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When you get into any new relationship, there is baggage. Every person has it whether they want to admit it or not. And when you get into a relationship with someone who has been married before and/or has children, you are taking on a fair bit of baggage. That's not always a bad thing.
Families come in all shapes and sizes nowadays. Some have two moms. Some have two dads. Some have two moms and two dads. There are adopted kids and step-kids and kids who just wandered through your front door. It's hard to say how a family is going to look and there is nothing with that.
I grew up in a blended family. My mother died when I was 9 and my father remarried when I was 10. My step-mother came with two daughters. I get along well with my step-sisters, but my step-mother was not the ideal person. I know what it is like to have a bad mother figure in your life and I would not wish that on anyone.
So when I got into a relationship with a man who had a daughter, I was determined to not make the mistakes that my step-mother had. I came to a realization very early on in the relationship. I had nothing against his ex-wife. She had never done anything to me. I had no quarrel with her. And it was useless to dislike her simply because my partner had experienced a bad relationship with her. His battles were not mine and there was no need for me to take them on.
And so I realized that I could have a civil relationship with his ex-wife and that there was no problem with it. We discussed homework and schooling and chores and parenting milestones. She would always be the mother. I was not trying to fill those already full shoes. I simply aimed to set a good example while their daughter was in my care.
And then we both had babies. Six months apart. She and her husband had their child. Me and my partner had our child. Both sons. And we bonded over being pregnant and over having babies. We exchange baby clothes. We talk about milestones in their lives. We talk about how their daughter gets along with both of them.
And I realized that it was better this way. We may be separate families, but we were linked together by one child. We shared the responsibility of raising this child and ensuring that she become a good person. And that cannot be done if we fought or resented each other.
Too much time is wasted hating a person on behalf of someone else. Marriages fail. Relationships end. And sometimes that's the end of it. But when there are children involved it goes beyond those two people. Your relationship may be over, but you have a responsibility to the life you created. And the people you bring into that child's life need to honour that.
It's not easy being in a blended family, but it doesn't need to be as hard as some people make it out to be. Put the anger and jealousy aside. Be adults for a moment. And realize that the child comes first.
You can still hate your ex and raise a child together. I don't have time or the want to play petty mind games and battle for superiority. Her mother is her mother. That fact is not going to change. It is best to accept it and work with it.
So yes, I have a good relationship with my partner's ex-wife and it makes all of our lives easier.