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‘How did that happen?!’ I live with my husband’s ex-wife. Marrying him was package deal.’: Mom and stepmom peacefully co-parent, ‘What matters most is having each other’s back’

“Growing up, I fantasized about the man I was going marry. I never thought he’d be 16 years older, with 4 kids and an ex-wife. I was pregnant and feeling isolated. She was a homemaker of 30 years, faced with an empty nest. Little did I know how far we could take it. People struggle to wrap their heads around it.”

‘As a mom, you just KNOW. Something didn’t feel right. Cars zipped by on the busy street. I trembled as we made our way to the front of the building. We were only a few steps away. I wanted to run, but I didn’t.’

“I wish I could’ve jumped into one of those passing cars and pretended it never happened. That I hitchhiked, ran away, disappeared. I thought we could find someone to ‘fix’ my son. As the woman in the office spoke, I couldn’t take my eyes off her mouth. I knew the word that would come. I didn’t believe her.”

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