Dear Ex-Wife

It’s been twelve years since my husband and I fell in love with each other.

He was your husband then.

I can’t ever tell you this because it would stir up all your old pain and anger and not really give you anything for it, but I wish you knew that I would never do that again. Not like that.

Life has come back around and bitten me in the ass for what I did as a naive sixteen-year-old, participating in your husband’s emotional affair. Believe me: You will never know how, but I have paid for this many times over.

I was young, I was in love, I was nothing if not sincere even though I was also an idiot and a fanatic. And I’m sorry.

I should have stopped, I should have waited, I should have told him to finish one relationship before he even thought about starting another.

I’m sure he wasn’t an easy man to be married to. I saw him through starry eyes for many years and he still wasn’t easy. I can’t imagine having been in your shoes.

I hope you are happy with your current husband. I wish you could someday forgive me for what I did all those years ago. I’ve learned so much since then. I’ve always done my best as a stepmom. I’m a good one. I wish we could work together, all four of us, to parent the kids more smoothly.

I remember years ago when you told me to please just go have my own kids and leave yours alone. It hurts. I’ve never wanted or tried to replace you. I won’t ever do that. Your kids are wonderful, generous people with hearts that are plenty big enough for both of us. You’re their mom. I’m their stepmom. We can both be there. And you had all the kids that my husband is willing to have. The only way I can get my own is if I leave him, leave my stepkids, leave the family we’ve spent the last ten years building one memory at a time.

Believe me, I’ve paid for what I did to you…what I never meant to do to you…what I would never do again.

I wish you and I could lay down the animosity and keep living. I avoid you out of guilt and the desire to not upset your life anymore and the desire to not cause any scene that will hurt the kids. I wish we could work together. We both love the kids; is that enough?

~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on April 8, 2010.

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