When I met my guy’s ex-wife for the first time, I was highly intimidated- and insanely jealous. She’s gorgeous, in that “hot mom” sort of way, and to make matters worse, looks a lot like me, only, well, more feminine. She wears makeup, she has pretty clothes, she curls her hair. Me, well, I live in sweatshirts and don’t wear makeup at all, and all I do with my hair is comb the knots out. I felt like a shrinking wallflower compared to this beautiful woman who was married to MY man for 12 years. I felt like I paled in comparison to her, and my beau quickly noticed my discomfort and suddenly quiet demeanor.
When he asked me what was wrong, I said, “You never told me she was pretty,” and he could do nothing but laugh. He responded that yes, she WAS pretty, but what did that matter? Lots of women are pretty, he went on to say, stating that I myself was beautiful, inside and out, which was something he could ever say about his ex. While that made me feel partially more confident, the jealousy is really something I have to work on.
It’s not just that she’s pretty, it’s that she is the mother of his children, she was married to him for 12 years, she has a history with him and a family with him that I just don’t have. Even though she is his ex, and he clearly doesn’t love her (or she him), they get along (which is awesome), and when they are in the same room they discuss amongst one another the activities of the children and schedules and such that I don’t get included in because, well, I’m not the parent. Sure, he includes me and the kids love me, but I’ll never be their mom and when it comes down to parenting, they still talk to one another in a post-marriage relationship that drives me up the wall. It’s not that they get along that makes me jealous, it’s that they have things in common that I don’t- and it makes me feel like the odd man out.
She intimidates me to no end. When I play with the kids and she’s glaring at me (I’m not just being paranoid- she truly glares), I feel like at any moment she’s going to snatch them away and tell me to back off. I feel like she lords over our every activity, and it doesn’t help that she teases my guy about how I look like I’m 12. She doesn’t take me seriously, and it makes me jealous that she gets to be the mom who rules the roost, and I, well, I get to be “that girl”.
Even the kids unknowingly feed the jealousy bug within me. They tell me if I wore makeup, I’d look just like their mom, or that their mom always wears pink, and I should try it to look more girly. I have to tell them that we’re just 2 different women, and their mom is happy being feminine, whereas I’m happy being more laid back.
The funny thing is too that I really want to be his ex-wife’s friend, and I’ve tried to accomplish a conversation with her many times. But she just looks over my shoulder and appears bored when I speak to her, and responds to my conversation by talking to my guy instead of me. I really think she’s nice, and we have the kids in common at least, but she won’t give me the time of day. It hurts just a bit.
My beau told me it’s because she’s jealous of ME- which shocked me. He reminded me that she’s too busy in school to really play with the kids, and that I am spending more time with them than she does, and that she’s jealous of the fact that I’m in a relationship and she’s not, so when we have the kids we are a complete family. Now my jealousy has tempered down a notch, knowing that she’s as intimidated by me as I am of her. What a concept.
Dealing with jealousy in a relationship is difficult, but if you weigh the reasons for it with the reality, and take the time to look at the other side of the spectrum, you may find that you aren’t the only one. I’m still jealous of the fact that she’s got the role I wish I had, but on the end of that I wouldn’t want to be the ex-wife to attain it. Slowly but surely she’s warming up to me (and likely me to her), and I hope that soon we can actually hang out at the kids’ activities and be comfortable around each other. Just because I’m her ex-husband’s new squeeze, doesn’t mean she has to hold it against me. And just because she’s the kids’ mom and was married to my guy for 12 years doesn’t mean I need to hold it against her.