Tuesday’s Hot Topic
This is a question presented to me last week through Facebook by a reader (and good friend). She wrote:
All I can say in this situation is CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL…….. YOU.
We spend so much of our time wanting to be liked. Liked by EVERYONE – friends of friends, new people we meet and even the ex of our new boyfriend. The truth of the matter is that his ex-wife doesn’t want to like you. And when you don’t want to like someone, well, you won’t. Even if you see that they have a redeeming quality or two, you will work extra hard to find something else NOT to like. Even if you are as fabulous and great as you are (which I know you are)… she will still choose not to recognize that.
Nothing that you do will change her mind if she has already decided not to like you. Only time and a softening of her heart will change that – two things that are completely out of your control. And until that day, you will just be the new floozy of the week because no one could possibly replace her.
So there are a few things you can do to keep your own sanity while she campaigns against you to anyone and everyone who will listen. And the stories can be very rich and full of lies, but you have to keep your calm. Even if you met him six months after he separated, you will still somehow be the reason for the demise of their marriage. Brush your shoulders off… and control what you can control.
My first piece of advice is to fly under the radar. Let your boyfriend deal with his ex-wife and you just smile and nod. Say hello and say goodbye, but don’t try to small talk or anything because trust me, she is just sitting there blankly listening to you while thinking that in two weeks she will have to endure this stupid idle chatter with a new bimbo.
I am in no way minimizing your relationship, but if you are merely dating, then she won’t take you seriously anyway. So why try to convince her how great you are?
As I said above, when you DO have to interact, be nice… but don’t expect anything.
Did you hear me???? DON’T EXPECT ANYTHING! Do you see her over there texting at the baseball game right after she talked to you? You and I both know that she is most likely texting her best friend or the guy she is secretly seeing and telling her/him about your trashy outfit or your incorrect grammar or the stupid look on your face. Even if none of the above is true.
All you can do is be the best you that you can be and know that one day you guys will work past this. It’s like a rite of passage. If you have been there, then you know what I mean. On either side. Trust me when I say you are either saying, “Why doesn’t she like me?” or you are saying, “Why does she keep trying to talk to me???”
So put the kids first, no matter what. Put them first above your relationship even. I am not saying once you get married you should keep the kids first, because we all know that the order once you get married is God, your marriage, then your family. But if you are not married, then the kids are in a very precarious position. They want to like you, but we both know that they are probably hearing sighs and scoffs and seeing eye rolls whenever you are brought up in conversation. This puts them in a difficult place for a little heart to understand.
Take the high road and focus on the kids and their happiness. They will see that your focus is on them and if their mother is being mean to you for no reason, then sadly they will see that as well. One day they will be old enough to remember it all and hopefully they will learn something about true love and Christian principles by seeing the way you handle everything with grace.
You can swear up and down that you could NEVER be like that… but I truly believe it’s just human nature. We want to always believe that we are better. We are more important. We were first. But the truth of it is… even if you come second or third… if you are married, then you are HIS WIFE. And he only has one. If you are dating, then you aren’t there yet… but just be patient and be understanding and most importantly, PUT THE KIDS FIRST.
Control what you can control… You. Trust me when I say you are better than you feel like being right now….
I know… you hear stories like this and it makes me so thankful for my own situation. Although I admittedly was probably not the best ex-wife when my ex was dating his wife.
I completely agree with every piece of advice in this post! No matter what you do or say it will be taken in a negative light so do what you know is right in your heart and that is keep the focus on the kids. I have been there and it does go against human nature,( we all want to be liked and accepted) but if this relationship is serious laying that ground work with your future step kids will greatly pay off more so than twisting yourself both physically and emotionally into a pretzel just to appease the ex! Great post!