I'll never forget the first time I ever met my ex-husband's new girlfriend. She was beautiful, blonde, much younger than me and the worst one: NICE!
I felt sick. I felt old. I felt ugly. I felt depressed. I really wanted to hate her guts. The problem was, I just couldn't. She was (is) so darn nice!
I haven't seen that new movie, The Other Woman, with Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, but just from watching the trailer and knowing the plot (a cheating guy's wife and his girlfriend hit it off and become good friends) I have to believe that it's common that women (as much as they try and as much as it's almost expected) just can't despise their ex's new girlfriend.
If you think about it, it makes sense that the two of you would get along. It's all about the same initial attractions/commonalities. So, if your ex liked certain things about you, it would make sense that he'd be attracted to those same qualities. And if you and the girl have similar qualities, it makes sense that you'd get along, right?
That's why when I did a poll on my Divorced Girl Smiling Facebook page recently, asking women to describe their ex-husband's new girlfriend in one word, I was SHOCKED at the responses I got.
Amazing, caring, sweet, thoughtful
Pig, vapid, ruthless, disrespectful, "butterface" (which means nice body, ugly face -- I had to look that one up), clueless, ignorant, 22, vicious, sloth, harmful, controlling, mouse wife, low-rent, android, yuck, whore, trash
I wondered, "Why do all these women hate their ex-husband's new girlfriend so much?" Eleven reasons dawned on me. Not saying any of these are the case with all the women who responded, just saying they are possibilities. So, here are 11 reasons you might despise your ex's new girlfriend:
1. You still have feelings for your ex./You're not over him.
2. Society makes us feel like it isn't ok to like your ex's new girlfriend.
3. The girl really is horrible.
4. Your ex husband puts distance between the two of you because HE doesn't feel comfortable if
You are friends or even nice to each other.
5. If HE doesn't like you, SHE can't either.
6. You think the girl hates you.
7. The girl is the reason for the end of your marriage. In other words, he was cheating on you with her.
8. The biggest reason: You're just not over the divorce yet, and the feelings of resentment are just too raw.
9. You are envious/jealous of the girl.
10. The girl is trying to be your kids' mom.
11. You don't feel like the girl respects you.
Here are the benefits of having a good relationship with your ex-husband's new girlfriend:
First and most important: Your kids will be happier. The children of divorce who are the most well-adjusted are the ones who bear the least conflict in their lives. Kids love it when they feel everyone is getting along and that their parents and parents' spouses like each other. It relaxes them and takes so much pressure off of them.
It makes life so much easier. It's funny, when I see my ex's new girlfriend, she acts kind of nervous around me. Granted, she's probably thinking that whatever she says is going to end up in a blog post. So, I can understand that, I guess. But I think she knows how much I really like her, and that makes things so much easier for both of us. She actually babysat for me once when I had to go to an event and my ex was out of town. My kids had a great time, and I never forgot that gesture. I have offered to pick up her child on numerous occasions. I think a mutually respectful relationship like that is such a win-win for everyone.
Here's the thing: Whether or not you like her, the woman is here to stay. If your ex moves in with her or marries her, she's now in your family, spending a significant amount of time around your children. Isn't it just easier and better for everyone if the two of you get along?
You don't have to be best pals. And, don't be naïve and say anything behind your ex's back to her, because undoubtedly, her loyalty is with him, and you will get burned. But to buy her a Christmas gift or to offer to help her out is really, really good for your kids, and it's good karma.
The bottom line is, whether you are a man or a woman whose ex is getting remarried, it is in your best interest to have a good relationship with the person whether they are a butterface or pretty face, low-rent or classy, 22 or 52.
You can't control how the new girlfriend will act towards you, but I find that it's the first wife who takes the lead on this. If you treat her as the enemy, she will do the same. If you are kind, she will be too. In some instances, the girlfriend will be a nightmare, which is probably her insecurity when it comes to you. That's HER problem. And, I would STILL be kind!