Q: How do you handle an ex-wife that refuses to go on with her life? What keeps someone so angry as to spend her entire life thinking of a way to hurt other people to satisfy herself? -- Anna, 33
Dr. Susan: Some people never do learn to move on. They seethe and fume and eventually maybe give themselves heart disease because they're so riddled with hostility and thoughts of vengeance. I'm assuming that your husband's ex-wife feels she was badly wronged by him, that perhaps she believes he left her for you or something like that. You haven't said how long her vendetta has been going on, but it might last for two or three years even under the best of circumstances. You can only hope that she will find a new love of her own and finally be able to put the past behind her.
Meanwhile, you and your husband need talk about how to handle his ex's persistent anger. You're a couple now and this is a good test of how you solve problems together. His loyalty needs to be to you and your feelings. If his ex is truly out of line, actually doing things to make your life difficult, then he needs to make a serious effort to get her to shape up and leave the two of you alone. If she's merely badmouthing you, just let go. What she says doesn't have to hurt you. The more you care, the more power you give her.
Copyright © Fun Online Corporation
Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.