Help! My Ex-Wife And New Wife Don't Get Along

by - 10:18 AM


*Original Content by Dr. Gilda Carle

Q.


I am a 41-year-old man who has been married to my second wife for two months. I have been divorced for over two years from my first wife and am having problems with my new wife. She thinks I am not making her the priority in my life. She feels run over when it comes to my first wife, especially when dealing with my two children from my first marriage. I have a 12-year-old girl and 8-year-old boy. My first wife can be very manipulative. Knowing that has caused some strife, but nothing we both weren't aware of before we got married. My wife is mother of two, and our children mix well together. I guess I try to avoid conflict with the ex, which probably doesn't help with my new wife. I just want all parties to get along as best we can, but that seems not likely anytime soon. My wife has been divorced for over seven years and her son lives with his father five hours away. My ex lives five minutes away, and so we deal with my ex on a daily basis because of my kids. Any advice is welcome.

—Husband in the Middle

A.


Dear Husband,

After only two months, you admit you both knew the issues “before we got married.” Did you think marriage would change things? Your problem is exactly what you sheepishly admit: “I guess I try to avoid conflict with the ex, which probably doesn't help with my new wife.” Dude, when a woman marries a man, she expects that he’ll protect her. If she “feels run over” by wife number one, she’ll feel run over by a lackluster you. Here’s what to do:

1) You’re not Switzerland, so stop your “peace at any price” fantasy.

2) Start taking an obvious stand on your new wife’s side.

3) Refuse your first wife’s manipulations.

Unless you alter the behaviors that remain from your first marriage, you’ll just be repeating the same steps in a different ballroom.

—Dr. Gilda


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