Relationships

To My Ex-Husband’s New Wife, There’s Something You Need to Know

In an era where over 50 percent of marriages don’t make it “til death do us part,” blended families have started to become more of a rule than an exception. But just because divorce and remarriage have become more of a cultural norm, it still doesn’t make it any easier for those involved—especially when it comes to bringing a new parental figure into the picture.

Beyond the jealousy that swirls around your ex-spouse falling in love with someone new often comes the jealousy of being “replaced” as a mom or dad.

Candice Curry is one woman who certainly knows the struggle of welcoming a “new woman” into the family. Like the 1998 Lee Ann Womack hit, she admittedly wanted to find a reason to despise her ex-husband’s new wife, Ashley Parish. Thoughts to the tune of “I really hate her, I’ll think of a reason later” were admittedly racing through her mind.

She wanted Ashley to be a “mean, old hag,” but instead she was introduced to a woman who was “stunningly beautiful”—inside and out.

Amidst her internal struggles with accepting this new situation that she NEVER thought she’d be in, Candice found that God’s plans far exceeded her own. She felt her hard heart softening.

In an open letter posted on her Women With Worth blog, Candice vulnerably penned the sweetest notes of love and appreciation for the woman that was “never part of the plan.” Her powerful message has since struck a viral chord with millions of people across the web:

To My Daughter’s Stepmom,

I never wanted you here. You simply were never part of the plan. Growing up and dreaming of my family I never included you. I didn’t want help from another woman to raise my child. The plan was for my family to include me, daddy and our children, not you. I doubt you ever wanted me in your life. I doubt you planned to mother a child that you didn’t give birth to. I can bet that your plan for your family included you, daddy and your children together, not me or my daughter. I can almost bet that when you dreamed of becoming a mother it would be the day you gave birth and not the day you married your husband. I’m pretty sure you never planned on me being here.

But God has plans that far exceed our own and when my little family dissolved to form two families I knew you would be coming.

In my mind you would be a terrible beast and my daughter would not want you to mother her at all, ever! I was hoping that you would be semi unattractive and prayed my daughter wouldn’t look up to you. Her daddy would know that he was settling for second best. Evil swirled in me because I never wanted to face the fact that another woman would mother my child in my absence.

Then you arrived.

When I first met you I’ll admit you weren’t what I had in mind and a twinge of jealousy shot through my body. You were supposed to be hideous, remember? But you weren’t, you were stunningly beautiful. You were supposed to be a mean old hag, remember? But you weren’t, you were a young, sweet woman.


Women With Worth

My plans were foiled.

I realized by the look on your face that meeting me was just as hard as it was for me to meet you. My heart immediately softened. Dang your kind smile! I was planning on really hating you. Why are your ruining my plan?!

I wanted to resent you but you made it impossible and I quickly grew thankful for you.

You’ve accepted our daughter from the very start and have unconditionally loved both her and her daddy, that’s a true gift to all of us. You’ve included our daughter in everything you do and make her feel loved and accepted. You put her relationship with her daddy above yours and only a brave and courageous woman knows how to do that with such grace.


Women With Worth

I knew when her daddy and I decided to divorce and live in separate homes there would be times when she would need me, her mommy, and I wouldn’t be there. I’m so thankful that you are there in my absence. I’m grateful that you have mercy on her teen years and never reject her. She needs a mommy at your house and you’ve done an amazing job being that for her.

You’ve respected my position as mom from the very start. I appreciate that you always check with me when you question if you are making the right decision with her. I know our situation is rare. It’s not often that a mom and stepmom text each other to remind each other that they love and respect each other. You are a gift.

Because of you and your courage to mother our daughter the way that you do, she will be a better woman. She will grow up with more love than I could have ever imagined. It wasn’t her choice to have divorced parents and even though I wouldn’t wish that on any child I am so thankful that she now has 4 parents who love and respect her and each other. She’s compassionate because of it and understands that a failure in one area can turn into a blessing in another.

I don’t see you as a fill in for when I’m not there. You are her mother when she’s with you and when she’s with me. She’s excited to call you and tell you her stories when she’s at my house and that makes my heart want to jump from my chest with joy. I fill with pride when you wrap your arms around me and squeeze for a genuine and loving hug each time we see each other.

I am extremely aware of what it looks like when a mother cannot emotionally accept her child’s stepmother in their life. Gratefulness pours heavily from me that we are able to rise above anything like that and do what is truly right for our daughter. Thank you for being mature enough and respectful enough to co-parent with me.

I promise to always respect your input for our daughter. I promise to never lessen the position you hold in her life or make you feel like you are not her mother. I promise to raise her to be grateful to have two strong and brave women in her life that have the courage to mother her together. Even though our situation is peaceful I pray that she is never in it, but if she ever finds herself here I promise to set an example for her of what co-parenting should look like.

Precious woman, you are a rare and beautiful gem.

God bless you and I love you.

Millions of people read the letter, and then the stepmom replied:

“Candice, I don’t know what to say. I am not good with words like you are and the way you express yourself. All I can say is I am crying like at the end of The Notebook … you make me feel so special … Thank you for this letter. It made my day and I will keep it close to my heart always. Love you.”

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.

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