How to Not to Hate Your Husband’s Ex
If you are reading this, you are probably part of the small percentage of step-mothers who do not have an amicable relationship with your new children’s mother. Put another way, you’ve got baby mama drama. Despite all of your efforts and attempts, this woman cannot seem to move past whatever issues she is reeling from and see that you have her children’s best interests at heart.
It can be incredibly difficult to not have a good working relationship with your step-children’s biological mother—logistically and emotionally. To make matters worse, her constant attempts to berate her ex—your husband and your step-children’s father—are causing tremendous damage on the children’s precious hearts. And it’s fueling a righteous indignation in your heart.
But as Christians we are called to love one another.
“Love???,” you may say. “Are you kidding me, I am trying hard not to slap some sense into this woman and I’m expected to love her?”
Yes! I didn’t say you have to like her, but Christ calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27). And before you try to defend yourself by saying, “She’s not technically my neighbor” (humor implied), hear me out.
There are very few things in our lifetime that are going to go as smoothly and wonderfully as we would like. Step-parenting is no exception. But there are ways you can find peace, and yes, even love, in the midst of hatred.
- Recognize what you are truly dealing with. “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”(Ephesians 6:12 – NLT.) Chances are this woman is a pawn for Satan and he is working overtime to try to come against this beautiful union you and your husband have created. In fact, he may even be trying to break it up; are you going to let him succeed? Satan does not want your Godly influence over these children. He wants them to grow up dysfunctional emotionally, spiritually, and in every way possible. I beg of you to take the first step in praying for this woman instead of hating her. Our God is a God of justice and in due time he will avenge you.
- Make your husband your go-to guy. As a mature adult, there are just some issues that should not be discussed in front of or to the children, regardless of whether or not she is doing it too. Ask your husband to be a non-judgmental, compassionate listener. Help him understand that you want your love for his children to grow, but you need to grow first. This does not mean that you take this time to run through your laundry list of things that you are discontented with and use your husband as your emotional vomit bucket. Ask him to listen as your friend, not as the children’s father. This will lessen tension and give him a greater understanding of what you are growing through. If you do not have a supportive husband through this process, please find someone you can talk through this with. Preferably someone who is going to encourage you and point you in the right direction, not just validate your feelings.
- Remember who you are doing this for. All of your hard work, love and effort are for the children. Without your influence, as minor as it may be, who knows where they would be. You may have to give up on the notion of having a workable relationship with their mother and you may even feel like an outsider for some time, but there is a reward waiting for you. I know that you are a strong woman because step parenting, real step parenting, is not for the faint of heart. You can do this. Here are some encouraging words from our Heavenly Father. “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NLT.)
Don’t give up. Wherever you are in your relationship to your husband’s baby mama, remember that finding your way to love is all about you, not her. Take responsibility for what you can control and keep your eye on the prize—not on the enemy.