To my husband, if we ever part...
You never know what's going to happen when you're married. When I was younger, I wanted to be married by 21 and have my first kid by 22. I didn't take into consideration that I would still be in college by the time I turned 21 or the fact that I would be giving up the basic freedoms many 21-year-olds explore during that time. I would be choosing to settle down way before I was ready and the generation I live in now, marriage at 21 isn't prevalent anymore, so I had to change that when I was 16 years old. I still want to marry and have kids when I'm young (I want to be a young mom), so I'm just pushing my plan back a few years. The one thing about getting married that scares me is getting a divorce if my husband and I can't figure things out when we go through a rough patch. My parents divorced when I was 11 and it was pure hell up until I turned 16. I promised myself that my husband and I would never get a divorce, but he and I can only do so much. Here's what I want him to know if we ever split.
You're still my best friend and I don't know how long it'll take for me to get over this. Divorce is like a break-up on steroids and different strokes for different folks. You could be on your way to your girlfriend's house right now and I'll be at work or getting ready to pick up the kids from school or you'll be on your way to get our son from school because he's sick while I'm at work. You'll see them on the weekends and I hope you have some fun activities planned for them. I want you to reiterate that although mommy and daddy aren't together, we still love them just the same and nothing's changed except that they'll be in a new house with new toys on the weekend. Stay engaged with them just like when we were all together. Go to every recital and game that you can and if you can't, please plan to do something with them to make up for your absence.
When they go through the stage of hating one or both of us because of the divorce (because it may happen), go easy on them. Don't put the blame all on yourself, but don't put it all on me. That creates rifts in families and causes them to split. I want us to have a healthy co-parenting relationship where we can be in the same room standing five feet apart and be just as comfortable as if we were standing next to each other holding hands. I want us to be able to grab lunch and talk about the kids' academic future and plan how to send them to college and support them equally. I want us to both be present for prom, graduation, and any other milestone that happens in their lives. Let's not make this divorce a battle between you and me because our children could get hurt in the crossfires and from experience I don't want that. Don't deny them the right of being a child because you have a vendetta against me; keep it between us and don't bother them with it. They're just babies and shouldn't have to grow up before they're ready.
I expect you to remarry and find someone who makes you happy in ways that I couldn't, but I ask that you respect me enough as the mother of your kids to not let her waltz in and think she can take over everything; my kids are not her kids. I will respect you as the father and tell my boyfriend that he has no say in my children's lives because they already have an active and present father. I want to sit next to each other in the stands and laugh, cheer, and yell at the referees for doing our son wrong in the football game and take pictures with our daughter together at her recital. I want them to know that it's okay to have a step-mom and a step-dad, but most of all, I want them to be comfortable having step-parents. This isn't ideal for me and I know it's not ideal for you, but let's make this as easy for our family as possible. This isn't about me and you; it's about them.
Lastly, I love you. Not, "I loved you" because that means I am completely over you, but I'm not. I heal slower than anyone else that I know, so it'll take time for me to say it in past tense, but I will get to that point and I hope that you will, too.