‘My ex picked up our daughter from a visit, smiling at his phone and texting a whole lot. I knew he had met someone else.’: Woman says ‘put on your big panties and make co-parenting work’

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“I went to my ex’s wedding.

I don’t like the stigma you can’t be friends with your ex, especially if there is a child involved. Now, don’t get me wrong, my ex and I can only spend about two days together before arguing. Since we both live in different states and only talk when we need to, our co-parenting relationship is amazing.

In order to tell you this story, I have to start at the beginning.

Since he has met his new wife, I knew she was the best bonus mother my daughter could ever ask for. I knew she would be there for my daughter whenever she needed someone. How, you ask? Well, I knew before I even really knew who she was, let alone had the chance to Facebook stalk this new woman who was coming into my daughter’s life.

You see, my ex was picking up our daughter from a visit and while he was here, he was smiling at his phone and texting a whole lot. I knew he had met someone. At first, I was scared. I was terrified because his last few relationships were definitely not the best.

It wasn’t until he told me she was planning a surprise for Elli when she came home, my worries seemed to fade.

‘Wow, a woman who hardly knows my daughter and just started dating my ex is going out of her way to welcome my daughter back home?’

That was when I realized, she is the one for my ex and our daughter.

Okay, back to the part where I tell you about this wedding.

I knew I wanted to go to their wedding to show my love and support, but I figured (because of this stigma), it would be weird. People don’t just go to their ex’s weddings, right?

Well, I was wrong, my ex’s fiancé wanted me to come and asked me to be there with them.

So I did.

First, we bought plane tickets. I flew there, surprised our daughter, who had absolutely no idea I was coming, and then boom, wedding!

It was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever been to. I also should not have worn makeup, due to all the happy tears that were shed. I took so many photographs before during and after the wedding, my right eye was blurry from looking through the lens all day.

Everything was beyond perfect!

Every guest (friends and family of theirs) I spoke to said the same exact thing, ‘Wow you guys have an amazing relationship,’ ‘I love how you all get along for your daughter,’ etc. I loved hearing this but at the same time, shouldn’t every parent who co-parents be this way?

Shouldn’t every mother and bonus mother get along for the sake of the child?

And the same with fathers and bonus fathers, or whatever the case may be.

I know other mothers or fathers are out there and may read this and say, ‘Well, my ex’s spouse is rude to me’ or ‘We just can’t get along.’ Why? Why would you put that pressure on your child? Put on your big panties and make it work.

My ex and I both come from broken homes. We both know the pain of missing parents and we knew we never wanted to strain our daughter’s life.

The look on my child’s face when her bonus mother and I hugged… words just can’t express it.

What I really want to see come away from this post is to try a little harder to make a relationship work with your ex and their partner. It only benefits the kids.

Holding grudges gets you nowhere.”

Courtesy Katie Stephenson

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Katie Stephenson. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more stories like this:

‘I had to leave, I had to be a single dad, to be a better father for my daughter.’: Single dad explains his relationship was ‘vulnerable, beyond repair,’ despite being determined to have a ‘strong co-parenting relationship’

3 dads, 2 kids: How these epic ‘bonus parents’ make co-parenting work because they ‘owe it to our children’

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