One of the most common questions I receive is, “What does your husband’s ex think about you running a stepmom blog?!”
And for anyone new here, you may be surprised to learn we actually ran this blog together for nearly a year! She completely supports my mission to help stepmoms around the world. With that being said…
Sometimes I overshare, or I share my side of the story which may not align with her side of the story. There are times she has called my attention to those issues, and I am now more cautious of what I share and how.
I have never and will never post anything online anywhere (Facebook post, Instagram stories, blog article, etc.) that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with my husband, his ex, or their daughter reading one day.
The internet is forever, and you never know who might be reading the vent post you typed out in anger late one night. But just in case I issued that reminder a little too late, here’s what to do when your partner’s ex finds your vent post.
When the Ex-Wife Finds Your Vent Post
Step 1: Own it.
No matter how the ex-wife reacts when she finds your vent post online, do not get defensive. That can only make matters worse.
You have to own that you said what you said. You can admit that it was in a moment of anger or that your words were biased and one-sided, but don’t give excuses or point fingers.
You vented online about a situation that frustrated you, the person you were criticizing found it, and now you have to own the fact that you said what you said.
Step 2: Apologize
I feel like I’m about to lose the majority of you, but bear with me…
Admitting that it was wrong to vent about someone behind her back is not the same thing as admitting what you said was incorrect.
As stepmoms, it can be so difficult to deal with the ex-wife having so much (indirect) control over your life, and this is an unnatural role with no real precedent. It can feel like you’re in the dark and have no idea how to move forward.
You don’t need to apologize for being lost, frustrated, or seeking support.
But if you spoke about the ex in a way that she is upset about it, you do need to apologize for that.
I often ask if you’d rather be right or happy, and this is one of those times that the obvious choice is happy. Maintaining your stance will cause awkward tension in the best of scenarios and result in a high-conflict custody battle in the worst of scenarios.
Just apologize and keep the peace.
Step 3: Learn from it.
Co-parenting relationships are fragile, and the slightest bump in the road can irreparably damage them.
If things are currently good, the ex finding your vent post online can turn the tides quickly. If she discovers you’re complaining about her or her kids on the internet, she will undoubtedly lose trust and respect for you.
If you’re already dealing with a high-conflict bio mom, you could be facing threats of modified child custody and support.
Moving forward, make a game plan for how you’ll handle conflict differently in the future. Learning how to respectfully discuss disagreements in a safe place is key to getting the support you truly need to succeed as a stepmom.
Moral of the Story
Keeping your dirty laundry off the open web, especially in a Facebook group where it can be tied to your family, is both responsible and respectful.
Please don’t misunderstand me. Facebook support groups have an appropriate place in the stepmom support world, and if you have a group you love and you’re already being respectful in the group, this warning is not for you!
If you haven’t been careful and it’s possible the ex-wife could find or has found your vent post, make a conscious effort to avoid future conflict. Sidestepping drama where possible is always preferred.
P.S. I’m not the only one who will tell you my stepmom support group changed my life!