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Ex-Husbands Second wife still causing problems after 30 years

(11 Posts)
Poppy4711 Sun 25-Apr-21 18:54:22


I am having big problems with my exhusbands second wife and have done for well over thirty years. My eldest son married her eldest daughter after she married my ex-husband.

She and her daughters are very strong characters and will not let anything get in their way whatever they want.

I have been accused of many things during this time and I even had to engage a solicitor to get a 'Cease and Desist' letter sent to my ex-husband and his second wife.

We share granchildren and great grandchildren and if the second wife can make family gatherings awkward me, she will and does on many occasion.

How do I keep coping with this? Put a bold face on and carry on as it everything was normal.

I am tempted to show my eldest son the cease and desist letter. I do feel like shaming the second wife, but would that do any good or would the situation get more awkward.

For example, as the second wife likes to celebrate christmas with her children and grandchildren, I decided that we could have an American type thanksgiving at my house, it happened one year. The next year I tried to repeat the meal only to find that the second wife had invited them over to her house for 'appetisers' before coming to my house for the meal. What did she do but cook a full blown meal so that when the children and grandchildren arrived at my house they were too full to eat anything. You could write a farce about it all. It is funny and tragic at the same time but it is spoiling my time with my family. I'm 72 and the situation is so stupid.

Any advice would be good.

fevertree Sun 25-Apr-21 20:33:39

Hi Poppy this is a really tricky situation.

Blended families are difficult enough as it is sometimes, without still the added complication of this woman being your son's MIL (if I've got that right).

I'm sorry I don't have any advice for you. We have a difficult woman in the extended family and my way of dealing with it is to work around her, without tip-toeing if that makes sense. But 30 years! My patience would be wearing thin too.

Bibbity Sun 25-Apr-21 20:40:56

A cease and desist has no legal barring and does not show guilt. So showing it to him could backfire.

What has she actually done?

Your children and grandchildren consumed the food. They could have not.

She may dislike you. And may try to cause drama. But there are a lot of adults between you both that are making the Decision to be with her.

Poppy4711 Sun 25-Apr-21 22:41:10

Hi Fevertree thanks for your message and for your understanding. I have tried to tip toe around her and have always been friendly towards her whenever we meet up at some family gathering.

Dear Bibbity, I see what you mean and I agree what could they do but eat the food, fully knowing that I had a meal ready for them. It wasn't very kind of her to deliberately spoil my pre christmas celebration with my family, knowing that she was having the family for Christmas Day itself and seeing all the magic of little children opening their gifts from Santa.

Dislike is a mild word and she does cause drama by telling lies, accusing me of making telephone calls to her when I don't even know her telephone number.

I went to see my very ill father in hospital and my ex-husband who still visited him accused me of making phone calls that upset his wife. Now that was enough and that is when I decided 30 years of accusations were enough. The cease and desist letter may have no legal bearing but it did the job and there has been no more lies about telephone calls since.

After the cease and desist letter she actually approached me and suggested that bygones be bygones and we actually shook hand on that agreement in front of both husbands, we were at a family christening party, but I think it took a lot for her to do that. I was almost in tears thinking all the hostility would end.

Hostilities resumed quite soon after that and at a great grandchilds birthday party, my exhusband left, because of what I had done and how could I do it. I never found out what I was supposed to have done and was told by a relative, 'If I didn't know, they weren't going to tell me'

Or being invited to tea at my son's house, only to find that they had already had tea early, because the second wife had turned up early and told them what I had done - what had I done I asked. I had turned up for tea as invited that's all I had done. My son apologised later and said he should have been stronger and stood up for me.

It's also things like being accused of sending letters that upset her and when I asked to see the letter, I was told I couldn't. So my reply was to advise that they go to the police if there were any nasty letters being received by the wife. Apart from the outburst at the hospital all accusations have been aimed at me when I have been alone with no witnesses.

If we didn't share grandchildren and great grandchildren I don't think this would be happening, but we do, but I do ask myself why.

Hithere Sun 25-Apr-21 22:56:59

Why are you in competition with her? Why institute the new tradition of Thanksgiving?

Ro60 Mon 26-Apr-21 00:23:01

If Christmas is is non-negotiable (which it should be) your Thanks-giving idea is a great solution.
I wish I could offer a solution to this sick woman you're having to contend with. 💐

Rosie51 Mon 26-Apr-21 00:47:34


Why are you in competition with her? Why institute the new tradition of Thanksgiving?

Could it be that as the second wife seems to enjoy a monopoly on Christmas, Poppy decided to have a family get together with meal an American type thanksgiving so as not to cause a row?
Ro60 your post can be interpreted two ways, but I think you mean Christmas should be negotiable and Poppy should get a look-in? If so I agree. Poppy is trying to find a non-confrontational solution. Her eldest son needs to show some loyalty and common courtesy to his mother. Knowing you've been invited for a meal should mean you'd refuse the full blown offering from the mother-in-law. She invited for appetisers ( in itself a strange thing to do!) not the full works. He and his wife had to know they'd be letting Poppy waste her meal, how nasty and uncaring!

Mary59nana Mon 26-Apr-21 07:13:59

Sorry to appear a little dumb but in my sixty plus years iv never heard of Cease and Desist
I'm hoping to learn something today ...

JaneJudge Mon 26-Apr-21 07:42:29

You sound like you have the patience of a saint! shock

Can you not discuss this with your son, come up with a way of seeing the grandchildren/great grandchildren without having to socialise with the wider family? they sound very controlling

JaneJudge Mon 26-Apr-21 07:43:02

Like you say, you are 72 and this has been going on for 30 years, enough is enough.

jeanie99 Sat 08-May-21 11:41:12

OMG what a mess. I have no idea how you have put up with it all over the years.
It's very difficult for anyone outside of the family to really know the dynamics of the relationships between the people involved.
In my honest opinion:
I would not under any circumstances work round this women, she is a control freak.
Do not have any contact with this women or your x.
You don't say how old your children and grandchildren are but I'll assume your children are over 30 years old and the grandchildren over 15 years old.
You need to start having a life for yourself, you're 72 there are lots of things you can do.PM me for suggestions.
These suggestions are flexible:
Forget about arranging anything for Christmas she'll always block that.
Contact your children and grandchildren when you want to see them.
Say something like, I'd love you to come round for tea and cake and a chat, what time is best for you, or get back to me with a date and time. Leave the decision to them.
What about a day out together, depends on their interests, see what they say.
You could even suggest a weekend away.

Life can be short and we have to grab every moment we have filling our lives with things which make us happy.

Try and think positive, don't be despondent if these ideas don't work, just keep asking.

The main thing is improve your life outside of the family so you have other things which you look forward too.
Best of luck