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OW emailed me - what would you do?

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Bestthing posted 4/29/2019 16:23 PM

L8la is right. Don't give her legitimacy. What a self-centered, manipulative, delusional bitch to even write that letter. She is messing with your head, rubbing in the fact that they are getting married and that you may miss summer memories with your children. She is still attacking you. What a lunatic!

The 9 year old can send photos him or herself.

staystrong101 posted 4/29/2019 19:16 PM

Read JadedByItAll’s response again. I agree 100%!

SallyShrink81 posted 4/30/2019 10:40 AM

Wow! I'm going to have a completely different opinion than everyone else here.

You have two choices in how to respond to this email:

One: You can hold firm boundaries as well as bitterness and resentment towards WXH and OW. Model for your kids that you don't like OW and their dad. They will internalize it and have inner conflict about themselves because they are half of their dad whom you despise. They will also be forced to choose between you and OW which frankly is not fair to put your children in such a position. They shouldn't have to choose between adults who love and care about them. This seems to be the consensus from the group. I get it. I'm a former BS myself. It sucks being the adult and the bigger person.

Two: You can accept this olive branch graciously. You can wait and see if OW is trying to do better for the kids. Maybe she does and maybe she doesn't. Then that's on her that she fucked up. You opened the door to a good relationship with OW which is frankly what's in the best interest of your kids. That being said... if OW is a bitch to the kids, is a bitch to you. acts in a way that is not conducive to a healthy relationship THEN you can give her crickets or whatnot.

I have a good friend who is very good friend's with OW who has been stepmom to her kiddos for years and is a good stepmom. There are issues here and there but overall the kids have been thriving since my friend and OW moved past the infidelity.

Adaira posted 4/30/2019 11:16 AM

Those two options seem rather... extreme. It’s possible to set boundaries with the OW and do so without bitterness and hatred. You don’t have to talk poorly about her, you don’t have to make the kids choose, you don’t have to be rude to her. But you also don’t have to be buddies with her and swallow the shit sandwich she’s offering with a big old smile just because kids are involved.

Cool civility is all I will ever offer to the people who destroyed my family. That I can manage that is a feat in and of itself. Friendship? I have enough friends, thank you.

Minnesota posted 4/30/2019 11:29 AM

The shitty part is that OW reached out. She should know her place.

But Sally is right. It is in best interest of your kids for you to be civil and deal with her. You dont have to be besties. You do t have to give her the satisfaction of normalizing her relationship with XH. (Chances are they won’t make it anyway.).

I think you COULD write her a response that thanks her for reaching out, and yes, the kids are priority and you’ll attend their events regardless of OW’s presence or not, but you’re probably not going to invite them over for Christmas or even backyard bbq. You can explain that “circumstances of their relationship” probably are prohibitive of trust and respect which are conducive to authentic relationships. Etc.

The main point is that as shitty as it is, it is in your kids’ best interest. Infidelity is the gift that keeps on giving.

I say this from experience. XW married OW and I decided that navigating a relationship with him/them is in the best interest of my son so I set the tone of that relationship. We do fine. It takes compromise on my part and theirs. So I’m not just talking out of my ass. It’s a shit sandwich, but at least I can decide to put on it.

Minnesota posted 4/30/2019 11:29 AM

The shitty part is that OW reached out. She should know her place.

But Sally is right. It is in best interest of your kids for you to be civil and deal with her. You dont have to be besties. You do t have to give her the satisfaction of normalizing her relationship with XH. (Chances are they won’t make it anyway.).

I think you COULD write her a response that thanks her for reaching out, and yes, the kids are priority and you’ll attend their events regardless of OW’s presence or not, but you’re probably not going to invite them over for Christmas or even backyard bbq. You can explain that “circumstances of their relationship” probably are prohibitive of trust and respect which are conducive to authentic relationships. Etc.

The main point is that as shitty as it is, it is in your kids’ best interest. Infidelity is the gift that keeps on giving.

I say this from experience. XW married OW and I decided that navigating a relationship with him/them is in the best interest of my son so I set the tone of that relationship. We do fine. It takes compromise on my part and theirs. So I’m not just talking out of my ass. It’s a shit sandwich, but at least I can decide to put on it.

josiep posted 4/30/2019 11:58 AM

Since XWH and the OW live halfway across the country from Braveyogi, she has no reason to have any kind of relationship with the OW. They will not see each other unless XWH and OW fly halfway across the country to attend events. That won't happen very often and when it does, she can simply say Hello and be civil.

She is not required to have a relationship with this woman. If at some point the kids want them to talk about something, I'm sure she will. But until that moment arises, there is no reason for them to have a relationship. Especially after the obnoxious and self-serving letter she received.

No one is suggesting she be mean or ugly or badmouth the OW to her kids. OP is simply asking for opinions on how we'd respond to the letter.

She's not the one who blew up her kids' lives and while she spends her time healing and making a good live for her and her children now that XWH has moved so far away, she is allowed to decide how much she can handle and when she wants to handle it. Her plate is full, no need to add anything more to it. She now gets to make these decisions about her life.

Besides, if the OW was sincere, she'd pick up the telephone and call Braveyogi, not hide behind a computer screen.

[This message edited by josiep at 12:02 PM, April 30th (Tuesday)]

Ripped62 posted 4/30/2019 12:31 PM

I have read through the replies. I think I would delete it and then empty the little electronic trashcan.

You have more important things to think about.

Also, you could use the memory on your computer or other electronic device for something fun or enjoyable for you.

ErinHa posted 4/30/2019 13:27 PM

I agree and would ignore.

But, I would probably write a reply with the intention of never sending it...might be good therapy!

BobPar posted 4/30/2019 13:46 PM

I should have written to you a long time ago and for that I apologize. I am reaching out today in the hopes to develop some kind of relationship with you for the betterment of your children. I want to first and foremost reassure you that I respect your position as their mother. I am not interested in replacing you, undermining you, or creating conflict with you, or them that revolves around your relationship with them as their mother.

She apologizes for not contacting you. Not for disrespecting you position as their mother, for undermining you and creating conflict with you by cheating on you with their father.

In my experience, unfortunately. This is tactical and if you don't respond she will be the martyr who tried to "patch" things up. She may even keep what she wrote to show them.

Possible reply, "Your dishonesty by cheating with my exWH negates the ability to forsee a relationship of depth and meaning developing between us."

DarylB posted 4/30/2019 15:08 PM

BraveYogi - I would forward the email to your XH with the comment:

I’ve finally finished laughing at the ridiculous message shown below. I will only have necessary conversations with you, the father of my children. Dealing with one amoral person from your household is sufficient. Asking that I deal with two is hysterical!

The odds of a marriage that begins with infidelity surviving are slim. He/she who cheats with you will cheat on you. I will have no association with the temporary stepmother-to-be.

I reiterate, (means repeat so you don’t have to run for the dictionary), the only contact I will accept will be directly with you.

Cooley2here posted 4/30/2019 15:18 PM

Right to the heart of the matter. Anyone who abandons their children is a giant piece of crap. He left his children. You cannot get around that. She encouraged him to do it. You cannot get around that. I would leave this message sitting right there where it is and get on with my life. You owe her nothing.

layla1234 posted 4/30/2019 16:22 PM

Having a relationship with you for the betterment of your children?!?!?! I just can't with this one.

Edie posted 4/30/2019 17:28 PM

I’d leave it for a while and the right answer will come to you.

She is not prepared to apologise for her part in the A and break up of the family and yet will take the moral high road if you don’t respond to her so-called detente demand.

Therefore, after a while, I (think) I would be tempted to respond coolly and civilly, and very briefly that to say the children are your priority and you will do whatever you deem to be in their best interests, and whatever you consider is the most healing for them. That you trust that she will understand that contact as regards their parenting and any arrangements is currently best handled between you and their father.

I guess you don’t want the kids feeling guilty about having to have contact with OW so civility (eventually) does seem the best route for their sake.

I don’t know your story so my response may be inappropriate. If so, just disregard 😊


crazyblindsided posted 4/30/2019 18:52 PM

I would ignore and there is nothing bitter about that. Why give her the time of day. You don't owe her anything. I'm sorry I don't agree with the olive branch theory.

notsurewhat2do posted 4/30/2019 19:53 PM

If they live across the country -- why would she even be attending events. Your kids are a long way from even a graduation etc. And its funny that she thinks their marriage will last that long. silly girl (unless she will put up with his cheating etc)

stubbornft posted 5/1/2019 08:51 AM

If they live across the country -- why would she even be attending events. Your kids are a long way from even a graduation etc. And its funny that she thinks their marriage will last that long. silly girl (unless she will put up with his cheating etc)

I agree! In your situation there is even LESS reason to have a friendly relationship. You will rarely see her and you can be as cordial as you want to be but there is no reason to be friends. Unless you want to for some reason, totally your call!

I also agree with someone above who said the kids can send you any pics they want you to have. Why would you even want pics of them with her and your ex? She is an idiot.

cancuncrushed posted 5/1/2019 10:09 AM

flaunting doesnt help.... she is still clueless...she is still entitled. she is being cruel about it all...

I would stay silent....if she continues, I would block her...she has shown you her conversation abilities......you only need to communicate with XWH. She doesnt get to speak to you like this, for fun...

[This message edited by cancuncrushed at 10:13 AM, May 1st (Wednesday)]

SallyShrink81 posted 5/1/2019 11:07 AM

Children’s loyalty to their biological parents may interfere with their acceptance of a stepparent (regardless of how nice the stepparent may be). In an intact (healthy) family, children typically love both parents (and others) without concern for their parent’s emotional wellbeing. Children in stepfamilies no matter their age, are always going to have natural loyalty binds towards their biological parents, such that they can feel guilty or disloyal at the entry of a stepparent into their inner sanctum – even if their parent’s separation was friendly and amicable or if a parent is deceased or has abandoned them. There is often the conundrum for kids of “If I care about (or even like) my stepmother, I betray my mom.” Or “If I care about (or even like) my stepfather, I betray or hurt my dad.”

Also people talk a lot about how hard blending families can be apparently nearly impossible but yet are prompting ideas that are going to make it more difficult for the child. I don't think you need to be besties with OW. I don't think you need to be friends with her but I think that being amicable for the kids sake is VITAL.

My DD was in therapy for a short while during the A and the D because of my hatred towards OW. I still haven't talked to OW since the A turned into a PA even though her and XH are still together. However as soon as I was able to reconcile and get my emotions together about OW my DD started thriving again and doing really well. I had to take responsibility for my actions. Everything negative that happened wasn't just on my XH.

[This message edited by SallyShrink81 at 11:16 AM, May 1st (Wednesday)]

josiep posted 5/1/2019 16:17 PM

Also people talk a lot about how hard blending families can be apparently nearly impossible but yet are prompting ideas that are going to make it more difficult for the child. I don't think you need to be besties with OW. I don't think you need to be friends with her but I think that being amicable for the kids sake is VITAL.

I'm guessing the kids know nothing about Mom's feelings toward OW. But I'd like to ask, in what ways do you suggest she be amicable toward the OW? Share recipes and Parenting tips? Have monthly chit chats about something? Discuss the Ten Commandments?

Personally, I think being amicable is asking too much. If they're ever face to face, I think civil would be sufficient. Besides, what message does it send to children when Mom becomes friendly and chummy with the woman who betrayed her so terribly?

I've thought about this a lot through my time on S.I. because I just don't buy into this friendly pals thing at all. There are some people in this world that I am not going to allow into my space and that's that. I don't wish them harm, I don't wish them ill. But they are not ever going to get close to me and have the favor of my friendliness. I think that's asking way too much.

If someone shot my dog, I am never going to be friendly with that person. Never.

Especially the ones who aren't sorry.

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