This article was originally posted on HuffPost.
We don’t know each other yet but as you are now a part of my husband’s life, you are also a part of mine. Its important to me that we start out on the right foot and can establish some kind of understanding as our lives may be tied together for years to come.
That man you’re falling for, he was my big love. I meant my vows when I made them with him all those years ago. I had every intention of spending my life with him, though as you know, it has not worked out that way.
I am telling you this because I want you to understand that sometimes when I come to the door to pick up our daughter and I see you and him together in the home that we made, it is going to hurt. There will be times that I need to just pick her up and leave without the small talk. It won’t be because I dislike you or I’m trying to be rude. It’s just because I need to get back to my car and cry a little.
Please understand that I am glad you’ve come into our lives. I want him be happy. I tried to make him happy but neither of us were prepared for the changes that having a child brought to our relationship and we both ended up with a broken heart. I have never felt pain like I felt when I discovered that our marriage had been damaged irreparably. I’m not sure if he’s told you how our marriage ended but please understand that it was awful for both of us and it is still quite raw, for me at least.
One thing I want to say straight out; I will not try to take him from you. I have come to understand that it is possible to miss something without wanting it back. I miss our family and our home but I also know that it could never go back to the way it was. I wouldn’t want it to. We spent a third of our lives together and a lot of it was wonderful but it was never meant to be forever for us.
I get that I’m ‘the ex’ and you’re supposed to dislike or resent me but I hope you don’t. We have a few really big things in common, you and I. That man you love, I loved him too. Those things you see in him, I saw them too. That little girl who gives you cuddles and makes you pretend cups of tea, she’s my whole world.
I love that she likes you. Please know that. I will never ever try to change that or prevent you from having a bond with her.
My baby has a great father. If you can bring joy to him and in turn to my daughter, that can only be a good thing. He and I, as we co-parent, will inevitably have times of frustration and we may need to ‘have it out’ or he may complain to you about things I’m doing. It’s how we are and the challenge of the situation we find ourselves in. Know that I will never speak a bad word about either of you with my daughter and I ask the same from you. In fact, I may rely on you to be the safe keeper of that at times.
It’s important for me that my baby has a team of loving people who genuinely care for her and want what’s best for her. As a child from separated parents I can tell you that the absolute best thing for her is for those people to get along and work together, even when they may not always agree.
It might sound strange but I want for this separation to turn out to be a positive thing for her. She will always have two homes and most likely four parents. The step-parent role is not easy and boundaries can be tricky to navigate. My daughter’s father has invited you into our daughter’s life which means that even though the relationship is new, you are already playing a part in nurturing her. All I ask from you is to give her love, establish a bond with her, speak up about how you see things as we are first time parents just figuring it all out as we go, but please also respect our role and work with us to maintain the boundaries we set for her.
This is an emotional subject for me and I cannot expect you to understand or to empathize with where I’m at, but I guess what I really wanted to portray is just ‘welcome’. Welcome to the team of people who are raising this beautiful, sassy, spirited and unique little girl.
I truly hope that you both build a beautiful new love that radiates over our girl. One of the best things a child can have is parents who love each other, and with a little luck and a lot of understanding, our girl will have double the love in her life.
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