Dear Mistress Maeve,
My husband and I have been together three and a half years, and his ex-wife still tries to be in touch with his family. It wasn’t a happy marriage, and she was quite abusive. He has tried to set boundaries with her, and he has confided to his family about how horribly she treated both of us when our relationship got serious (totally after the divorce!). She still writes things on his family’s Facebook walls and blogs, referring to herself as the kids’ aunt, even though she left my husband about eight years ago! It’s creepy for us that she still sees herself that way, and his family members who have not unfriended her don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Can you give me any insight on why someone would continue to insert herself (awkwardly) where she no longer has a place? Thank you for any tips!
Second Wives Club
Dear Second Wife,
We could use this time to hypothesize why a woman would cling tightly to her past, even if that past wasn’t so great (depression, regrets, jealousy, conniving, etc.). But I’m not going to do that. Know why? Because it won’t help you solve the problem.
I understand that she treated you and your husband poorly. I also understand how tiresome and frustrating it can be to watch her hijack your family members’ Facebook walls. But at the end of the day, she only wields as much power as you give her — and right now, you’re giving her a lot. If you’re wishing and hoping that she will magically change, or that your family members will miraculously draw healthy boundaries with her, you’re wasting your time — valuable time that could be spent enjoying your husband and your life together.
As much as I sympathize with you, here’s a cold, hard fact: You and your husband don’t get to dictate her relationship with your family members. Only your in-laws can determine her status as “aunt.” If you don’t like how they interact with the ex-wife, I’m afraid you might only create boundaries between you and the family — not between her and the family.
Lastly, here’s some tough love for you: All this Facebook drama is way beneath you. Who cares what people say on Facebook and blog comments? Causing a stink about what you read online only reflects poorly on you. You’re better than that, girlfriend.
Fill out my online form.