Saturday, November 21, 2015

An Open Letter to My Ex-husband's New Bride

photo credit: Flower crown, wedding headpiece, floral headband, ivory hydrangea crown, bridal hair accessory via photopin (license)

I always knew this day would come eventually. And I always wondered how I would feel. Would I be bitter and angry? Would I be jealous? How does one feel on the day when their ex-husband pledges his love and commitment to another?

I have to admit, when I first learned about you, I felt uneasy to say the least. Who was this girl he was flying off to see in another country? What was this all about? Was this serious or a fling? My heart was burdened for many reasons.

You see it was only ten months after our divorce that I learned about you and he was on a jet to the Philippines. He and I had spent the prior two years separated, in the midst of a long, high-conflict battle. He had moved to another area and was sowing his wild oats. In the meantime, I was raising our three children and for the first year, he wasn’t around much at all. I was trying desperately to finalize the divorce and have some closure. But paperwork was the last thing on his mind and it dragged on for another year.

After the divorce was final, I anticipated relief. I anticipated closure and peace. But healing from the prior two years took time. And I wasn’t quite there when I learned of you.

I had just begun to sway to the rhythm of this delicate divorce dance. And then I felt like a bomb had been dropped. I think I spent the entire time he was away on my knees in prayer that he wouldn’t be robbed blind or thrown into a foreign prison. Maybe I’m a little over-dramatic. But the whole situation was unconventional to say the least.

I learned he had applied for a fiancé visa from a mutual friend on Facebook. I was shocked! He had told the kids nothing. In fact, we knew very little about you. I spent from that time on waiting on your impending arrival with my stomach in knots. I knew you were around 23 years old, in some sort of graphic design work and from Cebu City, Philippines. But that was about it. I was worried what kind of negative affects a relationship like this would have on the kids. Were you here just to gain a green card? Were you in it just for financial stability in the states? I worried of many things.

As the date grew closer, he began to share a little more. I knew he was planning to propose if all went well when you met the kids. I knew he had a wedding date in mind. And about a week before your arrival I knew that a friend had opened their home to you so you would not be staying with him while the kids were visiting. I was so thankful for that.

The kids were so excited knowing you were coming. In fact, my son wanted to surprise you the night of your arrival with a visit. I talked him out of that one. You’re welcome.

Over time, I began to have peace. Finally the day came when we met face to face. I don’t know if you could tell, but I was so nervous. I called a friend and asked exactly what you wear when you’re about to meet your ex-husband’s new fiancĂ©. (Did I just admit that for the world to see?)

But as soon as I met you, my worries began to dissipate. I saw standing before me a tender, brave young woman. I can’t imagine all that you have gone through in the last month since your arrival. At such a tender age you have experienced more than I have in my lifetime. You have left your home country and your family and all that you have known. You have traveled from a place with 80-degree weather year around and chosen to live in central Indiana where there are four seasons, sometimes experienced in the same day. You have chosen to take on the role as stepmother and accept his children as your own. And you have shown nothing but politeness and respect to me.

You have done all of this out of love.

I sit here today and know that now begins the sway to the delicate dance of divorce yet again. But there are no feelings of bitterness or anger or jealousy. This time, I have closure. This time I am thankful that my kids have another advocate in their corner. 

I’m glad that I can send pantyhose with the girls to dad’s house and know you will be there to help them put them on. I’m glad they have someone to brush and comb and fix their hair before Sunday morning church. I’m glad my son has another example of the kind of woman he may want to marry someday. 

And I’m thankful that my ex-husband has found love once again.

So today, as you walk down the aisle as a young bride and pledge your love to the man of your dreams, I wish to you, the best.
May God richly bless you and your future together.

With deep regard,

1 comment:


Thank you for sharing your heart.