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Is the Other Woman Your Enemy?

family love Jul 02, 2019

Does the thought of your kids spending time with the OW make you feel sick?

I was talking to a lady I coach yesterday who was challenged because her ex and his new girlfriend were having her kids for the weekend.

She was feeling sick and completely crushed and wanted to know how to handle it.

Have you felt like this?

It is hard to have another woman around your kids, so I had to get her to be conscious of why she was feeling this way and what she had to do so she was ok with it.

I explained that how she behaves will have consequences, and she has to get clear on what she really wants for her kids.

She loves her kids and yet, she didn't want what she knew she had to do. Through processing her own fears, she realised she didn't want them to be in an environment where they feel uncomfortable and dividing their love.

But that bought up all sorts of fears and pain for her.

She felt she owned them and didn't want to share them. It was painful, extremely painful because she had a dream of being married happily ever after and sharing felt like she was giving up a part of herself and her dream. Understanding that meant that the divorce had been the end of that dream. It was seeing someone else living her dream that hurt.

She saw she was jealous of the other woman and had fears that if the kids loved the other woman, they wouldn't love her as much.

I explained that love doesn't work like that. It's possible for them to love everyone and in their interest to do so. She realised that she was getting a payoff by trying to stop that as she got to punish her ex and make him wrong for leaving. She also worried that they might have different rules and that they might enjoy it more at their house than hers.

It was this fear that was really driving her behaviours. The potential for her losing love was a huge burden so she thought by not allowing it or making it as hard as possible would support her cause.

I explained that this would play out and could in fact backfire and she would be the one who misses on if she continues to behave this way.

Her hating the new woman would affect her children and that the best thing she could do was to allow her to love the kids and encourage them having a relationship with their Dad. Even though this was the most painful thing and what she really wants to avoid, she saw it is important and it's in the best interest for her for her not to interfere. Making them choose would be detrimental to their development.

I asked her if she wanted her children to feel loved and to minimize the impact of the divorce on them.

Divorce doesn't stop love. We do. Both Mums and Dad's go on loving their kids and want what's best for them. Maybe they don't always show it (in our opinion), but I'm sure they are doing the best they can with the tools they have.

So, once she sees that, we realise it is our job to accept our new reality and the lesson we have to learn. Letting go of our own pain is generally the hardest lessons to learn. We don't have a right to allow our pain to be inflicted onto others.

If you can learn to love the person you want to hate the most, it brings you freedom.

It's also a beautiful lesson you will be teaching your kids as you are teaching them that they are worthy of being loved, no matter where the love comes from.

Eventually, for the wellness of the children, it is best if you can become a team of three to love them. It is not easy and they'll be many challenges, but it's worth having a commitment to that effect and it will ensure your kids are happy.

Often what is the most painful thing is that you really don't want her to love your kids, as many ladies feel like they will be replaced. Even when they may have wanted the divorce, they still feel sick having to share their kids. But we don't own our kids. They have their own rights and will already be feeling conflicted by the divorce so we need to be the bigger people and deal with our own insecurities. Putting them in the middle of any conflict is hard for them to handle.

You may have had a dream that you had since you were a little girl and now it is gone. All you can do is to create a new blueprint for your families future and learn how to handle any challenges when they arise in the most empowering way.

You'll need to allow yourself to grieve the loss and feel the sadness, but never lose sight of the love you have for your children and do what is in their best interest.

Kids are resilient and cope the best when you can be civil and working as a team. Learning how you can process and facilitate that is your business.

You'll feel better if you can get to a place of being happy yourself so your kids see you as being happy, confident and moving on. This will allow them to relax and adjust to their new world.

Kids work it out and don't need to carry our pain. If you can drop them off, wish them a great time and allow them to be loved however that will be, is the best thing you can do for them and for you.

Fiona May 

Relationship and Transition Coach

Women On Transition

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