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My grandkids and my ex husband's mistress

(137 Posts)
Mariemal55 Thu 10-Feb-22 06:55:57

I am sure that there will be a myriad of answers saying, move along, grow up, be pleased your grandchildren have people who love them .........
Perhaps the other women in the same boat can offer more constructive advice.
I lost my husband to divorce 11 years ago as a result of his 2-year affair.
He lived with his mistress for 10 years and married her last year. For the past 11 years they have lived 4000kms away which worked well. He made very little attempt to visit his daughter. Despite this they have maintained contact.
His mistress was not allowed to attend her wedding 7 years ago. Her father did walk her down the aisle and made his father of the bride speech before leaving the reception as his mistress was waiting outside. Needless to say, our daughter was devastated.
She had her first child a year ago. Due to COVID, her father has been unable to visit.
He and his "wife" have now moved to a town 220kms away which means they are going to be in our lives full-time.
I am having huge difficulty coming to terms with the fact that this woman wants to be a "grandmother" to my grandchildren.
I have no idea how this is going to work out but it is eating at me.
He has asked me to respect that he is now married to the homewrecker. Yeah right, like she respected my marriage. She is a narcissistic individual who thinks she has a right to have intruded on a marriage and a right to be called granny.
My ex-husband is tied to her at the hip and she calls the tune.
Does anyone have advice on how I deal with this, other than me moving 400kms in the opposite direction which would be heartbreaking as my daughter and grandchildren mean the world to me.

Kim19 Thu 10-Feb-22 07:05:30

Gosh, difficult. I daresay you could keep daughter's relationship with you totally separate in all this and never mention him unless it is absolutely essential. Are you and your daughter close? Have you discussed this with her? If she cares for you both equally then this will be difficult for her. She will need your support. I realise you are hurting but try to see this from everyone's perspective? Not easy. Good luck.

Lucca Thu 10-Feb-22 07:11:33

She is his wife now but that does not make her your grandchildren’s granny.
I’d suggest you do your best to ignore the situation other than perhaps asking your daughter to ensure your paths don’t have to cross. After all 220km is till not just round the corner.
If you moved away you would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.
I’m not being unkind when I say you are clearly very angry and bitter still about the affair and maybe some counselling to overcome this could be useful.

Hiraeth Thu 10-Feb-22 07:18:04

Life is short and has loads of hurdles . Your ex-husband is still your daughters father and a grandfather .His decision was to have a divorce and marry again .It must be very hard for you but life carries on and your happiness is important . You are a grandmother and will always be that .

Hetty58 Thu 10-Feb-22 07:34:17

Mariemal55, I think the only problem is your ongoing resentment of the situation. Yes, I really do think you should grow up and accept that his new wife is now family. Live in the present - not in the past. How about being polite and civil?

silverlining48 Thu 10-Feb-22 07:37:07

This is going to be down to your daughter really and it seems she wants to have her father in her life so you may have to accept the inevitable. They are closer but 220 km is hardly on the doorstep. What does your daughter think? Does she know how upset you are?
For your own sake try to be gracious hard though that will be.

Sago Thu 10-Feb-22 07:40:29

For the sake of all involved you must let it go.

kittylester Thu 10-Feb-22 07:41:22

I agree with hetty, it's hard but you need to move on.

DiscoDancer1975 Thu 10-Feb-22 07:45:28

I don’t have experience of this, but have seen it in others.

It’s interesting you call her the ‘ home wrecker’. Your ex husband did that in my opinion. The woman could have been anyone.

I can empathise with how you feel, but can’t see what else you can do, other than accept.

As regards your grandchildren, they’re the responsibility of your daughter.

Try to let go. Get your own life going, and show him he means nothing now.

Ashcombe Thu 10-Feb-22 08:09:48

I have PM'd you.

halfpint1 Thu 10-Feb-22 08:33:05

'Lost my husband to divorce', never heard it put that way before.
11 years ago is a long time and I know it can take forever to
get over but get over it you must. I had a similar experience
when the ex's girlfriend arrived on the scene and it upset me
as well so you have my sympathies, it is painfull.
Fortunately for me the Adult Children sidestepped and avoided interaction with the couple. I remained silent on the issue and
after 6 years the relationship fizzled out. phew.
Your daughter is the one who suffers the most. I envy divorced
people who can stay civil.

Grandmabatty Thu 10-Feb-22 08:38:51

I have been in your situation and I completely understand your feelings. However you do have to push these feelings down for the sake of your relationship with your daughter and grandchild. My ex and the other woman were invited to my daughter's wedding, although her brother walked her down the aisle. Only ex went to the wedding and left after the meal. I was gracious and shook his hand in the reception line, despite how I felt. I did this for my daughter. So ultimately bite your lip, don't ask when she sees them both and block him. I would avoid being at their house at the same time as you so ask your daughter to give you warning. Family social events might be difficult but surround yourself with people who love you and can distract you. My ex has moved on from the 'other' woman and rarely sees his grandchildren. He never attends family events like birthday parties or christenings and he and his new partner will never have the close relationship that I do with my grandchildren and children. That is all the vindication I need. Fake it til you make it.

sodapop Thu 10-Feb-22 08:41:09

I agree with Hetty58 you need to let this go now for the sake of your family. It's interesting that you seem to totally blame the woman concerned, your ex husband was at fault too.
You are making yourself and others unhappy with all the resentment, perhaps it would be good to talk things through with a professional. It's not easy I know Mariemal but you need to move on now.

eazybee Thu 10-Feb-22 09:04:01

It is a painful situation but you have to maintain your dignity at all costs; it will sustain you. Don't try and influence your daughter's relationship with her father; he has maintained contact despite having moved away; how she responds to his wife and her relationship with her child is her and her husband's decision.
Do not even consider moving away. What would that achieve?
I was in a similar situation; the other woman thought she was going to be my children's best friend/stepmother but my children (young teenagers at the time) both made it very clear that they did not want that; they did not care for her as she obstructed their relationship with their father, which is now civil but distant. I tried very hard not to criticise them to my children, having seen the damage it wrought on the 'divorced' children I taught. I was rewarded recently when my son said he was glad 'I never slagged Dad off' like some of his friends' divorced parents did or tried to make them take sides. Neither of my children have any illusions about their father and his second wife.
Try and keep your feelings to yourself and do not put any pressure on your daughter; she will know you were unhappy at the break-up of your marriage and hopefully be sensitive to your feelings. Be civil to your ex-husband and wife if you have to see them and keep your distance.

supergirlsnan Thu 10-Feb-22 09:07:14

I am sorry your marriage broke down, however, I think you are being silly on several counts.

2000 km is not close by.

It takes two to tango. Why is she the 'homewrecker'? Why call her the 'wife'? She IS his wife as you were his 'wife'.

Lucca Thu 10-Feb-22 09:10:11

It’s 220 km

geekesse Thu 10-Feb-22 09:12:49

She’s his wife, not his mistress, and she is your children’s stepmother. You need to re-think the language you are using, recast how you see things, and move on.

Oopsadaisy1 Thu 10-Feb-22 09:17:10

I’m sorry but it is up to your daughter, you will just have to grit your teeth and keep smiling. Don’t let the new wife make you look bad.

BTW it was your husband who broke your marriage, no man can be persuaded to leave a marriage if they are happy. Of course you will always get the husbands who mess around, but it sounds as though your ex and his wife are pretty solid.
It will be tough but you can do it.

Septimia Thu 10-Feb-22 09:18:27

Concentrate on your relationship with your grandchildren and make it as good as you can. As they grow up they will, I hope, work out who really cares about them and who wants to be the centre of attention (I had an aunt like that!).

Our GD has 2 sets of step-grandparents. I know that one set, at least, respect our relationship with her, for which I respect them. Neither set, as far as I know, want to be called by grandparent names, just their first names.

Dickens Thu 10-Feb-22 09:37:42


I think you know the advice is going to be along the lines of "move on". I suspect you've probably already been told that by your friends and acquaintances.

It's hard not to feel bitter about betrayal - you invest everything in another human being, and then they deceive you. Who wouldn't feel angry and resentful?

Your ex was as much a 'homewrecker' as the other woman.

But for you own sanity and wellbeing - and certainly for the wellbeing of your daughter and grandchild - you have to let go of these destructive feelings at some point.

Your ex's wife is now part of his life and therefore will be part of your daughter's and grandchild's, that's inevitable. But you are the mother and the grandmother, and nothing's going to change that fact.

Difficult as it is - try to rise above the resentment, and reach your own full potential as a human being. You don't have to be familiar or 'friends' with your ex or his wife - just civil and polite. That will make you the better person. That's how you have to 'move on'. What is the alternative? A life full of recrimination will not make you happy, and it will certainly be traumatic for your daughter and grandchild. Don't waste any more of your life with negativity - we're only here for a short time, make the most of what you have, and build a loving relationship with your grandchildren. Your ex's wife will only ever be a surrogate 'grandmother' and, as long as she's kind to the children, that's all that really maters.

I wish you the best outcome.

mokryna Thu 10-Feb-22 09:42:01

I understand how you feel Mariemal55 my daughters, at the time 8 and 17, had it hard also as we had to change countries. Their father stayed in China with her for 15 years I only pushed them to go to his wedding. She wasn’t present at our eldest’s wedding although was at a hotel. They came back here for 5 years and put their child into the school where I was working. I don’t know if she visited my grandchildren while they were here. I didn’t ask. They now live in Canada, which is easier for me which I realize is not in your case. Your daughter loves you and he is her father. I know it hurts even though it’s years ago but let your daughter decide for her sake. Try to do your best to support her decision as you never want it to be ´it’s me or her’ situation.

GagaJo Thu 10-Feb-22 09:44:04

Not the same situation at all, but my ex's second wife caused a lot of problems for me when she and my ex got together. Consequently, there was a huge rift between ex and our DD at the time and of course, I had nothing to do with her.

Moving on 15/20 years (don't remember exactly how long), his wife is a really lovely 2nd granny to my DGS. She's nice to my DD. I do still have in the back of my mind how hard she made things for me back then, but the person she is today is nothing like that, so I'm chosing to put it behind me.

From my perspective, the more people that love my DGS the better. We have a tiny family, so he doesn't have a lot of relatives. I'm glad he has her and my ex and loves them. I'm not part of their relationship but I'm happy for them.

trisher Thu 10-Feb-22 10:00:32

When I got divorced I had some sessions with a counsellor with the aim of making it as amicable as it could be. I was very reluctant at the time to allow my children to stay with the woman my ex was living with . The counsellor asked if I was afraid of losing the children to her as she had 'taken' my husband and said I should realise no one could replace me in their lives. I think you probably have similar fears about this woman. She might have a role in their lives, but if she does it doesn't have to change yours. Make it clear to your ex and your DD that you have no intention of attending family gatherings with them because there is no reason you should mix with them unless you want to. Tell your DD that it is her choice how she chooses to deal with them and if she wants to have contact you don't mind. Then let them get on with it and enjoy your grandchild.

Mariemal55 Wed 16-Feb-22 10:31:31

Yes and I will afford her marriage the same respect she afforded mine.

eazybee Wed 16-Feb-22 11:44:43

Oh dear.
You haven't listened to anybody.