I broke my promise to my stepkids by “abandoning and traumatizing” them because I did not want to parent them anymore.
I met Josh when I was 25. He was 31, had three kids, and had newly been widowed. In the beginning, we weren’t in a serious relationship. It was just a fling. However, we soon fell head over heels for each other and decided to spend the rest of our lives together.
Our wedding ceremony wasn’t quite like the ones you see in movies with beautiful locations and fancy rituals, but it was unique. Unlike a typical wedding where the bride and groom take an oath, Bob introduced the concept where I made a promise to my step kids never to leave them no matter what.
The idea of this whole oath thing did seem absurd initially, but I was so delighted to have met the man of my dreams that I blindly followed whatever Josh suggested. Little did I know my life would only get worse after marriage
Josh shoved all the household responsibilities on me soon after I moved into his house. I have always been a full-time employee, and managing everything was really difficult for me.
Moreover, my self-proclaimed loving husband hardly helped me and always found reasons to toss away all the work on me. “You know you’re much better at managing the chores, Linda!” he would say.
I had always dreamed of having a perfect married life with an adorable husband and loving kids, so I didn’t mind doing all the household work at the start. But managing the office and taking care of the house at the same time soon started taking a heavy toll on my body. So I decided to confront Josh about the workload.
“It’s getting too much, Josh!” I said when I came home from work. “We need to divide the housework or hire a full-time maid.”
Josh looked at me, perplexed. “But why Linda? Things are going fine, plus you’re amazing at managing the house. I don’t think we need a housemaid.”
At this point, I lost my cool. “Really, Josh? I mean, I work full-time at the office, and then I come back and have to look after the house. You can’t help me because you claim you suck at house chores, so should I just die working all day long?”
It was the first time I yelled at Josh since we were married, but I didn’t have any other choice. I was really sick of managing everything alone, and I’d been requesting Josh to hire a maid for a long time now, but he hardly cared.
“Calm down, honey,” he said. “Even I go to work, but I don’t make a fuss about it every day! Why are you overreacting?”
I was taken aback. “I didn’t know explaining my problems would be termed as overreacting, Josh, but thanks for reminding me,” I almost yelled and walked out of the room.
After our heated conversation, I didn’t speak to Josh for several days. I figured that if I gave him some time, he’d realize he was wrong. But as time passed, things only got worse.
Josh soon began openly dissing me and encouraging his children to do the same. They would sometimes gang up on me and mock me.
I’ll tell you the truth. I felt terrible every time they did that. At one point, I wanted to give up on everything and walk out the door, never to return. But I didn’t want to leave the kids since they had lost their mother when they were little, and I had taken an oath promising to look after them.
However, things got so unbearable because of the kids and their father humiliating me every day for housework and not taking good care of them that I decided to break my oath.
I had really started hating my married life. I hated Josh, and I despised the kids as well. I was done being this sweet woman who was too hard on herself while appearing to adore the kids.
So, one day, when Josh and the kids were out, I packed my belongings and left. I did leave a note, though, informing Josh that I would be sending divorce papers soon and that he shouldn’t come searching for me.
It’s been twelve years since that day. Even though I had ordered Josh not to look for me, he did come to see me once. However, it wasn’t because he missed me or anything.
He said that he wanted me to return so that someone could look after him and his children. But I flatly refused and told him I wouldn’t return because that marriage was awful for me. Josh and I had an intense argument after that, but he opted to divorce me in the end
I was overjoyed. It felt as if someone had finally freed me from prison. After that day, I decided never to marry again and live alone for the rest of my life. But after meeting Kevin, my thoughts changed.
I met him two years back at a work conference. Unlike Josh, he is genuinely kind and loving, and we have a lovely baby boy. Finally, I am content with my life because I have a family I had always dreamed of.
However, I recently received a text message from Josh’s son, Aaron. He said that by abandoning him and his sibling at an early age, I damaged and traumatized his life.
Well, I could have told him all the horrible things he and his father did to me, but I don’t care about them anymore. I had severed all ties with them the day I left that house. And I have no interest in looking back in the past.
What can we learn from this story?
Sometimes second chances work out better than the first. Linda had never thought she’d marry anyone after she divorced Josh. But she gave a chance to Kevin, and she’s really happy with her decision.
There’s no point in dwelling on the past. Linda decided not to affect herself with the way Aaron imposed allegations on her about ruining his childhood. After all, it wouldn’t change anything.