Today is the final instalment of this series - how the ex wives see stepmoms, written exclusively by The Happy Stepmom!
Most stepmoms will admit that that the toughest relationship of all in blended family life is the one shared with the ex wife. The hardest part is trying to figure out what you did wrong to create such negative feelings towards you.
You work hard to care for your stepchildren and try to be a positive role model in their lives. Still, your stepchildren’s mother sees you as taking her place and overstepping boundaries. It doesn’t matter what you do, she doesn’t like what you represent. You fill the place she once had with her husband and children. When she sees you at her children’s sporting events and school activities, she’s filled with feelings of hatred, jealousy and rage. YOU aren’t supposed to be there; she is.
You are attempting to create a bond with your stepchildren, but she sees you as trying to take her place. In reality, you are just trying to build your own family unit where everyone feels loved and supported. This feeds into her insecurities, however unrealistic, of fear that the children will love you more than her. Especially if she sees her children being affectionate with you. Even though you have the best intentions, she believes that her children already have a capable mother, and she feels threatened by you when you take on tasks that (she believes) are reserved for her.
She knows that the power that she used to have with her nuclear family is diminished now that you are around. The father of her children listens to YOU, not her anymore. He has become a better husband and father because of you. YOU are the reason for all of her unhappiness.
There is no excuse for her disrespectful behaviour towards you. You didn’t do anything but fall in love with the man of your dreams and, by extension, his children. You are not alone in trying to understand why it feels like a perpetual battle trying to form a healthy relationship with your husband’s ex wife.
Are you ready for the Social Stepmom Society?! You can look forward to meeting other Stepmoms dealing with the same conundrum when we launch in November!
And don't forget to download the Social Stepmom Survival Guide here!