Here’s how to deal with your ex-husband’s new girlfriend

There’ll always be ‘other women’ in your life. And your children’s. Grandmothers, aunts, cousins, teachers. And they can all be troublesome on occasions!

But nobody compares to that special ‘other woman,’ your ex-husband’s new squeeze. Though to be fair, she thinks that you’re also a nightmare. Her new boyfriend’s ex!

You hate the way she plays happy families with your children, and that your ex helps with hers.

Meanwhile, she feels vulnerable because you and her boyfriend have a history together, and must have been happy together, once upon a time, so anytime she treats you badly, it’s probably more about her insecurities than anything else.

She may try to mother your children, which will cause a lot of problems, but it’s almost an instinct. She’ll also feel that your ex is paying you too much child support, however illogical that may seem.

Hopefully all the drama will subside, but it may take quite a while, meanwhile, everything about her makes you angry, and you resent her becoming a part of your children’s lives.

It’s important to overcome feelings like these. Try to recognise that you and your ex’s new girlfriend are really two sides of the same coin. Two women caught in a web of vulnerabilities, anxieties and jealousies.

So, don’t make negative comments or ask intrusive questions when your ex mentions her, rather, try to deal with your feelings on your own. Don’t hate her just because of who she is, try instead to focus on the needs of your children.

For instance, you can’t insist that the new girlfriend can never meet them. Of course you want to, but just don’t.

Smile and be polite when you meet her, however miserable you feel inside. Try to be friendly and to get to know her. You probably have a lot in common, after all you both chose to have a relationship with the same man. She can even become your ally in bringing up your children, and in managing your ex’s behaviour towards you.

Don’t ask your children about her. That will just motivate them to start lying to you about their time together. And whatever you do, don’t involve them in disputes, or make them feel guilty for having fun with her because it really is ok for your children to enjoy her company. No one can ever replace you as their mother. She may act like she is, but your children do understand the difference.

They’ll also soon grow up, therefore work towards the adult relationship you’ll have with them in the future, which will last far longer than their childhood.

And when you’re ready to start dating, just go for it! It’s good for your children to see you in a relationship, but choose someone who understands all the issues, probably because they’re in the same situation.

It will be hard work, but with your support, your children will do just fine. And that’s all that really matters.