  • just want to be happy!

    wow, there are alot of interesting stories on here. I would never wish a toxic ex on anyone but guess it feels good to know im not alone and im sure we can always one up each other lol. I am very in love with my husband, we have been married five years now. I knew he had kids and was married before but really didnt know what i was getting into. I guess every family has their problems but this goes pretty deep. His ex was rude and hateful from the beginning. About a month after my husband proposed i got pregnant, i miscarried a month later. i have known ppl that miscarried but never realized just how horrible it was to lose a life that was inside you. It was awful and painful, emotionally and physically. to top it off the ex told the kids and everyone she knew that i faked being pregnant so that he would marry me, despite 3 positive tests and him being in the room when i had to have the dnc. she even made the comment to me that it was awfully funny that we got married then suddenly theres no baby, again insinuating that i faked it. (Ok tho..i got pregnant again shortly after and we have a beautiful 5yr old gir) anyway, I sure didnt see anything funny about it! She also told the kids that he cheated on her with me and that i was the reason for the divorce even tho i didnt actually know him til a year after they were divorced. met him once briefly many years before when i dated a co worker of his. Thier marriage ended very badly and was an unhappy one. she was a stay at home mom as i am but would fill out the pre approved credit card apps that came in the mail using his info. ran up 100s of thousands of dollars in cc debt that he didnt know about til they got sued. my husband has always worked very hard and did well for his family. He lost everything he had worked for and once she made sure he didnt have a pot to piss in left him for her 3rd cousin!! They fought alot in their marriage because of her family. Her step father “the kids grandpa” molested her as a child and young teen which she told my husband about. He did not want the kids around him of course but she constantly insisted they should spend time with the grandparents, it caused serious heated fights, And of course to no surprise he molested both of their children which we just found out about around 2yrs ago, now we are picking up the pieces and she has nothing to do with her kids. One is in college and hasnt lived with her for almost 3yrs and one is here with us now for 3yrs that is 16 and has some very serious issues. we moved 1,000 miles away to put some distance between us, her, and her sick family but no matter what over the years she does what she can to cause not just us but her kids problems. i really couldnt begin to tell you the half of it, of course in the beginning encouraging the kids to be rude to me, call me bad names, encouraging them not to come to our home things like that. That ended tho once they got a little older and were able to make up thier own minds and think for themselves. Her latest stunt was to claim the child we have in our home and have custody of on her taxes. Our filing was rejected so i had to spend hours gathering documents..div papers, school records, etc and re submit it. took about half my day. we wont be getting a refund but without claiming him would have to pay in a pretty good chunk of change while she would get a hefty refund by claiming a child she hasnt even had for visitation in 2yrs and does not support in anyway, financially or emotionally. I know legally we are in the right and will come out on top so i not worried about that, its just the point. i just see it as another form of harassment. we had been married for almost 2yrs and had moved twice but prior to moving out of state had a big yard/moving sale. I went to the store to get drinks for the kids, they were helping and it was hot. she called one while was in the car and by the time i got back she was on the phone with my husband and he was yelling. she was insisting that we give her half our yard sale money! cant understand where she gets her twisted sense of entitlement. There are no support issues, he always stayed current when she had custody them. which she gave up willingly, we didnt ask for it, she just didnt wanna deal with her kids anymore. all i know is that its constant drama.. she doesnt want or care about her kids so dont understand why she just doesnt leave everyone alone.its to much to even tell but its been five years now and she is on her 3rd marriage 5th total but wont stop her antics. I just want to be happy and enjoy my family and the husband im still very much in love with without all the issues and drama steming from his first marriage. I am not convinced it will ever end.Its like a dark cloud hanging over us. this woman is evil! she doesnt want to see anyone happy including her own kids. I have tried everything..being nice and all that but this woman makes it impossible and her bitterness only really damages 2 ppl. her kids. its very sad. I know one thing..once the 16yr old turns 18 and we dont legally have to keep contact with her we plan to change our adress, phone numbers,etc and she will not be allowed to have them! considering she gives her bill collectors our phone numbers and even has mail sent to our address with her name on it. she has never lived in this state or at this address and has had 3 dif last names since the divorce but claims she just doesnt know how that could happen! she does it on purpose just because she is crazy!!! anyway, i am at my wits end and see no end in sight. any advice for not just dealing with a toxic ex but a totally crazy one???

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  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen Post author

    You can’t do anything to change your husband’s toxic ex-wife…but you CAN control your own behavior and attitude and mood. I know it sounds trite and hokey, but it’s true. The hardest and yet the simplest thing to do is focus on what you can change, which is yourself and your environment.

  • Katherine Eion

    Hi…I can really sympathize with your situation with the ex. There are a couple of things that can be done, depending on your state. Check the laws about recording phone calls. In VA, it is legal to record someone on the phone so long as one party knows the call is being recorded and that simply means if you know you are recording the call no one else need know. Record the calls the ex makes and take her to court for harassment. Have the secretary screen calls at hubby’s work and he is unavailable to take calls, ever from her. Or simply have your husband record (write down) the number of times she calls and a short note about what the call was regarding. Take her to court to show a record of harassment.
    My concern here are the children. If you and your husband sue for sole custody of the girls, that is one less reason for you and your husband to have nothing to do with this person. There sounds like there is a pattern of abuse that can be proven to the courts with ER records and her refusal to follow physician orders. Allowing the girls to stay with this person, makes you and your husband culpable to the abuse the kids are being exposed to. Show the court her refusal to get the child the care that she needs.
    When she texts, e-mails etc. delete immediately. Do not read, it will only tempt you or your husband to answer.
    Have you alerted the insurance company or anyone else that this woman is imitating you? That is a form of identity theft. Call companies you have a concern with and set up a four-digit code known only to you and the company. Record dates when information has been changed and get the names of the company spokespeople she has talked with and you talk with.
    Record everything this person does, include any monetary damages, such as, the cost of getting new insurance. Take the information to court and sue her.
    It sounds like, you have acquiesced power to her and that is a definite mistake. Let her know in no uncertain terms her behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. And then follow through.

  • Therg713

    Hi Everyone!
    Its actually really helpful to read everyone’s posts about ex wives. I’m having a terrible problem with my husband’s ex wife, Dawn. She defines toxic.
    I’ve been married to my husband for seven years this June 2011. In those 7 years, Dawn has filed 4 Temporary restraining order’s (all of which she dropped ) had my husband sent to jail saying he threatened her (then dropped it completely and was fined for filing a false police report ). She called child protective services saying my husband smacked his kids, which she later also admitted she was mad, so that was dropped. She’s called me at work pretending to be ny kids daycare teacher, saying my kid fell of playground equipment and was badly hurt..only to call my husband telling him it was just a ploy to “get back @ me”. I could go on and on. Then for about 3 years she dropped off the face of tge earth. Only to return married, 2 more additional kids ( her & my husband have 2 girls together who are 13 & 9), living with the new husband’s parents and grandmother
    Now, she’s back! Calling, emailing, having us meet her @ the ER b/c the 13 year old is “flipping out”. In 3 weeks we had to meet her @ the ER 4 times in 3 weeks. Yet, she never follows up with therapy for the kid, despite the dr and hospitals recomindations. She texts, emails, calls my husband every day at work (never at home b/c she knows I’ll call her out on her BS..The new husband complains about her constantly which is also why she only calls during work hours.
    Here’s my dilemma ..This woman scares the s**t out of me! She’s always up to no good. She has zero friends, she call’s the cop’s on everyone she gets mad at. I don’t believe for a second that she won’t cause me legal trouble in the future, she calls my insurance company and pretends to be me she can “change things around “!Basically this chick is a nutcase…and causes a lot of trouble constantly. But then just forgets she ever did…
    any suggestions???

  • Sonn

    Congratulations Stevee – you are correct just send the positive message out there ! It does work. Thank you your email reminded me, i control how i feel and i can send positive messages and they will get returned. Drown the ex toxins with kindness ! Brilliant thank you for the reminder. Be happy in your life and that would be better than any legal battle! Love and live !! and smile. May be all the second wives in the world could send postive messages to help the second Wives every where. These toxic ex’s cant rule our lives !!!!!

  • Stevee

    I think I top everyone’s Toxic Ex. My husband left her over 20 years ago – not for me – he just left her. We hooked up 17 years ago and she blames me – telling all the relatives that we were seeing each while they were married. After we got married, 14 years ago, she has launched a campaign against me with her daughter and told everyone that I took her husband and I am a crack head. Now all of my husbands relatives are not speaking to me because of her because she has told them that I have been harassing her. To make matters worse, my husband started being mean to me because of the skank and he has been talking to her on the phone and she has told him to not listen to me when I tell him stories or issues about my mother or brother. My husband’s children are grown but are still being controlled by her. She will not allow them to have thankgiving or xmas with us or any other holiday. So, he kisses her ass all the time just to speak to them and see them once in a while. I have told him that he has given her power by going along with her control but its useless. He keeps trying to get her approval just to see and speak to his grown kids. I am so sick of it – don’t know what to do. Wht bothers me most is – he listens to the witch and refuses to comment on my issues about my mom and brother if I bring it up because she has told him that it is none of his business. I recently called her and told her – how dare you tell MY HUSBAND what to do concerning my family? She has crossed the line but so has he listening to that skeezer. I have told him that she is jealous, a low life, has no morals, values or grace. She has gone so far as to tell the grand kids not to speak to me if they call my house. What do I do? Looking online to find someway to sue her for harassment or stalking or both. I keep telling my husband that she is jealous and wants him back but he thinks that kissing her ass will get his three to see him and like him. Its ignorant and stupid for anyone to listen to her but they have.

    One way I have come to get the upper hand it to wish her well, with love, respect, peace, prosperity and forgiveness – and then I her that she has taught her family negativity and abused and disrespected the grands by telling them to diss me. YOu don’t actually tell her in person, by phone or by email – you think it over and over again – and it works. If you think negative thoughts – they hear it and react negative. If you think positive thoughts and wish love, peace, forgiveness – they feel bad and actually stop their stupid, jealous behavior. Somehow it makes them hate what they have done. Furthermore, you can make the wish globally, worldwide and announce it to the entire family and they will all hear you. All this is said to yourself of course and the positive thoughts of love, peace, forgiveness,properity, etc. actually work. Send uplifting thoughts and prayers to the toxic ex as well and tell her what she is doing wrong and tell her what she shold be doing in a positive way and things basically start to change.

    That is the only thing I cn do right now until I find a legal way to end it.

  • Sonn

    Oh someone give me some advice I have a doosy of all doosy. My husband and i are very happy. I have had contact with his children I have never met his ex. I dont know her only witnessed the pain of her children. The Ex is crucifying my ex which we can actually deal with, it is the pain and isolation it causes his children. How do you deal with this toxic person. I can not keep my distance anymore. His daughter now lives with us and the mother is constantly berating her. I have heard her swearing to her daughter over the phone how does a mother do this to her own flesh and blood. She manipulates the two younger boys to the point where it is unbearable for them to see their father. One has not seen his dad for months and has been in trouble with the law the mother is not helping encouraging tattoos as she has them encouraging drinking under age realtions in her house. It is sad but there seems nothing we can do. Texting her to asking her where the son in trouble with the law is she told my hubby its none of his business. i have heard phone conversation and seen texts where she completely manipulates the truth her teenage sons do hear this. They are not worldly enoough to understand there mum is letting them down what do i do as a second wife to help lesson the destruction. I have know children i only have tow pets and i would not treat them at all like i am seeing her treat her children HELP !!

  • Jane

    I have been put through hell from my Husband’s crazy Ex-Wife. When we first started our relationship she was constantly trying to interfer in our life. She would call my Husband several times a day. One time she called him nine times. She’d show up at our home, uninvited and when we’d ask her to leave she would not go. She couldn’t accept the fact my Husband was moving on.

    The reason they divorced was because she had several affairs. She would cheat and then tell him vivid details of her sexual encounters. They had two small children and my Husband’s Brother had gone through a nasty divorce. His children were effected. They began using drugs and running away, etc. etc. One of them even ended up in jail. My Husband thought he would do his best to try to keep things on a friendly basis with his Ex, so the children would have a happy childhood. He did not like her and despised the terrible things she had done to him.

    When she was out running around, it was my Husband who took care of the children. He was both a Mother and a Father to them for years. Throughout the years she was never a good Mother, so it was my Husband who gave them the security and love that children need. If it hadn’t been for the love and care my Husband gave those children, I’m not sure what would have happened to them.

    My Husband is truly “one of a kind”. He is the type of guy who always thinks of others before himself, so for years he never addressed the pain she caused in his life. He swept all the pain under a rug and just kept trying to go forward. He’d always want his kids to wake up at his house on Christmas morning and he would even allow his Ex to come over to his house to watch them open their gifts to make things nice for his kids. He’d do joint Birthday parties and other family get togethers with her, again “all for the kids”.

    He never thought that once he found the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with that she would start the trouble she did. In the beginning I had a great relationship with the kids and she did not like that. She felt like I was trying to replace her and has accussed me many times of having had plans to take her children away from her from the very start.

    It was quite the opposite. My children are about 10 years older than my Husband’s and I had no desire to raise children again. As the children felt the love of a real family environment (one they had never had), they started to feel more comfortable. Stories of abuse came out and we found out that she had physically, not to mention emotionally hurt the children on many occassions. Seeing the children had the perception that my Husband and their Mother were friends by the way my Husband had handled things, they had never told my Husband what had been going on their whole lives.

    The children eventually ended up telling us they wanted to live with us. The minute she found this out, his Ex tried to sue my Husband for sole custody. He counter sued for “joint custody” with him being the primary.

    The courts brought in a guadian and it ended up taking 8 months to get to court. Each weekend we had the kids they would tell us things that the Ex was doing, like telling them their Father didn’t love them, etc. etc. By the time court came around, the children told the guardian that they had changed their minds and wanted to stay with their Mother. When we asked the kids what made them change their minds, their voices began to shake so bad that they could hardly talk. The manipulation they had been put through was more than obvious. Seeing the kids ended up with the Ex, their already abusive lives have become even worse.

    My Husbands Daughter was even raped by a family member and the Mother had full knowledge of this and only told the family member that if it happened again she would have him thrown in jail. It ended up happening again and she did absolutely nothing.

    We did not find out about it until we had my Husband’s Daughter on Spring Break and she broke down and told me that she had something to tell me that she should have told me a long time ago. She asked me to tell her Father what had happened.

    My Husband went to Social Services and they dropped the case after investigating saying they didn’t have enough evidence that the Mother had neglected her.

    The family member is not in jail and nothing was ever done to him. I think it was for lack of DNA, because the Mother never took her to be examined.

    We found out recently that she still allows my Husbands Daughter to be around this family member and in his Daughter’s opinion it was “no big deal” because she had a crush on him and it “just happened”. She was 14 and he was almost 22. She is very immature and he took total advantage of her. One day it will hit her and it will hit her hard. He took away her virginity and she will never be able to get that back.

    No matter what we’ve done to try to help the kids, we just run into brick walls. The Ex has gotten the children to absolutely hate me and they often try to break my Husband and I up. They have basically turned into their Mother. The Daughter has no self-respect and the Son can look you right in the face and lie to you (a major problem of the Ex). The children have caused problems in our relationship with my Husbands family because they lie about us and try to make us look like the bad guys.

    We’ve gone to counseling and we’ve tried many things to get the good relationship we once had with them back, with no luck at all. It’s gotten to the point where we almost feel we are better off having no relationship with them then having all this stress in our lives. In the beginning we’d be happy when they came over but now we know their visit will just be a stressful one and we are tired of having so much stress in our lives. We feel that unless the Mother moves far away, nothing will change. Perhaps when the children get older and are away from their Mother’s negative, abusive influence, we will be able to have the Step-Family we have always wanted. Until then we are just trying to figure out what is the best way to handle things. We love the children and always will but we can’t let the fact that their Toxic Mother has now turned them into Toxic Children and we do not want Toxins in our lives. Do you have any suggestions? I’d appreciate your help.

  • CG

    I think it’s a bad idea to try and meet with toxic ex’s and allowing them to know a lot about you. Usually they only want to know you to determine if they can compete with you, and learn information about you to flip it and use it against you. I am a second wife; glad to find comfort in this post but saddend by the fact that there are so many toxic women out there. My husband has to children by his ex wife. This woman is a devil in sheep’s clothing. She even had the nerve to call my husband and tell him how unsatisfied she is sexually with her new boyfriend because his penis size is significantly smaller than my husbands’. She psychologically manupulates her own children. She has her children take my belongings. She even asked her children was I prettier than her. It’s like lady how old are you again? She bad talks me in front of them and constantly brings drama into my marriage with the constant court dates and therapy sessions. It’s like she will do anything just to be around MY husband. I do think that it’s important not to respond to her negative behavior. It’s to the point at which my husband can even stand her as a person anymore. The ironic thing is that her children adore me. As they age hopefully they will be able to block her mental games. I think the most important thing to remember as a second wife is that their relationship ended for a reason, and if your husband was flattered by her toxic tactics then he would be with her but instead he chose you, AND THAT IS WHY SHE IS BITTER !

  • danielle

    okay here goes. My husband and his ex wife were together for all together 5 years and married 2 of that. In which time they had a son. My husband and i meet a little over year they were split up and we got married a year after that. She flipped out and tried to get him back when she found out we were getting married. When she was the one who ended the marriage by leaving for another man. Then when she found out i was pregnant she flipped out saying she was taking his son away from him. They have joint custody and everytime she gets mad she is always saying she is taking it to court so he can’t see his son. She has there out burst about every two weeks. I don.t understand why she is this way. When we keep the his son more than she ever has. She is always pushing him off to go to parties and other things. I think she talks bad to me to the son because i would watch him during the day to save them money plus i really enjoy him. And he has been telling her that i’ve spanked him twice now. And which i would not due because he is not my son, but i do use the time out. and so i decided that it would be best not to watch him anymore without my husband there to avoid that. And when my husband told her they would have to find someone else to watch him because i didn’t feel comfortable with it she flipped out again. She gets so mad when we don.t tell her first whats going on in our life. When we found out i was pregnant she told him she should have been the first to know. And on our wedding day she called every hour on the hour. Because she wanted their son back. She is all the time trying to control my husband by using his son against him. We’ve only been married for 3 months and i’m 9 weeks pregnant. And i just can’t take all her drama all the time. It seems she plays a bigger part in our marriage than i do.

  • DB

    What do you do when your ex-husband and his new wife of a very short relationship are both toxic and love to create drama and control situations? She is trying to change everything from court and treats my children like prisoners and slaves while they are there and he lets her? My children are 15, 13, & 9. She even answered the phone the other day when I asked to speak to my children and was totally disrespectful and rude to me. I would never treat my step-children’s mom that way.

  • LD

    I have an incredible situation myself. My boyfriend’s ex has done all of the above, and gone so far as to be naked on multiple occasions when he goes to pick up his daughter.

    All I can do is just sit back, not only do I not have anything to fear about my bf, he’s incredibly dedicated to me, but I am so far above her trashy antics that they barely cause a blip on my radar anymore. My bf is aware that it is up to him to set boundaries, and to create something healthy with her where the people in his world aren’t impacted by her immaturity.

    So ladies, one day at a time, just remember that the ex is simply exhibiting the exact behavior that your new husband (or boyfriend) divorced her for. Applaud when she shows herself to be the fool. It only highlights your class, and his good choice with picking you. 🙂

  • Joanne

    Thanks to those who have described their efforts to take the high ground and decided not deal with the high-conflict ex directly – it’s strengthened my resolve.

    Having sought advice from various sources, my husband and I have in place a ‘minimal/low contact approach’. This means we only respond in writing to the ex where matters relate directly to the children. We ignore the provocative remarks etc and keep our responses factual, direct, informative and pleasant.

    It’s no magic wand but has worked well towards minimising the disruption in our lives. Exchanges of the children take place in public where there are witnesses; if nothing else, this sets boundaries (very important) regarding each other’s properties and allows all of us a private life. We document disruptive events for anticipated court dates.

    I hope this guides others as we have been. Good luck.

  • nichole

    My husbands ex wife is a nightmare. Me and my husband have known each other for 11 years been together for 2 and been married 7 months. She hated me at first bc he left her for me, she had every right to hate me, but then we started to get along. Se would text me all the time, have me pick the kids up from school [10 and 12] is she was busy, she even wated me to straighten her hair one day b4 a funeral. I just had my 3rd son 6 weeks ago, he is me and my husbands first child together. She would come over to my home and tell me to pack his bag she is taking him and we can have another one but she’s taing this one.! Me being hormonal got very upset bc she didn’t just say it once or twice, she said it 20 times everytime I saw her and I had had enough. I told her to stop trying to steal me baby that she’s upsetting me. Big mistake, she has made my life a living hell. I no longer have a name, I’m referred to as ‘her’ and am told that her kids are none of my business and I am no longer aloud to call her or text. The kids went from staying over her for almost a month to only coming every other weekend at which she makes sue to not drop them off till 10 pm Friday night. If my husband questions her in any way about her being late or her smoking around my step daughter with severe allergies she hangs up on him. She has brought her own children into all this dram as well. We never spak ill of her when the kids are here and I stilltr to be nice to her but I am sick of it. I’m ready to get away from her. I have a physical reaction to her name, if my husbands phone rings my stomach twists in knots. What do I do, me and my husband are fighting a lot bc of her bc of my hate for her. He just wants to ignoe her and let her have her way just to make her happy.

  • Amy

    Needless to say my husbands ex-wife is awful and very difficult to deal with. In the beginning I tried to befriend her for the children only. Although she is constantly trying to make my life miserable I get more upset about their past together than what happens now. I hate that they were married and had children. I hate the thoughts of my husband being with someone else. These thoughts consume me and I am unable to let this go. I can’t even be intimate with my husband without thinking about him being intimate with her. His mother hangs on to pictures of their wedding, births, etc. It makes me physically sick to have seen those pictures and I can’t get the images out of my mind.

    • Shadden

      Though your comments are 4 years old, they really struck a chord with me. That is the way I felt about the ex-wife. I have always been upset that my husband’s sister keeps the photos all over her wall of the old days, with some of the group photos including the ex-wife, and I can’t stand that. There aren’t any photos that include me, as our family came along much later than all of our kids’ cousins.
      I can be stubborn, so when I realized how miserable the ex-wife was making me, I couldn’t stand that even more. So, I have tried to not let her “get” to me. I’m sometimes successful and sometimes not, but I do know I am better off keeping her out of the picture as much as possible. But, that has meant less contact with my step-daughter, and some of my husband’s family. It has brought me a little more peace.
      How are things with you now? Are you still together? How are you handling this? I, too, felt ill at the pictures so prominently displayed, and hate my sister-in-law for thinking that it is so important to display all these past relationships.

      • Amanda

        I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one who feels like this. I know that the ex was “a different person” when they were together, but I just can’t accept that. I can’t help but feel that there were warning signs of her pending toxicity that were ignored. I don’t know how to let the ex not get to me. Any advice would be welcomed

  • Deirdre

    My husband’s ex-wife is extremely toxic. He and I have been together for 5 years, married for 8 months. He has two sons, aged 19 and 23 who are incredible young men and who I love as my own. For the past 5 years I’ve been subjected to her antics. These range from her texting my husband with pornographic images of herself, sending him texts asking him if he “wants to f*ck”, “attempting” suicide on 3 occasions to garner attention (she only swallowed 4 sleeping pills in one of her attempts), trying to take him to court for maintenance (when my husband and I pay for EVERYTHING to do with her two sons, they even live with us). She even wrote to her youngest son asking him “what is it about this woman” that this child loves about me. She has resorted to fraudulent activities to fabricate legal documents to demonstrate that my husband is legally entitled to pay her rent.

    My husband and I left our home country a year ago to work abroad, which was a relief to be able to escape her clutches. The messages, phone calls and texts to him didn’t die down even though we were in a different country. She has subsequently become engaged to a man she met last year so her harassment has slowed although she still sends him the occasional text which demonstrates her tenacity. Her youngest son recently wanted nothing more to do with his mother, … labeling her as a “spineless, coward, intent on destroying the relationship I have with dad”. Being the logical person I am, I encouraged him to make amends with her which he has done.

    Throughout her harassment, I remained uninvolved although I am very sensitive and emotional with a very short temper. It has been a monumental struggle to retain my dignity over the years but I have managed to never say a bad word about her to the boys, neither have I responded to her trashy tactics. I left the sordid mess to my husband to deal with. There is not much we can do. The only control we have is the control over ourselves. I take comfort in the fact I have not lowered myself to her standards. I am proud to be the second wife.

  • Buffy

    I tried this approach with my husband’s ex wife. What a joke! I extended an olive branch to her repeatedly, only to have her beat me with it. When I tried to set up a meeting. She said she just didn’t feel good about that. When I tried to give her the opportunity to get to know me(as I would expect any parent would want to know who their child is spending time with), she replied that she knew enough. When I have tried by phone to talk to her she only wants to know what my husband told me about their divorce and that she is the only one that has been a parent to their son. And she can take that and own it because according to the GUARDIAN AD LITEM he is a master manipulator. My step son has told me face to face when I asked him why he doesn’t treat me like his parents, he said it’s because I’m smart like him! Can you believe this?? My husband won’t take a stand on anything. I’m only here because of my commitment to marriage, not the marriage itself. Sad my children are having to live in this environment.

  • Kimberly (another one!)

    Hi Casey, I know how you feel – I am in exactly the same situation and I often don’t feel my husband shows his loyalty to me over issues with his toxic ex-wife. However, I try not to involve the issues directly over my stepchildren, because at the end of the day it’s not their fault at all. Why don’t you consider going with your husband to collect them from the airport – you could put on a very loving, together “show” in front of her – that should really give her a message and also, show her you’re not bothered what she’s trying to do. She mustn’t think she’s “won”. I have tried to be friendly to my husband’s ex-wife and she still treats me like dirt, but it is always worth a try. But I totally understand how you feel. I guess your husband feels guilty and perhaps torn between keeping you happy and the children happy. But as I said, it’s not the fault of the children and it’s important to try to keep them out of it. Best of luck, I do feel for you, it’s a horrible situation you’re in.

  • Casey

    My husband’s ex wife took the children on a vacation. She has become increasingly jealous of our marriage and happiness and likes to flex her power in any way she can. She called him to ask him to pick them up from the airport. I said absolutely not. I knew what she was doing. Why didn’t she make arrangements before? Because she wanted to show me that she can still get his attention and make him do things. I told him how disrespectful it is to me. He called his mother for advice and she stuck up for the ex wife by saying “It’s for the children”. Fine, then when he and I go on a vacation I will have him call her to have her pick us up with the children in the car. It’s the same thing. She doesn’t want to pick me up and I don’t want him to pick her up. It’s about respect.

  • Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Hi Jo,

    I think going to family therapy is a great idea. It’s not unreasonable to ask — it’s probably the best thing you could do as a family, and the best way to deal with your husband’s toxic ex-wife.

    If that doesn’t happen, I encourage you to go to individual counseling. This doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. Counseling or therapy can give you the tools you need to deal with your stepkids and your husband’s ex-wife. And, counseling can make you emotionally stronger, which will increase your self-confidence.

    Sometimes you just need to let go of your hopes and expectations for relationships, and just work on being happy in your own life and personality. You can’t control how they respond to you, or how they treat you. But you can control how you life your life, and how happy you are!

    I wish you all the best,