Most communications between divorcees are not wonderful – what’s even worse is the feeling between the new spouse and the ex. Added to that are feelings of bitterness, resentment, hurt, confusion and jealousy between the new spouse and the now step-kids – and compound that if the new couple has kids of their own.

But alas, in the midst of the storm, we realize that we can make a choice. We can choose love and life rather than holding on the past. We can choose forgiveness and to see the good in people. It’s not always the easiest road, but certainly the most rewarding.

One such mom decided to do exactly that—meet Candice Curry, 39. She posted a letter on a blog to her daughter’s new stepmom. Well, it went viral for a reason…check this out…

Meet Candice Curry, 39, now divorced.


Curry with daughter and former husband.


What Candice was hoping for was a mean sort of new wife – something that her daughter Stiles would want nothing to do with. Ashley Parish, 29, however, turned out to be anything but.

Stiles and Ashley dancing away.


Candice had planned for a life of resentment and planting seeds of bitterness, just as divorcees commonly do. But she just couldn’t do it. “My plans were foiled,” she wrote.”You’ve accepted my daughter from the very start and have unconditionally loved both her and her daddy, that’s a true gift to all of us.” [Get the tissue out.] “You’ve included my daughter in everything you do and make her feel loved and accepted. You put her relationship with her daddy above yours and only a brave and courageous woman knows how to do that with such grace.”

Ashley with Stiles on her wedding day.


Ashley has been co-parenting with Curry for over 7 years now. They regularly exchange text messages to each other, sending mutual reminders of love and care.

Curry was expecting, and secretly hoping for, someone to resent – someone who her daughter would not be able to look up to. But what she found was opposite. She is now proud to be working alongside her to help raise Stiles – who is quickly becoming a woman with each day that passes. Together, they continue to choose to rise above their circumstances.

Stiles and Ashley back-to-back with ease.


Stiles and Ashley – she growing up!


Curry goes on to thank Ashley and affirm her respect for her as well as her input into rearing Styles.

Candice’s November 30th post was shared more than 10,000 times in Facebook and syndicated on my other sites.

Ashley cried as she read the post. She and Stiles read it together, ”Thank you for this letter. It made my day and I will keep it close to my heart always. Love you.” Amazing.

The Letter:

‘An Open Letter to my Daughter’s Stepmom,’ from Candice Curry’s blog ‘Women With Worth’

To My Daughter’s Stepmom:

I never wanted you here. You simply were never part of the plan. Growing up and dreaming of my family I never included you. I didn’t want help from another woman to raise my child. The plan was for my family to include me, daddy and our children, not you. I doubt you ever wanted me in your life. I doubt you planned to mother a child that you didn’t give birth to. I can bet that your plan for your family included you, daddy and your children together, not me or my daughter. I can almost bet that when you dreamed of becoming a mother it would be the day you gave birth and not the day you married your husband. I’m pretty sure you never planned on me being here.

But God has plans that far exceed our own and when my little family dissolved to form two families I knew you would be coming.

In my mind you would be a terrible beast and my daughter would not want you to mother her at all, ever! I was hoping that you would be semi unattractive and prayed my daughter wouldn’t look up to you. Her daddy would know that he was settling for second best. Evil swirled in me because I never wanted to face the fact that another woman would mother my child in my absence.

Then you arrived.

When I first met you I’ll admit you weren’t what I had in mind and a twinge of jealousy shot through my body. You were supposed to be hideous, remember? But you weren’t, you were stunningly beautiful. You were supposed to be a mean old hag, remember? But you weren’t, you were a young, sweet woman.

My plans were foiled.

I realized by the look on your face that meeting me was just as hard as it was for me to meet you. My heart immediately softened. Dang your kind smile! I was planning on really hating you. Why are your ruining my plan?!

I wanted to resent you but you made it impossible and I quickly grew thankful for you.

You’ve accepted our daughter from the very start and have unconditionally loved both her and her daddy, that’s a true gift to all of us. You’ve included our daughter in everything you do and make her feel loved and accepted. You put her relationship with her daddy above yours and only a brave and courageous woman knows how to do that with such grace.

I knew when her daddy and I decided to divorce and live in separate homes there would be times when she would need me, her mommy, and I wouldn’t be there. I’m so thankful that you are there in my absence. I’m grateful that you have mercy on her teen years and never reject her. She needs a mommy at your house and you’ve done an amazing job being that for her.

You’ve respected my position as mom from the very start. I appreciate that you always check with me when you question if you are making the right decision with her. I know our situation is rare. It’s not often that a mom and stepmom text each other to remind each other that they love and respect each other. You are a gift.

Because of you and your courage to mother our daughter the way that you do, she will be a better woman. She will grow up with more love than I could have ever imagined. It wasn’t her choice to have divorced parents and even though I wouldn’t wish that on any child I am so thankful that she now has 4 parents who love and respect her and each other. She’s compassionate because of it and understands that a failure in one area can turn into a blessing in another.

I don’t see you as a fill in for when I’m not there. You are her mother when she’s with you and when she’s with me. She’s excited to call you and tell you her stories when she’s at my house and that makes my heart want to jump from my chest with joy. I fill with pride when you wrap your arms around me and squeeze for a genuine and loving hug each time we see each other.

I am extremely aware of what it looks like when a mother cannot emotionally accept her childs stepmother in their life. Gratefulness pours heavily from me that we are able to rise above anything like that and do what is truly right for our daughter. Thank you for being mature enough and respectful enough to co-parent with me.

I promise to always respect your input for our daughter. I promise to never lessen the position you hold in her life or make you feel like you are not her mother. I promise to raise her to be grateful to have two strong and brave women in her life that have the courage to mother her together. Even though our situation is peaceful I pray that she is never in it, but if she ever finds herself here I promise to set an example for her of what co-parenting should look like.

Precious woman, you are a rare and beautiful gem.

God bless you and I love you.

Love is a choice – not a feeling or an emotion. Sure, emotions and feelings come but they also go. Love does not. It’s amazing what can happen if we tell ourselves to choose love or choose life over and over – after a while, we find that our emotions and feelings catch up to the vision we have chosen to continually put before us. And the best part is that it is contagious.

[I too am divorced and maintain amicable communication with my former family – I just share this as encouragement that all things are possible with forgiveness and an open heart!]