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As my first husband began to date his new woman, it was serious from the start. A public engagement, on national TV on Valentine’s Day, started their life off together, followed by a private wedding on a beautiful beach. Since his new wife was now an instant mom of four, we became allies. She was married previously but had no children in her first marriage, now here she was, the step mother of four young children. We spoke, and we spoke often, about the children, about their schedules, routines, behaviors. Being her friend was nothing I ever struggled with, whereas she had her doubts. Not because of anything between us but rather for what others just kept telling her. “She’s the ex,” they told her. “You aren’t suppose to be friends with her,” they said. With no reasoning behind their words, other than what society tells you is normal, she struggled with what they would tell her. After some convincing, not caring about social “norms,” I was able to have a friend in my children’s stepmom, my first husband’s new wife.

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