I’m meeting my husband’s ex-wife for the first time next week. We’re all going to my step-daughter’s college graduation. I haven’t heard great things about his ex, and I gather that she’s not exactly my biggest fan, either. How can I make this next weekend bearable? What do I do if there’s a confrontation? My husband didn’t leave her for me, but we did get together shortly after their divorce and I am significantly younger than she is, so I don’t think she is going to be too happy to meet me.
Here are some DOs and DONTs for meeting your husband’s ex-wife:
DO keep your mouth shut, unless it’s wide open in a toothy grin because you’re smiling at everyone from being so happy to be in their presence.
DO remember that this day isn’t about you or your husband. It’s about your step-daughter, who probably frankly would die if she knew you referred to her as your step-daughter, because even though you’re technically her step-mother, you’re only about five years older than she is so she just calls you Marsha, but behind your back calls you “Harsha” or “Fat Ass.” Go wherever you’re told, do whatever she wants to do, eat wherever they take you, and get just tipsy enough that it’s endurable but not so tipsy you start a fist fight at the 99.
DO wear something cute that makes you feel good about yourself.
DON’T wear something slutty.
DON’T compare the size of anything of yours to the size of anything of his ex-wife’s. This includes engagement rings, breasts, SUVs, and Prozac milligrams. Just don’t compare, period.
DON’T complain to your husband about his ex-wife. Even when he’s like, “She’s the biggest bitch in the world, I can’t STAND her!” don’t say a word. Write about it in your diary, call your sister and rant and rave, but just nod your head and listen to him. Don’t get involved.