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An open letter to the other woman

To the other woman, 

When I first saw your name pop up on my then-husbands phone, I didn’t think anything about it. We were in, what I thought, was a good place. I knew he had female friends, so I brushed it off. But then, he would hide his phone more and we began arguing more. When we separated after our last fight, he left easily…almost too easily. Then I realized you two weren’t just friends, you were something more. 

The first time I saw a picture of you together, I didn’t hate you. But we share some similar characteristics. Pig tails when we’re short on time, cute smile, brown hair, a cool nose piercing. You do well for yourself. You’re also divorced and raising a son. You like adventures and traveling. Given different circumstances, I bet we would have been friends. But what you did was make our divorce a lot harder. You did push for him to get things he didn’t want. You did make more drama, and I didn’t like you for that.

I felt my heart break seeing your face and seeing you so close to my then-husband. I felt that was supposed to be me; we were supposed to be together smiling. It wasn’t the fact that you look better in a swimsuit than I do, or the fact that I know you’re making more money than I am so you’re able to do more… it was that you replaced me.

It was the pictures that I saw of the two of you in sports that we once loved to go together, or that I begged him to take me to. The two of you camping together, him actually taking off work to go places. All the traveling we told each other we would do, but never did, that the two of you did in such a short span of months. Passports were stamped, sunset dinners were eaten on the beach, and there were laughs and smiles… That was supposed to be me.

Next, I’d see the two of you holding my son together. You made a complete family; my son loves you. I’m scared I’ll be replaced and lose what I want the most – a complete family. This is what makes my heart hurt the most, this is what makes me despise you the most. Not that you took my husband, but that you have what I’ve longed for my whole life- a complete family. That’s supposed to be me.

I had dozens of sleepless nights knowing my son was with you, knowing that you were tucking my son into bed. You were singing him our songs; you are in my spot as mom. That’s supposed to be me.

But that is something I am learning to accept. 

Someday I’ll understand why all this happened. Someday I’m sure we’ll be friends. We will look back on all of this and understand each other better. We will figure out this new dynamic, and we will grow. But for now, I’ll support your relationship and encourage you when I can from a distance. For now, I’ll be thankful you’re watching over my son when his dad is working, and I’ll be thankful you’re kissing my son’s boo boos when I’m not there to do it. I’ll be thankful you’re his bonus mom when that time comes. 

Someday I’ll be thankful for you. Someday I’ll come to realize that you didn’t replace me; you just helped me move on. 

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