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A few questions.

How old are your kids? I have three kids, they are 16y/o.

Do they live with her and they spend school breaks with you? We are supposed to alternate weeks and holidays but they are with me most of the time. I think their mother calls or texts them sometimes but they don't see her much.

What reason do your kids give for not wanting to spend it with her? Their relationship with their mother suffered during the divorce. I am guilty of putting the kids in the middle and telling them things that I shouldn't have. I realized that recently and I do feel guilty about it.

How is your co-parenting relationship? We used to fight a lot but now we have very little contact and no longer fight. Any contact we do have is about the kids and very business-like and disagreements are handled without fighting.

How do her and your current wife get along (if they interact)? They don't interact anymore. Early in the divorce process my ex-wife was not very friendly or easy to work with but that has stopped. If we have to be at the same event I avoid sitting or standing near my ex-wife and she seems to do the same. I was with my ex-wife for 27 years and I think that is a bit intimidating to my wife when we've only been together for 6 years.
I could see inviting an ex spouse to Christmas, but only if the kids are close to said ex spouse AND the co-parenting relationship has been friendly, at the very least. This is not the case here.

Your ex wife is mother in name only as she seems to rarely see or interact with the kids at all.

The kids are well old enough that if they wanted her there they'd ask and you haven't indicated they've asked.

You and your wife are not close, friendly, co-parents.

I can't see a single reason to invite her unless it's solely to ease your conscience. That said, if your ex was the cause of the divorce through infidelity and you told your children that, I can't say I see why you'd have any reason to feel guilty at all. In an infidelity situation, I feel the kids have a right to know who nuked their family and the adulterous spouse can just take their lumps as part of the natural consequences of their actions. So, if that's what you feel guilty about, don't.

Your current wife already said no. Unless there is a cordial relationship between the former spouse and the current spouse, best side with the current spouse lest she also become an ex. I dearly love my DH and we've been together 20 years. If he asked to invite his ex for Christmas, I'd say a firm " NO!". If he pushed it by asking again, I'd pack up his stuff, put a bow around his neck, and call UPS to deliver him to her.
 

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Out of curiosity what does white knighting my ex mean?
In a very general way it's a passive aggressive way to try to ensure people "like" you usually using some for of sacrifice on the person's part. One of the basic tenants of the behavior is the need to have everyone "like" you or even the thought that that is something to strive for. A better life strategy is to strive for people respecting you. "Like" is not a necessary component of every relationship and it certainly isn't a healthy one.

In a specific sense you are still trying to take care of your wife? The question is why? Do you feel guilty that she is unhappy? Do you feel sorry for her? Assuming this is the case, this is no longer your job. Your wife is a grown women and has presumably made choices to put her in this situation. It is not your job especially given the fact that she is your "ex-wife" to protect her from her bad choice. Even if the bad choice was to marry you (Not to say that sentence is true but I say that not having any knowledge of your defunct marriage).

Now some of this may revolve around your kids, but I think there are many other scenarios that don't involve being disrespectful to your current wife that could help them. For instance having their Mom come and get them for a few hours.

The bottom line is you are being disrespectful to your wife's role in your life and your marriage when your priority is your ex-wife's comfort over your current wife. IT IS your job to a certain extent to help create a safe and happy atmosphere for your current wife. That should be your priority. You do not have healthy boundaries and you should figure out why? If it is because of what I wrote above, guilt or the need to be liked by your ex wife you need to change your thinking and your priorities.

You should do some research on this as it may even be a contributing factor in your first marriage failing and it seems to be hurting your second.

Being a white knight is just another form of being a "nice guy". If you search my post I wrote more about that dynamic and a post in the men's section, I think. It's kind of the same deal so the post is still relevant.
 

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It’s obviously far too late to fix whatever you told them during the divorce so there’s no point in wasting time thinking about that. You did what you thought was a good idea at the time. That’s done. The children don’t want to see her and your wife, whose feelings you don’t appear to be considering at all, doesn’t want her there. That’s your answer.

The children aren’t far from being adults. They can figure out their relationship with their mother on their own. Just let it go and enjoy the holidays with your family.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
It means to try to rescue her.

Out of curiosity, is your current wife the reason you divorced your first wife?
I'm confused. Trying to be nice to my ex-wife is trying to rescue her? What the heck am I rescuing her from?

Meeting my wife encouraged me to end my first marriage but my marriage was dead for two years by that point, for an entirely different reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
If you feel like you contributed to alienating your kids from their mother unnecessarily that's not going to be addressed by inviting her over for Christmas and pissing off your wife.

Sit them down and tell them that divorce is tough and you said some things that you shouldn't have and unfairly put them in the middle . If their mother isn't toxic then encourage them to pursue a relationship with her and explain that their relationship with her has nothing to do with yours.

This is much bigger issue then is going to be addressed at an awkward holiday dinner. It's not your job to manage their relationship with their mother, but you should own any part you had in it that wasn't necessary.
Upon thinking about it more, you're right. The issues are not going to be resolved with one Christmas dinner. I'm not going to extend an invitation to my ex-wife or bring it up with my wife again.

So I should encourage my kids to see their mother but not make attempts to force it?

What would make their mother toxic? I'm not familiar with that term.
 

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I'm confused. Trying to be nice to my ex-wife is trying to rescue her? What the heck am I rescuing her from?

You're trying to rescue her from this:
The thing is, my ex-wife doesn't get to see the kids on Christmas. I have the kids for their winter break (December 20-January 6) because that's what they chose. This will be the fourth year in a row of that. I don't know what my ex-wife's Christmas plans are but she doesn't have any family and she isn't in a relationship. As far as I know she hasn't had a relationship since our divorce. She may not even want to come over but I keep thinking I should invite her.
Meeting my wife encouraged me to end my first marriage but my marriage was dead for two years by that point, for an entirely different reason.
As far as the bolded....uh oh.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
In a very general way it's a passive aggressive way to try to ensure people "like" you usually using some for of sacrifice on the person's part. One of the basic tenants of the behavior is the need to have everyone "like" you or even the thought that that is something to strive for. A better life strategy is to strive for people respecting you. "Like" is not a necessary component of every relationship and it certainly isn't a healthy one.

In a specific sense you are still trying to take care of your wife? The question is why? Do you feel guilty that she is unhappy? Do you feel sorry for her? Assuming this is the case, this is no longer your job. Your wife is a grown women and has presumably made choices to put her in this situation. It is not your job especially given the fact that she is your "ex-wife" to protect her from her bad choice. Even if the bad choice was to marry you (Not to say that sentence is true but I say that not having any knowledge of your defunct marriage).

Now some of this may revolve around your kids, but I think there are many other scenarios that don't involve being disrespectful to your current wife that could help them. For instance having their Mom come and get them for a few hours.

The bottom line is you are being disrespectful to your wife's role in your life and your marriage when your priority is your ex-wife's comfort over your current wife. IT IS your job to a certain extent to help create a safe and happy atmosphere for your current wife. That should be your priority. You do not have healthy boundaries and you should figure out why? If it is because of what I wrote above, guilt or the need to be liked by your ex wife you need to change your thinking and your priorities.

You should do some research on this as it may even be a contributing factor in your first marriage failing and it seems to be hurting your second.

Being a white knight is just another form of being a "nice guy". If you search my post I wrote more about that dynamic and a post in the men's section, I think. It's kind of the same deal so the post is still relevant.
I'm so confused... Trying to be a nice, decent human is passive aggressive and rescuing nowadays?

I don't need everyone to like me. That's an impossible feat. I don't think I ever try to make people like me. My ex-wife sure doesn't like me and there is nothing I can do that will change that.

I don't take care of my ex-wife. I have nothing to do with her or her needs. She's the one paying alimony. I do feel guilty that I perceive her to be unhappy. I do feel sorry for her. That makes me human, no? I don't understand how that's protecting her. This is the first time I've ever thought about inviting her over and I haven't felt guilty until recently. I have little to do with my ex-wife.

If the kids wanted to go with their mom I would have no problem with her picking them up. They don't want to go.
 

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I'm so confused... Trying to be a nice, decent human is passive aggressive and rescuing nowadays?

I don't need everyone to like me. That's an impossible feat. I don't think I ever try to make people like me. My ex-wife sure doesn't like me and there is nothing I can do that will change that.

I don't take care of my ex-wife. I have nothing to do with her or her needs. She's the one paying alimony. I do feel guilty that I perceive her to be unhappy. I do feel sorry for her. That makes me human, no? I don't understand how that's protecting her. This is the first time I've ever thought about inviting her over and I haven't felt guilty until recently. I have little to do with my ex-wife.

If the kids wanted to go with their mom I would have no problem with her picking them up. They don't want to go.
You are thinking of inviting your ex wife over to make YOU feel better.
Has your ex ever suggested that she wants a closer relationship with the children or yourself?
 

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As far as the bolded....uh oh.
Right so invite the ex wife over to the new wife (once mistresses) house for Christmas. That should go over real well. Now all the wives will be pissed.
 

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I'm so confused... Trying to be a nice, decent human is passive aggressive and rescuing nowadays?

I don't need everyone to like me. That's an impossible feat. I don't think I ever try to make people like me. My ex-wife sure doesn't like me and there is nothing I can do that will change that.

I don't take care of my ex-wife. I have nothing to do with her or her needs. She's the one paying alimony. I do feel guilty that I perceive her to be unhappy. I do feel sorry for her. That makes me human, no? I don't understand how that's protecting her. This is the first time I've ever thought about inviting her over and I haven't felt guilty until recently. I have little to do with my ex-wife.

If the kids wanted to go with their mom I would have no problem with her picking them up. They don't want to go.
Fact of life- most people strongly dislike/hate their ex, and that’s why they are ex’s.

I still care very much about my XH, but we have remained close, coparented nearly as perfect as we could, and he and my husband have become friends. So not the norm. That’s why I asked the questions I asked you at the outset. I have a different opinion on this than most people.

Your XW may feel very defeated by losing her husband, home and her kids. It’s a shame that they are not close to their mother, and they will likely one day regret that. You don’t seem to say she is a bad person or anything.

If you are a big part of the reason they avoid her, you should be working on fixing that, IMO. She should also be doing her part, but if for 7 or more years you have been talking bad about her, that is what they have heard the most since a very young age, and you may not have left her much of a chance to improve things with them.
 

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Upon thinking about it more, you're right. The issues are not going to be resolved with one Christmas dinner. I'm not going to extend an invitation to my ex-wife or bring it up with my wife again.

So I should encourage my kids to see their mother but not make attempts to force it?

What would make their mother toxic? I'm not familiar with that term.
Re the bolded above - good to hear, you should also apologise to your wife for your crazy idea, it will go a long way.

Yes, encourage the kids to see their Mum, suggest it, but if they say no, drop it.
 

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Well this is pretty harsh. "Ex" people are still human and why not be (generally) nice to an ex you have to co parent with and who isn't a bad person to you? OP left his ex wife after meeting current wife, ex wife pays HIM alimony, and HE mean mouthed his ex to their KIDS during the divorce.

I'm an ex wife. My ex is nice to me and vice versa. Just because a marriage ends doesn't automatically mean you have to be enemies and treat each other poorly.

NOTE that I'm not saying a Christmas invitation is the right thing, I'm commenting on the general negativity just because someone is an ex.

Why the **** would you want to be nice to your ex wife????? I wouldn't pee on mine if she was on fire!
 

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I'm confused. Trying to be nice to my ex-wife is trying to rescue her? What the heck am I rescuing her from?

Meeting my wife encouraged me to end my first marriage but my marriage was dead for two years by that point, for an entirely different reason.
So your reason shows and smells of GUILT. That's all. So did you cheat with your future wife while you were married? Then by what means did you turn the children at that time against their mother?
 

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I'm confused. Trying to be nice to my ex-wife is trying to rescue her? What the heck am I rescuing her from?

Meeting my wife encouraged me to end my first marriage but my marriage was dead for two years by that point, for an entirely different reason.
I'm not the one who suggested you were white knighting your ex. I offered a definition.

I think you're thinking about inviting your ex over out of guilt. Guilt over involving your very young children in the divorce. Guilt over taking up with another woman before divorcing their mother. Guilt over kicking their mother out of her home and moving in her replacement.

Of course your current wife doesn't want anything to do with your ex. She'd feel pretty weird cooking dinner in the ex's kitchen and acting like the lady of the manor. Then again, maybe not. After all, she took up with a married man.

Do your kids call the new wife Mom? How old is your new wife?
 

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I'm commenting on the general negativity just because someone is an ex.
I wouldn't classify most people's thoughts on ex's as generally negative. I think most people break up, do their healing, and then their ex's become, more or less, strangers. Someone they used to know back when. Their ex, how their ex is feeling or how they've been doing simply isn't on the radar any more than it would be for any other random person.
 

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Right so invite the ex wife over to the new wife (once mistresses) house for Christmas. That should go over real well. Now all the wives will be pissed.
so the op cheated on the BW.

now the BW has to dine with the homewrecker OW/now second/replacement wife.

and pay for this dinner indirectly through her paying the WH alimony.

and the OP cannot understand why the EXBW will not come to dinner at the homewreckers house.
 
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