In our blended family dynamic I let Dan, my SO, communicate with the kids mom. Honestly, there have been less than a handful of times that her and I have actually spoken one-on-one either in person or over the phone. By nature, I am a very anxious person. I get especially anxious when I don’t feel in control of a situation. In these cases I tend to overthink and over-analyze.
I constantly worry about the situation.
I mean constantly.
In the shower. In the car. While I’m cooking. While I’m working. In the gym. Before I go to sleep.
This is the number one reason I do not deal with the X.
She is, by nature, a very confrontational person.
Confrontation heightens my anxiety tremendously.
Our personalities do not mesh well.
It’s been four and a half years, and I still get that queasy, uneasy feeling just thinking about talking to her.
(However, I am actively working on getting those negative vibes for her out of my head.)
My little silver lining of her moving the kids so far away, is the fact that she is also so far away. I often wonder how I would handle dealing with her face-to-face on a regular basis. I mean I know I could do it, but my poor little nerves would be shot.
Therefore, I do not talk with the ex-wife.
I let Dan handle any and all communication with her.
From time to time I may tell him what I think he should say. (okay, maybe more often than not I am in the background throwing my hands up telling him what his rebuttal should be… But hey, I’m trying to get better.)
The main reason I let him do all the talking is because I know that it would heighten my anxiety and in turn make me miserable. I don’t want to give her, or anyone else for that matter, that kind of authority on my peacefulness if I can help it. I often find myself replaying conversations between the two of them, and I can only imagine how much worse it would be if I were the one talking to her.
I place my peacefulness and happiness on a very high shelf. So, I do what I can to protect them both. If it isn’t necessary for me to put myself in a situation or relationship that is going to threaten either or both of them then I keep myself away.
I’m not saying that if necessary we wouldn’t communicate. I would obviously not withhold information from her or keep the children from being in contact with her, but so far it has worked out perfectly that Dan is able to handle all of that without my having to be in the middle of it.
(Praise Jesus for that and for this amazing man of mine!)
All of that being said, I would love to have a good relationship with her.
I would like to be able to talk to her about what the kids do when they are here, and I would love for her to tell me stories of what’s going on when they are there. However, that is just not going to happen in our situation. Well… let’s not say never. Let me say – unless something drastically changes with one or both of our personalities, this type of relationship is highly unlikely.
And that is OKAY!
There is not a law written somewhere that says stepmoms must be friends with the biomoms.
And for some reason whenever there isn’t a solid relationship between stepmoms and biomoms there is some negativity from outside observers. But this isn’t always the case! It doesn’t have to be a bad thing that you don’t have a friendship with the ex-wife. The kids mom and I don’t communicate, but that doesn’t mean that we are hostile. We simply do not have a relationship. It is neither negative or positive and that works for us. It keeps us from having unnecessary drama. Sometimes the best relationship for the stepmom/mom dynamic is to simply not have one, and we need to stop trying to push and force one if that’s the case.
So, for me and my sanity, I have accepted my role as backseat driver. I will let Dan take the reins on communication with the ex-wife.
Hopefully he will continue to be a good sport about my commentating from the sidelines.
So stepmama, hopefully you have a good relationship with the ex-wife.
But if you don’t, just know that it’s okay to take a backseat. Let your SO take over communication with her.
As long as you can handle not being smack dab in the middle of every little conversation or argument (which, trust me, you and your sanity are better off if you aren’t.) you will be happier and less worrisome.
Love your family, love yourself, and live your happiest life.