Meeting My Ex-husband's Girlfriend

Updated on April 01, 2010
J.L. asks from San Diego, CA
11 answers

I know, a little strange. Call me neurotic mama, but I know my ex. Whoever is in his life has great influence on his decisions. I would like to meet the woman who currently influences him. My daughter, three, has recently become more attached to her dad in a wonderful way, and therefore, all things/people around dad are wonderful. We've set up a time to meet, one-on-one so I can get to know who she is a bit. So, what would you ask her? Aside from getting a general impression, what do I need to know? Because this is emotionally charged for me (and I'm wonderful at keeping my feelings to myself for the good of my daughter and situation) I'm just not thinking clearly and wouldn't mind some input. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

To add: she has no children, been dating for over a year, my ex and I have a "model" co-parenting relationship. Simply, I don't want to make her feel uncomfortable (no relationship questions, not my business), just want to see who she is w/ regard to my daughter: ) And I'm too busy raising my daughter and establishing career to date. Think of this as the ideal situation (it really is, considering) what would you ask?

More Answers



answers from Los Angeles on

Finally a Mama I can relate to! I am the step-mom to an amazing 10 year old girl. My husband and I began dating when she was 3 and I moved in when she was 4. I did not have children at the time (I now have a 3 yr old and a 7 month old). First off I have to say you are amazing for being such a big person about this (as I have told my husbands ex on many occasions). You are putting your daughter first as it should be but unfourtunately that is few and far between. Being the step-mom let me tell you that this girl will be very intimidated by you, so it may be nice of you (if you feel like it) to extend your appreciation of her talking to you. I would just make sure that you guys are on the same page as far as your daughters schedule, eating habits, whats expected of her, etc. Give her some hypothetical situations and ask her how she would handle them (your daughter hit/or got hit at the playground, she woke up in the middle of the night very sick, she got into something she wasn't supposed to). Also make sure you are all on the same page (your husband and daughter included) about who does the punishing. I do not/nor have I ever punished my step daughter. I set this rule because I feel like that is a line a I am not willing to cross. As she got older we set up and kind of action/consequence plan, so I didn't punish but just reminded her of the consequence (which I never have to do because she's such a great kid) If there ever is something that I feel like needs to be addressed she understands that I will talk to Daddy about it and he will discuss with her what he needs to. Also, let her know that she can call you with questions ( I would much rather ask her Mom how she wanted me to handle something, than make a decision and that not be how her Mom would have done it.) I have alot of respect for being a mother and have never tried to be a replacement just an additional heart full of love!, hopefully your husband's girlfriend will have the same view. Good luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.,
Putting myself in your position, make your daughter the center of the conversation. Share with the girlfriend traits that maybe your daughter and your ex have in common, tell her funny stories about your daughter, maybe describe some of the things you guys do (bedtime rituals, favorite TV shows to watch, favorite foods, how she gets ready in the morning) and see if this will "open" up the new girlfriend.
I hope she would use this as an opportunity to tell you things she has observed in your child, maybe share with you some experiences she and you ex have had with your daughter .. to me, this is a VERY good time for you to "see" how she feels about you little girl. Does she like to hear your stories? Do certain little bits of info about the child make her smile, does she have fun stories of her own to share with you?

Someone who is actively involved in a child's life is bound to have a silly story or two or even just an experience that has stuck with them. I think you'll be able to gauge pretty accurately what type of a "daddy's girlfriend" she is/ going to be.

Asking straight out questions .. I think that might feel too much like an interview for both of you. Just keep the conversation light.

Best of luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on

I know its late, but I applaude you for wanting to know who is going to be in your childs life. I am a stepmom to a 9 yr old. I came into the picture when she was 2. When the relationship got serious, I wanted to meet the Mom and get to know each other, she wanted no part of it and still doesnt. Glad to see you care. Make sure your expectations are clear on what you would like her participation to be to your ex and her. It is so difficult to be a step mom, you constantly feel like your not doing enough or doing too much. We have a child together which is easier to figure out. any advise and guidance should be appreciated by all.

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answers from Boston on

Well if all of this is coming from a very positive place, then keep it positive and focus on her! I suggest asking her questions that steer clear of relationships and specifically of the ex, and rather just find out what she does for a living, for fun, what she likes to read, what she likes to eat, etc. etc. I really don't think there is anything specific that you NEED to know that won't come out voluntarily if you are graceful. And if you have any major concerns you can raise them with your ex later. (Like, if you get a feeling she has or has had a substance problem, etc. but don't just ask her directly!) She will never be a buddy (she shouldn't be) but if she comes away with a feeling that you are a very nice person who is genuinely interested in her, her positive feelings will spill over to your daughter. If she feels like she is being evaluated for her suitability as a potential step-mom or replacement for you, she will be (justifiably) annoyed and this meeting would best not have happened.

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answers from Chicago on

I was in a similar situation:

I got divorced when my son was 4. A year later my ex announced he was moving- into the condo of the woman he had been dating! Turns out she was the ex girlfriend of the best man at our wedding. I had met her socially a few times over the years, but all I knew was that she didn't have children and hadn't been married.

When my ex moved in with her, she had met my son several times, but I was concerned too, so I asked her to meet me for coffee at a coffeehouse.

I told her that I just wanted to be sure that the transition was smooth for my son - that visiting with a little boy and taking him out for ice cream was a lot different from having him living in your house 2 weekends a month and I wanted to know if she had any 'house rules' we should be aware of and I wanted an idea of what my son should expect at her house.

She told me that my son seemed like a really happy well-adjusted little boy and she just wanted to do her part to keep it that way. She told me that her parents had divorced when she was about 10 and she had NO relationship with her own father until she was in high school and she just wanted to be sure things went smoothly.

That talk did a lot to reassure BOTH our worries, I think. Over the past five years we haven't always agreed about everything, but I feel that my son is safe in her care and she has his best interests at heart. It also helped that she is about 100 times more responsible than my ex- since she arrived, the trains have pretty much run on time, so to speak, and I know she is responsible for that.

Sit down and just make it clear that your main concern is making any kind of transition as smooth as possible for your child. Don't be afraid to ask about things that concern you- does she have a dog your child would be around? Are they keeping a car seat for your child to use? etc. You have every reason to ask those questions and want to know a person who will potentially be an influence on your child.

Just remember to leave your relationship with your ex totally out of it. Meet with her- you won't regret it and neither will your daughter. Good luck!

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answers from Boston on

I'd meet at the park or some place public with your daughter so you can talk to her, see how she interacts with your daughter and you will have a chance to talk to her in a more casual way than one on one.

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answers from Chicago on

You have every right to know who is around your child but dont let this be a meeting to see what she has and you dont. Even though you say you are good at keeping your feelings to yourself they are always there and you will have to deal with them because they will come out, anything like that comes out one way or another. Get to know her for her not as your ex girlfriend too so that way if she does become your child's step-mom it will be a better for your child. Not saying be best friends just get to know the person.

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answers from Allentown on

I agree with the first answer but to add maybe if she has kids you can ask about them. What kind of kids they were when they were young? How does she feel about kids. If you think they are serious ask her about her feelings about your daughter specifically. Maybe you could bring up an issue that you are having with your daughter and ask for incite. (a bit of a sneeky way to see how she would react).

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't think it's strange at all. It can only benefit everyone involved to know this woman. I'd meet for coffee and just have a general chat. You'll get a good feel for the type of person she is. Don't make it the Inquisition! LOL
What a selfless mom you are for having such an open relationship with your ex and working as a team to parent her! Lucky little girl!



answers from Dallas on

I too agree with the other advice but with one hitch... First of all, how long has he been dating the woman?? I believe that unless they have been together for a sufficient amount of time, your daughter doesnt even need to be around her. Im sure it has affected her that her mom and dad are not seperated. I feel like the last thing a person should do to a child is to start bringing in people that they might get attatched to only to have them disappear. You dont want to make this an okay pattern in her life. It would be unhealthy for her to see different women coming and going as well as different men coming and going if you yourself are dating. I think you should wait until you know if it is serious before you let your daughter start being around her. You dont want her to get hurt if it doesnt work out between them. Then it will start to become that pattern I refered to because you know he will date again.
Whatever you do, goodluck to you and your daughter.



answers from Las Vegas on

Good for you for meeting her. I think that is wonderful, although, not sure I could pull it off.

Why not keep plan for casual and short? If it is a hit, stay as long as you would like. If you sense she is trying to excuse herself, let her go.

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