Your Ex-Husband’s New Girlfriend: Love Her, Hate Her or Indifferent?

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I’ll never forget the first time I ever met my ex-husband’s new girlfriend. She was beautiful, blonde, much younger than me, and the worst one: NICE!

I felt sick. I felt old. I felt ugly. I felt depressed. I really wanted to hate her guts. The problem was, I just couldn’t. She was (is) so darn nice!

I haven’t seen that new movie, The Other Woman, with Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, but just from watching the trailer and knowing the plot (a cheating guy’s wife and his girlfriend hit it off and become good friends) I have to believe that it’s common that women (as much as they try, and as much as it’s almost expected) just can’t despise their ex-husband’s new girlfriend.

If you think about it, it makes sense that the two of you would get along. It’s all about the same initial attractions/commonalities. So, if your ex liked certain things about you, it would make sense that he’d be attracted to those same qualities. And if you and the girl have similar qualities, it makes sense that you’d get along, right?

That’s why when I did a poll on my Divorced Girl Smiling Facebook page last week, asking women to describe their ex-husband’s new girlfriend in one word, I was SHOCKED at the responses I got.

4 positives:

Amazing, caring, sweet, thoughtful

18 negatives:

Pig, vapid, ruthless, disrespectful, butter face (which means nice body, ugly face—I had to look that one up), clueless, ignorant, 22, vicious, sloth, harmful, controlling, mouse wife, low-rent, android, yuck, whore, trash.

 

I wondered, ‘Why do all these women hate their ex-husband’s new girlfriend so much?’ 10 reasons dawned on me. Not saying any of these are the case with all the women who responded, just saying they are possibilities. So, here are 10 reasons you might despise your ex’s new girlfriend:

 

  • You still have feelings for your ex./You’re not over him.
  • Society makes us feel like it isn’t ok to like your ex’s new girlfriend.
  • The girl really is horrible.
  • Your ex husband puts distance between the two of you because HE doesn’t feel comfortable if you are friends or even nice to each other. In other words, if HE doesn’t like you, SHE can’t either.
  • You think the girl hates you.
  • The girl is the reason for the end of your marriage. In other words, he was cheating on you with her.
  • The biggest reason: You’re just not over the divorce yet, and the feelings of resentment are just too raw.
  • You are envious/jealous of the girl.
  • The girl is trying to be your kids’ mom.
  • You don’t feel like the girl respects you.

 

Here are the benefits of having a good relationship with your ex-husband’s new girlfriend:

 

  • First and most important: Your kids will be happier. The children of divorce who are the most well-adjusted are the ones who bear the least conflict in their lives. Kids love it when they feel everyone is getting along and that their parents and parents’ spouses like each other. It relaxes them and takes so much pressure off of them.

 

  • It makes life so much easier. It’s funny, when I see my ex’s new girlfriend, she acts kind of nervous around me. Granted, she’s probably thinking that whatever she says is going to end up in a blog post. So, I can understand that, I guess. But, I think she knows how much I really like her, and that makes things so much easier for both of us. She actually babysat for me once when I had to go to an event and my ex was out of town. My kids had a great time, and I never forgot that gesture. I have offered to pick up her child on numerous occasions. I think a mutually respectful relationship like that is such a win win for everyone.

 

Here’s the thing. Whether or not you like her, the woman is here to stay. If your ex moves in with her or marries her, she’s now in your family, spending a significant amount of time around your children. Isn’t it just easier and better for everyone if the two of you get along?

You don’t have to be best pals. And, don’t be naïve and say anything behind your ex’s back to her, because undoubtedly, her loyalty is with him, and you will get burned. But, to buy her a Christmas gift, or to offer to help her out is really, really good for your kids, and it’s good karma.

By the way, I did post something on my Facebook page the same day that read:

Describe your ex-wife’s new boyfriend or husband in one word.

 I got no responses. I wonder what that means. Divorced Girl Smiling has about a 70/30 ratio of female to male readers, so clearly there were men who read it. Maybe when it comes to an ex, men are a little less willing to share their thoughts publicly?

The bottom line is, whether you are a man or a woman whose ex is getting remarried, it is in your best interest to have a good relationship with the person whether they are a butter face or pretty face, low-rent or classy, or 22 or 52.

You can’t control how the new girlfriend will act towards you, but I find that it’s the first wife who takes the lead on this. If you treat her as the enemy, she will do the same. If you are kind, she will be too. In some instances, the girlfriend will be a nightmare, which is probably her insecurity when it comes to you. That’s HER problem. And, I would STILL be kind!

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Author: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorced Girl Smiling offers advice, inspiration and hugs. If you want a Cinderella story, be your own fairy godmother. You're the only one who can pick out that perfect glass slipper!

40 Responses to “Your Ex-Husband’s New Girlfriend: Love Her, Hate Her or Indifferent?”

  1. Liv

    Wow. I’m surprised none of the men answered. But I agree, you’re best to accept it and move on. Great advice!

    Reply
  2. Tam

    I’m in the situation that exes GF is totally someone I’d be friends with. Only problem is that they had a relationship b4 he asked me for divorce. I’m trying to let the past be the past for all the reasons you stated, mostly for my DD. Actually completely for my DD. If we didn’t have a child I’d tell them both to take a leap off a tall cliff. But I have a beautiful little girl that deserves all the happiness the world has to offer, so I suck it up and play nice. I hope that as time passes it will heal me and I won’t always think about the fact that he cheated on me with her. In the mean time I’m following the old adage, fake it till you make it!

    Reply
    • Narelle

      Wow… Can I just say Well Done Tam ! I am not anywhere near where you are now and I’ve been separated for nearly 2 yrs ! My ex was not WITH the GF when we separated but I had seen her ‘make a play’ for him for 5 years (she also works for him)… the pain is incredible and I just cannot seem to get passed it. I truly would love to know how the hell you have been so strong !

      Reply
  3. edie

    I like your suggestion to be first in being friendly, My ex’s wife is barely warm back to me – cautious, it’s more the word. I can only imagine what things my ex has told her!

    I think if I continue to send out the olive leaf, I will relax more around both and hopefully so will she.

    Reply
  4. Ansley West

    I was the new girlfriend. Though he had been divorced for years, I was the first serious woman to come into his life. His ex-wife had a steady boyfriend for a long time. She was very welcoming to me and we have always been friends. It definitely makes everything easier and I admire her honesty, kindness and ability to accept me.

    Reply
  5. "Doug" - Chicago

    I can’t speak for men generally, but when I saw the request for male responses on Facebook I refrained from speaking in that forum out of respect for my teenage son who sees my posts there and is struggling (understandably) with the reality of a new man in his mother’s house. What I will say here (as I say to him directly) is that I take no pleasure in any discord he might feel with the new BF who I have experienced as a well-mannered, soft-spoken gentlemen, not so different from me (a common pattern discussed in Jackie’s post). That said, my son’s resistance is natural and I respect and take seriously his views and concerns (he knows that while I advocate for a peaceful middle-way and don’t generally take sides – I always have him in mind). I like and trust the BF (as well as my ex’s judgment) and recently allowed my DD to participate on a summer trip he arranged for his own similar-aged daughters. If the BF is a lasting presence in my children’s lives, my only intention is to act with their best interests at heart.

    Reply
  6. Kate

    My ex married a younger woman about 6 months after our divorce, they were living together 4 months after he moved out. I met her briefly a few months before he left and all I remember is mousy, stuck up, bad hair and she was involved at the time with a married man who had just dumped her. She was a piece of work. I wouldn’t know her if I ran into her at the gym.

    But your blog said relationship with you ex. And I would love to hear why you think that when my now ex wanted a divorce after 30 years of marriage, working together and being best friends, – who said he wasn’t happy, that he would always be there for me and loved me, but didn’t want to live with me. That now after a year and he is with someone that he blames me for all sorts of stuff, calls up and yells at me because he told his GF that he still loved me (I am sure she didn’t handle that well), can barely be in the same room with me. WTF! I am the hurt party. I said I will always love you but go and be happy. Why am I the git in the room now?

    Its so not fair! So all you men out there – tell me what is going on? I just want to be his best friend again. We had so many great times and I miss his bad puns.

    Reply
  7. TxMom

    I don’t know…I have been having a REALLY hard time accepting her. She is 6 years younger than my ex and me, she invades my private time with my kids, she forces herself into situations…the hardest part for me to grasp is that they have only been together less than a year and are already planning on marrying. I have been with my fiancé for 4 years and am taking it slow because I want to make sure it’s right and I don’t out my kids through divorce again…she also doesn’t want kids. How can a woman enter into a situation with kids and not want any of her own? To me, that is mind-boggling…

    Reply
  8. Shannon

    I don’t have an issue with my ex husbands fiance- the problem isn’t with her in particular. We are FB friends and I want to help out in anyway I can, she is very young 21, and I have been in love and happy for 10+ years to my best friend. The only thing that gets on my nerves is seeing him happy and smiling in all of their pictures, seeing him playing with her son (not his) and wondering the whole time- where the hell was this fun, decent person when I needed him? He split on me and our son- I share him with his grandma, because he just didn’t give a crap and didn’t love him, support him, play with him, teach him or do any daddy type things with him ever. Now he is getting married and is being a father to someone else’s child? I am happy for the 2 year old in question that he is getting his needs met, but there is still our son who isn’t. Everyday- a barrage of cutesy stomach churning pictures of him with this girl, who is basically fresh out of being a child herself, who never finished high school because she got pregnant, is fully willing to walk into the barbaric mentality of stay close the stove, barefoot and “make me a sammich biatch” and pop out 15 more for me while I do as I please and take away each and every right you thought you had down to your access to a bank account, phone, family and friends,car, employment etc. I am educated, published, look damn good for 35, but apparently that wasn’t what he needed not to abuse and humiliated our child and I on a daily basis. Seeing him happy is what gets me- my husband lust showers me with affirmations every day – because he loves me and to remind me that I am lovable because I basically have PTSD from surviving my ex husband. I know that he is psychologically/mentally/emotionally defective or something but I see them and I feel these feelings of – what a bastard, why couldn’t he have been like this with us? I think I have A LOT of growing up to do, and I am trying. When ever I have an angry feeling about the situation I do or say something nice for her to counter it- but truly I want to tell this man off, I have been nice for far to long concerning him. I see the truth, he is prepping another victim, like a mental serial killer. But I’m not saying one thing, because if the girl can’t figure out that a man that has been to prison (not while we were together) for stealing, abandoned his child and beat his wife isn’t great marriage material- I guess she is kind of asking for what is coming, I mean common sense people. I didn’t have the luxury of seeing what he had done to other people when I “fell in love” (not love- absolute co-dependance). I like the girl- I hate him, he doesn’t deserve a second chance, he almost killed me twice, and to me, he doesn’t deserve a 21 year old child with a child, she is too impressionable and sweet, he simply shouldn’t have this opportunity to harm another young woman.

    Reply
  9. orchid

    I saw the 2nd wife of a friend at a college reunion. I had only met her once before, at a reunion five years before. My friend’s son – her stepson – had just graduated West Point. I asked what going to happen next, and she said that he was about to be activated to Afghanistan (this was when the war was really hot), and she then added that, “Both Mom and Stepmom are not very happy about that.”

    I was concerned to hear the news – no one wants their friend’s son to go to war.

    But it was also refreshing. Obviously, she had some kind of relationship with my friend’s first wife, and also, she had legitimate concerns about her stepson.

    PS: The son came out of Afghanistan fine.

    Reply
  10. K

    I found this after searching ‘ex-husband’s wife hates me’… one of those fruitless google moments that you have when you’re at a total loss.

    Of all my divorced friends (all of whom, like me, were the ones to end their marriages), I am the only one with such a dysfunctional situation. All of them are FB friends with their ex’s new wives and girlfriends, with warm and resolved and happy vibes all around. My ex’s wife has been with him from just weeks after we broke up (after being together for 17 years). She moved in within three months. Four years later, despite being a primary caregiver for my kids when it’s my ex’s time with them, she refuses to have any contact with me whatsoever. From the very beginning she’s been irrationally territorial, openly hostile, and just plain up horrible to me. I’ve tried everything—giving them space, trying to pretend everything’s fine, and being super friendly. Everything I’ve tried has been a total disaster. She’s a manipulative mess, and is clearly threatened by the fact that I exist. I’m only just now trying to come to terms with the grief that I’ll never have a positive co-parenting relationship with either of them—my ex is utterly spineless and terrified of being alone, and has changed for the worse since being with her. There’s nothing I can do to fix things, and I’m getting tired of being their punching bag. As he says: “Of course you and your parents/new partner will always treat me/us well, because I am a good person and I deserve to be treated well. And of course my new wife and my parents will always treat you how you deserve, as a bad person.” He’s forever emasculated by the fact that I chose to end our marriage, and can’t get over it, and has said that I am to blame for every stress in his life. His new wife is about to give birth to their first child together, and I’d like to get them a present from me and my kids, because that’s what a healthy family would do. But I’m afraid to for how they’ll react. It makes me so sad, but I’ve got to move on and stop expecting things to be better. I’m really at a loss, as you can see. Thanks for the vent, though.

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      Kate, I really feel for you and can completely relate. Hang in there and just keep being you. Don’t focus so much on “them,” but rather how you choose to treat others and live your life. You have no control over “them.” Let “them” be them. You just keep being the best mom and person you can be. I get you. I really do. xo

      Reply
  11. sheena

    My husband left me after 40 years for a woman 25 years younger than both of us. I have apologised to him for my part in the demise of the marriage (but he totally blamed me). I have never said a bad word to him or her or about them. I have been very nice to her face to face, and on receipt of the decree absolute, I sent him an email thanking him for our marriage and wishing him a happy future with her. I cannot be angry or vengeful. We both made mistakes and didn’t communicate. I believe I am the bigger person for owning up to my failings. He has never accepted any blame. They are seeing my grown up kids and grandchildren regularly. Nice that my family can see Dad happy again. He said he hadn’t been happy with me for years. I still love him, and always will, but if you truly love someone, you want them to be happy, even if it is not with you. If she does that for him, and I didn’t, then how can I criticise her? We all deserve to find happiness – I just have to find it for myself now. Forgiving yourself, and your ex, is a means to letting go.

    Reply
  12. Carol

    I am really struggling with a fear of ‘losing’ my kids to their new family. My ex’s GF is trying to be nice which is a good thing I know, but she moves so fast and wants to be an instant family. She’s very insecure and irrational and puts him through a lot of drama. My kids really like her, again I know this is a good thing. The only feeling I can liken it to is jealousy or fear of abandonment. I stayed married way longer than I wanted to as I never wanted to be in this situation. The idea of someone else being a mum to my kids makes my stomach turn. I’ve welcomed her with open arms and really trying not to let my fears overtake me but it’s a constant struggle. I barely slept last night thinking about it. I keep thinking that maybe one day my kids will ask to go and live with them full time cause they like it better. Basically catastrophising about the future. Any words of advice on how to work through this would be appreciated. The kids met her 3 months ago but they’ve been together for over a year. I am still single by choice, I’m not ready for a relationship. Thanks in advance. Carol

    Reply
  13. Thenewfiancethatshated

    I’m the new fiancé that is despised. I dated my fiancé in highschool, after ten years of not speaking to each other, his ex left, moved out, got a new BF, and we started to hang out again. Again, this was AFTER she left. We hid our relationship from her for a few months before telling her, and she drilled my name out of the kids. Since that very day everything has gone South with the kids, her texts, hurling insults, telling my fiancé I need to die, she can’t accept me, she hopes the kids hate us both….

    I’ve even introduced myself at a birthday party and said it was nice to meet her, after her calling me a whore, trash, ugly, bitch, desperate, saying she was going to drive out to his place and punch me in the teeth (and I wasn’t even over that day). But, being that he and I are the same age, which is 3 yrs older, I swallowed my feelings and shock her hand and smiled. That was over a year ago and it is still going on. I’ve even wrote an email to her explaining my willingness to communicate for a mutually respectful relationship for the children’s sake. That was 3months ago. No reply.

    When I was his ex, and she was the current, I never did any thing of this sort. I didn’t even live in the same area anymore for years. It just goes to show the unwarranted insanity some women encompass.

    Reply
  14. JustMe

    I really really wanted this type of relationship with my husband’s ex wife. My parents are divorced and I remember how ugly it was and how awful that made me feel. I didn’t want that for my step kiddos.

    I tried to be cordial to their mom. She wouldn’t even look at me or speak to me for the first 2 years my husband & I were together.

    Anything we do for the kids is immediately thrown in our faces. Our financial situation is better than hers and I think she resents that. Though I know this isn’t my fault or problem, it’s frustrating when we spend money on the kids only to learn a week or so later that she has pawned what we bought them.

    She has been intrusive, calling us at all hours of the night to come rescue her from some crazy situations. When my husband explains that she should call the police, it only ends up in his phone blowing up with seriously crazy texts for days on end.

    She obviously made the decision from the get-go that she was not going to be cordial with me. I honestly think it wouldn’t matter who he was with, any other woman would be a “threat” to her.

    I really don’t understand it. I have treated her humanely and it gets harder and harder to continue to be cordial when all she does is treat us both so horribly.

    Not to mention the bad-mouthing of us to the kids.

    I love my husband and my step kids. But this woman is so difficult. I wish I could say it didn’t effect me, but it does.

    It doesn’t have to be this way. I wish there was a way that all of us could get along, but I seriously doubt that will ever happen.

    I am happy for those moms and step moms out there who manage to make it work. Even happier for the kids in those situations. That’s what it should be about… the kids. Not her, not him, not me.

    Reply
  15. JustMe

    I’m sorry to hear this K. I am the “new wife” and have the same situation with my husband’s ex wife. It’s so hard. I would much rather get along with her. But, when the other person is a “manipulative mess” (that struck a chord with me), it makes it so much more confusing and difficult to be rational.

    I’ve made mistakes, too, in dealing with her. She’s done some things that have been really odd and frankly sick, like sending the kids’ dirty clothes to us with full formed stools still in the underpants. So yes, I did speak up. I tried to be polite about it, but she snapped. And sadly, I snapped back.

    I feel like our relationship is irreparable. But even before I ever spoke up/out about anything, she was manipulative, lying, and just bitter & angry.

    We can only control ourselves, though. And I learned from snapping back at her that I have to bite my tongue (sometimes quite literally) because I am not going to sink to her level. I can’t control her, don’t want to. But I sure can control me.

    I wish you lots of luck.

    Reply
  16. Dani

    I am the ex-wife who has initiated a meet up with the new girlfriend. I want us all to move on and be happy, predominantly for our son’s sake. Life’s too short to hold grudges.

    Wish me luck!

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      Extremely mature and selfless of you! Are you meeting her alone? With your ex? With your son? I’m curious to know how it goes! Best of luck.

      Reply
  17. MomofOne

    Another reason you may not like the new girl isn’t her…it’s because the ex is not meeting his child support obligations for your kid(s) because he’s spending all his money with the new gf! When the ex can’t even meet the minimum he’s supposed to pay for support, but somehow has plenty of money for vacations and gifts to the gf, there’s plenty of dislike to share with the two of them. (This is even worse when the new gf knows he’s not meeting his obligations, and accepts the plane tickets and gifts anyway!)

    Reply
    • Jackie Pilossoph

      That IS very frustrating and upsetting. Just remember that he has to live with himself, knowing what he is doing deep down. I truly believe it will catch up to him someday. Also, the new girlfriend is settling. Think about it. She is settling for a man with low morals and she knows it. It is not as blissful as it seems. Trust me.

      Reply
  18. crazy

    literally the first wife is the one who will give birth to a child , gain weight , wrinkled as a fig tree and support him in his career.
    and once he enters into crisis 40, he will leave her for a younger woman who he will marry and give her the attention that we never had.conclusion:I’m not surprised that modern women do not want to have children and have family.I think it is more worthwhile to go to insert fertilization or adopt a child and give him the love.and as for men simply treat them as they do to us and with the first mistake throw them in the garbage.

    Reply
  19. Elle

    TXmom, maybe I can help with the other perspective. My boyfriend of a year has a six-year-old son with his ex wife. I’ve never had nor wanted children of my own, but I love kids and have been bonding really well with the little boy. I also have a great and supportive relationship with the mother. Please don’t let the stigma of a non-parent get to you. People who choose not to have children are still capable of choosing and loving a family. Best of luck with your own family xo

    Reply
  20. Paula

    I found your page today because I conducted a search regarding feelings about the new girlfriend. This is fresh. Last night I discovered my ex is seeing someone. I felt angry and jealous and I haven’t even seen the woman or know anything about her. I know she has a son and the first thing that popped in my mind was ” yeah ok NOW he is going to be responsible and put on his man pants for a stranger!” Note: I’ve WANTED for him to have a girlfriend for the past 2 years! I struggled for years to get him on his feet, to work, to have a network of friends, while I was the breadwinner. I really wanted a better life for us, when I saw that he was not going to help and be more of a weight, we separated and are now divorced. You can say that I am beautiful, I’m pretty young, and I work hard-I’m a well-known professional. I know that just sounded arrogant, but what I’m trying to say is that I have nothing to be jealous of another woman-I have many great qualities and attributes. I am however jealous of this stranger who is waltzing in with her child and reaping the improved ex while I cried and worked so hard. Now, giving his best to a stranger. Yes, I know, good for her and him, but I can’t help but feel angry. It also worries me highly how she will treat my son, what background she/ex/son have-was there abuse in their home? What habits will she/son introduce to my son. I just want to make sure she is a safe person and then not care about the rest.

    Reply
  21. Paula

    I just posted but share your concern. My ex has complained about money and now he is going to take on a lady AND her kid?? I’m realizing that it is more anger towards my ex and not the new girlfriend, but it is hard to not view it as an opportunist.

    Reply

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