The ''Ex'' Factor

4 ways to deal with a meddling former spouse
The ''Ex'' Factor

On my wedding day, I married the man of my dreams. But . . . my new husband wasn't what I imagined while growing up. The man of my childhood dreams came without the baggage of a first wife and a child. The man I married, Scott, was divorced as a result of his first wife's infidelity.

In the six years I've been married to Scott, his ex-wife has popped into our lives myriad times, each time disrupting our harmony. She's called Scott on his cell phone, wanting to get together with him alone. She's "dropped by" our house when I wasn't home. She's often found a way of doing or saying something cruel about me—but always in the nicest tone.

I tried being polite and kind to her, but she didn't seem interested in treating me the same way. When she made rude statements about my marriage, I finally let her know her comments were inappropriate. She responded by telling me she'd be praying about my attitude problems.

Married . . . with Baggage

There's the old adage that says when you marry a man you also marry his family. The reality is that if your spouse was married before, suddenly you have to deal with a history, children, and mail that arrives addressed to a spouse's ex. Remarriage introduces unique challenges and unexpected jealousies, comparisons, and insecurities that often can drive a couple apart.

That's why it's especially important to remain united with your spouse against the outside disruptions of an ex. If you're struggling with the "ex factor," here are four strategies to keep your marriage strong.

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Ginger E. Kolbaba

Ginger Kolbaba is the author of Desperate Pastors' Wives and The Old Fashioned Way. Connect with her on Twitter @gingerkolbaba.

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May 25

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