natalie brenner

‘To my ex-husband on our wedding anniversary, I’m angry at my 19-year-old self for marrying you.’: Woman admits she was ‘barely surviving’ in her marriage, says ‘we both sucked at loving each other’

“A year ago today we rented an Airbnb and had dinner at some hip restaurant. We were parenting 4 children and adopting a fifth. We had just moved into a big, beautiful home with lots of space for our growing family, close to our best friends. We looked like the perfect little family, but we were fooling ourselves.”

‘I can’t introduce you to my kids until I know. They’ll attach to you, and I can’t break their hearts.’: Girlfriend nervous it’s ‘too soon’ to meet boyfriend’s kids, feels anxious to not ‘replace’ mom

“While I waited, my mind raced. Did their mom know I was spending the weekend with them? Do I hug them? I was suddenly anxious. I heard the door open. ‘Natalie,’ Kevin called, ‘Come up here.’ I breathed in deeply and felt jitters. I wanted these boys to not feel awkward. I knew I wasn’t their mom, and I would never think I’m replacing her.”

‘I choked out, ‘So, their dad and I are no longer living together.’ 8 months into fostering two of the girls, and 2 months after saying ‘yes!’ to adopting, my children’s father and I separated.’

“We had 5 kids and had just celebrated 6 years of marriage. Our entire life crashed, the walls built with facades and fantasies. I was secretly dying inside. It was silent, painful. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be taking family photos without a husband, my children’s father.”

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