Your ex-husband has taken it upon himself to introduce your children to his new squeeze, the 22-year old that he met last weekend at the bar. What is your response?
Okay, change the scenario. Your ex-husband took your 6 year old daughter to McDonalds’ restaurant, accompanied by his 23-year old new girlfriend. What is your response? How should you act?
It happened to me…
One month ago, after a visit with her father, my daughter told me about daddy’s friend, “she’s so pretty and her hair is so long”. I gradually came to realize that daddy’s new friend was indeed his new girlfriend. Friends in the local community “did me a favor” by embellishing upon these details.
Swallowing the small amount of pride that I still retained, I contacted my former husband and asked him to confirm that, indeed, he had his new girlfriend accompany my daughter on his custodial visit. He confirmed that, indeed, together they had all visited the beach with friends (former mutual friends, I might add).
Attempting to contain my anger, in a somewhat futile manner, I said, “what happens if she gets attached to… this one?” He explained that this new girlfriend was of a sweet, disposition, from a “good” family, shared his background and values (which was a good thing??) and he trusted her. However, he did indicate that he understood my concern.
Skip to 2 months later… I still tremble when my daughter compliments the pretty friend and her pretty clothing. However, I am slightly reassured by this woman’s kind and gentle interactions with my child. I am also slightly reassured by my communications with my former husband insofar as he understands the implications of introducing a girlfriend to your child.
I don’t know how I will handle the day when my daughter asks me why her father is being physically affectionate with his pretty friend. I don’t know how I will explain this to her or explain it to myself. For now, I smile nicely when my daughter tells me how the pretty woman held her hand, as they crossed the street, or purchased her favorite candy. I turn my face and wipe my angry tears away, and I deal with it.