The unexpected relationship

You and your spouse simply can’t live together. You divorce, and you both meet other people and eventually remarry. You had children together, so you will be tied together with that bond. Given that you are divorcing, you may see this as a significant disadvantage.

To begin with, it may be. It can be exceptionally difficult to separate your feelings from your marriage and your former spouse from what is best for your children. However, one couple found that while it is difficult, that achieving some degree of understanding and cooperation with your former spouse and his or her new partner can have surprising benefits.

The woman describes her challenges and rewards from developing a genuine relationship with her ex-husband’s new wife, who became her children’s “stepmother” when they were at their home.

At first, she was very sensitive and distrustful. The woman was younger and did not have children. Her inexperience was interpreted as criticism, and both were defensive.

Slowly, they evolved their relationship to where they could both “co-parent” in a meaningful and helpful manner. All of the parents had been children of divorce and understood the challenges the post-divorce custody arrangements created.

She notes that it is important to being small and grow. She also recommends kindness. During a divorce, the adversarial process can make everything feel accusatory and inflammatory. As a philosopher once said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”

This is especially true in the context of divorce. Building a parenting plan that provides a detailed guide for your post-divorce relationship with your ex and children is important. It can help you think through the potential problems and develop ways to work through them that will lessen conflict and truly benefit your children.

Source:, “Stepmom Turned Their Relationship Around,” Brittany Wong, May 6, 2016

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