I married my husband almost three years ago and I’ve gotten along well with his ex-wife and their kids (19 and 22) we have never had a problem or a mean word among us. I learned from a family friend whom I trust, that the ex wife recently told the kids that I was the reason they were divorced, because my husband cheated on her with me and she’s been saying awful things about me behind my back. In reality, my husband and I were friends for about three years,dated for an additional two years. He has been divorced for over 10 years. I did not know him while he was married or until 5 years after the divorce. Also, his ex wife was the one cheating, not my husband, this was confirmed by them both when we first met. The kids thought that basically I’m a homewrecker and that their father had an affair with me. I won’t get into the other nasty things she’s accused me of, but it was horrible. I had no idea these things were being said, because she was always very pleasant to me.
Since then, my husband’s children have been really distant towards me, not returning calls or e-mails, and recently on my birthday, neither one of them showed up for a dinner party they said they would come to. I finally confronted them all about it and the mother denied she told the kids, told them I was lying, even though the kids confirmed they were told some horrible things about me by her, including having an affair. My husband backed me up all the way. The kids now understand the truth, but are both are very angry with their mother and I feel responsible, they are barely on speaking terms with me, and the once good relationship we all had seems to be gone. Should I have kept my mouth shut?
-Beth in Lodi
I am not a licensed therapist, counselor or psychologist, I just see what I see.
Should you have kept your mouth shut so the kids can go on believing that you are a homewrecker? No.
It sounds like up until now, there’s been a nice comfortable relationship between you and your husband’s kids and the ex. Did something happen which may have caused a change of emotion towards you by the ex-wife? Usually a new marriage, a new baby of an ex can set things off on a sour note for the other ex. Did the ex-wife recently have a relationship end? Whatever problems were brought into this mix, it sounds like you have not done anything wrong, but clear up some mis-conceptions. It is not your fault the mother chose to spread viscious rumors about you, her actions are not your responsibility. The kids are faced with the fact that their mother lied to them and they will have to come to terms with that the best way they know how. It’s natural to feel bad about such a situation, but rest assured, you did not cause the problem here.