Whenever you go into a relationship with a partner who has previously had a family, problems are almost inevitable. When the children from the previous relationship are young, bringing a new person into the family can get even more complicated.
Even though the previous relationship was not a happy one, there will be many confusing emotions that will affect both your partner and their ex. You should not interfere with the communication with the ex as your partner grapples with managing the responsibilities relating to his previous family.
Sometimes you may feel that your partner spends too much time discussing his responsibilities with his ex. You may feel left out, or even a bit offended. The best thing that you can do for your partner is to give them space and support to resolve the issues. In this way, you will help to prevent friction between the partners, and set the scene for a happier home of your own.
You may feel uncomfortable with the communication that takes place between your partner and their ex. Perhaps you’re concerned that they may reunite if they spend too much time together. This is not likely to happen. They did, after all, split for a reason. If they really plan on getting back together again, your intervention won’t stop it.
If you were the reason for the breakup, you will have to accept that the ex will be angry. You must allow them space to express that anger without retaliation. It is even possible that the ex will express unflattering opinions about you to the children.
You will have to judge whether the children are old enough for you to pull them aside and let them know that you understand their anger. Ask them to convey that message to their parent as well. You will have to try to understand how the family feels and allow them their anger without becoming bitter or judgmental.
If the relationship ended because of inappropriate behaviour on the part of the ex, it is important that you don’t allow anger at the ex to spill over. No matter what the circumstances of the breakup it has nothing to do with you. You cannot possibly understand the situation that led to the breakup. No matter how painful the circumstances of the split, it is unlikely that either one of the partners intended to cause the other severe emotional pain.
As a partner in this situation, the best you can do to promote a harmonious household for yourself is to facilitate easy and relaxed communication between your partner and the ex. For this, your partner needs support and encouragement. This is the only way that they can comfortably resolve problems and settle issues around the children. Friction between the couple will spill over into your life. Make it easier for them to communicate and you’ll enjoy a happier home.