Take my man-friend's ex-wife (please...he he). I was an ex-wife once too and, even though the first year was heart breaking, I remember embracing his new romances and even wanting to be friends with them...is this wrong? I even set him up with a friend of mine and they are still together to this day. She never liked me around, however, and in the end she told him to stay away from me....go figure. I never perceived her as a threat or someone I shouldn't like just because she was with my ex husband.
|These images are very prevelent in our|
society. Two women pitted against
each other over a man...when do we
say, "enough" and go out for coffee
If my ex husband had a long term relationship with someone and that woman was spending time with my (hypothetical) children, I would work at befriending her and learning who this woman was and how she could influence my children. Why don't more women do this? Why can't we all get along to support the children in these hard transitions? Why can't we speak nicely about each other as role models for good social and emotional health? I understand the influences of jealousy, and perceived threats to our self esteem and confidence. I understand that, while I feel she may hate me, she may also be feeling threatened, fearful, protective, and jealous. I just think it is a sad situation when we automatically dislike someone for their position in our lives (and for no other reason). I know...this is the way of the world in war, religion, and other social disparities....I realize.
While there isn't a lot of research on step mother-hood, there is some that suggest that one of the biggest influence on children's health as they move towards a blended family or the integration of a new woman is the ex-wife. If she is able to embrace the change and support the new woman, there is (obviously) less stress and more support for everyone. Nice, eh? I realize there are instances where it is very difficult to embrace a new woman...but in a less dramatic situation, is there room for this type of support? It's tough, but it is definitely doable.
After saying this, I have done a bad, bad thing. After three years of saying, "hi" to her, inviting her to holiday dinners and the like, I decided to withhold my pleasantries and give her a taste of her own medicine. Something I'm not proud of, let me tell ya. Finally, yesterday, I entered another realm of rudeness...something so out of character that I felt sick after. I knew, after I did it, that I took the low road. I bent down to her level, and as a health promoter, I disappointed myself (with all I know about emotional and social health, I should know better). Because of my offensive actions, I certainly wasn't "becoming the change I wish to see in others" (like the teachings of Gandhi suggest). If I want her to treat me with kindness and respect, I have to treat her the same way.
|If these two can get along...we all can.|
I won't get into who's the rat and
who's the toad....it's just not relevant.
I'll keep ya posted.