My children’s step-mom just texted me. She’s planning a birthday party and wanted to make sure the date she picked worked out well for my kids.
It was a short, simple text. And it shows how far we’ve come in the past year.
We are not the blended family that hangs out together and takes pictures together. And we probably never will be. However, we are a family that has made significant strides.
A year ago, she and I couldn’t stand the sight of each other. To me, she was the insecure girlfriend who couldn’t handle the fact that I was still a part of her boyfriend’s life.
To her, I was a bitter ex, who would find fault in everything she did.
We were both right.
She was insecure, and I was bitter.
One day my oldest came home and told me that the girlfriend and my ex were calling me a bitch.
Normally, this would have resulted in me calling them and having a big blowout. Instead, I decided I was going to fake it until I made it.
I ignored their comments, and the next time they came to pick up our kids, I smiled at them and waved goodbye.
It was truly that simple. When it was time for pick ups and drop offs, it made my stomach hurt and my heart beat faster.
We would greet each other with snide comments and dirty looks. And although I still felt like giving the dirty looks, I smiled instead. I faked it.
Soon enough, the smiles and waves turned into small, polite conversation. As my bitterness went away, so did her insecurities. And eventually, I wasn’t faking it anymore.
No, we have not become friends. But she is someone who I can share in my children’s successes with.
I went from being jealous that she makes the “best spaghetti ever” to asking her for the recipe.
I went from rolling my eyes when my kids wanted to buy her a souvenir on vacation, to being the first one to suggest it, and helping them pick something out.
If you are having trouble getting along with your ex’s new girlfriend or wife, my best advice to give to you is to fake it until you make it.
Then watch as some of the things you stress out about are no longer an issue.
Watch as your kids find transitioning from one house to the other much easier.
Watch as co-parenting becomes so much easier.