Feeling Replaced (A Reader’s Story)

The first time I saw my former husband with his new wife was in the lingerie department at a department store. (I had gained weight and needed new bras.) The situation was extremely uncomfortable.

Fortunately for me, my daughters were also present. They politely carried the conversation to a quick conclusion while I floundered for words trying to hide the articles of clothing I held in my hands. His relationship with Wife Number Two did not last long — from beginning to end was less than two years.

Now, he has moved to another state and is currently living with a new girlfriend (and her two teenage daughters). Our daughters feel like they have been ‘replaced’ by ‘his new family’. Over the summer, he told our daughters that he was taking his girlfriend and her children to Disney World and that they were not invited.

Of course, they were devastated and jealous. The girls began to dread the upcoming holidays. They did not know what to expect or where they stood anymore.”

Name withheld by request

Awkward at Best

Thank you to the reader who submitted the story above.  What a flood of different emotions can cascade in you the first time you run into your ex with a new love. An awkward situation at best. The frustration is even worse when your ex not only replaces you but appears to be, even if partially, replacing your children. It can hurt like the dickens with loss, anger, rejection, and a serious dash to your sense of self-worth.

Maybe your spouse ended the marriage, maybe you ended it because you were rejected in some way during the marriage. Someone who was supposed to put you first didn’t. Someone who was supposed to love you unconditionally didn’t. Rejection is a put down from someone you valued or perhaps still do. It’s painful.

Seeing your “replacement” reminds you that you have been rejected. Rejection can make you angry, increase your sense of loss and zap your self-worth. It can be complex and have many personal dimensions.

Here’s the Truth…

When the sense of loss and not feeling good enough sets in, it takes conscious effort to stare it in the face and say, “Be gone.” But here’s the bottom line…

Don’t let the author of your sense of self-worth be another human.
Focus on the one who was willing to die for you,
For it is the sacrificial love of Christ that reflects the measure of your worth.

It is human to be hurt by rejection. It is Devine to be lifted from that pain and to find your worth in Christ. Know whose you are and you will know your value.

That someone no longer loves you does not mean that you are not loveable. That someone no longer values you does not mean that you are not valuable. The God of all creation loves and values you very much.”

From the book, Peace after Divorce

And How About You?

If you have a story to share, I’d love to hear it. Your name can be published or you may request that it be withheld by labeling your submission with “WITHHOLD MY NAME” at the top of the page. Let us hear from you!

For You…

To download my FREE eBook, 5 Keys to Healing from Divorce and receive my monthly eZine as a bonus, simply complete the green circle on the top right of this page.

Christian Divorce Recovery Scripture…

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  Psalm 46:1

Renee Smith Ettline is author of the inspiration and practical award-winning book, Peace after Divorce. Find reviews and learn more.

This Christian divorce recovery blog posts every Wednesday.

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