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How to Deal With Your Husband’s Ex-Wife

Your husband’s ex-wife can drive you crazy, but she doesn’t have to.

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Some relationships are more difficult than others, and the relationship between you, your husband, and his ex-wife can be one of the hardest of all. Millions of women are married to men who were previously married, only to find that his ex wants to make life for the couple as difficult as possible. So, how do you deal with this woman without tearing your hair out?

Try Being Friends

Achieving a more positive relationship with your husband’s ex will depend just as much on your actions as it will on hers, and showing her that you’d like to be friends could lead to some surprisingly positive changes in your relationship. Try getting to know the ex-wife outside of her connection to your husband: you could invite her out for coffee, or give her a call just to see how she is. Let her know you’d like to get along with her.

Establish Boundaries

Working out ground rules for interacting with your husband and his ex-wife’s children will be enormously helpful in preventing misunderstandings, fights, and jealous, angry feelings. Establish boundaries by having an open conversation with your husband’s ex-spouse — or, if you have cause for concern that things might get out of hand — with the ex-spouse and your husband. Remind her that you’d like to be involved but don’t want to take over her place as the mother of her children. Find out when you can step in, how you can help, and what situations or topics involving the children will be off-limits to you as a stepparent.

Remain Respectful

Not all women will respond positively to your friendly overtures; some exes become angry and only wish to annoy her ex-husband and his wife. Don’t let this stop you from being respectful toward her. Not only will stooping to her level only make the nasty things she says about you right, but you may find yourself becoming more angry as you focus on the negative. Instead, keep it civil, especially in front of her kids. They are not to blame for her behavior, and badmouthing her in front of them will unfairly drag them into a bad situation.

Practice Acceptance

IAccept that your husband once had a relationship with this woman, and that at one point in time, they were in love. Practicing acceptance will help you prevent any dislike you have for his ex-wife turning into resentment toward your husband for having married her in the first place. Remember that accepting your reality doesn’t mean you have to like it: it just means that you don’t waste energy wishing away a person who isn’t going anywhere. Acceptance takes practice. Try starting by accepting small things and move up slowly to the bigger ones.

Instead of getting angry at her, try remaining calm and putting yourself in her shoes. Especially with holidays and the complicated logistics that go in to planning a Thanksgiving or Christmas around blended families, it can be easy to become stressed and upset with her for wanting a particular arrangement. Think about what you would want if you were in her position, and ask yourself why she might be asking for something. If you’re finding it impossible not to become angry with her, it might be best to remove yourself from the situation and let your husband make the arrangements with her.

How to Deal With a Narcissistic Husband

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Narcissists are people who are self-centered, have an inflated sense of their own importance, a constant need for attention and admiration, and a lack of empathy. Usually these people have a fragile self-esteem and are vulnerable to criticism. If you are married to a narcissistic husband, hopefully this article can help you resolve or manage your husband’s behavior.

How to React to a Husband’s Flirting With Another Woman

Dealing appropriately with a flirting husband can help heal the situation.

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You’re at a fun party enjoying yourself with many good friends when you suddenly notice your husband flirting with an attractive woman. If his behavior devastates you and you allow your emotions to control you, the rest of your evening will be ruined. Furthermore, your interactions with your husband are bound to be unpleasant. However, if you can control your feelings and put things into perspective, you’ll control your reaction, salvage the remainder of the evening and continue to have a good time.

Reflect upon your own behavior. If you were ignoring your husband or flirting with other men, it’s possible his behavior was a response to yours. Perhaps his flirting fills a need your husband has to be reassured he’s still attractive. Keep the romance alive in your marriage by finding ways to flirt with him yourself.

Try to assess your husband’s role in the incident objectively. Determine whether he was flirting or if the woman was controlling the situation and doing the flirting, while he sat and smiled.

Analyze the seriousness of the flirting. If it was brief and consisted only of smiles and laughter, your husband might not be so guilty. While you can expect to feel jealous in certain situations, jealous can sometimes be rooted in personal insecurity. Ask yourself, or your friends, if it’s possible that your feelings of jealousy are more about you than your husband’s behavior. If, however, the flirting was overt, lasted much of the evening and included physical touching, your jealousy is justified and you should deal with it.

Temper your response with what you know about your husband. If he’s been faithful to you for years, is great with the kids, considerate, generous and attentive toward you, it might be easier to forgive the flirting. If, however, he falls short in these areas, you may need to interpret the flirting differently. You might be justified feeling a sense of betrayal if a strong foundation of trust is missing in your relationship.

Choose a time when you can speak calmly and let your husband know how hurt you feel. Explain why his flirting causes you pain. Making "I" statements that explain your emotions helps you make your point. Statements that start with "you" are more confrontational and might result in your husband becoming defensive rather than remorseful.

Consider giving your husband an ultimatum if the behavior continues after you’ve discussed the matter and he promised not to do it again. Tell him you are not willing to subject yourself to an embarrassing and stressful situation and that you’ll leave the event immediately and alone if you catch him flirting in the future. Be prepared to follow through if necessary.

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