Michael G. Putter Attorney at Law
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Make friends with 'the other woman' for the sake of the children

Facing the end of your relationship with your spouse can be devastating. However, if you realize that the two of you have either drifted apart or been unhappy for a while, it may be understandable if you find out that your spouse is in love with another woman.

It may be difficult to picture yourself making friends with the other woman. The truth is that if you have children, it could be the best move you ever make.

The other woman isn't responsible for the end of your marriage. If it hadn't ended because your spouse fell in love with her, it would have ended for some other reason. There's no way to come between a couple that's still in love and still committed to one another.

Assuming that the other woman's relationship with your spouse is for the long haul, this person is going to effectively become your children's stepmother. That makes her family, whether you like the situation or not.

By becoming friends with the other woman, you can insulate your children from the more disruptive aspects of divorce. Children are more adaptable than adults, but they look to their parents for cues on how to behave.

If you accept her, they will accept her. If you don't, they may adopt your anger and resentment. Is that really something that you want your children to carry?

Allowing the other woman to care for and love your children is a gift to both your children and yourself. If you're there to help forge a bond between your children and that person, you'll feel like they are in safe hands when it's your ex-spouse's parenting time.

Finally, having another person you can rely on in an emergency to help with the children can be invaluable. Whether you're sick or one of the kids is sick, knowing that there's one more person you can always call on for support is a relief.

It may seem incredibly difficult to extend an olive branch to your spouse's girlfriend, but it's honestly one of the most practical things you can do at the end of a marriage when children are involved.

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