I’m writing you this letter, not because I’d ever expect you to hear my words, but because the sole existence of you as a person has had one of the single greatest impacts on my life than any human on the planet. Many times, I have admittedly wished that existence away. Many times, I have imagined my life had you never been born unto this world. I have fallen asleep on countless nights with a knot in my stomach as I held onto such anger towards you that I questioned my sanity. I’ve surprised myself with the obsession I could have about someone I’d never yet met, allowing thoughts of you to twist my insides and hold my heart hostage.
I’ve envisioned what your life was like when my husband was your husband. Did he caress your face, lovingly, as he does to mine? Did he hold you tight when he kissed you, so you felt as though – if only for an instant – the earth had stopped spinning? Did he banter with you playfully on Sunday mornings as he cooked pancakes and shot glances full of love across the kitchen? How often would he bring you Just-Because flowers, and did you love him more for it? I’ve envisioned what my life would be like if you’d one day just disappear into thin air. How relieved I would feel if I knew I’d never again have to hear my husband speak your name in our living room, or in our hallways, or in a late-night conversation after we’d tucked ourselves away in our bed. Your name, like a swear word in our home, could be erased from our vocabularies. I could stop feeling my stomach drop when his phone buzzed, because I’d know that certainly this time, it couldn’t be you on the other end.
But with each weekend that passes, when you pack up your blonde-haired, blue-eyed little boy, and you send him and his red backpack to our house for four nights, it becomes more clear to me that for as long as I live, neither your name, nor your person, nor your memories, will ever be forgotten by the walls in our home or the people who live here. It becomes more clear to me that when my husband was your husband, and you brought a son into the world together, it would entail a lifetime of connection between you and him, and as fate would have it, between you and I. It becomes more clear to me that, each time that little boy who looks so much like you smiles (and I can’t help but see his eyes are your eyes), I am faced with a choice.
I could spend the rest of my life with my stomach in knots, hesitant to breathe your name into my home for fear it may cause you to return and take my family away from me – as you no doubt have felt that I’ve done to you. I could spend the rest of my life peering over my husband’s shoulder when his phone buzzes, hating that you have to speak to him to arrange doctor’s appointments or plan the holidays, and stewing in my insecurities. I could choose to allow the smile of a happy little boy turn my mood sour, as I am distracted by your face in his, rather than seeing the pure and genuine joy of a child.
I want you to know that I no longer choose to demonize your existence. I no longer choose to resent the fact that my husband was your husband first, or that my husband fathered your son first, or that my husband traveled the world with you first. I no longer choose to imagine upon the life you may or may not have had with him, alas I would be in turn allowing the life he and I have created together to slip through my fingers. I no longer choose to punish my husband for loving another woman before I entered his life; the dissolution of your relationship created enough hardship and anguish for him to last many lifetimes, and I love him too much to punish him further. I want you to know that I thank you for the lessons that the failing of your marriage has taught to my husband; because he so badly does not ever want to relive such pain, he is the most attentive, loyal, faithful, and loving husband that anyone could ever dream of. I want to thank you for all the struggles you went through with him, for the wrongdoings that you each slighted each other by, as each of these scars on his heart have cumulatively produced a man who will never see those wrongdoings repeated.
So, when I say that the mere existence of you as a human has greatly impacted my life, today I am able to say that and mean it from a place of gratitude rather than from a place of deep, resentful anger. If, in fact, you’d never been born unto this world, I may not have ever found my happily ever after. Today, and every day, I choose my fairy tale. I hope that you, too, will find yours.
Have you gotten to a place of personal freedom from your own feelings about your partner’s ex-wife? How did you do it? If not, what is holding you back? As Stepqueens, we are committed to ending negative Stepmother associations. How have you recently risen above the Stepmonster label? Click here to chat with our team to find out how we can help you choose your fairy tale, too.