Julie, right, with Emma, the mother of her stepson.
Julie, right, with Emma, the mother of her stepson.

Incredible letter to husband’s ex

Julie Rigney posted this open letter to Emma Howarth on Facebook. It is republished here with permission.

"It's your birthday today and I thought I would take this opportunity to share this letter with you.

Let's rewind the clock ... It is 2009 and I am falling madly in love with your 2-year-old son and his father.

I have to admit I didn't give you a second thought. I was entering a relationship with a man and his child.

Simple. Right? (20-year-old Julie was a smidge naive).

Wrong! On both accounts.

I was in fact entering a lifelong commitment with the man I loved, his son AND his son's mother and it was by no means simple.

I never intended to like you or care about you. Society lead me to believe that it was "normal" to despise one another. The plan was to talk to you only when I absolutely had to and you wouldn't be involved in anything we did in our parenting time because it's our family's time together.

Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied

*Shakes head*

As you know that didn't work very well at all, we rarely spoke, barely looked at each other and treated each other with contempt for the majority of the time.

It just wasn't working and we were miserable. Our son was oblivious but how long could that really last for?

Then something changed, in fact I remembered exactly when it happened.

It was 2012 and I had just given birth to my first child. A few weeks had gone by and for whatever reason I had to leave the house without bub. I get in the car, drive two blocks and I am crying, like, full blown ugly crying because I have just left MY baby! (the one I have silently vowed to love and protect forever) - never mind the fact he is safe with his father, a man I love and trust.

I am inconsolable.

That night I'm watching my bub sleep in my arms and it hits me hard.

You actually hand your child over to his father and a woman you know NOTHING about. I couldn't even begin to comprehend how hard it must have been to unwillingly pack your child up and send him off every week and only have blind faith that your child will be treated nothing short of how you would treat him.

I am cooking your child dinner, bathing, changing nappies, giving bottles and reading bed time stories - I love your child, your child loves me. My mind told me you should be grateful but my heart in that moment told me quite clearly that, that was the worst part.

You grew this little human inside of you, you had morning sickness, you felt the kicking, you experienced the intense pain of labour. You were his only mummy until I came along. As a mother, this has to be the worst kind of torture possible.

How you must have felt at all of those drop offs and pick-ups, the days leading up to those days too and the days he was with us. It would have been all consuming - I would be devastated, just like hindsight tells me you were.

Picture: Supplied
Picture: Supplied

If roles were reversed I would probably have some sort of rage blackout, rob a bank, kidnap my child and flee to the U.S. At this point in time sharing my children with another mother-like figure would break me. I refuse. I could not, would not! (settle down Dr Seuss).

From that moment you had my complete empathy. I should have given you that from the start - but how could I? I wasn't a mummy yet … I just couldn't have understood.

I'm babbling ... stay with me …

You joined a parenting page I was moderating at the time. We essentially started Facebook dating. There were many questions back and forth, real deep and meaningful conversations that were so easy to have behind the safety of our computers. We spent the good part of six months getting to really know each other, we learnt so much in such a short space of time.

Since then we have been through so much together, we have negotiated many wrong turns while flexing a few muscles to find a balance that works for us as co-mums.

Flash forward to now: our son is just about to turn 11 years old, he is running for school captain and has himself a girlfriend (or two). I have probably texted you 45 times this week and seen you at least four times in person - not because we were co-parenting but because you are my best friend and we have s**t to discuss.

Julie and her unlikely best friend.
Julie and her unlikely best friend.

You are selfless and empathetic to a fault, witty A.F - your sense of humour is my favourite thing about you (although only reserved for those you feel completely comfortable around.) You are more forgiving than anyone I have ever met (and I need lots of forgiving with a mouth that rarely gets filtered).

You understand the things I say and more importantly the things I don't say. You have held my hand through many tough times and encouraged me to remain strong and always point me in the right direction. I admire you, your emotional strength and determination.

Julie, left, with Emma, the mother of her stepson. Picture: Supplied
Julie, left, with Emma, the mother of her stepson. Picture: Supplied

Thank you for letting me in, trusting me and allowing me the opportunity to co-parent with you - when I fell in love with your son, I never imagined I would find a soulmate in his mother.

Happy Birthday Em, xo"



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