Friday, December 7, 2012

New Wife-Ex Wife

Dear New Wife,

If you married a man with children, there are some things you must get over.  He had those children with his first wife.  There was a first wife and that first wife produced children that that man you married would like to know.

You should also know that when you decided to talk about the ex-wife behind her back, or in front of your step-children you are spreading gossip. You see you heard his side of the story. Do you really believe that he was a saint in that marriage and she was all the blame.  You might want to be careful to whom you gossip to, Chances are she is well liked by others you may know and it sounds silly to those people when you speak ill will of someone you spent very little time with.  It also make you less likable to your step-children.

You should also know that the ex wife may no longer be married to the man you are married to, but they did have a past that once circled around love, that love was broken never to be fixed under the commitment of marriage.  You get to either help build that bridge of friendship, or you set a bomb to a bridge.  That bridge is important when there are children. Here is the sad part. That man you married still has children, and those children love their mom, and your verbal bombs about their mother destroy and hurt that man you married, because your insecurities now hinder his relationships with his children.

You should also know that you can bet the ex-wife is not interested in your life. To think she and her new family spend hours talking about you is paranoia and silly.  Again, these are your own insecurities.  How come you can show up at church, work in Sunday School, love people, and then have extreme actions of hate towards someone you don't know. Oh, yes, right you heard from him what a terrible person she is.  Yet that terrible person has lovely children you beg to spend time with and they don't want to spend time with you because you speak ill-will of their mother.

Does Biblical principle have a disclaimer for the new wife, or the ex-wife?  Confusion for your own children, that you brought into the marriage as they see you love and hate and love and hate.  I have not seen the disclaimer.

In the past few years I have mentored many women who are in second marriages.  I either hear the heart of the new wife and her struggle to take control of the situation regarding the ex-wife. Or the treatment of the ex-wife by the new wife.   I have to ask that new wife why there is such a threat and why the struggle. This man had children when you married him. This man had a past, and an ex-wife and a new marriage discounts none of that.  Our role as Christ followers is at it's greatest challenge to love regardless of either being the new wife or the ex wife.

How are you loving, even when it's not easy?  How are you honoring the character of another even when it has to do with  being an ex or the new person?  It's certainly not God's heart for marriage that any one of us gals be in this place, but Biblical truth and principle are the same no matter the circumstance we find ourselves in.  Kindness, Loving as Jesus would love.

If you are reading this, you know me and you think this is about you. You are right and you are wrong.  You are right in that your heart would not be pounding if there were not some truth, but rest assured this was not written with you in mind, but for every ex-wife, and the new wife that followed.

I mentor your grown children.  They are these precious girls, who wish the adults would grow up.  They are the children who have grown up and no longer want to deal with that new "mom" because she is not the "mom".  I hear their hearts as they sit around a dinner table and that 2nd wife says cutting remarks about their mother.  Why do you think there is struggle to get those step-children back around your table.  If your words are attempts to divide those children from the relationship they have with their real mother, it' only damages yours. 

Mom, you will always be that mom no matter what.  Your children growing up is not abandonment.  Those feelings of them leaving you would have been there even if you stayed in the first marriage.  Encourage them to honor and respect the new wife. If your grown kids can't do that, at least tell them the dinner hour visit is only 2 hours and honor their dad. 

I can speak from experience on only being the ex-wife as I have no step-children, but I have watched my own two children, from my first marriage struggle and push for those relationships.  They are not easy, but worth it. blessings, Elizabeth


  1. Good and necessary word, Elizabeth. Odd, but this goes along with bullying... doesn't it?

    1. Sheri, Yes it does on many levels, and we all know that bullying comes out of deep seeded insecurity which is what typically drives the mean behaviors of others. Thanks for reading. Elizabeth

  2. oh my goodness... I am trying to think of something intelligent to say, but all I can really say is YES! I also have seen the children who have been so affected by the process of mom and "new mom" and it can get so dang confusing for the kids that they start having issues and I am being very polite.

    Thank you...seriously for putting into writing what ALL parents need to hear ...

    1. Thank you for your heart on this. I know how this has affected my own children, and sitting in a room with 14 girls, not to long ago, and the tears that were the heaviest were the hateful behaviors of not just the brokenness of their family, but then the "mom" issues. Elizabeth

  3. As a second wife and step mother, not all of us are like this. I've never said a bad word about my step children's mother in front of them nor would my husband abide that. Although it hasn't been easy, we've created a very nice relationship between my husband's ex and myself. We've spent Christmas's together, his ex has taken my child on vacation (with her half sisters). My step children are now 23 and 20 and are beautiful children.

    1. So lovely to read this. I too have sent my older kids off on vacations and events with the new wife and truly when our kids see us doing our best to value and honor those harder relationships, we pass along such goodness from our hearts to theirs. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Elizabeth


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