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Anyone have to deal with a step parent who is the person your X cheated with? - Page 2

post #21 of 44
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone. No, I have never said a negative word about her and I don't plan to. I think my kids do like her. Last time she came to visit my DD made her a bracelet. She's only seen them on a few visits so they haven't spent prolonged time together, but that may be changing.
post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NolaRiordan View Post
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??
I personally have not, but speaking for my husband, he has had this experience. (My husband I will refer to as J, his ex wife as H and her lover as L).
J and H were married in '96 and had a son (Little J) in '97. J and H's daughter was stillborn in '99. They already had marital issues, but their loss made those issues worsen.

They went through marital counseling, but H quit going as soon as the counselor suggested she also needed to make some changes. J continued to go to individual counseling. They separated a couple times, and reconciled. During their separations, she (H) was encouraged by her family to leave J and get with L. H's family actually introduced H to L with the intent that she would leave J to be with L. Every time H and J separated, H continued her affair with L, under her parent's roof and with their approval.


Whenever H left J (out of state and across the country), she took Little J with her, since J was active duty Army. So, Little J was introduced to L from the time he was 4 years old. Little J was told to call L, Daddy L and to start calling his dad, Daddy J, instead of just Daddy.

H and J filed for divorce in '02, but it was a very long process. H continued to see L throughout the year of awaiting her divorce from J. While H was married to J, L proposed to H and she accepted. H and L were living together permanently a year before H divorced J. Little J was seeing L more (every day) than he was seeing J (temporary court ordered visitation schedule pending their divorce and final custody/visitation agreement).

October '03 J and H were legally divorced. November '03, H and L were married.


As far as how J deals with it, at first he really hated Little J calling L, Daddy. After a while, he didn't care anymore, knowing that Little J will still know who his real Daddy is, no matter what Little J was manipulated into calling his step father. J rarely ever speaks with L. J has no hard feelings toward L, but also has no respect for him. L is none too fond of J because he only has been told H's side of the story and has no desire to know the truth. I guess the way J deals is by not dealing with any of it, by not getting sucked into H's attempts at drama, keeping communication short and to the point.
post #23 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by seriouslyjess View Post
I think, personally, that if your kids ask, you should tell them the truth. They know a lot more then they let on. 'Yes, daddy and so and so were together while we were married. BUT that doesn't mean that you can - XYZ to them because everyone till loves you very much and they deserve to be treated with respect.'

This is so true. There are ways to state the facts without being dramatic about it all. Children are naturally curious about their parents' relationships. Lying doesn't help anything, and withholding information, especially when directly asked something, is just another form of lying.
post #24 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by seriouslyjess View Post

I think, personally, that if your kids ask, you should tell them the truth. They know a lot more then they let on. 'Yes, daddy and so and so were together while we were married. BUT that doesn't mean that you can - XYZ to them because everyone till loves you very much and they deserve to be treated with respect.'
Thanks much. I really appreciate your perspective. Are you sure you're only 16?? You seem wise way beyond your years
post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by NolaRiordan View Post
Thanks much. I really appreciate your perspective. Are you sure you're only 16?? You seem wise way beyond your years

I was called wise at the age of 16, as well, by many, many people. I think there is a certain relationship wisdom at that age. Relationships are so very important at that age.
post #26 of 44

Similarly

My DH's ex-wife is married to MY ex-husband. No cheating or affairs to speak of, however. But strange none the less.

I hate it and wish things were different, but it is what it is. I am very happy to be where I am, so I've had to let go of old, bitter feelings. I wish often for it to just be DH & I & the girls, without so much contact with our exes on such a weird level. But, due to having four girls between us, such is the nature of the beast. I realize that time will be the best remedy. . .As the kids get older, it will make things much easier. None of us like each other, FWIW, but we manage for the sake of the kids. My motto: Grin and bear it. ('cause i am usually right, I know it and it will come out as such eventually, specifically when dealing with conflict with them, which it seems like we always are)

My two oldest have questioned things a bit, they remember how it was "before" mom/dad got divorced, but they readily accept it and go on. On a lighter note:*I'm nervous about the day they are old enough to look back, scratch their heads and say something to one of their sisters like, "WHOA? Do you KNOW what mom and dad did? I think SHE used to be married to HIM" : : The two youngest will never remember us being married.

Anyway, I digress. Hang in there. You are strong and can take it, knowing you're doing what's right for you and your kids.
post #27 of 44
My mom dealt with this. I have no idea how.

The only thing she ever said about my stepmom was: "J's a nice lady. If circumstances had been different, we could have been friends." (I didn't know the extent of the "circumstances" until my father told me the truth when I was a pre-teen. TMI then as now.)

For what it's worth, all my stepmom has ever said about my mom is pretty much identical to what she says about her... that my mom's a cool lady and if things had been different, they could have been friends.

I have no idea how my mom dealt with it inside. I'm just so glad and grateful that she did. And that she gave me free rein and permission to actually LIKE my stepmom (who is awesome).
post #28 of 44

Wow

[QUOTE=mommyto3girls;13712295]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. [QUOTE]

Very very similar to my situation. I completely understand where you are coming from. Nick (DH) and I met while we were still married to our exes. We immediately clicked, but did not have an affair. I told my EX I had feelings for Nick. . .I was very honest. My EX then fell for Nicks ex, as we had been spending lots of time together. We were trapped in miserable, loveless, suffocating marriages. Very strange how things worked out, but we are very happy. I just wish it didn't have to be "weird", due to history.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
post #29 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
*raising a hand* DP's case.

* 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

Yep, you do get used to it.

My story is that ex's new wife worked for him (very small business) for about five years. We were all friends. She cross-stitched bibs for the birth of my 2nd and 3rd children. Her marriage started south when my youngest was 2. By the time youngest was 4 they were involved and ex was "headed out" but denied the affair (and continued to . . . ) By the time youngest was 6, they were married. My children don't remember all of that.

Ex and she say nothing nice about me at all. I just keep my mouth shut.

One good thing about the high road is your legs get a major work out when you are constantly taking it!
post #30 of 44
Yes, we deal with this. Due to a difference in perspectives, my DH and his ex would probably tell two different stories, but suffice it to say my DH felt very hurt for a long while. Every once in a while, the circumstances crop up in his processing, but for the most part we have a good relationship with them.

I love what Oriole had to say. I will add that it's my belief that, in general, people are not bad but can sometimes see a justification for their actions that no one else does. Sometimes, in the long run, it works out. That doesn't make it hurt any less, but it helps to think that there may be a point where you say "ok, now I see why the universe has brought us here."

And the kids have no idea and likely never will. What's important to them is that their parents - all of them - love them and take care of them. It doesn't matter how everything came to be.
post #31 of 44
I would also add that I don't know what would happen if DSD asked outright. I suspect it won't come up, but if it does, we honestly don't know. I would imagine we would speak to her mom before talking to her. It wouldn't be fair to only speak from her dad's perspective. But we have a co-parenting relationship where that's a possibility.
post #32 of 44
Yup.. and here is the stange thing.

It's not me that keeps her from coming to any of the school/sporting events.

She just doesn't. Of course, neither does he. He claims that ALL the teachers, coaches and helpers go out of their way to make him feel uncomfortable. He has accused me of telling everyone one about his affair/abuse ect.. the only place I have ever done that was here.
(and maybe once with a life long girlfriend and a big glass of wine..and whine)

Here is the thing. It has been 8 years. In those eight years he has made it to a handful of games... less than five school events for our son, who is in the sixth grade.. and NONE for our daughter who is in the fourth. In those eight years, the two of them have shown the world their true colors.

Take the high road....smile when you have to... bite your tongue when you need too. Hire the attorney when you need to.

I
post #33 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boobybunny View Post
Take the high road....smile when you have to... bite your tongue when you need too. Hire the attorney when you need to.

I
That's excellent advice, for a variety of situations. Thanks.
post #34 of 44
not quite the same as it was my parents, but

my parents were divorced when i was 5. we left my dad when i was 4.
they were dating again and then all of a sudden my mom was really sad again and i couldnt figure out why. a couple weeks later i met my dads "friend"
3 months later they were married.

and i cant stand the woman for more reasons than one. it wouldnt be any less if i didnt realize this because of the ladys personality but..ugh to say the least.
i dont have a CLUE how theyre still married 15 years later. i truly dont.

anyway no one explained anything to me, i figured it out easily.

just like no one explained that my aunts new "friend" wasnt a friend exactly and then kicking out my then uncle and the friend moving in and into her bedroom but it was obvious. (and having a full term baby 6 months later that "was conceived after they got married : i cant believe my grandma still tries to tell me that its true! i wasnt stupid then and im not now..geez! )
post #35 of 44
This is exactly my situation and I'm really struggling with it too. My xh is a professor and his fiancee was one of his students. We were still married when they started, although of course he lied to her and told her that we had split. Notice that she didn't dump him when she found out that he lied. They are supposed to get married at some point, it keeps getting put off and I really hope it won't happen. I really think that I could deal with her presence more easily if she hadn't been the affair. I do not bad mouth her or my ex to the kids but I carry around this hurt and stress all the time about this woman being a mother to my babies. I just don't think that having an affair with your professor gives you the right to be their mom. My dd1 knows about the affair because xh told her!!! When he told her he was leaving he actually told her that he had met someone else!!! She was only 10 years old at the time! And he wonders why she's so disrespectful to her. DS believes whatever DD1 believes so he doesn't like her either. DD2 is Daddy's girl and wants to like his girlfriend and her daughter also. She and I have talked many times about it and I've always told her that it's OK for her to like the woman. The one thing that I have said, though, and I'm sure this won't be popular with some, is that if they do get married I would prefer she not use a "mom-type" name for her dad's wife. I said they could make up a special nickname if they wanted to, but please not anything along the lines of mom. It just hurts me too much. These conversations have always been initiated by DD2 and even though it hurts I try very hard to encourage her to feel what she feels, not what she thinks I want her to feel. I've also told DD1 that she should determine her own relationship with her dad and his future wife, not follow what she thinks I might feel. She has always replied "you don't think that what they did hurt me too?" How can I argue with that?
post #36 of 44
mommyto3girls thanks for sharing that.
post #37 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenirene View Post
mommyto3girls thanks for sharing that.
(((hugs))) I just directed you here from the other thread but I see you had already found it
post #38 of 44
my ex married the woman he cheated with. it was a messy situation ... after my ex and i split up, the woman he was with stayed with her husband and they continued the affair for about 1 1/2 years after we split. i did not want the kids around her when she was still cheating on her husband. i'm sure he had them around her but i tried my best to make sure that didn't happen.

after that time frame, by then i was moving on and so it didn't bother me as much to talk to her (which was rarely ever anyway). she was polite to the kids (more or less - when she actually talked to them) and my ex had/has literally nothing to do with the kids so his lack of involvement in their lives has made it easier for me. i don't think that i have had any direct involvement with her other than to leave a message for my ex.

i was very careful not to tell my dd what had happened. when we finally split my son was only 5 months old (and my ex had not been around home much at all since his birth because he was having his affair) and so my son did not suffer, but my dd went through so much emotional pain. as she got older and started asking questions (she was maybe around 10 - we split when she was 4), i told her. i was tired of seeing her hurt and tired of making excuses for my ex. both the kids now know what has happened.

it seems so easy looking back but at the time it was incredibly painful. i reminded myself so often that living well IS the best revenge and that helped me get through some of the toughest times.

good luck, it will get easier
post #39 of 44

Wow

Reading this post brings back memories, Im now 33 years old and looking back on it being "the child" growing up with under these circumstances and affected me all my life.

My parents both had affairs with eachothers significant others, then moved in two families in one house. Ug, the memories, just make it as positive you can for your children, because I think no matter what its going to affect the child one way or another.
post #40 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggyzaazaa View Post
Reading this post brings back memories, Im now 33 years old and looking back on it being "the child" growing up with under these circumstances and affected me all my life.
Can you say a little more about that? I'm curious as to how it effected you.
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