My daughter was seven when I filed for divorce. However, I continued to be with my ex-husband for two more years after our divorce was finalized. After ex and I were finished, he was seeing someone else (actually before we were finished – but that is a different post completely). She was already around my daughter. Ex was paying for them to have their nails done together – something that he had never done for me. I felt like I was being replaced as her mother. He was trying to make my daughter bond with this other woman. Paying for things to try to bring them closer together. Giving them opportunities to do things I’d never gotten to do with my daughter.
It did not help when I found out he was seeing this woman the same time he was telling me that he loved me and was having sex with me. He was spending the days with me and our daughter, and sneaking – now girlfriend – this woman into the house at night (we lived in separate houses that’s why I was not aware for this happening).
When I found out, I broke. I had an anxiety attack so bad that I ended up blacking out. I fell into a three month depression where I was physically ill all of the time. I was not eating or sleeping. I was a horrible role model for my daughter. I really did fear I would be replaced. Actually, looking back I’m surprised my daughter did not want to replace me.
I’m pretty sure if it was ex’s choice, my daughter would have to call this woman “mom.” I’m pretty sure he would just erase me from the picture completely.
Back then, I feared I would be replaced in my daughter’s life. I mean, what nine year old would not love to get their nails done; go shopping; and have this “family” because that was the woman with her dad.
My daughter is about to turn thirteen. I do not fear being replaced as her mom. She knows I am mom. She knows I am in her corner 100%.
Yesterday, my daughter I were talking. She’s having to do a fundraiser for school. The school told the students the best place to sell is at church. Um… neither ex nor I are Christian, and do not attend church. I know girlfriend makes her kids go to church, so I made a comment to my daughter that I guess she could try going to their church and sell her stuff for the fundraiser.
I asked what type of church do they attend – I was raised going to church so I was preparing for possible questions. My daughter did not know. So, I started explaining to her what church was like depending on the different domination.
My daughter’s next comment actually stopped me in my tracks: I’ve already went to church with girlfriend and her kids.
Apparently, ex did not go. He sent my daughter with them. But this happened years ago. Apparently it was just the one time.
I was so hurt: 1. I did not know about this sooner. – What if she had questions? What if she wanted to start attending church? I was in the dark about another thing in my daughter’s life. 2. Ex would make a decision like that without talking to me. – Typical behavior from him. But seriously, I think both parents should be included. Yes, my daughter’s religion and beliefs are hers to make, but if we are introducing something important that could and possibly would affect her BOTH PARENTS SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THAT DECISION. 3. What else do I not know that I am going to be blindsided by? This is the one that really scares me. What else has happened while my daughter is with ex and girlfriend that I do not know. Why didn’t she tell me – was she scared? Did she not think it was important?
I did talk to my daughter about it, so we got that situation taken care of.
Then she made a comment about girlfriend – honestly, I don’t remember the comment. I said, I don’t know because I don’t really know girlfriend. My daughter said, that’s okay you’re not missing out on anything.
So, I don’t know if that comment was made because she wants to protect my feelings or if she really dislikes girlfriend.
I have heard my daughter refer to girlfriend as “step monster.” I tell her that is not nice. I do expect my daughter to have respect for people that earn/deserve it. I know the stories that I hear this woman has not earned my daughter’s respect. As far as I can tell she is respectful to the girlfriend. She doesn’t call her names. She helps around the house. She does things with girlfriend – they still get their nails done together.
Here’s my conflict. A part of me does want to get to know this woman. I want to have this support system for my daughter.
Actually, a lot of things I hear about girlfriend – she is a lot like me! Same taste in movies, and some music. We both have tattoos. We both dye our hair (I do red and black. She does blonde and black). But we are different. I never wear makeup. She never is seen without makeup – my daughter said even when they do not leave the house, girlfriend wears makeup 24/7. Her hair is always in a tight bun. Mine is always down in my wild curls. Used to girlfriend was thin – ex always criticized my weight. Last time I seen girlfriend, she was pretty close to my size.
I wonder if girlfriend and I would click.
But then I think why? Why try to be friends?
I don’t want to be friends with someone that sleeps with someone else’s man. I don’t want to be friends with someone that tries to keep the parents from having a good, civil relationship with each other for the sake of their child(ren). I don’t want to invite dramatic possibilities into my life. Besides what would happen when we start sharing stories about ex. eww.
As much as I don’t want to be replaced as mom – I don’t think I will be replaced – I wonder what will happen when I meet a great man. My daughter has already asked if/when I get remarried if she could call the new guy “dad.”
Oh, and I finally got the address from ex – since he is moving in with girlfriend. I got her address and home phone number. I put that information in my phone. Found her Facebook profile and got a contact photo of her. She’s not saved in my phone by her name – nor is ex. But instead, ex is saved as My daughter’s father; girlfriend is saved as Ex-husband’s girlfriend. Both are in another language.
Hopefully, healing is taking progress… baby steps.