Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

new at this - kids keep talking about OW, struggling to keep it together

(31 Posts)
sparklyDMs Mon 11-Jan-16 16:21:04

I think I may just need to offload, but any tips on how to stay sane would be appreciated. Stbxh left to move in with OW a few months ago and the DC's have just started staying over at their house EOW. My DD keeps talking about OW and thinks I should try to be friends with her, which given the fact that she has broken up my family is not really on the cards. There is a lot of ex and OW buying stuff and I'm hearing a lot about how great they are.
I'm just finding it very hard when a conversation with DD may suddenly have "well, OW does it like this..." thrown in.
Emotionally I feel beaten up and I'm finding it hard to be stoical.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 11-Jan-16 16:26:40

The only way through - depending on the ages of your children - is to say brightly, "I'm so pleased that you get along with OW and have a nice time when you're there, darling now - can you nip upstairs and get me this/lay the table/let me get the dinner on..."

If they are older/teens then I think I would probably suggest that whilst you're happy for them that they are happy, you would appreciate a little bit of consideration in that they don't keep mentioning OW all the time.

In your head, replace OW's name with 'the deluded one' or somesuch, you needn't say it aloud, just know that you are better off now than you were with your unfaithful partner.

I know it's hard. thanks

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 11-Jan-16 16:28:40

... and remember to give yourself a pat on the back that your children's good relationship with OW is possible BECAUSE you've made is possible, been so reasonable and put aside your own upset to make their lives easier.

Because you did that. smile

Beren1 Mon 11-Jan-16 16:33:03

It must be very difficult but in the interests of the kids and their relationship with their father, it is best to try to smile and say that's nice, despite the fact that it is so hard to do. As someone else said, you sound like a fantastic mother who has put the kids interests in front of your own thus far and they will thank you for it when they understand that sacrifice.

AnotherEmma Mon 11-Jan-16 16:34:18

How old are your DCs?

I agree with LyingWitch. Also if your DD repeats her (ludicrous) suggestion that you should be friends with OW, shut it down calmly and kindly but firmly. eg "I'm really glad you're friends with OW but it's not appropriate for me to be friends with her."

AnotherEmma Mon 11-Jan-16 16:35:26

PS And if she asks why you could say "You'll understand when you're older." Annoying for a child to hear but true!

Cabrinha Mon 11-Jan-16 17:19:34

Depends on your child's age?
I definitely agree you should be proud that you've handled it so well that your daughter does talk about OW.

When she does, imagine a child carefully tiptoeing around not mentioning the OW, going to bed feeling guilty and fearful about having maybe upset you one evening because she accidentally let something slip.

Which do you prefer? That's you that has saved your child from being dragged into emotions a child shouldn't suffer flowers

My XH's GF wasn't an OW, but this is what I tell myself - and I do feel better for it.

Latest is my daughter suggesting that her "stepsister" could be another bridesmaid at my next wedding (so far not on the cards 😂)

I use a lot of "that's nice dear" 😌

BabyGanoush Mon 11-Jan-16 17:26:23

"that's nice dear" is good.

The infatuation will soon wear off.

How old are they? Once they are teens they tend to understand what's what a lot better.

sparklyDMs Mon 11-Jan-16 17:26:38

Thank you - lyingwitch, the distraction idea is a good one. DD is 12, she is pretty desperate for me to like ow. I've told her that it's fine for her to like her, but that I need to make my own judgement. She seems to need everyone to like each other! It's hard!
Dts1 and2 are 10 and they at the moment aren't saying much other than they've had fun!

sparklyDMs Mon 11-Jan-16 17:29:53

Thank you Cabrinha, I definitely don't want to stop her talking, she's anxious anyway and I want her to be comfortable in both houses.
Just finding it hard to hold myself together when they're the best thing since sliced bread!

mintoil Mon 11-Jan-16 17:31:29

I have had lots of practice at this <<shines medal>>

Firstly, yes it is far far better that DC get on with her than if they don't. It may not feel like that now, but having had both extremes, I can assure you, it's better they get on with her the nasty bitch
If you try to slag her off in any way the DC will side against you. I know it is awful and unfair but they will. SO it isn't even an option.

You have to make it a joke - here are some real life samples of the lovely things my DC have come out with over the years:

"OW lasagne is much nicer than yours mummy." Is it? That's probably because I don't like lasagne much and you're always better at making fod you like yourself.

"You should ask OW for her gammon recipe. She made it for us and it was really really nice." OK - get her to pass the recipe on, that's a great idea. Then I made it and they said it was better than hers grin

"Mummy, OW is really slim, she goes running every day, do you think you should go running?" Mummy isn't built for running darling.

"OW is soooo healthy. She doesn't drink alcohol at all." That's nice dear, I expect Daddy likes that, and then she can drive him everywhere.

Various other things - all answered with variations of "good for her."

It is hard but having been a small child on the other side of this myself, it's a tricky thing to navigate emotionally. I hated my mother for slagging off my stepmother who was absolutely charming and kind to me.

Smile and wave. It's all you can do.

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 11-Jan-16 17:33:28

sparkly... What about then, "DD, mummy likes everybody who is nice (neat deflection) but she wants to choose her own friends... just like you do at school, yes? You wouldn't want mummy to pick your friends for you, would you? Now - off to have your bath/bed!"

Kids, eh?

LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Mon 11-Jan-16 17:35:49

mintoil... You really do deserve some medals putting up with those absolute stinkers! How do you manage? I'd be on 'mothers' little helpers', I think! grin

sparklyDMs Mon 11-Jan-16 17:39:48

Mintoil - definitely deserve a medal, I love the way you've handled the kids comments. I need to get some deflection armour I think! I agree I am very grateful that the DC's are being made welcome. I'm being as neutral as possible.
Lyingwitch - I will be using that tack next time it comes up.

Thank you everyone, it's a relief to know I'm on the right lines smile

AnotherEmma Mon 11-Jan-16 17:40:54

Mintoil
"OW is soooo healthy. She doesn't drink alcohol at all." That's nice dear, I expect Daddy likes that, and then she can drive him everywhere."
grin

Mrskeats Mon 11-Jan-16 17:41:26

I know it's not easy (from experience) but bear in mind she didn't break up the family your Ex h did

Eminado Mon 11-Jan-16 17:45:33

Mintoil you are a legend!!!

passes over halo

Cabrinha Mon 11-Jan-16 17:58:20

In between arranging new GF's daughter to be my bridesmaid, my daughter also invited me to her dad's New Year's Eve party.

Perhaps...

I shouldn't have said "oh mummy has a party to go to already darling" (after which mummy is having a night of sex with someone who isn't SHIT at it, like your father who spends so much time with prostitutes he's forgotten sex is a 2 way effort)

I should have said "oh I'd love to darling, tell daddy I'll arrive at 21:00" 😈

Cabrinha Mon 11-Jan-16 18:00:35

One day though, your kids will be much older and worldly wise - and they will know what you did for them holding your tongue through this flowers

Youarentkiddingme Mon 11-Jan-16 18:01:26

Well given she's the OW and your DD is 12 and clearly quite open in conversation I bet she spends an inordinate amount of time trying to be 'perfect'. But how long can that last?

Be grateful you are consistent mum because that wins out in the end.

I'm loving the deflection.

I'd be tempted with things like "in that fact I'll buy the ready made one like OW instead of making it from scratch"

"Oh running - lovely, who looks after you kids when she goes? Dad? Great, let's get you up and round dads early everyday so I can run daily'

I agree thought that it's credit to you that she feels able to talk about it.

Cabrinha Mon 11-Jan-16 18:01:45

My daughter doesn't want me to be besties with the would be SM.
But about her cheating dick of a father "mummy, you never seem to spend any time with daddy" sad

Funny that hmm

mintoil Mon 11-Jan-16 18:21:55

Thanks for the halo.

To be honest I'm far from perfect, but my experiences as a child of divorced parents, with OW involved shaped my ability to deal with it as an adult.

I am sure other posters who went through what I did will tell you how awful it feels to not be able to say anything positive. I can remember stupid things like me saying OW had taken some photos of me with Dad, and DM said "I expect that's with the camera he stole from me to take photos of her." Well maybe it was, but I was five for christ sakes. Or the time I stupidly said OW dustpan and brush worked so much better than ours. I got a right whipping for having told OW that. The shame you see.

I agree with PP - when they get older you can have a bit more fun with it grin and they know the score.

TooSassy Mon 11-Jan-16 18:53:43

Another one here to give you kudos that your DC's feel OK to have this conversation with you. That's down to you and it's so amazing of you.

I'm bracing myself for someone to be introduced to my DC's sooner rather than later (I'm convinced he has a OW) and am taking notes.

Agree that deflection and distraction appears the best approach. Within years they will have a different view on this situation and respect you so much for it.

FredaMayor Mon 11-Jan-16 18:53:59

bear in mind she didn't break up the family your Ex h did

Well, yes she did have a part, didn't she? She can't come along and expect the first wife to be grateful and fall at her feet, FGS.

While I think that it's important to be grown-up about communications with OW, I don't get why the ExW should have to make life extra easy for her either. In my case we are 'friendly' but certainly not friends. Sometimes I think DC are just trying it on, possibly suggested by ExH and OW. Sorry and all that to any OWs, it doesn't work that way in my world.

BabyGanoush Mon 11-Jan-16 20:58:04

Quite possible she tells the OW how fab YOU are

Kids are notoriously loyal to their mums, really. Never doubt that.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now