An ex-mistress, a former lover — all these are easier to manage than someone your spouse actually married before you. But the presence of a former wife or husband shouldn’t destroy your chances for a healthy marriage…at least not if you consider the tips below.
Any old issues of your spouse should be resolved.
Your second marriage hasn’t a chance of succeeding if your spouse hasn’t resolved any issues he still has with his former partner. Give your partner as much time as you can afford to give him. As long as you can find it in yourself to understand what he’s going through and support him then do so. It’s important to give as much as you can because that’s what true love is: giving without expecting anything in return and without quantifying your effort.
Learn and appreciate the art of compromise.
There will be times when you’ll hear your spouse saying that there is something he has to do because he feels it’s his responsibility to his former wife. And while there is no longer a marital relationship between them (and there certainly must not!), that doesn’t mean all his obligations would disappear just as quickly.
No matter how you may want to, you can’t erase the time they spent with each other and the life they had together. They were part of each other’s lives and it’s better that you understand and accept that as a fact of life.
While it won’t do for the ex to be an unintended third party in your marriage, you should also be mature enough to understand the possible obligations your husband may have to his ex and learn how to compromise.
If he has to miss a date with you because of an emergency with his former spouse then be honest with yourself. Would it truly ruin your life if you had to take a rain check on your date? Try placing yourself in your husband’s shoes. Would you do the same if you had been in his position?
Also, think of it this way: when the time comes that he has to do a compromise, he’ll remember the day you had been selfless and what else he could do but be the same?
Don’t hide your feelings.
If there is something about your husband’s relationship with his ex that bothers you, let him know what it is. Don’t keep your feelings to yourself, thinking that silence is part of selflessness. It’s not. It’s just another recipe for marriage troubles. It’s good that you’re trying to be as understanding as you can be by not bothering your husband with your worries. But such methods rarely work.
By letting your husband know your worries, you’re giving him the chance to do something about it and maybe make your marriage stronger as well. It’s also in situations like this that your husband has the opportunity to prove that you are his topmost priority and that he loves you more than he does his former wife (and that’s exactly how it should be!).
Don’t blackmail or manipulate your partner.
Sometimes, you end up forcing your partner to concede to something you want by throwing your trump card on the table, and that’s the fact that he has a former spouse and it’s causing your marriage occasional trouble.
Be that as it may, it’s unfair to use his situation every time you find yourself wanting something from your husband. You have to fight fair. Don’t bring other people into the equation. This marriage is between you and your spouse and it has to stay that way.
Try to see the positive – and funny – side of things.
Laughter is truly the best medicine and it can cure not only physical ailments but marriage problems as well. Letting your anger and frustrations get the better of you will just result into greater trouble. Allowing your fears and loneliness to overwhelm your good sense of judgment may just serve to create a bigger gap between the two of you.
Rather than letting all the bad things happen, why can’t you make a conscious decision to see the brighter side of things instead? Even if it may seem like you’re going through the worst time in your life, there’s always something good hidden. It could just be more difficult to look for at times.
Life is never perfect, but you’ll find it easier to live if you find something to smile about. When you are constantly happy, you become a more attractive person as well and that’s something your husband would surely love more about you!
Don’t badmouth the ex in front of the kids and other people.
Actually, it’s best not to badmouth the ex as much as possible in any situation unless you do so to defend yourself or explain your actions. You must especially avoid badmouthing your husband’s ex before their kids or yours. No matter whose kids they are, their age makes them impressionable and it would be immature and even cruel of you to say or do something that could ruin their innocence.
Badmouthing your husband’s ex could make you seem envious or jealous, bitter, and petty. If there is truly something bad about the ex and which you feel you need to talk about, try to do so in an objective way.
The key word is civilized.
It’s understandable if at this moment you can’t imagine being friendly with your husband’s ex. But you have to at least strive to be civilized with your husband’s ex. There’s no need to something already unpleasant even more unpleasant and that’s sure to happen when you greet every overture from the ex with undisguised hostility.
Love each other.
Whatever problems your husband’s ex may cause will not matter in the end as long as you and your husband continue caring for each other. It may sound like a cliché, but love really does conquer all and everything else in your marriage can’t be as powerful as the love you have for each other.