I first met Cristie when Jake was around 18 months old or so. She was dating my ex, Jake’s father. At first, I was hurt and jealous. I felt like my ex had just thrown nearly 3 and a half years away. However, I had to admit to myself that he and I just weren’t good for each other. Whatever attracted us to each other when we were 16 just wasn’t there anymore. And I realized that was ok. I was 19, almost 20 and still young.
I did want him to be a more active father. However, he just wasn’t mature enough to give up what he wanted to do in order to spend one on one time with his son. Young moms don’t have the same luxury. Often they have to be a parent whether they want to or not. I resented him for that. I didn’t resent Jake at all, just the fact that his father got to be carefree and I had all the responsibility of being a parent.
I think my ex had it in his head that in order for him to see Jake, he’d have to still be with me. That wasn’t the case at all. I told him I would drop Jake off and leave so they could spend some time together, and then go pick him back up later on. He told me he didn’t have time for that and got into a truck with a girl, who I would later find out to be Cristie.
I found out a month or so later from a girl at work that Cristie and my ex would be getting married. Was I hurt? Sure. But I was more relieved than anything. See, my ex and I had a rocky relationship. We would break up and he would see other people. Sometimes I’d talk to another guy, but never really dated. We would get back together and if he found out I so much as spoke to another guy, he’d get angry with me. So when I found out he and Cristie were going to be married, I felt free. I knew then I didn’t have to be his backup. And I’m glad because that November I met Will, the man I would marry.
Cristie and I didn’t always get along. I’m not sure exactly what all my ex had said about me. I’m sure that most of it wasn’t nice. Was I perfect? No. But neither was he. Cristie and I eventually started talking more and it was evident that she really cared about Jake. I told her as long as she was good to my son, she’d never have a problem out of me. I really don’t think I could have picked out a better
step bonus mom for Jake. She was usually the one who would show up to pick him up and he always loved going with her.
Cristie and I would have a few misunderstandings here and there, but nothing major. We always got past them. I was really disheartened when she told me that my ex had been cheating on her and was leaving her for the other woman. She was a good wife and I honestly don’t think my ex could have asked for a better wife. But for whatever reason, he wasn’t happy. And I guess in this day and time, being happy is the only thing that matters. Not vows and morals. But that’s not the focus of this.
Cristie never overstepped her boundaries when it came to Jake. She never tried to replace me or compete with me. She simply wanted what was best for him. She still does. I think that’s why even though Jake is grown, he still goes to see her and respects her. She was in his life constantly for 10 years. So when my ex and Cristie divorced, I told her that she would always be able to see Jake whenever she wanted. I was not going to keep him from seeing her or his brother and sister.
I now consider her a good friend and I wouldn’t change that for the world. People used to be so confused when I’d tell them I was friends with my ex’s wife and that we got along really well. But Cristie is a great person so it’s not really a surprise to me. I still consider her Jake’s “bonus” mom and I’m glad she’s still a part of his life.