We all wish and desire to have someone special in our lives -someone to laugh and cry with, to share burdens and successes with, to help and support one another through life’s toughest times. More importantly, we want someone to grow old with. Unfortunately, not all relationships end in “happily ever after”.
Many of those who ended up in unwanted pregnancies or separation grow skeptic about falling in love again. They say that their “not-so-good” experience in their previous relationships have brought about certain fears and issues on love. Others, however, were made stronger and even better people by being a single parent. They are those who have risen above the low points, transformed their brokenness into learnings, and enjoyed a second chance at love.
These 3 women illustrate the blessing of second chances:
Learning to let go
Ingrid was only 21 years old when she became a single mother. She met her child’s father during an event they were both involved in. “Our first year was really sweet. He introduced me to his family. He made me feel so important, which led to intimacy because I trusted him so much.”
Later on however, things started to change between them. Ingrid knew there were other women, but she still accepted him nonetheless. Then she discovered that she was pregnant. “The day I found out I was pregnant I was happy and sad at the same time. Happy, because I thought this will make him change his ways, but then I wasn’t really sure.”
Disappointed, her parents asked her to leave their house. She rented a room for herself, while her child’s father seldom visited. Her family took her back in when she was seven months pregnant - thanks to her sister – and in December of 2003, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Ingrid later got a job offer abroad. She had to leave her daughter behind in the Philippines under the care of her sister. It was also around this time when her daughter’s father offered to marry her. “But I said NO, knowing that he had been unfaithful in the past, and asked him to wait until the right time comes. He was extremely unfaithful when I was around, what more when I'm miles away?”
After months of working abroad as an Events Manager for a prestigious hotel in Dubai, Ingrid finally realized that she was ready to move on without him. “I decided to end my relationship with him. My life continued as a proud single-parent!”
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She was quite happy being single and had relationships thereafter, but never hid the fact that she has a daughter, which she felt they had to accept. In 2008, Ingrid met Rick, 32, a Civil Engineer, through a Catholic support group for singles in Dubai. Their friendship grew while serving together in the group’s music ministry.
It wasn’t difficult for Rick to accept Ingrid’s situation. He himself had a sister who was also a single-parent. Rick's family accepted Ingrid, even if they have not met her personally at first. “I was so blessed to be in this kind of situation. I firmly believe that God has revealed His plans, His perfect plans for me with Rick, his family, my daughter and my family.”
After two years of being together, they finally decided to get married in August 2011.
However, being an instant family posed new challenges for Ingrid most especially her 8-year old daughter. Since both Ingrid and Rick were based abroad, there really wasn’t much opportunity for her daughter and husband to bond together. “My daughter knows her as "Tito Rick", she knows that he is my husband, and she knows that she is our priority. It is difficult to build the relationship between them as "father-daughter" because they are far apart.” Ingrid knew in her heart that only time will eventually bridge this gap.
Rick and Ingrid are now expecting their first child, and Ingrid made sure that her daughter was the first person she told about her pregnancy. Rick, on the other hand, is nervous yet excited. “I trust that he will be a great dad to my daughter and all of our kids.” This time, she is looking forward to building the family of her dreams with her husband, daughter and baby. “I know I am ready as I have the love and support of everyone around me.”
“Being a single parent for me is a gift -- a gift which means life is giving me a chance to be someone stronger than what I think of myself, better than I hope I could ever be, and powerful that I could make decisions that will change my child's life. Being married, on the other hand, is a bonus.”