How To Deal With a Difficult Ex

  • Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • How To Deal With a Difficult Ex

If you’re a stepmom you’ll agree with me that you may not have been prepared for the confrontations you’ve had with your husband’s ex.

She seemed to brace herself for war even before she met you. Even if this was someone you knew before, she may tend to change and bring out the worst in herself and others when you married her former spouse.

Unless you’re careful, an ex can push you to severe depression or a continuous confrontation with your partner and your stepkids. Given the opportunity she can cause jealousy, bitterness, anger, strife and competition between you and your spouse, which needless to say will bring unnecessary strain on your relationship.

So, how do you ensure that not only is your family united but you are sound and stress free?

• Hope for the best but expect the worst.
Truth be told, this person doesn’t acknowledge you as a co-parent and no matter what good you do, there are chances she’ll twist it to make you look bad. If you expect her to appreciate you for your good work, forget it. She may never do it. In that case, you’re better off doing what you’re supposed to do and not mourn when she doesn’t appreciate your efforts.

• Leave your partner to deal with her.
The worst you can do is to involve yourself with her and try to arbitrate between your husband and his ex. Since she’s your husband’s former wife, allow him to deal with her. Although you may not agree, allowing your husband to deal with his ex gives you the peace and strength you need to keep your family afloat. Come up with ways in which he’ll communicate with her without you feeling left out.

• Don’t push yourself down her throat.
Although you may mean well, don’t try to form a relationship with her if she’s not interested. While this doesn’t mean that you become her enemy, it’ll be a waste of time trying to be close to her if she views you as an adversary. Keep your distance but make sure you respect her, after all, she is the mother of your stepchildren. By the way, there may be issues that she hasn’t dealt with and unless she deals with them herself, she may never accept you. In that case, give her time and space.

• Don’t allow yourself to be her doormat.
No one wants to be disliked or set aside. Because of this, some of us are willing to do anything to be loved and appreciated. However, your strong desire to be loved and cherished may well lead you to being discouraged and hurt. I encourage you to be yourself and learn to voice what you dislike to her especially if she directs it to you. Never pretend that all is well when you know in your heart it’s not. Love yourself enough to respectfully voice your concerns and dislikes whenever the need arises. Remember, people tend to treat you the same way you treat yourself.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with others. Want to learn more about building strong relationships, going from surviving to THRIVING, one STEP at a time, download my eBook on 8 Steps From Conflict To Harmony by filling the form below.
[et_bloom_inline optin_id="optin_5"]

  • Fabulous tips Claudette! I was fortunate that my ex-wife-in-law and I had (still have) a good relationship. However, there were certain topics that I learned not to engage with her. I learned how to create effective and healthy boundaries with her and that made a HUGE difference in our relationship.

    Peggy

    ***
    Peggy Nolan
    http://thestepmomstoolbox.com

    • I wish more women would learn to work together rather than see each other as opponents. It would make life and the world a nicer place to be in.
      I agree that with anyone, there are topics that are best not discussed with if you know there is going to be bad feelings left.
      I always ask myself, what is the purpose of this conversation (or what I’m about to say): Is it to be right or to be happy?

      And I also agree that when you are not clear on your boundaries, it’s hard for others to know just how far to go with you.

  • Ann Covey says:

    WOW what a unique niche!

    Great tips not just for step moms but for many other kinds of relationships as well.

    Thanks for this!

    ~ Ann

    • Ann, I agree with you that tips regarding relationships sometimes tend be overlap with all kinds of relationships. It’s what I sometimes call common sense. Although Hubby often reminds me that what is Common Sense to me may not be Common Sense to others.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the tips and yes, I love my work and the people I serve.

  • Claudette, you are a fantastic resource for those in “step” relationships. I have several friends who need your advice and will pass your website and info to them. Blessings!

    • Thank you Alicia. It’s amazing to know just how many stepfamilies are created each and every day and yet people don’t take the time to read up on or understand the major differences that can make or break new families.
      I look forward to meeting your friends and taking care of their needs and issues.

  • While I am not divorced or separated, I think many of your tips and advice can apply to any difficult relationship in your life. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

    • Courtney, you are so right. Most relationships encounter issues at some point in time and you don’t have to be divorced, separated or in a stepfamily. Just the fact the two individuals come together to form a new “entity” will create conflicts as we don’t all see the world the same way. It’s normal and expected. What is important is to be open to try something different in order to make this relationship work. It’s constant nurturing and tending to.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Tags

    appreciation, blended family, boundaries, building relationships, communication, dealing with an ex, marriage, remarriage, stepmom

    About the Author

    CLAUDETTE CHENEVERT, aka The Stepmom Coach, works with women as they struggle to create a cohesive family life. As a speaker, author and stepfamily professional, Claudette mentors and guides stepmothers through the process of establishing a harmonious and thriving home life for their families. Her newest title, “The Stepmom’s Book of Boundaries,” is now available on Amazon.com and elsewhere. Learn about her coaching practice and self-study program for stepmoms at StepmomCoach.com.

    StepmomCoach

    The original content you just enjoyed is copyright protected by The Stepmom Coach—aka Claudette Chenevert—who proudly offers information, tips, products and other resources for building better relationships “one STEP at a time” via 1:1 coaching, self-guided coursework and more. Suitability is to be determined by individual users based on their own concerns and circumstances, as The Stepmom Coach does not endorse and is not liable for opinions expressed by third parties (i.e., advertisers, affiliates, audience members, clients).


    You may also like

  • Fabulous tips Claudette! I was fortunate that my ex-wife-in-law and I had (still have) a good relationship. However, there were certain topics that I learned not to engage with her. I learned how to create effective and healthy boundaries with her and that made a HUGE difference in our relationship.

    Peggy

    ***
    Peggy Nolan
    http://thestepmomstoolbox.com

    • I wish more women would learn to work together rather than see each other as opponents. It would make life and the world a nicer place to be in.
      I agree that with anyone, there are topics that are best not discussed with if you know there is going to be bad feelings left.
      I always ask myself, what is the purpose of this conversation (or what I’m about to say): Is it to be right or to be happy?

      And I also agree that when you are not clear on your boundaries, it’s hard for others to know just how far to go with you.

  • Ann Covey says:

    WOW what a unique niche!

    Great tips not just for step moms but for many other kinds of relationships as well.

    Thanks for this!

    ~ Ann

    • Ann, I agree with you that tips regarding relationships sometimes tend be overlap with all kinds of relationships. It’s what I sometimes call common sense. Although Hubby often reminds me that what is Common Sense to me may not be Common Sense to others.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the tips and yes, I love my work and the people I serve.

  • Claudette, you are a fantastic resource for those in “step” relationships. I have several friends who need your advice and will pass your website and info to them. Blessings!

    • Thank you Alicia. It’s amazing to know just how many stepfamilies are created each and every day and yet people don’t take the time to read up on or understand the major differences that can make or break new families.
      I look forward to meeting your friends and taking care of their needs and issues.

  • While I am not divorced or separated, I think many of your tips and advice can apply to any difficult relationship in your life. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

    • Courtney, you are so right. Most relationships encounter issues at some point in time and you don’t have to be divorced, separated or in a stepfamily. Just the fact the two individuals come together to form a new “entity” will create conflicts as we don’t all see the world the same way. It’s normal and expected. What is important is to be open to try something different in order to make this relationship work. It’s constant nurturing and tending to.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
    • Home
    • /
    • Blog
    • /
    • How To Deal With a Difficult Ex
  • Fabulous tips Claudette! I was fortunate that my ex-wife-in-law and I had (still have) a good relationship. However, there were certain topics that I learned not to engage with her. I learned how to create effective and healthy boundaries with her and that made a HUGE difference in our relationship.

    Peggy

    ***
    Peggy Nolan
    http://thestepmomstoolbox.com

    • I wish more women would learn to work together rather than see each other as opponents. It would make life and the world a nicer place to be in.
      I agree that with anyone, there are topics that are best not discussed with if you know there is going to be bad feelings left.
      I always ask myself, what is the purpose of this conversation (or what I’m about to say): Is it to be right or to be happy?

      And I also agree that when you are not clear on your boundaries, it’s hard for others to know just how far to go with you.

  • Ann Covey says:

    WOW what a unique niche!

    Great tips not just for step moms but for many other kinds of relationships as well.

    Thanks for this!

    ~ Ann

    • Ann, I agree with you that tips regarding relationships sometimes tend be overlap with all kinds of relationships. It’s what I sometimes call common sense. Although Hubby often reminds me that what is Common Sense to me may not be Common Sense to others.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the tips and yes, I love my work and the people I serve.

  • Claudette, you are a fantastic resource for those in “step” relationships. I have several friends who need your advice and will pass your website and info to them. Blessings!

    • Thank you Alicia. It’s amazing to know just how many stepfamilies are created each and every day and yet people don’t take the time to read up on or understand the major differences that can make or break new families.
      I look forward to meeting your friends and taking care of their needs and issues.

  • While I am not divorced or separated, I think many of your tips and advice can apply to any difficult relationship in your life. Thank you for sharing your expertise!

    • Courtney, you are so right. Most relationships encounter issues at some point in time and you don’t have to be divorced, separated or in a stepfamily. Just the fact the two individuals come together to form a new “entity” will create conflicts as we don’t all see the world the same way. It’s normal and expected. What is important is to be open to try something different in order to make this relationship work. It’s constant nurturing and tending to.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Looking for Hope, Inspiration and Wisdom
    for your Stepfamily Journey?


    Fill out your name and best email
    where I'll send you weekly posts, right in your inbox.

    >