Tiara just got engaged and has a great relationship with her boyfriend’s ex-wife. “I want to keep that and am wondering if I should be the one to tell her before we go public with the information?" she asks on Circle of Moms, emphasizing that, "I think it would help if I tell her.”
No matter who she hears the news from, learning that the father of her children is remarrying is almost always an awkward and painful experience for a mom. But would it actually be better to hear it from the new wife than from the ex spouse? A surprising number of Circle of Moms members, both "first wives" and "second wives," feel that it would. Here's why.
1. To Preempt Hurt
The worst case scenarios, say Circle of Moms members who've stumbled through them, are for the first wife to be caught off guard by the news of her ex's engagement, whether she hears it first from her children, a neighbor, or someone outside her inner circle. So Georgetta R. suggests not only that new wives take the initiative as a way to preempt hurt and to show respect ("women unite," is Monica H.'s rallying cry here), but that the conversation between the wives be followed by an all-family sit-down for the children's sake: "...accompany your soon-to-be-husband to discuss the logistics with his ex-wife and the children." As Monica adds, "It is the courteous thing to do."
2. To Start a Lifelong Relationship on the Right Foot
Moms and step-moms whose children will wind up as step or half siblings need to have good communication and trust between them. For this reason, several moms who are second wives, including Lisa P., recommend reaching out to the ex wife to demonstrate that you care about how your relationship will unfold and that you want it to be positive and pleasant.
“Yes, you should tell her you're getting married, because she's going to be a part of your life forever as well." points out Lisa. "If things go well, you will be seeing this woman at the child's graduations and wedding. Not to mention sharing grandchildren with her someday. Why not start off on the right foot?"
3. For the Children's Sake
Samantha R. underlines that because children are involved, "It is important to try to have an amicable relationship with both your ex husband and his soon-to-be bride and this is one way to do that and show you care about the children. They are going to be a part of your life for the rest of time. Wouldn’t it be better to try to get along?
Beth W. agrees, explaining that a first wife whose former partner is remarrying will be worried about how the new marriage will impact her children. Beth suggests reaching out to show both that you respect her role in her children's lives and to establish your new role as step mom: "...it shows you want the mom to have regular contact with you as well as her daughter."
She also points out a very practical immediate consideration: "if you want the daughter to be a possible bridesmaid, you should tell the mom."
How did your spouse's ex-wife find out you were getting married?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.