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Anyone have to deal with a step parent who is the person your X cheated with?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Sorry, I don't know how to phrase this question. I'm asking those of you who had an X who had an affair that ended the marriage, if that person ended up being your kids step parent-- how did you deal with that??

My X reconnected with an old GF and they started an affair some time in 2007. She lives out of state and has 2 kids approximately the same age as our kids. Apparently she was in the process of a divorce when they reconnected and I believe is divorced now. Our divorce was final in November of 2008, and in the last few months I've seen some signs that they are thinking she may end up moving here with her kids. It makes me sick to think that this woman may end up involved in my kids lives. When her name comes up I try to hide my distaste for her. I've never said a bad word about her in front of my kids however. If this happens I am just at a loss to know how to handle it. Anyone BTDT?
post #2 of 44
No I don't have any experience with this...but happened to see your post and had to respond even if just to say I'm sorry you're dealing with this.
Even if she moves closer that doesn't mean they will marry. But I know you are just trying to get prepared in case she is in your kids life at all.

I hope you get a response from others who can offer some perspective.
post #3 of 44
*raising a hand* DP's case.

When I came along, his ex was long remarried to the person she cheated with. I always wondered how my beloved could stand the sight of either of them. He tried to explain, and here were his main points:

* heck yeah, it hurt
* I'm doing it for my daughter, because children are the ones that hurt the most when their parents don't get along
* after doing the right thing time after time after time, you get used to it

He is my hero for this and many other reasons.

You would NEVER guess the history if you met the three of them talking, and DSD still has no idea...
post #4 of 44
Yup. I've been there.

My ex and his (now) wife connected while I was pregnant and the UAV left me for her. They married shortly after my dd was born.

It was really, really difficult for me at first but I've done a lot of soul-searchingand realized that the ex is the one who is to blame in the situation. He was the one with a committment to me. She knew about me and that I was pregnant and didn't care about the fact that he was involved- in that she shares a tiny bit of blame. But she was not the one who cheated on me... he did.

I do get frustrated when he can't seem to step up and actually be a parent without her. I am the full-time parent while he and his wife are very part-time at best. It's maddening that he doesn't seem to understand (nor will he ever since his wife steps in for him regularly) how difficult it can be to do it solo, withut a spouse to pick up the slack!

I also think if he can magically make time to coach his ss's soccer team, he should be able to make time to show up for important things in his dd's life... but nothing I can do will make him realize his dd needs him just as much if not more than his ss... sigh.
post #5 of 44
uhh......we have a similar situation here, and I can promise you, being bitter and nasty will only hurt your kids. Oriole gave some great info...you do it cuz it's the best thing for the kids. You get through howveer works best for you..counseling, personal reflection, tequila....*winks*
post #6 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post

He is my hero for this and many other reasons.

You would NEVER guess the history if you met the three of them talking, and DSD still has no idea...
Wow, he really does sound like a prince and an extraordinary dad!
post #7 of 44
My partner's stepmother was his father's mistress.

He was old enough to know--his father was not at all discreet, and even to this day his stepmother isn't at all shy about talking about it.

My partner and his dad were estranged for several years--most of his teens and early adulthood--as a result. They have a strong relationship now, but it took a lot of work. His relationship with his stepmom is awkward, but decent; that took even longer to get there.

The high road has always been my MO when dealing with situations like that. Kill with kindness, and all that--I've found it actually makes me feel better in the long run.

Good luck--I know this can't be easy.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
* after doing the right thing time after time after time, you get used to it

...
That's good advice for any blended family situation.
post #9 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflowers View Post
It was really, really difficult for me at first but I've done a lot of soul-searchingand realized that the ex is the one who is to blame in the situation. He was the one with a committment to me. She knew about me and that I was pregnant and didn't care about the fact that he was involved- in that she shares a tiny bit of blame. But she was not the one who cheated on me... he did.
Yeah, I hear ya and I tell myself similar things. However this woman has her own "issues" with behaving in a moral way to say the least. And she had my X stay in her house (with her kids there) just a few weeks after her X moved out. I have to seriously question her parental judgement.
post #10 of 44
Umm not in the same situation but similar.

My partner cheated on me during a very rough part of our relationship with his ex, mother to my SS, and its made things hell. Sadly its the biomom who refuses to consider how it all is affecting the kids and just let the past be the past.

I can't imagine how it feels for you. If things worked out differently and SO and I had seperated and he had went with his ex my irrational side would have wanted to stop at nothing to make their lives hell and not let *her have any part in taking care of MY children.

All the power to you.
post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seriouslyjess View Post
That was my dad and my dad's wife. They're married now with two little kids. My sister and I know - not because my mother told us, but because my sister figured it out. It took her two years to figure out (she was five when he left, seven when it all made sense to her) but she did figure it out and explained it to me.

.
Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. You know I really wonder what my kids think-- especially my DD who is 8. They only ever talk about her as "Daddy's friend," but I can't believe that's really what they think. I just don't know. My mother actually told me I should tell the kids the real story, but I don't think that's a good idea. Looking back do you think your mom should have told you?
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NolaRiordan View Post
Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. You know I really wonder what my kids think-- especially my DD who is 8. They only ever talk about her as "Daddy's friend," but I can't believe that's really what they think. I just don't know. My mother actually told me I should tell the kids the real story, but I don't think that's a good idea. Looking back do you think your mom should have told you?

I think this would be hurtful to the children. I am not an expert, but that just doesn't seem like it would even remotely be a good idea. He is their dad. Too much responsibility to hand over to a child (children)--too much of a burden...

Big hugs to you!! How hard!!
post #13 of 44
This is my DH's situation as well. His ex cheated on him for months before he found out and the guy she was with is now her fiancee I beleive. They have basically been living together ever since DH came home from work to find the guy there.

It was incredibly hard on DH at first. He really hated the guy and hated that he was there with his daughter and he wasn't. I'm not really sure how he got over it, though really on thinking on this, I'm not sure if he is totally all the way over the part that he has to share his DD now...

But he is nice to the guy now. They talk sports and junk like that at drop-off. It really blows my mind, honestly.

But DH has said that he admits now that this guy isn't going anywhere and he is good to his DD, and seems like a pretty decent guy, and he is another parent figure to his DD, so he likes to try to keep the peace.
post #14 of 44
Actually, believe it or not, when my ex and the woman he left me for broke up, I was honestly very sad. I had already dealt with my feelings about all of it and got over it, but when they broke up, I knew it was going to be harder on my kids then even their father and I breaking up. My youngest cried and cried and said he didn't want her to leave his dad.

Luckily my ex met a new woman and she is wonderful to my boys, but the first woman was the best to the boys, and while I hated her for a while after it all happend, I learned that my ex and I should have never been together (I already knew that) and in the end, I just wanted someone who would treat my boys well.

on the flip side, it did help that my ex's girlfriend that I was over them breaking up, is my sister, so as Jerry Springer as it sounds, at least my boys didn't lose her all together, but had she NOT been my sister, I still would have allowed her to have a relationship with the boys.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NolaRiordan View Post
Wow. Thanks for sharing your story. You know I really wonder what my kids think-- especially my DD who is 8. They only ever talk about her as "Daddy's friend," but I can't believe that's really what they think. I just don't know. My mother actually told me I should tell the kids the real story, but I don't think that's a good idea. Looking back do you think your mom should have told you?
Dss is 14 now and seems ready for the truth. Dh tries to be neutral and leave the emotion out of it as much as possible. Dss sees his mom doing the same things to his stepdad, so he is now asking questions. It is an extreme situation, but dss is kinda reliving the past as his mom's behavior and lack of judgement that she had when dss's was little is now repeated with his little half brothers. Dh isn't going to lie for her, he just tries to keep the story to the facts. I think you should wait until they ask, and they may never.
post #16 of 44
I am not going to be a popular person here, but I have been honest with everyone about how dh and I started our lives together.

DH and I started as friends. We were both in marriages that were unhealthy for us emotionally, but were tyring to "stick it out for the kids." At first we would bump into each other at the park, pool, or library, with the kids. There was an instant emotional connection between us. The kids became friends and we started setting playdates. We both confided in each other and supported each other as we dealt with trying to make happy family lives for our kids, while in a loveless and emotionally abusive marriage. As time went on our emotional affair turned into a physical affair. We never ever had physical contact in front of the kids, not a hand brush, a kiss or anything. They just knew we were good friends. Shortly after that my ex was physical with me in front of the kids (pushed me down on the couch and held me down while he screamed at me, all the while both kids were on the couch with me) It was ten days before Christmas, so I stayed so the kids Christmas could be sort of normal, but I was making plans to leave (and had cut off all physical contact with both my ex and Matt). I left with the kids on New Year's Eve after my ex almost became physical again and went to stay with friends who had offered us a place to live for a month. A few days later Matt left his ex.

We rented a house and moved in together a few weeks later. Within 6 months boh divorces were final and DH and I got married. I am not proud of the fact that we started our relationship this way. I know that we were both in marriages that needed to end and were not healthy. I know that we should have ended the marriages before we allowed ourselves to become emotionally and physically involved. However, we can not go back and change things. What happened happened and now we all need to work together to raise the 3 beautiful children that we share and love. our ex's can hate us and be angry with us for the rest of our lives, however, when the children are involved, everyone needs to put adult issues aside and focus on the needs of the children.

DH's ex would not allow dsd to see me at first, she had originally said a year, but within 6 weeks she was allowing dsd to stay every other thurs-Sun and every thursday (divorce was not filed, no legal seperation) She still refered to me as C*nt Julie, but never in front of Madison. She wanted to move an hour and 15 min. away but could not sell the house because of the current market(deed and mortgage were in her name so dh could have walked away with no legal obligation. Matt agreed to allow her to move (court said no, the boundry line was about 45 minutes away, Matt signed off) and I bought her house from her to make it possible for her to buy a new house in the other city. I did not want to buy her house, but I knew that to Matt it was never a home and that we could make it our family's home and start new memories, while still giving Madison the comfort of still having her room and house. She has a very very had time thinking of us as a family (and I understand) at first she would get irate if Madison talked about Maia and Sage as her sisters, would get angry about us going to family type things (zoo, art museum, church) and did not want me acting in a motherly role towards Madison (bathing, dressing, playing with her, painting her nails, reading to her, etc) but I did not change the way I treated Madison, she was 2 ¾ year old when we first moved in together, she is ten weeks older than my youngest. How could I not act motherly towards her when I was doing those same things for my other two daughters. We were trying to build a family and all of the girls are treated as our daughters when they are with us. I always tell her that her mommy loves her and misses her and I let her know that I love her and miss her when she is not with us. I would never attempt to replace her mother, but when she is with us (school year is every other Thurs morn-Sun night and every Thursday, summer is every other Wed morn – Sun. night, and every wed morn-fri morn) I am the mom figure in the family. To treat her like a babysitting kid (which at one point was said by her mom- not that I did that, but that I should be no more than a babysitter to her) would be setting us up for years of resentment IMO. I play with, take care of, love, look out for, etc. her just as I do my other two girls. I know I am not her mommy, but I am the mom in this house and will treat all of the children living here like they are mine while they are with me. Very slowly she dropped the c*nt label from my name and started loosening up about things. I make sure to Madison's birthday was in March and Madison asked that we all celebrate together, it took her mom a few days to think about it, but in the end agreed to Madison's wish. We all were able to get along to celebrate her birthday and it really broke the ice. She will now talk to me if I answer the phone, will meet me to pick up or drop off Madison, etc. We are about a year and a half into things and although we have bed patches, things have improved much faster than I expected.

Can’t keep typing (I actually typed this out in a word document over a few hours time!)
My ex has been really bad as well, actually told the girls that Matt is a bad man and that I am a bad mommy. Even though we promised that we would never involve the kids in grown up issues. I just continue to never say bad things about their dad, though I have started being honest when their dad deceives me and it results in me missing out with the kids. He is the principal at my oldest’s school, I picked her up after school one day (after she had been at her dad’s for 5 days) and she was upset that I hadn’t been at the awards ceremony to see her get an award. Instead of making something up, which is what I had been doing, I told her that I did not know anything about it because her dad had not told me. I had been covering for him not telling me things or not letting the girls do something extra fun (church event, birthday party, or something like that if it was during his time-like would not switch time) but in doing this I was making myself be the fall guy everytime. I keep it short and try to stay unemotional and just say “I would have loved to, but your dad didn’t let me know it was happening” or “It would be fun to go to the church festival, but its your dad’s weekend and he wants you to stay with him.” The youngest broke her arm pretty bad last week at her dad’s. She had to have surgery on it last Monday, Sunday night my ex, his fiancé, Matt and I all stayed in her hospital room together. It was awkward, but she needed the adults in her life to all be there for her, so we set aside the adult issues and focus on the child.

And really, that is what it boils down to, as adults we must keep the children out of the adult issues and feelings. Our ex’s can hate us as their ex spouse, feel betrayed, or whatever else for as long as they need to, however, those feelings must be set aside when the children are around or affected. As parents DH, myself, and dsd’s mom must work together to raise this beautiful amazing child together. As parents, my ex, his fiancé, dh, and myself must work together to raise our other two beautiful and amazing daughters. And our ex’s must also remove the hurt adult feelings from their actions and allow Sage, Madison, Maia, Matt, and I to live and love and grow as the new family unit that we are.
post #17 of 44
Me! In 2004 when exdp and I separated the first time, he went on to date the woman he'd had an affair with. At that time, my dd was only 2.5 so she didn't have a clue who was who, etc.

After many hours of therapy I came to understand that it had nothing to do with me; the healthiest thing for me was to completely detach from the situation. As long as dd was safe & well cared for, it also had nothing to do with her.

Soooo, fast forward to today, and we're separated pending divorce AGAIN. Guess I'm a slow learner Anyway, similar situation, and I'm doing the same thing (hmmm, thank G!d for therapy); whatever he chooses to do has no impact on me.

As long as our two girls are safe and well cared for, what he does on his time and with whom... I stay out of it. Is it easy? Hell no. Am I dying inside? Yup. But that's where the process starts, letting him run with whatever idea of the week he has, and I work on healing myself.

Definitely don't bad mouth anyone to your kids. Rant and wail to girlfriends and selected/trusted family members (my mother is my personal rock), but trash talking the new girlfriend will inevitably paint you as the bad guy. YMMV, but I've seen it time and time again!

post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceinwen View Post
Definitely don't bad mouth anyone to your kids. Rant and wail to girlfriends and selected/trusted family members (my mother is my personal rock), but trash talking the new girlfriend will inevitably paint you as the bad guy. YMMV, but I've seen it time and time again!


TOTALLY. My kids know what their dad has done in the past (my oldest remembers everything) but I also tell him that dad made really bad choices back then, and it was because of drugs, but now, he is a GOOD man. I can't deny that my ex did some really crappy things, and if my kids even knew 1/2 of it, it would break my heart, but they will only hear from me what a good job he is doing now. And as for his new fiance, well, I can't say enough good things about her, and the boys hear that a lot too. Even if I didn't like her, I wouldn't tell them, but it is even easier to like her since she is not that one who caused the break up.
post #19 of 44
post #20 of 44
My XDH's dad left his mom for her best friend. It was like 15 years ago. But imagine our wedding - they were all there. We put my family in between his mom's family and his dad's family, and everyone kept their cool. But it was seriously stressful.

At my wedding shower I asked my then-STBMIL how she had gotten over it.

Me: "You just seem so at peace with this - you two are both here, so supportive. When did you get over it?"

STBMIL: "Honey, I hate the woman as much today as I did back then, but this is YOUR day, and I'm for sure not going to ruin it because of her."

You have to find a way to make it about the kids, which takes much soul-searching and a lot of grace. Good luck mama! What a terrible situation.
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