In a perfect world, no one would ever have to deal with their exes or their boyfriend’s ex-wife. The best thing for these exes to do is to stay where they belong—in the past. However, that’s easier said than done.
Removing exes from your life like that suspicious mole on your back isn’t always a solution at your disposal. Most exes, especially those you have a family with, cannot be cut out of your life, no matter how much you want them to be.
If you and your ex have children together, share assets, or one of you pays alimony to the other, you’ll almost certainly be forced to engage with this person long after your romantic connection is over.
While it might not be so bad if the split was mutual, these things can lead to bad blood and passive-aggressive tendencies that are difficult to control, no matter how nice they are otherwise.
Let’s face it, how many breakups are genuinely mutual and cordial? You’ll have to accept the fact that his ex could be a part of your lives for a long time.
Dealing With Your Boyfriend’s Ex-Wife
1. Understand That She and Your Boyfriend Have a History
Even if you’ve never been married, it’s important to understand that everyone has a past. The people from this past will always hold a special place in your heart, no matter how bad the breakup was. Many types of relationships can be just as significant and transformational without a ring or any vows.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing your boyfriend’s ex-wife is a danger to you in any way. You probably have your own exes, and you know your boyfriend doesn’t have to worry about them. So, try not to worry about your boyfriend’s ex-wife either.
If you’re still worried or jealous, talk to your partner about it—not accusingly, just to let them know you’re having trouble. Keep in mind that if your ex-lovers aren’t a threat, then theirs shouldn’t be either.
2. Be Honest With Yourself About Their Importance in Your Life
When dealing with your boyfriend’s ex-wife, consider how big of an impact they will have on your relationship. For many people, they won’t have that big of an impact. You’ll either never see them or only meet them once or twice a year at family events.
However, in some situations, they may be a more prominent part of your life, and if there are children involved, it’s even more crucial to keep things as wholesome and cheerful as possible.
You and your partner will have to deal with their ex-wife for the rest of your lives. It will be easier for everyone if your relationship with his ex is cordial and amicable. Don’t look for danger when you can easily avoid it.
3. Try to Understand Her Feelings
It won’t be easy for the ex-wife to see her ex-husband with his new girlfriend every day, and she’ll be worried that the kids will grow to love you and start calling you mom. If you find yourself alone with her, and she’s willing to talk, you should ask her about her former marriage, mental health, and overall well-being. Try to be understanding.
Perhaps she is hesitant to date because she is concerned about how her children will react. Whatever she’s going through, your role is to understand her and make things as simple as possible for her and the kids.
4. Invite Your Boyfriend’s Ex-Wife to Have Coffee With You
Imagine what a perfect girlfriend you’d be if you got your boyfriend’s ex-wife to approve of you! Getting your boyfriend’s ex-wife on your side is one of the finest ways to show your boyfriend just how good he has it with you.
Take her out on a coffee date and show her how you genuinely care about her children’s well-being and future. Gently remind your boyfriend’s ex that you adore her children and are interested in learning more about them. Politely let her know that icing you out is not a long-term solution to the problem.
5. Know You Can’t Win Every Battle
The thing is, no matter how hard you try, she was here first, and she’ll never let you forget it. And no matter how nice you are, you can’t win every battle. You can’t win every domestic drama just out of the goodness in your heart.
Even if you put the stars in the sky for her, she might find a way to tell you somehow she hates starry skies. If she wants to be irrational then that’s all she will do.
Find peace in the fact that you have a lovely home and a lovelier boyfriend and that domestic politics are a part of such a crowded household and let some things go.
6. Be On Your Best Behavior
Being on your best behavior might be hard to do, but when push comes to shove, this is your best bet for improving your relationship with your boyfriend’s ex-wife. Be on your best behavior at all times.
Your boyfriend’s ex-wife might come at you with backhanded compliments and obvious insults, but you can either ignore them or just politely tell her to stop. Show her how well you maintain the house or how well you take care of your boyfriend.
She might not come around, but she might start seeing that you have her ex-husband’s best interests at heart.
7. Show Her How You’re Not the “Bad Guy”
It’s easy to see the person following the ex-wife as some evil homewrecker here to destroy a loving family (thanks, Hollywood). However, most marriages are broken long before someone says “stop.” Just because your boyfriend and his ex-wife were married does not mean that he loved her sincerely or that things were heavenly.
Show her by example how your presence in the family’s life has taken the pressure off of trying to perfect an imperfect relationship. Show her how well you bond with the kids and how sweetly you take care of them in her absence. Let her see how you’re not just her ex-husband’s new love interest, but also a part of the family.
8. Allow Your Boyfriend’s Ex-Wife to Get to Know You
If your boyfriend’s ex-wife is enraged and resentful, it might help if she learned more about you. Maybe if she gets to know you, she may be less inclined to criticize and despise you. It’s all too easy to pass judgment on individuals we don’t know. People we may be envious of you, or just truly hateful!
Allow her to be irritated, outraged, and even bitter. Her ex-husband has found a great new person to love, and she now has to share her children with a woman she didn’t choose and may not even approve of.
9. Tell Your Boyfriend’s Ex-Wife What She Does Well
Is his ex-wife a decent mother? Is her home immaculately clean and well-decorated? Concentrate on what she excels at and tell her how much you admire her for it. You’re not attempting to schmooze her or deceive her; instead, you’re emphasizing her great qualities.
Noticing and praising your boyfriend’s ex-wife for what she does well may soften her towards you, making her less irritable and negative. Perhaps you need to take the first step towards cooperation and peace.
Telling your boyfriend’s ex-wife what she does well has the added benefit of improving your attitude toward her. Your own heart will warm if you intentionally focus on her excellent characteristics.
10. Find a Place to Vent Safely
If your partner’s ex is a horrific nightmare, the issues she creates will eventually become very upsetting to you, so you will need to vent about them at some point. Do not, however, do it with your partner. Find a relationship coach, family, friend, or relative who will sit with you and listen to you yell, scream, or even cry.
If it’s a friend, explain to them that you’re simply venting and ask them not to hold what you say against you or bring it up later. Take some time each week to get stuff off your heart in a secure environment where your words won’t continue to haunt you and you won’t be criticized.
11. Learn Everything You Can About Dealing With Ex-Wives
The more you understand about dealing with angry, unreasonable individuals—and setting limits—the simpler it will be to deal with your boyfriend’s ex-wife.
If you’ve ever worked with others, you know how difficult it is to deal with bad moods, excessive demands, and even cruelty. Your boyfriend’s ex-wife could exhibit all of these things and more, which means you’ll have to learn how to cope with the issues that people create.
This is for your psychological well-being, your boyfriend’s sanity, and the sake of your relationship!
12. Take the High Road If Necessary
Your partner’s ex may be troublesome—perhaps they aren’t over your partner, aren’t a very secure or happy person, or simply enjoy being passive-aggressive towards you. Whatever the reason, this is a difficult situation to be in.
But you must not let it get to you. If the ex-wife is truly unpleasant and a problem, the best thing is to disengage and not take the bait. Not everything requires a response.
If you’re having problems coping with your partner’s ex, or if you believe they’re affecting your relationship, try to confide in someone who can help.
13. Focus on Your Relationship With Your Boyfriend
Sometimes when we’re trying to fix one relationship, we end up hurting or straining another. Not everybody will like you, and not everyone will have something nice to say about you. For someone like your boyfriend’s ex-wife, your existence is even harder to accept.
Even if she never likes you or always resents you, focus on the primary person you are doing all this for—the man you’re so in love with. Don’t take this petty resentment out on him and instead focus on how you can make your relationship with him the best he’s ever had.
14. Don’t Let the Kids Be Affected By It
Do not involve your boyfriend’s children in the conflicts, no matter how angry his ex-wife is or how irritated or wounded you are. The children are innocent bystanders, not toys that you can destroy on a whim.
Be cordial and kind to your boyfriend’s children, but don’t let them get involved in the grownups’ issues. Don’t tell them you’re dating their father or that you’re having troubles with their mother. They aren’t aware that she is your boyfriend’s ex-wife. They adore her because she is their mother.
15. If You Have Any Bad Feelings for Your Boyfriend, Forgive Him
Do not deal with your animosity by taking it out on your boyfriend or your relationship. When your boyfriend decided to marry his first wife he was a completely different person.
Whether you like it or not, your guy had feelings for her and wanted to get married to her. You’re now dealing with issues brought on by your boyfriend’s ex-wife—issues he has no part in.
Make sure your boyfriend doesn’t have to pay for a decision he made long ago. Accept your boyfriend as he is right now, including his first marriage and ex-wife.
Why Is the Ex-Wife Creating so Much Drama?
In most cases, the ex-wife creates drama as a form of retribution for her sense of loss. As she copes with shock, numbness, sorrow, worry, loneliness, helplessness, a want for relief, retribution, or a yearning for the closeness she had in the lost relationship, she behaves in a cold, uptight manner and refuses to cooperate.
She is adamant about expressing her dissatisfaction with the new circumstances.
Most of the time, these actions are not a deliberate choice on the ex-wife’s part, but rather her own way of dealing with the circumstance. She wants to make you pay or suffer (or both), whether she realizes it or not.
She has suddenly been removed from her own life and now wants to seek revenge. The best way to do so is by making your life a living hell. She figures that the easiest way to get her revenge is by stealing the joy out of your life.
Accepting the things you can’t change is one of the most important pieces of advice for dealing with your boyfriend’s ex-wife. When dating a man who was previously married (and has a family), keep in mind that some things will never change. If you obsess about issues you can’t fix, it will only hurt you and your boyfriend and weaken the relationship you have with him.