It's not surprising that Katie never got along with her boyfriend's ex-wife, Casey.
And it's no wonder that their relationship was tumultuous. Katie had only known her boyfriend, Jeremy, for six weeks when he told her he had a son. "How old?" she asked, expecting him to be about 2-years-old.
Jeremy responded, "His name is Landon and he is 3 weeks old."
This new relationship, so fresh after an old relationship, didn't create a setting of trust.
Katie wrote on Facebook, "There was a constant battle and fight. And yup ... Casey and I hated each other. So many stories, rumors, and judgements, but what would you expect? That's all we ever saw. That's the norm. You don't like the 'other person.'"
But after about a year of this, Katie woke up and thought, "I truly hate who I have become."
So, although it was challenging, Katie reached out to Casey. They began to talk and spend time together. At first, all that tied them together was their love of their son, Landon. But with work, they overcame their disrespect and became friends. Katie wrote: "Casey was there when I needed someone to talk to, cry to, or just be a friend. She is someone who saved me without even realizing it. Casey was there. Casey was always there."
So when it came time for Katie to make her wedding vows to Jeremy, she knew they wouldn't be complete if she only vowed to him. She said, "I finally realized, yes Jeremy and I were going to be a family ... our own family, but I felt like I was missing something. And that was Casey and Tyler [Casey's new husband] in the mix. If it wasn't for them, I know Jeremy and I would not have been together. They are the reason we grew up and love like we do."
So without telling anybody, as Katie opened her mouth to give her wedding vows, she turned away from her husband-to-be and toward his ex.
She said, "First I want to thank you for accepting me as your friend and allowing me to be a part of Landon's life. I promise to be an amazing mother to your son. I will guide, teach and love him every single day. I promise to respect, work, listen and communicate together as co-parents. I will love you guys no matter what comes our way. We are one family always."
While this isn't a solution for every circumstance and every relationship, Katie's example shows that this is sometimes possible. No matter what the situation, it's always valuable to examine yourself and the ways you can show more love to people (even those who you feel like don't deserve it). As you put in the effort to create "impossible" relationships, you will recognize the positive difference this makes in the person's life, your loved ones lives and your own.
"Co-parenting means sharing the duties of a child. So, I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing. I not only vowed to Jeremy. I gave a vow to Casey and Tyler. Then I vowed to Landon, and then to Jeremy. I wasn’t just going into a marriage with Jeremy and needed his trust and respect, but I needed Casey's and Tyler's, too. One thing I promised, was to be ONE family, always. I know without hesitation, we will never break that promise. I know I can speak for us all, parenting is hard yet amazing; but co-parenting? It’s a blessing. It was the hardest and best four years of my life. It takes true understanding and support from the ones who love you. Everyone facing custody problems, acceptance, understanding, relationship problems, etc; we get it. Not everyone gets the luxury of having a relationship like we formed; but it's possible to get along, communicate, and give the same rules/love/respect on both sides for your child/children. Go against the norm. BE that CHANGE."
A Love What Matters Original Video
Submitted by Katie Hild, Video courtesy of Bob Hogan Productions