Kids to Meet their father's Mistress Now that OUR Divorce is Over (as a result of the affair)

Avatar for sweettartnacho
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2006
Kids to Meet their father's Mistress Now that OUR Divorce is Over (as a result of the affair)
Sat, 11-09-2013 - 4:39pm

They've been in the affair some two years.   Our divorce just became final.

Kids have not yet met the mistress.   Kids & I are in a townhome, because it made no sense to keep our house.  

Just found out that mistress has moved into our family home.  

They swear they are the nth of a % who are going to make it &, indeed, they appear cemented together.   He has told his parents all these lies about me & after 20 years of thinking I hung the moon, I am scum & this new woman is awesome.   His mother, thus, because of her pushy personality as well, is trying to force the kids to meet her & like her.  At the same time, she can not help but say horrible things about me to them.

I guess Im wondering ... SHOULD they meet the woman?    SHOULD they try & like her?     What should I do?    And how does one deal with this humiliation to me?   Heck, the woman got my husband, is settling into our family home now, & now trying to get my kids.  

My husband has been bribing them w/material things.  Lately he is bribing them, saying he will take them on more trips & vacations if they accept her.  



iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

How old are your kids?  I think that makes a big difference in how this is approached.  Of course your ex's approach of trying to bribe the kids to like her is the stupid approach.  I certainly don't think kids should be told that the woman was their dad's mistress.  If they are going to be together, I suppose it's inevitable that the kids are going to meet her.  I also think it's going to be up to them if they actually like her or not, no matter who pressures them.  Kids can be forced to respect and be nice to an adult but no one can force them to like someone.  I also think you can only be humiliated if you let yourself feel that way.  You certainly have nothing to be embarrassed about.  You acted the right way--your DH should be the one to be embarrassed to have cheated on you--so hold your head up.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
I speak from the point of view of the parents situation was similar, if this woman is going to be in your ex's life, she is going to be in their life. They care about. You and your feelings very much, and if you influence them, they will hate her. But in the long run, this will poison their relationship with their father. It will make the time they have to spend with them very unpleasant for all of them. If you can take a step back and be don't have to be her freind..but urge them to treat her with respect and to behave well in her presence, you are giving them a gift. And the fact that you have raised well behaved children will reflect well on you. My mother was very clear with us that if we misbehaved when we were with my dad and stepmother, it shamed her...and we would never do that. I will say that my stepmother, despite her actions before my parents divorced, was in fact a wonderful person and a very important person in my life. I admire that my mother allowed that relationship to evolve even though I know it was very hard for her. Best wishes as you go through this difficult time.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010

I remember your posts back when you first discovered the affair. You've put a lot behind you, congratulations.

As I recall at least one of your kids is a teen. Since he has stayed with OW the entire time I'm surprised the kids haven't met her yet, what do they know about her? As for your exMIL saying nasty things about you, if she is saying them to your kids or in front of them then your ex needs to know that and get her to stop. While he may not care about you or your feelings anymore, the well being of the kids has to be a high priority and it only makes their transition harder to hear bad things about their mother.

I don't think you have a choice whether they meet OW or not. And they'll decide for themselves if they like her. Do they go to your old house for their visits with Dad? They may not like another woman coming into "their" space, the space where they have family memories. And girls can get very territorial about Daddy, your teen may have her own agenda for keeping OW away from him LOL.  I don't think he can bribe them to really like her, maybe to be polite but I'm sure you raised them to be polite anyway. If they do like her and she "gets" your kids it will be only a tiny part of them, you will always be their mom.

I think that you should try to always take the high road and be dignified. If the kids feel like they are betraying you every time they visit Dad it will make the coming years harder for everybody. And OW may end up being your kids' stepmother and then you would have to deal with her sometimes until the kids are adults.

Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

  Yes, they should.  They will need to learn the etiquette for these occasions.  In real life they will encounter this and being able to be neutral and mannered will pay off.    Yeah, it is hard when you have a person bad mouthing but that is to be expected.  Will they like her ?  Who knows they will make that determination esp when there is no bad mouthing from your end.  Emotional detachment is best as is moving on as fast as possible.  Be like a quarterback have a very short memory.  Being nice to everyone is a mark of class.  Letting go of negative emotions frees one up for good things that otherwise will be missed.


Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997

What good advice you've received.  I haven't been in this situation, but my sister was.  Her husband was physically and emotionally abusive to her and started an affair with their coworker as well.  My sister chose to take the high road because of her children, who were young at the time.  She would never speak badly of their father or of the mistress, who later became his wife.  (She too moved into their family home and redecorated it, which my sister's ex would never let my sister do.)  My sister bought a house in the same school district so her kids would be able to go easily by school bus between the two houses.  She gritted her teeth when her ex took the kids on expensive vacations and bought them expensive gifts.  And so on and so forth.

Well, long story short:  my sister encouraged her kids to remain close with their father and to have a good relationship with their stepmother and eventually their half-sister.  She was such a good woman that she was even named guardian of the half-sister in case both parents died.  As a result, my nephews had a life with divorced parents that was as good as it could possibly have been. They learned from her example not to harbor angor and bitterness.  My sister went on to have a great relationship and happy marriage with another man, to whom she's been married for 20 years now.  She ultimately became friends again with her ex's wife and was a support to her when he died and then when the wife fought a long hard battle with cancer (and lost).

There's a special place in heaven for people who are able to practice such radical forgiveness and spread love, not bitterness.  I don't know if I could do that, but if I were ever called to do so, I'd certainly try to emulate my sister.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009

First of all, knock it off with the word "mistress"!  She may have been the indirect cause of your divorce, but if he chose her over you, there was a reason.......not saying it was your fault, just that he had a problem, and this is how he solved it.  If you were married 20 years, your children aren't babies, and they're capable of deciding for themselves if they like her, or not.  YOU are their mother, and they know that.  She isn't going to replace you!  And regardless of how YOU feel, he is their father, and they love him regardless of what he's done!  Be glad your husband is treating them well!  Some men leave home and leave their kids, too.  That's what mine did......just like you, after 20 years!  He didn't leave me, I invited him to get out and he did.  He ignored me and he ignored his teen aged sons.....but even so, they never heard a bad word about him or his new wife from me.  Kids do NOT need to hear you badmouthing your ex or his new wife.......eventually they'll turn on you for it.  Any problems that exist between you and your ex are not their problems, and you should not be dragging them into it.  Treat their time with him as your free time....and enjoy it!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008

Yep good comments you have received.

I will add that this has been going on for two years and you havent let it go... You will continue to torture yourself with this forever if you dont let this all go and accept what has happened..

yes it sucks big time that your exH left you for another woman and now is in your house and blah blah blah but it has happened and its done and its over..

Time to move on with your new life and do not look back and be happy that you have a place to live (roof over your head) food and whatever else you walked away with...

Wish them well because the best revenge is living well......................

You might even want to be happy for them as they will be a huge part of your kid;s lives...and it is much better to all get along as it will create good Karma instead of bad Karma...

You sound like the bitter revengeful ex wife and is that what example you want to set or the legacy you want to leave..? Make the choice as taking the high road and trust me you will be much happier in the long run... BTDT

Trust me you will get sick over this and you dont want that.. You want to lead a nice happy fun free life..


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2012

I can totally relate to this situation. My ex had an affair for years. They are still together.  When your children are older, they know the score.  This has been extremely hard on them because of some of the events that have occured since we split. The biggest being some of the choices their dad has made. He left us and moved in with gf. He has never told them where he lives. This is 3 1/2 years later. He wants them to accept her, but then hides her.  I know my son has done things with her and him. My daughter struggles with all of this. I told them in the beginning that no matter what, they are to be respectful of her.  Trust me, I hate it!  I want them to hate her, but they need to develop a relationship with her because of their dad.  The hardest part, is that my daughter refuses to meet the man I am with because that would mean she would have to spend time with dad and gf. This is not true, but I respect her feelings.  She liked it when I was single and there was no competition for time.  Again, this is not true, but it is how she feels.  I have to respect her feelings.  The only time I flipped out was last Christmas when I couldn't be with my kids, he invited my family (there is a back story to this that is long and not relavant) to Christmas Eve as part of a 30 year family tradition and brought the gf.  But that had more to do with my family traditions, than it had to do with gf being with my kids.  

The reality is, life goes on. Maybe our exes will find happiness with their new partners. I think doing this is difficult. I am not big enough to openly invite her to things as I would if they had met AFTER we split, not a cause of the divorce.  My kids (who are now 21 and 24) need to have a relationship with their father, even if that means they must meet her. At least they had the courtesy to wait until after the divorce to do this.  Mine "set up" meetings while we were still married!  

As to the comment someone made about the ex choosing someone else.... yes that may be true and the affairs we not the only reason the marriage ended. It was a symptom of the problem.  It still hurts and it brings up all sorts of problems when they stay together.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-2004

Hi S,

A: Take the high road, be a gracious lady. The kids will meet the other woman, so try not to inject any of your (well warranted!) sad and upset feelings on to them. As Music said, they will decide how they feel about her;kids are intuitive,and know when an adult is full of bull. Hopefully, she will treat them well, and that is about all one can ask for; they go, visit, and come home to you, and there isn't a lot of drama in their lives.When they come back to your after visits there, make some hot chocolate or lemonade, and sit down somewhere quiet, so they can communicate their feelings to you, and they'll feel good, and so will you.

B: let me tell you something...if this female does not have children, she will quickly come to resent the,and affection your ex shows his children. Soon, that will cause her to become well...less than "perfect"; as the she whines, bit*hes,and begins to with hold se* from him to punish him.(inject giddy "he is getting just what he deserves" laughter here!...)

C: leopards don't change their spots. this female has simply moved into the "spot" that you have vacated.And guess what "job" is now "open"? Yeppers...Mistress! So,soon, your ex will go about the business of 'filling" that position, and"interviewing candidates" for the job, much to the chagrin of ol' Princess Perfect. If your husband treated you this way, he will treat PP no better, in time. She will fall from grace with your ex in-laws too, and I give it about 18 months, before the kingdom crumbles about their less than royal ears.

I know all of this, as I went through the same situation with my sister, and she became the lucky one, as she got to move forward, enjoy her life with her children, and she lives happily ever after!

Hang in there; avoid the drama, and just grab a glass of wine, and wait for the show to begin, as i'd bet the bank on this one!

Hang in there!




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2014

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