I just want to firstly apologise in advance for the fact my posts might be a bit sparse over the next few weeks. I am currently in the process of preparing for 10 days in Melbourne before heading back to the UK. Because of this I am obviously super busy spending the last little bit of time with my boyfriend’s family and seeing the last things in Brisbane that we want to see. I will try to post as much as possible – I’ll be sure to schedule stuff for Fiction Fridays in advance – and will definitely be back in the swing of things as soon as I get back to the UK. Sorry guys, I’ll be sure to keep reading your stuff though whenever I get the chance 🙂
Dear previous, current and future stepmothers.
I have always known my dad has had a problem with monogamy. As soon as I was old enough to understand my mum made a point of letting me know that that’s why they divorced when I was just five years old. Some people may think that that isn’t necessarily appropriate, but I think the reason behind it was simply to teach me that lying and cheating is not okay. A fair lesson to teach anyone, I think.
I remember the realisation washing over me as she sat me down and told me the truth behind their separation. It all suddenly made sense. Why she spent hours crying to herself on the sofa whenever my dad had dropped my brothers and I home on a Sunday night. I suddenly felt the guilt crash over me as I remembered blaming her for my dad leaving and hating her for moving us across the country. It all made sense. She was just trying to escape her own pain, the pain my father’s lies had made it impossible for her to shake. None of it was her fault.
So now, nearly two decades and five step-mother figures later, I find it frustrating whenever he introduces me to someone new. How am I supposed to know whether to get attached to this one? Of course the logical answer is to just not, but it’s not that simple when they’re so great. And that’s the situation I am in now, my step-mum of one year is such an amazing woman who truly loves my dad despite knowing all about his past. She put her trust in him and hoped that he would love her like she loved him and gave him the chance he so desperately pleaded for. Only now she smells a rat.
Do I think she should be telling me about my father’s antic? Of course not. But I can’t help but feel for her despite being put in a hideously awkward position. But there is just one thing I want to clear up. My dad could be the worst husband or boyfriend in the world. He could cheat on you daily, not show you any affection and blatantly look at women as you walk by, but he will always be my father first. Obviously I do draw a line. If he was ever violent I would of course question him as a person and therefore our relationship, but the fact of the matter is that he has always been the best father a girl could ask for. He has always supported me when I have needed it, I have always been able to turn to him when I need advice and he has always raised me to be good and honest. So I find it difficult to judge him based on anything else.
There is nothing I want more than for my dad to stop cheating and to learn to love and be loved in a healthy way. I understand that maybe his mother’s unhealthy relationship with his father (one where she knowingly went away at the weekends with her boyfriend), has damaged his perception on love, but of course I don’t believe that that condones it. I wish he would let me teach him a few things like he has taught me, but he is just too stubborn to see what he is doing wrong.
I want so desperately to apologise to the women that have come and gone through our family and beg that they don’t hate my father for his mistakes, nor me and my brothers for standing by his side unconditionally. I’m sorry that my father doesn’t know how to accept a healthy love and to love healthily. I hope you all find whatever it is you were looking for in my dad, just as I hope he finally finds whatever his heart is yearning for.