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Ex wife horrible to new wife

slkastep's picture

Gentlemen, I would love to hear your opinions on this situation and how you would handle it as the man of the house.  My husband's ex wife is really unkind to me.  We have been married for 4 years, and she's been rude since day 1, I met her 5 years ago and the day I met her she refused to shake my hand.  They had already been divorced 2 years when I met him.  They have 2 kids together, and they live with us half the time.  I also have a daughter.  They are all teenagers.  So, his ex basically pretends I don't exist.  If I say hello to her, she ignores me.  If I say goodbye, she ignores me.  She won't even say a word or smile in my direction.  I can honestly say I have never been rude and always tried to be nice and treat the kids well.  My husband invited her to my stepson's high school  graduation party at our house.  I was shocked when the kids told me she was coming because she has such a bad attitude when I'm around.  She came into my home and didn't even acknowledge me, wouldn't speak to me, wouldn't accept my hospitality, and ignored me when I thanked her for coming.  I told my husband I don't want to be put in that situation again.  And I don't care who she is...I'm not a doormat, and I won't allow someone to come into my home and disrespect me.  What would you fo if your ex wife treated your spouse this way?

ESMOD's picture

Not a stepdad here. (not a whole lot of them here.. maybe a couple post regularly).

But, as his EX.. he cannot control or force her to be nice to you.  HOWEVER, that also means that he doesn't have to host events where you and she will be forced into interraction.  Of course as it was her Son's graduation party.. well.. I don't think it's unusual that she might be included... but knowing she is so cold to you.. I would have been inclined to either not have a party (give the kid a nice cash gift instead).. or have it at a neutral place (yes.. she still would have ignored you.. but it wouldn't have seemed as disrespectful as being in your own home and that happening).  Also.. you need to adjust your expectations.  I would just reflect back to her what you get.. if she says hello.. respond.. but do not make the first overture do not try to engage her.. at all.. if you attend events together in the future.. you know what to expect from her.. prepare yourself and if people say anything to you about it.. just shrug and say.. step life isn't easy.. 

slkastep's picture

I would have thought she would do a separate party at her house.  That's what normally happens for birthdays and such.  He also always wants to sit by her at the school events.  But it upsets me because he knows that she acts like a bitch to me.  Also, she didn't say hi to my daughter, their stepsister who lives with them.  And she gave her a dirty look.  

ESMOD's picture

Graduation parties can be a bit different.. esp if they involve classmates and such.. it's not like the kids will likely attend the multiple parties for the same graduate.  BUT.. many don't have parties for graduations.. partially for this kind of issue.

many people will just do a nice dinner around graduation time with the kid. maybe one parent or the other hosts a party..  the next joint thing is really going to probably be weddings.. yuck.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

There, fixed it for you.

Reformed doormat here. You have a husband problem. People just do what they do, so if your H's ex wife is a B, fine. But it's his responsibility to keep the poo of his baggage away from you, not invite it into your home or sit next to it. Why does he allow this? Why doesn't he protect you, or put BM in her place?? Don't you think it's time for a different tact?

Do you know that you get to choose? That you dont have to accept abuse, or your H not prioritizing you as his partner? You have been very nice for FOUR YEARS, and what has that gotten you besides sh!t sandwiches? If he chooses to sit next to BM, you can choose to go home and leave them to it. You have the right to a peaceful life, and the right to draw healthy boundaries. Lay some on your H, and make him more afraid of you than BM. Tell him how it's going to be, instead of just accepting him pandering to his ex. Tell him due to his failure to protect you from his toxic ex wife, change is happening because you are DONE with the bs. Either he stands up for you, or you will and he won't like how you do it.

If I've learned one thing about steplife, it's that it will suck you dry if you allow it. If MY husband it going to be kissing anyone's butt, it had better be mine, and he's learned that middle-aged me isn't the pushover sweet twenty-something me was. You need to toughen up, because nice isn't getting you anywhere. Hold your H accountable, and start taking care of YOU.

Evil4's picture


" Either he stands up for you, or you will and he won't like how you do it." I said this exact thing to my DH when it came to my SD32 being an off the charts mini-wife shunning me and negatively impacting my marriage and harmony of my household. I scared the shit out of my DH. It worked. He has built his standing-up-for-me muscle and does it more easily now.

I also used the line about kissing ass and that it better be mine. Only I was a lot more blunt and crude. I demanded that I be treated like the woman he's fucking. 

You have a DH problem. Is he one of those conflict-avoidants who creates more conflict by not addressing it? He needs to remember which wife he's married to. I remember using that line too, when I laid down the law. All these lines were totally supported by our couples counsellor in a session several months ago when I laid the law down to DH. 

slkastep's picture

He's one of those "Im trying to make everyone happy" people.  I know he doesn't care about her.  He cares about not making the kids uncomfortable.  Which, I get, but it's coming at the cost of my comfort and self esteem.  We did have a counselor.  We were in counseling the first year of marriage due to so many problems blending the family: them being rude to me and my daughter, not accepting us, his mini wife issues with step daughter.  Then our counselor retired.  I need to find another one.  We talked about it and he did admit that the nice tactic isn't working anymore.  My step daughter is about to have surgery and I'm not going because I don't want to deal with his ex.  Isn't that sad?  But there is nothing else to do because confronting her in the hospital isn't the place.  I told him I will go visit her when the wicked witch isn't there.  It's hard, but I think I have to do like every one is saying and create boundaries to protect myself.  

I Need A Bubble Bath's picture

Been there and still there...Never been anything but nice to the crazy B, but she treats me like crap. BTW...we have full custody of SS and she gets very limited visitation, but is allowed to attend school or social activites. 

Here are the steps...DH won't like this, but it's for your own good:

1. Remind DH that she is his EX!

2. Remind DH that you are his wife and he promised to "love and honor" (or some form of that vow) you. 

3. Remind yourself that your SK's are not your kids. This part sucks if you like the kids, but it is neccessary. 

4. Establish boundaries! This is important. Let DH know that you or him will not be attending events she hosts and EX is not invited to events you host. Period! The perk of being a kid of divorced parents (I was one) is 2 parties for everything. Let DH know that at social/school events him and you will not be sitting with or near the EX. Period. Whether he attends with you or without you...this is not negotiable. DH know how she treats you, this woman is not his friend, so unless he still holds a torch for her he should be just as angry as you are.

4.1 If DH plays the "Mother of my children" or "Co-Parenting" card, call bullsh!t on him. She is not co-paretning or being a good example of a mother. You are his wife and now the only mother he should care about. 

5. Ask DH if he wants you at events with SK's? Really wants you there as part of a family unit. 

6. If no, then you are off the hook. He gets to go ALONE. No, this is not a pass to socialize with the EX. Sitting with another woman at social events bordering on cheating - let him know you feel that way and will not tolerate cheating (even platonic) in your marriage. Remember - you are wifey now and you didn't burn the bridge. If he loves you he will want you to be able to trust him to protect you even when you are not around. 

7. If yes, then set the boundaries to protect you mentally, emotionally and physically and expect nothing else. If DH can't support this then he doesn't get the family he told you he wanted (see above). 

I have certain social events I don't attend because even with boundaries established BM will glare and smack talk as she purposely walks by, along with many other high school behaviors. DH husband begs me to attend. SS begs me to attend. My response is always a firm, "Promise me BM won't be there and I would be happy to go." SS has recently started telling BM he does not want her at certain events. I proudly attend those. 

Hope this helps. It is draining, frustrating and ugly at times. DH and EX will try to gaslight you into making you think you are the problem. Do not let them do this. And I dont' care who it is, if someone does nto treat you wtih respect in your own home they should never, ever be welcomed through the door again.

BM is not even allowed on our property and she is court ordered to sit in the car during pick-up and drop offs because we brough up her behavior in court. Judges don't like anyone acting the fool in front of the kiddos. 

slkastep's picture

BM isn't very friendly with my husband either, but she's much more friendly than she is with me.  And I have a feeling that when I'm not around she plays more nicely with him.  Although, he does tell me that she mostly just acts like a bitch.  But, I did tell him to stop being nice to her whether I'm there or not because she has disrespected me.  He shouldn't want to be friendly with someone who is rude to his wife even if it is the mother of his kids!

Rags's picture

SS-29 asked me to adopt him when he was 22. We made that happen.

This has the stench a ball-less clueless semi-man all over it. That he invited his X without first getting  your approval tells me more about the failed man, failed husband, and failed father that you are married to than I care to know. smh

Now for a question. Why did you allow her into your home when she showed up?  This is of course rhetorical, however, it is a question that I think you need to answer for yourself.

That you confronted your DH and gave him clarity that she will not be tolerated in your presence again is a great move on your part.  Make sure you nail his foot to the wall on this regularly going forward.

As for what I would do if my XW treated my amazing bride as this prior failed family bovine breeder has treated you, that would not have been tolerate even once much less repeatedly over the years. On the first occurance I would have immediately shut the XW down, informed her that she nor anyone else would speak to or treat my wife that way and inform her that she would never be tolerated to open her mouth again in any way other than with respect.

DH needs to understand clearly that his XW is not his bride.  All she is, is in the past.  You are his present and future partner.  The whole "get mommy and daddy together for a celebration" delusion is painful and should be avoided at all costs IMHO.  Fortunately for us, no one in the SpermClan ever made an effort to engage in SS's real life. Not one phone call over the years just to speak with him. The entire SpermClan were no shows for his life events. Not one them at HS graduation, USAF BMT graduation, promotions, pre-deployement leaves, etc.....


I had to play this card a number of times over the years with my SS's SpermGrandHag when she would perpetrate pointed attacks on my bride during the CO years.  It would end the crap for a while. Until the next time when I would have to address it.