I have been asked to write a post on this for quite a while now so I thought It was time I did it. Warning straight up though is that it’s strange and may be hard to follow!
Most if you know I’m more than happily married and have been for almost a decade to the wonderful Nathan. Together we have had 4 children, Jadis, Charley, then Michael and Lyra who both have sadly passed away. We also have Jesse, my eldest, from my previous marriage. For this who don’t know our history they don’t have a clue that Nathan is jesses step dad not his dad, because that’s how it’s always been. He is as much his child as the others. To the point that the things he has which he wants to pass down to his children, Jesse gets the first and finest as he’s the eldest. Many unassuming people, also comment that he looks “so much like his dad”, despite no biological connection. To think that someone loves Jesse as much as his own biological children, is more than I could ever have asked for. At Nathan and my wedding, Jesse and I were referred to as a package deal. A buy one get one free offer. And I could not have been more flattered.
I met Steve (the best ex in the world) as a young 17 year old and we hastily fell deeply in love and in the naivety of our love, thought we could conquer everything together despite the world looking scarier than we wished it was. By the time I was 22 we were married.
Jesse came along when I was 23. We were the true definition of bliss. What we lacked in external security was blown out of the water by what we had within our tiny family unit.
Just over a year later, life got the better of us and we split up. I was in shock, just 24 years old and I thought my world had ended. I couldn’t handle seeing him as the husband I had lost but I also knew having Jesse I would have to find some way of making myself ok with including him in my life in a mature way.
The way I attacked that was to imagine that the person I had been so in love with and had been married to had died, (he was never coming back in that capacity anyway) and to forge a new friendship with this new person, Jesses dad.
And with a hell of a lot of hard work. And plenty of frustration along the way, we made it happen. Not just for Jesse but for us too. We never lost our friendship, just our marriage. Same with my Inlaws, I’m lucky enough that they too are still a huge part of my life and that of my other children too. Having 3 sets of grandparents as a child is pretty damn awesome!
Now I’m certainly not saying it’s been an easy road, it’s taken more than 11 years to get to where we are now and some of that has been easy, some not so much.
When I decided to pursue a relationship with Nathan, our lives became what we like to refer to as a little “jerry springer” like. See Nathan and Steve had been great friends in high school, so I had known Nathan as long as Steve anyway. Initially it had the potential to have been very weird and unworkable, but as they say, the heart wants what it wants, and Steve knew Nathan would be a great person for Jesse to have in his life when he couldn’t be there so he gave the new relationship his approval, which although I didn’t need it. I appreciated it.
Jesse still calls Steve Daddy and he calls Nathan “Nain” as that’s what his blossoming 18 month old vocabulary could cope with at the time.
So here is where is gets weirder. When Jadis and Charley came along, they followed Jesse’s lead and called Steve daddy, and Nathan Nain. I know that for a little while that mucked with some peoples heads but it worked for us and neither Steve or Nathan minded. As Jadis and Charley have matured. they still call Nathan Nain or occasionally Daddy but they now mostly call Steve “Jesse’s daddy” and if there’s ever an event where they need to take their dad to something and Nathan has been unavailable, it’s always been second nature to ask Steve instead. And he’s always said yes without question.
I’ve always seen it as children can never have enough people to love them. So mine have 3 parents, 3 sets of grandparents and 3 sides of the family where their cousins come from.
And you know this shits working when you have babies that die and these “ex” people are just as devastated as the non “ex” ones. They have always attended their funerals and one of my favourite pictures of Michael’s funeral is the one where surrounded by Jesse, Jadis and Charley, Steve sprinkled sand in the grave with a heaviness in his heart that could never have been faked . To me that means I’ve made it. (Well the 3 of have) I’ve got where many people never will. And every ounce of blood sweat and tears has been worth it to have “the best ex husband in the world”.