Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Husband’s Ex-Wife Just Posted Their Wedding Photos on Facebook”

My husband was married before with four kids, but the marriage was not successful and his ex-wife filled for divorce. He had been my childhood friend, and after his divorce I married him. We would have been married before he married his first wife, but distance separated us as we moved to two different countries. After we got married, his ex-wife sent a message to me and my friends on Facebook claiming I stole her man. When I sent her their divorce papers, which stated that she filed for the divorce, she then insulted me and everyone related to me on Facebook. I noticed she recently uploaded her old wedding pictures with my husband who is now her ex. Could this be a bad sign and should I confront her to remove them? — The New Wife

As with any story, there’s more than one side and I suspect that, if I talked to your husband’s ex, her version of the timetable of events might be a little different than yours. She may have filed for divorce, but that doesn’t mean your husband wasn’t without some fault. Could it have been a rekindled relationship between you and her husband that led his ex to end things with him? That would certainly explain why she might blame you for “stealing her man.”

But regardless what the timetable of events were that led to the present, the scenario is till very much in your favor: you are married to the man you want to be married to. She is not. Let this go, and please consider deleting your Facebook account. What good is it providing you anyway? For the sake of the four kids your husband shares with his ex, get off Facebook and keep your interactions with the mother of your stepchildren in-person and civil.

I was with my ex-husband for ten years. We divorced a year and a half ago due to his alcoholism. I loved the man, but not the things he was doing. About a month ago, he asked me to get back with him, and I said not right now and that we would have to take baby steps toward a relationship again. A week later, his friend introduced him to a lady, and a few days later they started a relationship. They became sexually active and he moved into her apartment with her and her 17-year-old son.

He’s been an absolutely mean person toward our 5-year-old son and me since this lady has been in his life. He’s not showing up to his visitation and he’s not calling our son because everything is considered an inconvenience to his new relationship. He also posts all day about their relationship on Facebook, and she has sent friend requests to his friends and family. Weird. She also bashed me on social media, and I ignore it.

This is been hard for me. He’s acting way out of character. I was wife number three. The lady has been married twice as well. I’ve been married only once. He is 47, she is 46, and I’m 36. I would like healthy communication for my son, but it seems impossible. I am a professional, and I don’t want to stoop to their level. — Not Stooping to Their Level

 
First thing: block them on Facebook. I’d also consider deleting your own Facebook account. If you aren’t on Facebook, they can’t bother and harass you via Facebook. I’d also consider that maybe your ex is still drinking/drinking again. You say he’s an alcoholic who’s been married three times, so is it really out of character that he’s moved very quickly with this new woman and is acting erratically? As far as romantic relationships go, you need to erase any thought of ever “getting back” with him and consider this latest incident, however unpleasant it may be for you, a bullet dodged. Things would be much more unpleasant if you were romantically involved with him again and he started behaving in this weird way.

As far as your son goes, it’s really unfortunate that he has a father who doesn’t make him a priority. That means you have to work extra hard to make sure he feels loved and safe and protected. Is his father paying child support on time, at least? You could touch base with a family attorney to discuss what options you have to further protect your son if you think that’s necessary (and especially if there’s a chance he’s not sober). And you could appeal to family members of your ex if you are on good terms with them — your son’s grandparents or aunts and uncles he may have. If the relationships are good, maybe they can step up and help fill the gap your ex’s absence leaves.

Your son is going to be ok, though. Even if his dad totally drops out of his life. Lots of kids grow up with only one parent and they turn out fine. As long as you provide the love and support he needs and you fill his life with additional role models and people who care for him, he’s going to be just fine. All of those measures won’t fully eliminate the ache he will likely feel if his father continues neglecting him and rejecting him, but it will go a long, long way, and there’s no reason, with your love and support, that your son won’t grow up to be a completely well-adjusted, happy, confident person.

You’ve got this. Don’t let the bastard ex and his crazy new girlfriend get you down. They are mostly irrelevant to you and your ability to have a great life and family and home.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.

19 comments… add one
  • avatar

    dinoceros October 24, 2017, 8:52 am

    LW1: Well, I think when a husband feels that he “should” have married one person despite marrying someone else, it’s going to create some drama. Block her on Facebook. I’m not sure what kind of “sign” you think it would be for her to post the photos, and I don’t know why you are able to see her stuff, but “confronting” someone over posting photos you aren’t in and they have a right to post is childish.

    LW2: My first thought was also that it seems unlikely that this is out of character based on what you said about him. I know that’s probably influencing you to keep him in your life because you think this isn’t who he is, but he is the one making the choice to alienate you and his kid. Not your fault.

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  • avatar

    Leslie Joan October 24, 2017, 9:02 am

    Good grief, LW1, why would you even consider “confronting” your husband’s ex-wife about her posting pictures from their wedding? She has a right to post them. Even if you believe she’s posting them “at” you – and even if she IS intending to post them “at” you – why on earth would you think it was a good idea to engage in a confrontation over this? You married someone with a past, and who has kids. You don’t get to erase his past just because you feel you two “would have gotten married before” except for other reasons. You don’t get to tell her how to feel or act.

    She’s angry at you for “stealing her man” because it’s easier to be mad at you instead of him. He married her and bred with her knowing that he preferred someone else better, and that’s gotta hurt. Just because she divorced him doesn’t mean he’s blameless. And she has to deal with his 4 kids who probably feel angry and abandoned. Maybe you don’t feel she’s acting maturely, and maybe she’s not; but YOU can act maturely and not allow Facebook posts to rule your life. Let it go, and try to muster a little understanding for her position if you can.

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  • avatar

    Leslie Joan October 24, 2017, 9:11 am

    LW2, I hope you are glad that you didn’t agree to try “getting back together” with your ex, because it sounds to me as if he’s just interested in getting laid routinely, and he doesn’t much care who it’s with. Maybe the new squeeze has a hankering to be the next wife. Either way, it doesn’t sound as though you are missing out on any kind of deep commitment, and this confirms your choice to take baby steps. Please don’t ever consider getting back together with him.

    I realize this hurts your son, and I ache for his disappointment. He should be your focus now. Don’t badmouth your ex, but don’t make any excuses for him either.

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  • avatar

    Kate October 24, 2017, 9:33 am

    People are absolute children about Facebook. This woman is obviously upset that her husband is no longer with her, and she’s acting out by posting wedding photos, to make some kind of point… very possible to get your goat. And you’re playing RIGHT the eff into it by getting all affronted and writing to an advice column about whether you should confront your husband’s ex about pictures she posted.

    Take about 10 steps back. Why are you even aware of what she’s posting? Why are you following her? Why do you even care? What if you unfollow or block her? Why don’t you? Why are you so insecure that this kind of thing even affects you? Why don’t you try and have a little bit of empathy and say to yourself, hmm, she’s clearly dealing with some stuff.

    Bigger picture: Facebook is a noxious breeding ground for all kinds of bullshit, from the relatively benign to the most insidious. Can everyone please remember that on a daily basis and try to think critically about how you’re reacting to things? Thank you.

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    • avatar

      MissDre October 24, 2017, 9:43 am

      And if you unfriend her, and her stuff is still showing up in your News Feed because friends and liking/commenting on her posts, click Hide Post and then Hide All from Husband’s Ex Wife. Problem solved.

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      • avatar

        Kate October 24, 2017, 9:48 am

        Yeah, or like Wendy said, just get off of Facebook if it upsets you this much and you have the impulse to do crazypants things like demand your husband’s ex remove photos of them. Life without Facebook is better.

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      LisforLeslie October 24, 2017, 9:50 am

      I don’t have a Facebook account. The amount of awful stuff That never reaches me greatly outweighs the good stuff I miss (like kid pics).

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      • avatar

        Kate October 24, 2017, 9:54 am

        Me too.

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    • avatar

      Commenter March 12, 2018, 9:02 am

      “Bigger picture: Facebook is a noxious breeding ground for all kinds of bullshit, from the relatively benign to the most insidious. Can everyone please remember that on a daily basis and try to think critically about how you’re reacting to things? ”

      These are the wisest words I have seen online in ages. THANK YOU. Facebook can destroy all kinds of relationships if people let it.

      Personally, I enjoy living a Facebook-free life. (After too much time wasted getting upset at the drama it produced.)

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie October 24, 2017, 9:33 am

    LW2 When alcoholics first get sober they often replace drinking with something else like religion or romance. Long term sober folks advise to avoid relationships for at least a year. Your ex is likely using this relationship as a fix. You and your son are a reminder of his failures and his new relationship makes him feel good, therefore he can’t deal with you. And he’s not doing the hard work to get truly sober so relapse is very possible.

    Protect you and your son and consider Al-anon meetings to get more perspective.

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    • avatar

      R October 24, 2017, 9:59 pm

      I’m not sure why Wendy and all commenters are assuming that the ex got sober in the first place. The LW just says they divorced due to his alcoholism, but never that he entered recovery. I take this to mean that he’s been drinking for the duration with no movement toward stopping.

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  • avatar

    Northern Star October 24, 2017, 9:49 am

    LW 1: Hopefully your husband’s ex-wife finds healing so she can let go of all that hate and live a happy life without thinking constantly about smug little you.

    Until that happens: Just block her.

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  • avatar

    Anonymousse October 24, 2017, 10:57 am

    It might be valuable to have access or screenshots of FB harassment if you might be fighting for custody later.

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    • avatar

      Kate October 24, 2017, 11:04 am

      The ex could potentially accuse HER of harassment if she starts contacting her demanding she take down pics. Sending her the divorce papers was pretty aggressive too.

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      • avatar

        Smalls October 24, 2017, 11:20 am

        Yeah, sending the divorce papers was a big escalation, in my opinion. She could have just ignored the initial message and told all her friends to do the same. Sending the papers was a lot of gasoline on the fire.

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      • avatar

        Kate October 24, 2017, 11:28 am

        “Golly, I don’t know why this lady might be trying to get to me. I haven’t interacted with her in any way except to send her her own divorce papers after I married her husband and she made a sour grapes claim that I stole her man. Which, come to think of it, I might’ve.”

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  • avatar

    Brise October 25, 2017, 10:28 am

    LW2: your best choice is to focus now on the co-parenting. I understand your shock, but you had better accept that he moved on in his private life. For the father-son relationship: that is very sad. But don’t give up. He might come back to his senses once the novelty of his relationship has gone. Anyway, you should continue to communicate clearly and positively with him about his duties as a father. Perhaps it helps if you say: okay, you are in a new relationship, good for you, but please don’t forget our son, he needs his father’s love and attention. Remind him all the visitations times, inform him about his son’s life, big events that he can attend, and so on. Write him messages when he doesn’t show up, as a reminder that this was due, that he missed it, and state the next date for visitation. That might help maintain the link father-son. If it doesn’t work, perhaps you could make an appointment with a family therapist in order to organise the co-parenting: it could work as a recall of his responsibilities. If he sees that you can absorb his romantic turn, but that you still want him as a father for your son, that might help.
    But this is all you can do. This is not your fault. His choices… Let go the love for the man: he doesn’t deserve it, frankly. You will meet better men in the future than this guy, whose track record isn’t great at all. Enjoy your life with your son, give your best shot at the father-son relationship, let the door open to the co-parenting, and move on in your life once you feel ready.

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    • avatar

      MickeyMonroe October 25, 2017, 4:34 pm

      I agree. The lady makes him choose where he can be. Either with her or the child. She wants to build a relationship with my child when she has only known his father for 7 weeks. It’s a big mess. She is very disrespectful to me, and my ex husband allows it. I’m
      Just not comfortable with my son meeting her so soon. My son takes away attention from her so she acts like she’s in competition. Hopefully it will calm down. I don’t entertain the foolery. I just hate that my little guy has to pe a part of this.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy October 25, 2017, 2:47 pm

    From LW2:

    You hit it on the nail. Since I posted my question to you much more has happened. My ex husband just asked me if him and the new person can take my 5 year old out with them. I said no. You have known her for 7 weeks. You should get to know her, before you bring your child around. I really can’t control that, but I asked sincerely. My attorney gave me some ways to avoid visiting for now, but I know my son sees his dad as a super star. My attorney advised me if anything effects my son emotionally and academically then we could limit visitation and address the concern. I think it’s to fast for my baby to be around. It’s been an absolute disaster for my kid an myself since this woman has been in his life. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m definitely staying prayerful. What woman would want their child around a women who threatens them and says very ugly things about them? Not me! I can’t believe she would even ask to take my son anywhere. Any who keep us in your prayers.

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