An Open Letter To Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith

Dear Ms. Smith,

You don't know me, so let me introduce myself. I'm a therapist who has been working with and writing about blended families for over a decade. As such, I felt compelled to respond to the letter that you wrote to your stepmom friend on your Facebook page on February 16th. Here's what you wrote:

Blended families are never easy but here's why I don't have a lot of sympathy for your situation because ... we choose them. When I married Will, I knew Trey was part of the package ... period! If I didn't want that ... I needed to marry someone else. Then I learned if I am going to love Trey ... I had to learn to love the most important person in the world to him ... his mother. And the two of us may not have always liked each other ... but we have learned to love each other.

I can't support any actions that keep a man from his children of a previous marriage. These are the situations that separate the women from the girls. Your behavior is that of an insecure child who needs to recognize her own weaknesses that must be strengthened to take on the task at hand. We can't say we love our man and then come in between him and his children. That's selfishness ... not love. Woman up ... I've been there ... I know. My blended family made me a giant ... Taught me so much about love, commitment and it has been the biggest ego death to date. It's time you let your blended family make you the giant you truly are. J.

Your commenters applauded, praised and supported you and my letter is directed as much to them as it is to you. I wasn't surprised by their responses. We live in a culture that is addicted to happy endings and stubbornly clings to the myths of stepmothers as evil and selfish.

As the reader, I wasn't given the specifics of what your friend shared so I'm not going to assume that she was either immature or selfish. I agreed with your position regarding being non-supportive of "any actions that keep a man from his children of a previous marriage." Any stepmother who sets out to keep her partner from his children deserves to be labeled as "evil" and any father that would allow this is equally if not more culpable and would benefit from examining why he permits this. Keep reading ...

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This article was originally published at Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.