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Ex wife badmouthing my partner to DS


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#1 DeanoSaur

Posted 21 January 2020 - 05:48 PM

Sorry long time lurked & 1st time poster and I'm not sure if this is the right section.
As mentioned in the title, my DS has disclosed to me that his mother (my ex) has been badmouthing my partner.

Ex wife and I divorced 6 years ago, and it was ex wife who initiated the divorce. I admit I was not the best husband back then due to immaturity and youth, but I've since matured. We remain on respectful terms.
My ex has also since remarried to a good bloke.
I met my now partner, a wonderful woman about a year and a half ago and didn't introduce her to DS until nearly a year into the relationship. DS really likes her.

However DS has disclosed to me that my ex has been making rude and unnecessary comments about my partner, and it has been causing him distress.
A mutual friend confessed that my ex was shocked and what hurt when she found out I was in a relationship again. I don't understand why as the divorce was years ago and she is happily married herself.

Do I confront my Ex?


#2 Dadto2

Posted 21 January 2020 - 05:54 PM

View PostDeanoSaur, on 21 January 2020 - 05:48 PM, said:

Do I confront my Ex?

Speak to her about it, don't confront her. That will just put her back up and in defensive mode.

Chances are some comments are being misconstrued, embellished, exaggerated etc Not saying she's not badmouthing your partner, but sometimes kids can be unreliable when recounting incidents.

Do you know what the comments are?

Edited by Dadto2, 21 January 2020 - 05:56 PM.


#3 steppy

Posted 21 January 2020 - 05:55 PM

That's a hard one isn't it. She's probably more shocked and hurt that someone else will be involved with your child than anything else. It's a pity she isn't letting him enjoy this new relationship.

How reasonable is she? Will she lose her temper at your son if you mention what he said? I personally feel it is best to mention it, framing it in terms of that it is upsetting your son rather than anyone else. Maybe that will be all it takes to put a stop to it, with any luck. I hope that is the case.

#4 aace

Posted 21 January 2020 - 06:02 PM

Been there. I sent an email like

"Hey just letting you know that the children have seemed to overheard some things said about xyz that has upset them. Can you please be mindful that if are saying negative things to make sure the doors are closed. Let's try and keep our children out of any adult feelings/perceptions so we can continue to have a positive environment for them!"

When my children reported it to me I would just say things like" oh that isn't very nice. I really like xyz."

#5 qak

Posted 21 January 2020 - 06:14 PM

How old is your DS now?

#6 DeanoSaur

Posted 21 January 2020 - 06:59 PM

View PostDadto2, on 21 January 2020 - 05:54 PM, said:

Speak to her about it, don't confront her. That will just put her back up and in defensive mode.

Chances are some comments are being misconstrued, embellished, exaggerated etc Not saying she's not badmouthing your partner, but sometimes kids can be unreliable when recounting incidents.

Do you know what the comments are?

DS told me that my ex rolls her eyes and makes faces when he mentions my partner. She apparently gets annoyed when DS mentions my partner and I taking him out, whether it be to a festival, water park or bloody Maccas.
Apparently she's said demeaning things such as my partner only being with me for my money, when in fact she manages a community health centre and I was actually made redundant when we met.
Ex's brother, who I am still on speaking terms with, confided that she made racist and stereotypical comments such as my partner being a mail order bride, even though she's Aussie born and bred, not to mention that I was in fact the one born overseas.

DS is not a particularly observant kid, so him disclosing this concerns me

View Postqak, on 21 January 2020 - 06:14 PM, said:

How old is your DS now?

DS is 11

#7 LadyGreyTea

Posted 21 January 2020 - 07:22 PM

Your DS seems to like your partner very much. Do you think your ex may be feeling threatened or feeling potentially replaced by this 'new woman' in your DS's life?

#8 gracie1978

Posted 21 January 2020 - 07:33 PM

I hope you can resolve it. I'm 39 and my Mum makes horrible comments constantly about my Dad's new partner, who I've known my whole life.  It really distresses me and I've got 28 years on your child and I'm allegedly a grown up...

She made me something beautiful for my twins and I have to hide it until after my Mum has visited, because I know she'll got berserk if she finds out.

#9 IamzFeralz

Posted 21 January 2020 - 07:40 PM

It depends on whether your ex is likely to self correct if spoken to about it. Sometimes speaking to them can make them worse as they’ve found an avenue to upset you.

My ex is a narcissist and bad mouths me often to DS.  I just say to DS not to worry about it and that I will live.  I do not need DS to defend me.  I just encourage DS to change the subject if he is feeling uncomfortable.  DS handles it mostly OK.  There was just one time he came back home in tears after a bad run.

Kids are smart, they do work things out for themselves.

#10 DeanoSaur

Posted 21 January 2020 - 07:42 PM

View Postgracie1978, on 21 January 2020 - 07:33 PM, said:

I hope you can resolve it. I'm 39 and my Mum makes horrible comments constantly about my Dad's new partner, who I've known my whole life.  It really distresses me and I've got 28 years on your child and I'm allegedly a grown up...

She made me something beautiful for my twins and I have to hide it until after my Mum has visited, because I know she'll got berserk if she finds out.


That sounds terrible gracie1978
Do you know why your mum acts the way she does towards your dad's new partner?

#11 Murderino

Posted 21 January 2020 - 08:56 PM

Agree with IamzFeralz - my XH would not react well to me raising something like that. It would be two things:
1) tell the kids things that happen in his house are not to be told to me;
2) say more awful stuff knowing the kids wouldn’t be able to follow rule 1.

#12 IShallWearTinsel

Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:02 PM

View Postaace, on 21 January 2020 - 06:02 PM, said:

Been there. I sent an email like

"Hey just letting you know that the children have seemed to overheard some things said about xyz that has upset them. Can you please be mindful that if are saying negative things to make sure the doors are closed. Let's try and keep our children out of any adult feelings/perceptions so we can continue to have a positive environment for them!"

When my children reported it to me I would just say things like" oh that isn't very nice. I really like xyz."

This. I'm finding it really hard not to be truthful/negative about my ex, but the kids don't need to hear that, so I'm doing my best to stay positive in front of them.

#13 CallMeFeral

Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:03 PM

It depends whether you think you can raise it in a way that would motivate her to change her behaviour.

As for why, jealousy is the last person in the relationship 'room' to leave - long after love, hope, everything else.

#14 IamtheMumma

Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:20 PM

You all are so good. My first thought was that crap needs to end. I still think it does but maybe with a lot more finesse than my guns blazing approach.

I like the email above but I would want to add something along the lines of it is causing confusion for the child who doesn't understand why his mother doesn't want him to have more people who love him in his life. Maybe throw in a comment about it having a negative impact on his relationship with her as he doesn't feel he can be open with her.

Alternatively, tell your son to stop talking about your new partner. It is sad to have to police a child's behaviour because their parent is nasty but it is safest for the child. Or he could make offhanded remarks like "miaow mum, what's with the snark?". Ok not really.

#15 Autumn Tones

Posted 21 January 2020 - 09:55 PM

You mentioned that you weren't a good husband back then?

I only ask because my friend went through a particularly painful divorce. She was trying to hold it all together for her kids while her ex got to be the fun weekend dad.
It was hard hearing her kids harp on how dad and his new girlfriend would spoil them with gifts and outings, while she was struggling to pay the bills and do all the boring responsible stuff.
And while she didn't want him back, it was painful seeing him be a loving and caring partner to his new girlfriend when he'd been such a selfish husband to my friend. She was never outright nasty to his girlfriend, but she resented that the girlfriend got to reap the benefits while my friend suffered.


I apologise if I have offended you OP as it wasn't my intention. I hope it didn't come across as accusing you of being a bad person. I just wanted to shed some light as to why your ex may be acting this way.


#16 DeanoSaur

Posted 21 January 2020 - 10:30 PM

View PostAutumn Tones, on 21 January 2020 - 09:55 PM, said:

You mentioned that you weren't a good husband back then?

I only ask because my friend went through a particularly painful divorce. She was trying to hold it all together for her kids while her ex got to be the fun weekend dad.
It was hard hearing her kids harp on how dad and his new girlfriend would spoil them with gifts and outings, while she was struggling to pay the bills and do all the boring responsible stuff.
And while she didn't want him back, it was painful seeing him be a loving and caring partner to his new girlfriend when he'd been such a selfish husband to my friend. She was never outright nasty to his girlfriend, but she resented that the girlfriend got to reap the benefits while my friend suffered.


I apologise if I have offended you OP as it wasn't my intention. I hope it didn't come across as accusing you of being a bad person. I just wanted to shed some light as to why your ex may be acting this way.


No offence taken!
Ex and I married pretty young and I was clueless, inexperienced and an idiot. That's why it came to me as a surprise when the ex wanted a divorce.
Ex pretty much introduced her now husband to our DS like 2 weeks after dating, so I had my reservations at first, but he really is a good bloke so i have no issue with him at all.
It's just hypocritical that I'm not allowed to move on and be happy with my girlfriend.
I will try to speak to my ex to see what's going on cause it's effecting D'S negatively.

#17 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 22 January 2020 - 08:18 AM

View PostIamzFeralz, on 21 January 2020 - 07:40 PM, said:

It depends on whether your ex is likely to self correct if spoken to about it. Sometimes speaking to them can make them worse as they’ve found an avenue to upset you.
agree with this.

In theory, it would be great if you could have a non-confrontational discussion about it.

"hey, just lately DS seems to feeling stressed and upset that he can't talk about me and XYZ without getting some bad vibes from you. I know things can get lost in translation, but it seems to be throwing him off, he's not sure what's going on or how he's supposed to react.Can you please keep this in mind if DS is talking about me or XYZ? I know we both want DS to have a positive family environment in both homes."

But it may inflame the situation, rather than make it better.

View PostIamzFeralz, on 21 January 2020 - 07:40 PM, said:

My ex is a narcissist and bad mouths me often to DS.  I just say to DS not to worry about it and that I will live.  I do not need DS to defend me.  I just encourage DS to change the subject if he is feeling uncomfortable.  DS handles it mostly OK.  There was just one time he came back home in tears after a bad run.

Kids are smart, they do work things out for themselves.
This is what I would be doing too.

Unfortunately this can happen at any age. DH's parents split when he was 18. More than 12 years later, DHs father met someone and re-married. DH's mum was not nice about it. At first DH ignored the comments and eventually rarely spoke about his father. DH's mum had a go at him about and DH simply responded along the lines of "You obviously have some issues about XYZ. Go talk about it with your sisters or your friends, but don't b**ch to me about it. Dad has never said a bad word about you or your partner. If you can't say anything nice about Dad, I'd prefer you to not say anything at all." That worked. DH felt awful that he had to pull his mum up on how she was behaving, awkward all round.




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