I am sorry that your family was shattered by divorce. I am sorry for what you have had to witness and hear. I am sorry if there were unkind words spoken between your parents or spoken about your parents that made you feel angry, or sad, or confused, or bitter. Please understand that if I could wish all of that away for you, I would. Please understand that if I could go back in time and fix things in a way that made your heart and soul happier, and kept your family together, I would. Even if that meant sacrificing my own happiness. I would do that for you. But I can’t. And I am sorry for that, too.
I have no doubt that this transition has not been easy. You must have a range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings about your dad loving another woman, a woman who is not your mother, and yet, is a mother to other children. I can’t begin to know your thoughts, but I can imagine they are not easy to navigate.
Someday, as you get older, and possibly begin families of your very own, you may come to have a different outlook on everything that has transpired over these past few years. I don’t know for sure, because life is ever-changing, but you may. Until that day, or maybe if that day never happens, I would very much like to convey a few thoughts of my own, if you will humor me.
I love your father very much, and because I love him, I love you, too. Yes. I love you. I love every one of you. I love you because you are a part of him, and because he loves you with every fiber of his being. That may sound silly, or stupid, or cliché, but it is very true. And I know that you may not want my love, and that is ok. I will still give it to you.
I will give you my love by understanding that you may not want me around. I will give you my love by understanding that you may not like, or care for my own children. I will give you my love by sacrificing time spent with the love of my life so that you may enjoy time spent alone with your dad. I will give you my love by understanding that you already have a mother and need no one to replace her. I will give you my love by understanding that you may never want to get to know me.
Since I cannot change the past, I can only hope that one day, you will change your mind. I hope that one day, you will see the goodness that has become of me loving your dad, and the goodness that has become of your dad loving me. I know that I can, without measure, feel the goodness in my own heart. I can only pray that someday, you will feel that, too.
I also know that I come as a package deal, since I have two daughters of my own. I am sorry if that is difficult for you, and I ask for your understanding that this has been difficult for them as well. Your father is a package deal, too, and my children have also suffered the breakup of their family through divorce. I also ask for your understanding that my daughters have a father of their own, and that your dad is not a replacement. When you have feelings of envy because your dad has spent time with my children, please understand that my daughters have experienced those feelings, too.
Before I met your father, I had succumbed to the idea that I would remain a single mom until my own daughters were grown and out of my house…forming their own lives. But sometimes, love decides for us. Sometimes, love is just dropped in our laps, and it is up to us to figure out how to manage it. That is no small task; to manage love. I do not take it lightly, not when so many lives are entwined, and whether it is comfortable right now or not, our lives are entwined through a common source. This can be a blessing, should we choose to view it that way.
So, while your father and I are figuring out how to best make this situation work for everyone involved, I would like to promise you a few things. I promise to take good care of your dad in your absence. I promise to fully support your relationship with him. I promise to encourage my girls to respect your father, and you, or at least show respect, in the best way that I am able. I wish that I could promise that they will, but I can’t. They, too, have minds and feelings of their own, just like you. They, too, are wading through change. I promise to be there for you, should you ever need my help.
Being a parent is hard, and being a divorced parent is even harder. Hopefully, the latter will not be something you will ever have to experience. But, please know, or attempt to understand, that your father and I continuously consider how you feel. All of you, my daughters included, are always in the forefront of our minds. We understand that our children are affected by everything we do, everything we say, and every decision that we make. This not only employs us to make good decisions, but also drives our desire to show you the blessings that stem from our love of each other. We can only pray that in time, you choose to see those blessings.
All my love,
Your Dad’s Girlfriend
Molly Roland is a writer by nature, and she enjoys stepping over the invisible lines society loves to draw.