There are so many issues post divorce that it seems a shame that one of them would be the new spouse being jealous of the ex spouse, but it happens, often. I believe there are many reasons for this, but the biggest one would have to be envy and lack of self confidence in the security of their new relationship.
You hear often of ex’s being resentful of the new spouse in their children’s lives. And, I can see why that would be. After all, it is hard to share your children with someone who is not the natural parent and it is hard to see that ex move on with their lives and become happier than they were when they were with you. And, the flip side to that is as an ex you hope for a remarriage because perhaps it will make them easier to deal with and more rational and that a new person in your children’s life will benefit your kids.
But, what do you do when the new wife or husband is envious of the ex? When they feel threatened every time you call to say hello to your kids or when you come by to pick up your kids after visitation they are rude and nasty? When they constantly say things that are inappropriate to your children about you and your life and try to feed them information that is false?
I have one client who is the ex wife, and her ex’s new wife has infiltrated herself into her children’s school and has badmouthed the ex as a parent to all the administration. I have another client who is a large online personality and the new wife goes to every site she has and reads her articles and comments under fake profile’s and made up email addresses, leaving rude comments and trying to hurt her reputation. And finally, a client whose ex’s new spouse will say inappropriate things in front of and to the children during visitation as well as ignoring the children’s needs when they have them.
Obviously the first thing to do is to talk to your ex spouse. But, as we know, it is very difficult for anyone to control the actions of someone else, even if they are married to them. And, the ex spouse does not want to hurt his or her new relationship, so chances are you will end up in a worse position, which could lead to more issues with the ex. So, how do you handle it? It is a difficult position, because that jealousy from the new spouse can seep into every crevice of your life.
Try to speak to the new spouse. Explain in a rational way that you are not trying to threaten the marriage or relationship and that there is no reason for them to be jealous. Tell them that all you care about is the children and how they are treated. Of course, this could backfire as well, so when it doesn’t work the first time, do not indulge that person in a he said she said type of conversation. Once you have made your point and it doesn’t get across, take that as a sign that they are not evolved enough to understand and move to the next thing you can do.
When you are dealing with this type of personality, one that the sole intention is to make your life miserable, the last thing to try is to turn the other cheek. Hope that eventually they will get bored with toying with someone who refuses to be toyed with. Like children, these pathological personalities should not be indulged by recognition.
Hopefully this is not a situation that any of you are dealing with, but if it is, what do you recommend?