Thursday, May 28, 2015

To My Ex's Future Wife

When my ex and I separated and divorced, the last thing I wanted to do was think about another woman in my children's lives. I couldn't stand the thought of them getting close to another mother figure. Would they like her more than me? Would she be nice to them? Would they love her? I also hated the idea of my kids being around someone else's family; a family I don't get to approve, people whose history I know nothing about.

As time went on, and with a lot of personal growth, I slowly started to let go of the fear of the kids liking someone else more. I'm their mother and no one can replace me. I also started to look at the whole situation from a different perspective.

I realized I have to put a certain level of trust into my ex husband. Considering what went on during our relationship and the first few years of our divorce, that was a very hard pill to swallow. I have to trust that he will choose to be with someone who adores our children. Someone who comes from a family that will be able to provide them with even more loving family members.

Over time I came up with a list of things that I would like to say to whomever my ex finally settles down with.

To the woman who ends up with my ex, know that when you marry him you also agree to be a parent to my children. It isn't just the two of you, or you and your kids. You have to accept my children as well. 

Here are a few things I would like you to keep in mind;

1) Be good to my ex. His happiness directly affects my children, and indirectly affects me. He isn't perfect but he has grown a lot over the last eight years.

2) Spend time with my children. Do things with them. Take them on bike rides, read stories, play games, blow bubbles. They deserve your attention just as much as my ex does; maybe even more.

3) Don't talk bad about me in front of my kids. Trust me on this. In the long run, you are the only one who is going to look bad. You haven't been around for the past ten years since they were born. There are two sides to every story. Bad mouthing me will only end up making them resent you, and possibly their father for marrying you. Like it or not, you have to accept that I am, and always will be, part of this life you are choosing.

4) Don't bad mouth my kids' father in front of them. Keep your fights and opinions between the two of you. Don't bring my kids into it. They can't control the actions of you, my ex or me. Do not bring them into the middle of your disagreements.

5) Accept that my ex will always choose his children over you. If you have children you will know what I mean. If you don't, let me explain it. I don't mean he will take their side when they do something wrong and need to be reprimanded. You are important to him, but my children have been around a lot longer than you, and if you try to make him choose, you will lose. 

6) Don't try to force your personal or religious beliefs on my children. By all means explain things to them and tell them your opinion on things, especially if they ask. Do not tell them your ways are the only ways, your god is the only god, or your politics are the only politics to believe in. My children are being raised to be allowed to make up their own minds on what they believe.

7) Don't tell my kids that Santa isn't real. Or the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy or that creepy elf I move around every night during the month of December. That goes for your kids too. If they don't believe, tell them to keep their mouths shut. I don't care what your opinion is on the subject. Respect my kids, and my ex, by going with it until they are old enough to ask questions or find out on their own. Always consult my ex before discussing these things with the kids.

8) Don't have "the talk" with my children. When the subject of sex comes up it will be me or my ex who talks to them about it. Maybe both of us. Maybe you will be included, maybe you won't. If they happen to come to you with questions, let my ex know so that we can deal with it. This sort of ties in with #6.

9) Attend my kids' school performances and sporting events. Show them that you are genuinely interested in their likes, passions and hobbies. Nothing makes a child feel more secure and loved than a present parent.

Finally, and most importantly;

10) Tell my children you love them. I want my children to know they are loved in both of their homes. I couldn't imagine having grown up in a home where my stepdad didn't tell me he loved me. If you have children from a previous marriage, this in no way means you love them less. Don't feel guilty about telling someone else's kids you love them. You are a family now and they are also your children. Could you imagine your kids growing up in a home where everyone is told they are loved except them?

There are a million little things I could add to this list, but I think this covers the most important parts. It has taken me a long time to get to a place where I am okay with you being in my children's lives. Please have enough respect for them, me and my ex to follow these requests. I don't think any of them are out of the ordinary or asking too much of you.

Trust me when I tell you that if (this) mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. 


  1. Great post!
    I never thought about this.
    However it made me think about what might happen if I died, and my son wouldn't have his real Mommy any more. I kind of wish his new stop-mom knew me and shared my values.
    And now I'm crying.

    1. Aww! It is crazy to think about. Thank you for reading!