Dear Step Ex

Let me start off by saying that I haven’t always enjoyed raising your kids but I have done the best I know how.  I appreciate your cooperation in the beginning for the 18 months that their dad deployed to Iraq.  I was surprised but honored that you allowed the schedule to stay the same and trusted me to take over in their Dad’s absence.  It has proven itself to be the best 18 months of my step-motherhood.  Something tells me that you may not have been so willing if you didn’t have a boyfriend that the girls disapproved of.  Their time with me allowed you to be with him.  Either way, I’m appreciative.  I also want to let you know that I think you are good to your children; you have been mostly kind to me since I arrived on scene and are generally a reasonable person.  I do, however, think that you are in a bit of denial about the wreckage you have created in your children’s lives.

Your girls think you hung the moon, they think Dad left Mom and that Mom loves them more because she expects less of them and that Mom is more generous with her money than Dad.  What you kids don’t know is that while Mom was still married to Dad she was sleeping with their Uncle, (Their dad’s, sister’s husband)  and when it was discovered it was the demise of two families.  At least they had their cousins to travel with down that devastating road of divorce, eh?  Oh the guilt you must feel…which would explain why you cater to them, overindulge them and cannot seem to say no to them.  Only in recent years did they learn that the money Mom spends on them came from Dad’s paycheck in the form of a monthly child support check, despite the fact that they are in both homes 50/50.  Dad also pays a hefty health insurance premium, and still pays for half of all school lunches, supplies, sports fees & extracurricular activities.  The only reason they found that out was because of the legal papers that came in the mail informing us of the court date when you will be requesting an increase in child support and a notice of garnishment for the man who hasn’t missed a child support payment since the day it was entered over 10 years ago.  Of course that came only a month after the announcement of my pregnancy.  Are there some hard feelings about your ex starting over after you pulled the rug out from under him?

Now that your oldest has gone off to college and you have openly displayed your grief about getting older, being alone and realizing that your kids are relying on you less, your 15 year old has announced that she wants to live with you.  After all, Dad has me and the toddler, and Mom doesn’t have anyone.  That’s hard to compete with, especially when they don’t have the knowledge that Mom is where she is today as a result of her own indiscretion.  Although we have sent extra money I’m sure we will see you in court again so that you can get the child support increased now that you are a full time Mom.  It hardly seems fair.

I try hard not to carry resentment for you.  The truth is, in the last 5 plus years that I have been married to your ex husband I have come to see that he is not perfect and some of my experiences have lead me to a place of greater understanding and compassion for you.  This and the fact that you have been kind to me over the years are probably the only reason I don’t have a burning hatred for you (although sometimes it’s a smoldering anger).   I don’t hate you and you may never be out of my life entirely, but I can’t wait for the day that you no longer have the capability to impact us financially…well, at least until retirement comes, when we get to start sending you a monthly check again.

Who’s to say how it will end up in the end?  It’s not my place to tell the girls about the affair or the man you were married to before their father that they don’t even know existed.  If they ever decide to type your name into the local public record search that secret will be out.  The girls have experienced much heartache as a result of their family splitting that it may be better that they never find out about the other side of you.  It might shake them to their core and leave questions in their mind about everything they thought they knew about you, or themselves.  You owe a big thanks to your ex husband and his sister for sheltering your kids from the truth that devastated both of them and their whole family.

Perhaps you can’t see the injustice that has been exhibited here.  You probably think you are the one who has been treated unjustly.  It all makes me sick.  I’d like to say that your past hasn’t affected me but that would be a big fat lie.  Your wreckage has tainted many of my life experiences that should have otherwise been fond memories.  Being a stepmother and 2nd wife has been a miserable experience and I can only hope that one day you get to experience it for yourself.



~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on January 7, 2011.

8 Responses to “Dear Step Ex”

  1. Why do you have to send her checks in retirement?

  2. Because there are always two sides to a story … And if she was such the horrible wife and mother, retirement wouldn’t have been on the table.

    Why would you want the kids to ever know the horrible things their mother ever did? I hope you are just venting and don’t intentionally plan to do that. People make mistakes / judgement errors… But it’s not something we wear like badges on our shirts. I hope if you do tell them one day, your closet is clean…

  3. Typical response from an ex wife! Did you not read the part where she said it wasn’t her place to tell them those things? Or the part where she said the ex wasn’t a bad mother? Are you the ex she is refering to?
    P.S. You don’t have to be a great wife and mother to have retirement on the table. You just have a fairly lengthly marriage and a judge willing to order it.

  4. To the last comment…Did you read the part where she said the ex wasn’t a bad mom? Or the part where she said it wasn’t her place to tell them? You seem a bit defensive.
    P.S. you don’t need to be a good mom or wife to get retirement. You just need a fairly lengthly marriage and a judge willing to order it.

  5. No I’m not defensive – if this was the bio-mom writing to bio-dad or stepmom, my view would not change. Money makes people hostile.

    And yes, you are correct – depending on the state you live in, years in a marriage will get you a % of retirement benefits. However, proof of adultry will loose you every bit of that benefit. So my point is, there are two sides to a story and if she (as accussed in the letter) cheated and had an affair (as accussed by exhusband to new wife) I am curious why the retirement was not negotiated on grounds of the affair.

    I hear so often people (on both sides) say, I can’t wait for the day that my child knows what a POS their mom/dad really is. Why would anyone want their child to wake up one day and realize that their parent was a POS?? Why would anyone wish that never ending pain on their child? Just so they can have the glory of the other parent finally being exposed? And the feeling of accomplishment because their child will finally love them more or respect them more or hate the other parent more because they were the better parent? It’s not this persons fault the mom isn’t stand up – but it’s not the kids fault and that pain of realization never goes away.

    And money seems to be a big issue for people and causes so much animosity within families. It’s just so sad.

  6. Oh Contraire Amommyandexwife,
    The Uniform Marriage and Divorce Act specifies that property/asset division must be made “without regard to marital misconduct.” It’s a crock if you ask me, but that is the burn of it all. Money does make people hostile, perhaps because we all rely on it for our existence. I can see how a person could turn hostile if they had to pay their ex wife child support (at least in a 50/50 custody arrangement), alimony or retirement after she had cheated on him with his brother-in-law. Say what you will but I think this father got shafted. Just imagine that your husband had an affair with your sister-in-law and then you had to send him a portion of YOUR paycheck or retirement check every month and tell me you wouldn’t have some animosity or hostile feelings about that.
    As a stepmom and second wife myself I understand how she feels when income that should be supporting your household is going into the ex’s bank account.
    And again, she states that she was not going ‘expose’ the kids to the truth about their mother and it would be better if they never found that out. You seem to be hounding her for something she herself said she did not intend to do, tell the children.

  7. I agree, there is always 2 sides of the story. The main issue here is the money paid to the ex wife which causes a dent and makes this experience a miserable one. If someone decides to be a 2nd wife it comes with that and wishing that to someone else does not mean she will feel the misery you are feeling because knowing the consequences and what you will be facing will prepare you. Being an ex wife collecting money, the money is not to despise the wife but the kids rights to be supported by both parents. The increase is with the reason too. 2nd wives should understand the the ex wife does not benefit at all in their husbands money but the children.

  8. Really?? Ex-wives doen’t benefit at all from child support?? Interesting…and totally untrue. My husband’s twice-divorced ex has been out of work for a year and still has money to get her f**king nails done on a monthly basis?! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…she lives in a nice house, drives a nice car, etc., etc. and recently dumped her fiance (#3), for a married guy…and lets not forget the 2 TAX FREE checks she gets each and every month. Great role model. But poor her, right, she’s a single mom of 2 kids (different dads).

    I feel for the original poster…I could’ve written the letter, except my husband’s ex cheated w/ “just” a friend of hers, not a family member. We have 50/50 custody and while I don’t have a problem w/ the monthly check (welllll, maybe I’m just a little bitter), we have to may for pay health ins., dental, copays, clothing, etc. and are still “expected” to split all sorts of other endless expenses or WE are the JERKS. What the *f* is the child support for?? [Refer to my 1st paragraph.] THANK GOD my husband was smart enough and they weren’t married long enough for bio mommy to get part of his retirement, too! My husband is awesome; being a “2nd” wife and stepmom and all the BS that goes w/ it SUCKS!

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