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Becoming BM - Update in Red

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I wrote a post when I first started at CM that had to do with what I learned about being a BM once I dealt with a BM.  I always say that the best thing that happened to BF was me marrying DH and having to deal with a really awful BM.  

And the other day, it became really clear that a whole bunch of women on this forum are just SMs and have never been a BM.  At this point in my life, I think I am a pretty damn good BM.  Before SM divorced BF, we had made peace and had a really respectful relationship.  I bet she thought I was an angry crazy BM for awhile in the beginning.  Partially it was true but partially it was SM rationalizing her OW status.  I had to be an awful woman for her to feel OK about sleeping with a married man...

So, I ask those of you that are not BMs to imagine for a moment, what it would be like for you to have your beloved husband cheat on you and leave you for another woman.  That you divorce him and suddenly, after years of living a happy, intact family life, you have to pack your children up for days at a time to go live with their father and his new wife.  Maybe it goes well for your kids and maybe they hate her.  Doesn't  matter - imagine how it would feel for you to not tuck them in every night.  To suddenly not know everything about what they do every day.  To maybe hear about how fun SM is and how much they love DH.

Don't take this exercise lightly.  Really try to sit with what that might be like.

And please don't say it will never happen.  That would be the penultimate pinnacle of denial.  Many of you will be divorced within 10 years.

And then I would ask each of you who deal with a difficult BM, to attempt some empathy.  To try and change the lens you see her through and imagine her behaviors as just misunderstood by you and your DH.

I know some of you deal with certifiable.  This exercise can apply to you as well.  But most of you do not deal with crazy.  I do not believe for one moment that most ex-wives are crazy.  They might exhibit crazy behavior during intense emotional times, but they are not crazy.

Does attempting to walk a mile in BMs shoes change even the slightest bit your perception of some of her behaviors?

UPDATE:

Forget the OW.  It really is irrelevant.  Forget your current BM for a moment.  This is really not about her, This is about you.  What I am suggesting is just for a moment, imagine the very real possibility that you and your DH divorce.  Maybe you want it, maybe he wants it.  Maybe it is for all the right reasons and the two of you just grew apart; maybe just one of you became unhappy.  Maybe it was done honorably, maybe one of you behaved poorly.

Just imagine that as a mother, you no longer share the raising of your children with a loving partner who is committed and interested in being on the same page as you.  Imagine that your children will experience things without you on a regular basis.  Think about how hard it is to come to agreement on issues with your DH currently when you are married, happy and in love.  Now imagine what it will be like if you divorce to reach consensus. 

Imagine the money stress.  Imagine suddenly having to go back to work, deal with your grief, find a new place to live, create a new budget with significantly less resources.

Imagine dating again.  That was my nightmare after being with BF for over 20 years!

Imagine how different your life will/would be if DH was no longer your loving husband.

I remember when I first married BF, his older sister started having children.  And I remember being so incredibly judgemental of her child rearing techniques.  I knew I would never do it the way she did and I knew I would handle things better and I knew I would be a better mother.  What do you think happened?  I faced the same challenges she did and handled many of them the same way.  You don't really know how you are going to handle a situation until you actually experience it.  So, try not to simply say "I would never handle it the way BM did".  Again, BM is pretty irrelevant to this exercise.

Empathy?  Compassion?  A bit of understanding? A different perspective? Less judgement? 

Just wondering of you find yourself shifting ever so slightly from the place some of you are stuck at with your personal situation.  What is that expression - "There but for the grace of god go I..."

 

by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Replies (11-20):
ErinRenee815
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 8:11 AM

This is a great post. I can't answer from the POV of a SM but I can say that I have worked really hard to be understanding of BF and SM in the past few months. It's not easy to walk a mile in the other person's shoes but I think it does go a long way. 

Polkadotted
by Gold Member on Jun. 29, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Good post.  I try to think of how BM would react to the things I want to do.  I cared most in the begining, but it was more from protecting us from crazy than because I really cared what she thought.  It has evolved to something much closer to that though over time.

mallowcup17
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 8:41 AM

like some others posters there was no OW in my DH's situation, several other men though. i have learned though since having a daughter of my own that i am not as hard on BM and can see her side and situation often. but there are just somethings that aren't excuseable, like some of my replies from last night. but they wouldn't be excuseable if they were my best friend either. 

its more than just who she is to my DH its what she does as a person. i would judge anyone harshly for some of the things she has done and would expect the same of others if i did some of these things. JMO

HeatherSumowski
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 8:46 AM
I have tried to walk a mile in BM's shoes but I still can't rationalize what she does to my DH and myself. I don't attack her or anything but I do get attacked often for things that are not true. I think this post is great but each individual response to a BM is dependent on each individual situation. In my situation this post has been done and nothing could rationalize her behavior.
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Ms.Gwen
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 9:35 AM
You are right, I don't have any kids of my own... But BM is the one that cheated on her husband. She smacked her kids around and left them locked in thier room all day while my DF was at work. She starved them, neglected them, and then abandoned them because she wasn't getting what she wanted out of life.... She is selfish to the point of psychosis and beyond. I don't speak to her. I don't throw it in her face that her kids look to me' for mothering. What other option do they have! I think alot of SM's are on this board because thier situation is not the normal blended family drama. I think that like me', many of these woman are looking to make sense of and understand the abnormal drama they face as SM's. I agree with you that many BM's deserve a break and that if we as SM's try to see things from thier POV things can and will improve in all our lives, but when that doesn't work because the bitch IS crazy this is where many of us turn. That is my reality.
mikiemom
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 9:36 AM

there will be nothing but Oh we will never divorce as I am so much better than her lol

stepmozzy
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Like others, I was not the OW.  I do try and intellectually understand where she's coming from.  We've made some very different choices, and since life is often the result of choices...I had the opportunity to make a few of the choices she made, and didn't.  So it's really hard to say 'what if I had made a different choice' because I didn't. 

A divorce can happen to anyone.  I believe that totally.  How you handle it is your choice.  Based on past data, like everything up to now; I would continue to act in a way consistent with my personality and world view, and she will continue to act in a way consistent with hers.  They aren't totally dissimilar, but they do differ in key areas. 

I think what you do is more important that how you feel, and she thinks the opposite.  We have demonstrated that time and time again.  I'm not saying either of us is right, more like that we are apples and oranges. 

When what you do trumps how you feel, you put off today for tomorrow.  There are good and bad consequences.  Often you have a career.  Sometimes you wait too late to get married/have kids.

When what you feel trumps what you do, you enjoy your life in the moment.  You may have really good times and really bad times.  The highs are high and the lows are low. 

To be honest, after writing all this; I can't really put myself in her place, because I would never make the choices she has made.  They would be so totally out of character as to be painful, even some of her better ones.

bremery
by Silver Member on Jun. 29, 2011 at 10:42 AM

I have thought about this before. Not in an OW scenario, but a divorce in general. Honestly, it makes me sick to think about sending my kids away and having some other woman loving them. I get it, I really do.

I can't even begin to understand or think about SM being the OW.

I pray to never be in this situation.

aznblond9
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Believe it or not i have tried to walk bm's shoes before and i felt bad for her. I was never the OW. Dh never married her They had a kid in their late teens and the story behind that was not pretty. I even came to bm' defense when dh was talking bad about her. That was when i first met dh. And then her jealousy bitterness kicked in and badmouthed about me to others although i had never met this woman in person before than. She tried to break dh and I up when she found out we were engaged. She played every games you could have ever imagined. Nothing works. She used her son and still does as a pawn to get to dh but after awhile dh stopped caring even when it comes to ss.  She wished my unborn child would never make it when she found out i was pregnant. She told ss that my son was not his sibling because he didnt come from her.  Told dh i was a whore slept with the whole football team when i dated two guys. Everythign you could imagine of.

All this while i kept my mouth shut because i knew how hurt, jealousy bitter she was because dh never married her and treated her like crap. I felt for her. And then the last straw for me was when she called the insurance company on me reporting frauds because i have her son on my health insurance because we have a family plan. Come on now. I have tried to walk on her shoes. She is a nut case to say the least. So not every case is like yours.

pepper504
by Gold Member on Jun. 29, 2011 at 11:06 AM

My ex cheated on me with SM.  So what?  Thankfully, out of all the poeple that he cheated on me with, she is really good to my DD14.  That is all that mattered and matters. 

Terrorist seems to have in her head that DH cheated on her with me.  She's planted that in SS12's head (among many other lies).  I NEVER EVER did that with regards to SM to DD14. 

So, I do not have to nor will I try to walk a mile in Terrorist's shoes because she is toxic and insane crazy.  Who uses their kids to try to hurt someone else?  That is not a mother and she is very selfish. 

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