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Other Woman Aka Superhero

dejavu2 posted 1/9/2018 19:33 PM

First of all, I want it to be clear that I am thrilled that OW is kind to my 6-year-old daughter, does activities with her and treats her well on the weekends that my daughter stays with them. Also, I have never met OW. The only things I know about her is what she looks like, what she does for work, that she has money and is well educated, that she's been arrested 3 times in the last 5 years for DUI's and that she and my husband had an affair despite both being married, and they got arrested breaking into a vacant vacation home to have sex. They conceived a child that night and now they live with their baby nearly 2 hours away. For the last 6 months, my daughter has seen them every other weekend, except when my WH cancels visitation for work.

The problem is that my daughter talks incessantly about OW. She tells me all sorts of tidbits about how nice OW is, how she bought her this and that, that she's prettier than me, what she says and does, about the fact that she and Daddy sleep naked together, that she kisses Daddy. Tonight I played that song "Perfect" by Ed Sheehan to my daughter and said that I hope someday she falls in love with a man who says such sweet things to her. I went on to say that I hope that I someday meet a man who loves me like that. Her response was "oh I know this song! OW sings it to Daddy!"

Now I try really hard to take the high road when she says these sword-through-the-heart things to me, but it happens a lot. She knows the reason why Daddy left- that he left me for OW.... That our marriage ended because Daddy had a girlfriend. I want her to confide in me, but sometimes I think that she is purposefully being insensitive to hurt me. I know that she's not quite 7 years old, but OUCH already.

After tonight's comment, I couldn't help it and I asked my daughter why she says such things to me. Her response was- "I know, you don't like OW". I just left it at that.

Do any of you have any suggestions on how to deal with my daughter's incessant talking about OW/ hero worship? Usually I say as little as possible when she brings OW up or try to change the subject. But....it doesn't seem to work.

Notfromhere posted 1/9/2018 20:33 PM

I don’t know the answer to this, but I just wanted to say that I have a 5 year old and would have SUCH a hard time with this. You have done so amazingly well keeping your feelings to yourself so far - it must have been so hard. Huge hugs to you and keep your chin up until someone with actual advice comes along.

SBB posted 1/10/2018 06:02 AM

My girls were 4 and 18m on DD. OW was brought into their lives 20 weeks after S. We have 50:50 so they spent a lot
of time with her. Man did I hate hearing her name come
out of my babies mouths. I didn’t want to hear anything about him let alone her. It was a horrible time.

I remember wanting to cut their long hair off whenever they’d come home with their hair done by OW. She kept doing this weird comb over split way off to the side in their hair too. God I remember how painful it was. It felt like this interloper was now invading my life with my children.

Then some time passed and it didn’t burn so much. I’m grateful she is kind to them.

Kids are kind of self absorbed so will say insensitive things sometimes. I would address “prettier than” comment because that is a hurtful thing to say no matter who it is about.

The way I dealt with it in the early days was to try to steer the conversation towards them in whatever story they were telling me even if she was a part of the story (and then cry myself to sleep that night). I tried to treat it as if they were talking about one their dads friends. Eventually it became my new normal and didn’t sting quite so much.

Remember they are an X and and OW to you but to her it’s her dad and another adult in her world. My girls love on my friends the same way they did about OW. She wasn’t special - it was just what little girls do.

Aside from the unkind comment I’d try to not make her feel like she needs to edit herself around you. My girls are now almost 10 and 7 and have talked to me about lots of things like am I sad when they are with dad and do I mind it if they like OW.

I told them that I am not sad when they are away (my big girls IC encouraged me to tell them about what I get up to when they are gone as they were fretting about me being lonely) and I also told them that I am happy they like OW - imagine if they didn’t? I’d be so sad that they weren’t happy at their dads.

They know I don’t like him or her but they also know that I don’t hate them (I actually don’t anymore). My focus has been on making sure they feel free to bond with her without hiding it from me.

The shine wore off and we’ve had a few stages of them not liking OW - I can tell you those times were a lot harder for me to cope with than when they were incessantly talking about her. They married recently so both of my girls are going through a ‘daddy likes OW more than he likes me’. That has been difficult to deal with. I never through I’d miss them talking about her but here we are.

Your little girl is happy and loved. She loves you and is sharing parts of her day with you. Unfortunately this is one of the difficult bites of this shit sandwich.

Try to see it from her perspective and it may soften your hurt feelings about this.

Randy1133 posted 1/10/2018 08:16 AM

My XW introduced our daughter to her BF this past weekend (not an OM atleast I don't think). The best I can hope for is that he is a good guy. But yea, if I had to hear things like that it would be a dagger through the heart. Like some sort of contest you are in. But what can you do, kids say what the say, all you can do is just be glad its not the other way around.

hardtimesinlife posted 1/10/2018 08:16 AM

I wonder if, in her young mind, she is trying to get you to like OW? Maybe she feels it is her job since you have never met her. I remember the days when my dd, at about that same age, would talk about daddy's new girlfriend and it was so painful. In fact, I've been happily divorced from dd's dad for 25 years, my dd is 31 with children and she just told me this week that she really loves his newest girlfriend. It still bugged me a little even though I've met her and I really like her, too. My internal reaction kind of surprised me. I was thinking "stay away from my daughter, bitch."

LilBlackCat posted 1/10/2018 13:07 PM

Well, I would try to not let it get to you.. Kids are kids, they have no filter even tho they don't really mean what they say.. which with the intent to hurt your feelings.

In my case, it's reverse.. I've heard through several conversations where my kids will say how smart dad is.. and when WW and AP are struggling with something technical (phone or electronic) my youngest would simply say that if dad were here.. it's be fixed already.. cause dad can fix anything.

million pieces posted 1/10/2018 17:39 PM

Kids form attachment easily and fast (at least the healthy ones). Mine dd did the same with wifetress, my ds probably hasn't mentioned her more than 5 times in the past 7 years. But this is how fast it can happen, my now fiance met the kids about 9 months after we started dating. My dd was 7. After TWO times of meeting him, she made a reference to him as her almost dad! WTF!!!! I had waited because I wanted to be sure, but that was crazy. I'm sure that drove my ex up the wall (too bad).

Hawke posted 1/11/2018 12:35 PM

It's part of the sandwich we have to eat, our kids knowing and even liking the OW. If I didn't know the OW was morally bankrupt and a terrible hypocrite, I might like her, too. On the surface, she seems fine. My son doesn't talk about her incessantly, but he will even try to have me say hello to her when we are skyping. Over time, I have managed to get mostly to "meh" about her (except when she does something stupid that involves my kids, but that's another issue entirely).

Your daughter is trying to wrap her head around the world she is in. It is her life, and it's probably a lot easier for her to like the OW than to not like her. The fact that she talks to you about the OW means that you are still her go-to person to bounce stuff off to help her form her opinions, directions, and so on. She has one parent who really likes OW and another parent who really dislikes her - how should she make sense of that. She's probably feeding you all this information to try to make sense of it all and you can only do your best to guide her. I would be hesitant to attribute purposeful insensitivity to her comments, and chalk it up to understand her world.

annanew posted 1/11/2018 17:26 PM

She's 6. That's sooooooo young. I don't think she's doing this to hurt you, I don't think that's even possible until a later age. She really has no real concept of what happened even if she does know the facts (which is great).

That said, I don't think it would be unreasonable for you to keep a number of topics and questions in your back pocket to distract and interrupt her when she starts talking about OW. Or just don't respond and go stone-faced - absolutely no positive reinforcement whatsoever, not even an "oh?". That will essentially train her not to talk so much about OW. I think that's ok to do as long as you feel she is safe with ex and ow. If you are concerned that issues might pop up, you might want to keep the info flowing.

Try to notice other areas where your young daughter's perception of things is off. It will help keep her comments in perspective. My daughter finds whoopee cushions hilarious and thinks the creepy guy at the grocery store is super nice.

suckstobeme posted 1/11/2018 21:01 PM

DD isn't purposely trying to hurt you. I agree with the poster who said that she's so young, she has no idea what this all means. Even if she knows what happened, she has no ability to relate to this kind of pain.

The hair on the back of my neck used to stand up when my kids would talk about OW. I quickly learned how to change the topic of the conversation to something else or begin doing some sort of mundane task so that I could pretend to listen without having to look at them and show my complete disdain. I also learned how to smile through the pain and simply say "that's nice." When they would ask me if I liked her, I would tell them that I don't know her, but that it was okay if they liked her. That was the best I could do.

I didn't want them to think I thought she was awesome and that everyone was great friends. At the same time, I didn't want them to think they couldn't talk about her around me. Since I didn't want to grill them with questions when they got back from a visitation, I wanted them to at least know that they could tell me anything about what happened at their father's house. I wanted them to know that I wasn't going to get pissed off or fall apart if they brought her up.

The whole thing sucks. No one is denying that. But there are two things that we need you to know and internalize. First, this will get better. You will always hate her, but you won't always have this white hot anger festering right on the surface. There will come a day when you hear her name and you won't really give a shit. Second, and most importantly, please know that you are mama. You can never be replaced. I don't give a shit how many times OW takes your DD to get her nails done, or how many dresses she buys her, or how many times she takes the kid to Disneyworld. She is not you and your DD knows that. You are #1 and that won't change. When DD is sick or hurt she isn't going to cry for OW. When DD has something great happen at school she will want to run to tell mommy first. Trust that she knows her mama and OW will never change that.

One day at a time. It won't always be this brutal.

dejavu2 posted 1/11/2018 21:42 PM

Thanks for the kind, supportive words. It helps to know I'm not alone in this and that it gets better.

EvenKeel posted 1/12/2018 07:31 AM

I really think at such an age, it is a point of reference to her versus really about who it is.

For example, you said about that song. In her head, she knows she has some information regarding it that can add to the conversation so she shares it.

The younger they are, the more their parents are their world. That is your DD's point of reference of where she has lots of information to contribute from. As she gets old and has more to pull from: school, sports, clubs, friends, etc, that resource of information broadens. But for right now, your DD's parents (and those involved closely with her day to day) are her entire world.

I know it is a sucky thing but hang in there. I do feel it will get better.

Like PP mentioned, she may also be trying to "sell" you on OW. Your DD is in a position where she could easily feel bad for liking OW down the line (because she knows you do not). Since OW is nice to your child (priceless) and seems to make effort to do activities with your DD, maybe acknowledge that to DD when she mentions something? I don't know if that can be done because of literally choking on the words but what I mean is if your DD says me and OW made cookies this weekend. Just a little positive acknowledgement to DD like "How fun...what a nice activity...." and change subject?

My ex's first live-in after we D'd was very good to my children. The lady was 'very' rough around the edges, but she always went out of her way to do something with DD when she went out (bake bread, pies, take her shopping, include her in family events with her own children, etc). So while it was hard to accept my children's world just expanded to a stranger to me, I was very thankful that she did make that effort. I never said one word to the woman then, but as years went by (they split), it still impacts me. To the point that I actually sent this woman an message via FB (we are not friends) recently just saying "I just wanted to say thank you for being so nice to my children when you were with ex". I got a simple "Thank you" back. It was really odd, but I felt I needed to do that.

I see cases on SI from time to time how the new SO is downright mean to their children. How heartbreaking. So I agree with others. Your DD is not trying to break your heart (but it does). I am sorry you are going through this.

Notthevictem posted 1/12/2018 08:15 AM

In the back of your daughters mind is that her dad isn't around as often but spends alot of time with ow. She's trying to figure out why. Her saying these things is a reflection of that, right?

homewrecked2011 posted 1/12/2018 08:37 AM


My experience:
OW tried all that nice stuff with my kids, too. It was intended to get a reaction from me.

I tried to just listen without emotion because I wanted the flow of info for the future. And sure enough, I was rewarded within 2 years as my kids came home from Dads on Fathers Day, no less, saying OW was yelling at Dad, hitting him, and locked him out of the house!
A huge house they recently bought to show everyone what a great life they have together!!!!

So OW overly niceness to my kids didn't bait me, her meanness to my xh didn't get a reaction from me, for the last 2 years they hardly have done anything with my sons. That hurts worse, bc they are doing things with her son.

This is so hard, I know. Just try very hard to realize they are putting on a big show when your DD is there.
Make a good stable life with you and your child. She's going to have many storms to weather with OW/dad/new baby.
Try to give your daughter lots of shared experiences with you. Especially now! By the time she's 11-12 it gets to b a hassle getting them to do much with parents.

(((Dejavu2)))


smokenfire posted 1/12/2018 10:50 AM

First Kudos for how you are handling this.

My ex husband (the first) remarried a woman that hated me with a fiery passion even though I was married to another man for forever. I sent her notes thanking her for her interest in my child and the care she provided. The relationship never improved.

Don't send her notes, I was just sharing my story.

The pretty thing I would address as advised - it's not nice to compare people and at the end of the day the only person you should ever complete with is yourself. Tell her there's always going to be someone prettier, smarter, thinner, richer etc and that it's better to know what you are. That's cruel to say to you and she knows it. It gives her a better life choice scenario.

Don't ask any questions ever. People say kids are not manipulative but they certainly are. If she knows you pay close attention to her and every word she says, she'll keep doing it. I'm not saying it's evil on her part, but it gets your attention. Perhaps make a tradition of your own with her when she returns. Like making pancakes for dinner every time she comes home. Cook them together with her and do funny toppings like fruit, whipped cream, sprinkles. Show her she can have your attention in other ways that don't include talking about her weekend visit.

We have tremendous power struggles with my 3 yr old GD. She's never nasty and super sweet. We've realized the less attention we pay to the struggle, the less we struggle. Dinner for example was a fight. Now we put our plates on the table, sit her in her chair and start to talk about how our day was. We do not say anything about what she eats or does not. We simply ignore the behavior and include her in the conversation.

Just a thought or two....

Braveyogi posted 1/12/2018 11:42 AM

I just wanted to know you're not alone with this. You got some great advice (it's helpful for me and others too). I'm dealing with a similar situation - my 3 y.o. DD keeps talking about OW and I too cringe when I hear her name on my babe's lips. Just last week she came back from visiting XH and OW and had three princess dresses, a ton of new, fancy clothes, and her hair beautifully braided by OW.

Despite my ongoing barfing tendencies, I remind myself that I want to teach her and myself to have grace and civility in the midst of a storm. If I can stay cool, calm, and civil when she talks about OW, it's a great modeling for her too. I agree with the others that she's too young to really know what she's doing, plus she can't yet grasp the meanings behind what she's saying.
Hang in there. You're not alone. We got this. Sending big hugs your way.

SallyShrink81 posted 1/12/2018 21:24 PM

Ugh!! I’ve been in somewhat similar situations with my DD.

I always tell her she can tell me anything then grit my teeth when she does want to tell me something. It’s super important that my kids don’t keep secrets from me. If they want to keep things private that’s fine but no secrets or likes.

Second I agree with other posters your daughter is trying to gauge the situation. My daughter once told me that she knew I didn’t like PotatoFace (OW). I told her that I didn’t like PotatoFace or my ex because they did something to hurt my feeling but if they are nice to her and don’t hurt her feelings or her body then she can be friends with them. I could visually see the weight being lifted off her shoulders. Hating or disliking the OW is not a burden children need to bear.

Thirdly yup your DD should be taught telling people someone else is prettier isn’t nice. She’s young and doesn’t get it yet but you helping her will help her be more empathetic.

Finally go you!! Coparenting with an X and AP sucks sucks sucks. You’re a rockstar.

SMSA925 posted 1/13/2018 19:59 PM

I think this may be one of those teachable moments. Might be time to educate your DD on what real beauty is. Maybe start to introduce the idea of morals in her life, without it being a direct attack on her father and OW. The importance keeping promises, honesty, doing things the right way, aka no cheating. Does your little one attend religion classes? Schools surely don't provide that kind of guidance. You are her most powerful role model. I am so happy my kids were grown when this crap went down.

moralhighground posted 1/13/2018 21:11 PM

I didn’t read all the responses so maybe this ground was covered but I will say, hang in there.

One day she will do something that makes her less than perfect and your daughter will start to see her human side.

Focus on your relationship with your daughter. Remember, OW has a young baby. Somedays her focus will be on this younger child. She’s magical right now because she’s new and she’s trying hard.

You are forever. You will always have a special place in your daughter’s life.

When I was little I had an aunt who I thought was so so so so beautiful. I wished I looked just like her. Her colouring was opposite mine and she was great with makeup, etc. Well she’s still beautiful. She’s also completely nuts, haha. Her life is a crazy rollercoaster. One day a long long long time from now, your daughter will say “Yes, OW was very pretty, but my mom taught me to live with integrity.”

Please keep talking about this hurt with people you trust when your daughter isn’t around. But to her face just be generous. She is picking up on your example of how to relate to others. And it’s totally fine to share with her the things you like about yourself! Is there something awesome you can do that OW doesn’t? Maybe you can sew your daughter a dress-up outfit or paint a mural on her wall. Let her appreciate something that is unique about you, and just enjoy her as much as you can.

These times are tough. You’re doing a great job and it will get easier. I promise I would never trade my mom for my beautiful aunt, even though I would probably have nicer hair today or better fashion sense. Moms are the centre of our young worlds. OW can never take that away from you.

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