We hear so many negative connotations about the ex-wife. ‘She is creating drama just for the sake of drama. She’s the one making everyone’s life miserable.’ Movies are made about her. Books are written about how to deal with her. There is an entire market of therapy for Blended Families! But has anyone considered, well, she may just have a point. I admit, there are some crazy ones out there… unless she has been institutionalized once or twice… I think you ought to hear what she has to say.
Once upon a time, they were a family. With hopes and dreams and yes, even in love…just like you are now. But whatever happened to their marriage, they created a family that unfortunately for you, still exists. (and remember there was two in that marriage that fell apart and until you know both sides you’re like walking with one eye closed. So be mindful when you judge her.)
If kids are involved then, ‘Yes Virginia, they are still a family’. Children don’t divorce, parents do. And good co-parenting involves BOTH parents. They will be the parents for the rest of their lives. Think about it… both are going to want to celebrate holidays, birthdays, family rituals with their kids… and what about graduations and grandchildren. Oh honey… you are in for a long life with the ‘ex’, so ya better make nice and figure out how you are going to live with each other… just because she isn’t moving into your house, her kids are. And where her kids are, she is. Makes sense, right?! I mean, think about it, would you let your kids live with someone else and have no say in their lives.
There is a lot of fear for her too. She doesn’t really know you like the kids dad knows you. She doesn’t know if your going to pierce her daughters ears without asking her, or let her son watch R rated movies… there are a bazillion daily choices we make when we parent kids… and the ‘ex’ has no idea who you are, where you stand, and what kind of influence you will have on her kids.
So, here’s another way to think about it. If your child were hanging out at some other kids house and wants to do a sleepover… don’t you want to know the parents, what they are like, can you trust them, what kind of food do they serve, what are their values. A concerned parent checks out those parents, the house, and who else is hanging out there. And who does the majority of checking out of the other families? Mom!
Yep, she is gonna check you out and make sure her kids are safe. And she should! You think she shouldn’t check you out because you are involved with the kid’s dad? And Dad should have a 100% say? Remember this is a couple who divorced… you really think she trusts his judgment 100%?
If you are a mom yourself, are you telling me you would leave all the kids relationship stuff up to Dad only, with no input from you? I don’t think so. I don’t know any family where only the Dad decides who the kids hang out with, where they go, what they do, all the moral decisions and values judgment.
Just because the children are with you doesn’t mean Mom doesn’t have a say in what is happening to her kids.
So please, don’t axe the ‘ex’… her children are becoming part of another family… this is no ‘sleepover’. This is a family, which technically she has no part of… but the biggest part of her is in your house.