I haven’t written much in the last 18 months. I’ve been hyper-focused on raising my kids and working, and honestly nothing has come up that has made me want to write. During my “time off”, I leaned on the stepmoms in my support group. We’ve created a safe place to rant and rave, and once in a while, something comes through from the “other camp” that makes us believe that there really is a light at the end of the stepmother tunnel.
Recently one of the stepmoms shared that the biomom in her life had a very ugly break-up with her live-in boyfriend of a few years. Imagine the SM’s surprise when she found this email from biomom’s ex-boyfriend in her inbox:
I wanted to apologize to you for the sometimes unkind looks and for participating in the madness. Now that I have stepped back , I can see that I was wrong and even you had a better understanding of what was going on. I completely get the unhealthiness between all of them. I could not be better now that I am away from it all. There has been a lot of spin and co-dependency that might have filtered the truth to you. I wish you the best of luck and I am sorry for not being so kind from time to time. Though I own it, I was working off the information from the other side.*
Wow. That’s huge.
The stepmom shared with me that her contact with the boyfriend was limited to the kids’ events, concerts, plays, etc. She doesn’t remember ever saying a word to him, but she does remember him participating in the stare downs.
I asked the stepmom to share her thoughts about the letter. Here’s what she had to say:
I was very thankful for the apology. It took a lot of guts to admit that he was wrong and that he was intentionally hurtful, when he could have easily just walked away. I never had a direct issue with him because I knew he was her puppet. Still, it’s nice to know that there are people who are willing to take responsibility for their behavior and actions and not blame it on someone else. A simple apology shines some light into the dark tunnels that many stepmothers feel trapped in. Will I ever get any apology like this from biomom? No. Nor do I expect one. But it’s nice to get an apology from someone that used to be under her influence.
An apology does wonders for the soul. Have you ever given or received a sincere apology from the stepmom or biomom (or in this case someone who was involved with her)? How did your relationship change afterwards?
*Printed with the author’s permission.