Mrs vs Mrs
I asked a man if it was fair for a second wife to want a new house and not move into the vacated space of the first Mrs. Women can tend to get emotional (illogical?) about this. He answered: “I can understand that she wants her own new house, but if I sell this place now, I lose too much on the bond. It is not a good time to sell.” Men are very aware of the financial knock they took during the divorce.
Remember mostly it is the men who have to pay the women maintenance and not vice versa. Women usually forfeit the maintenance they receive from the first husband, when they marry the second. So divorced men are sensitive to women who make financial demands on them.
“Why would she mind moving into another woman’s space? If we move into a new house, she would also move into the previous owners’ space, unless we build a brand new house from scratch.” “The thing is,” I explained, “you did not make memories with another woman in that new house.” “Can’t we just repaint this one, then?” he asked. Yes, you can repaint it. At least change the sheets and perhaps the bed.
One woman told me the ex Mrs had the habit of wandering into the garden, cut the roses and took them home with her, because she (the first Mrs) had planted them.
She did not want the second wife to have the pleasure of the roses!
Many divorced men just keep the ex on the medical aid because it is convenient.
However when they remarry, we now have two Mrs’ on the medical aid card. Dependent no 1 is the first Mrs, then Dependents numbers 2 and 3 and possibly 4 are the children and Dependent number 5 is the new Mrs. Nothing makes a woman feel as special as being number 5! It may sound illogical, but women are emotional and sensitive about these issues. If men expect women to take on their surnames, at least they can remove the
Nothing makes a woman feel as special as being number 5! It may sound illogical, but women are emotional and sensitive about these issues. If men expect women to take on their surnames, at least they can remove the ex Mrs from the medical aid, Christmas card list, mail box, answering machines, etc. Men usually forget to do this, or they think it is not practical to do it. Please remember where you are getting sex now.
One woman remarked to her husband who was reluctant to make the effort to remove his ex-wife from the lists:
“Your loyalty should lie with the woman who has your back, the one behind whose back you lie at night. Not with the one who stabbed you in the back.”
Exes stirring the pot
Many exes also have perverse fun in setting up their children as spies in the other household or generally just causing mischief.
“You don’t have to listen to her rules, she is not your mother.” “Call me the moment your father’s girlfriend arrives.”
Ex-wives often send their children to the new household with a list of do’s and don’ts for the new wife to comply with. Some of them even colour code and laminate these rules! Alerting the other household of a child’s allergies and medicinal requirements is fine. Prescribing what brand of vitamins the child should take, what washing powder is allowed and a specific brand of peanut butter is not.
One father expected his new wife to wash, iron and fold the child’s clothes and polish the shoes before he took the child home, just to keep the peace with the ex. Children can bring clothes and toys and take them home again, for it provides a sense of continuity to them, but I also advise that children should have their separate sets of clothes and toys at the alternate homes. It solves the complaints about dirty laundry and it gives the child a sense of belonging and not feeling like an alien visitor in the second home.
One stepmother awoke in the middle of the night to find her 10 year old stepdaughter had cut a lock of her hair for her mother to use as muti. (Muti is traditional medicine, which may be used to cast a spell.) The father thought it was funny.
Some mothers call their children three or four or more times a day when the child is visiting the father. This prevents bonding, is intrusive and it sends the child the message that the child is not safe with the father. It also burdens the child with guilt complexes for leaving the mother or father alone at home.
Calling once a day or once a weekend when they are older is quite sufficient. Children also often exploit situations and call the alternate parent as soon as the parent disciplines them or when they are not getting their way. It is amazing how parents compete to be the most popular parent, instead of just striving to be good parents.