There are some things you just don't want to admit to, but it's time for me to confess something. A big lesson I've learned in media is, the more authentic you are, the more you connect with your audience. Even if you’re not cool with doing it. And I certainly don't feel cool right now.

Katie Jo and I called it quits. After 9 years together, we couldn't make our relationship fit in a comfortable groove that would propel us into a lifelong relationship. This isn't a new development; I just needed time to adjust to two major changes in my life that occurred at exactly the same time.

Katie let me know she wanted out as we travelled to bring our son home from the Oregon hospital where he was born. Our relationship had been deteriorating for some time, having nothing to do with Mr. Carter. In fact, in hindsight I think he helped us stay together longer than we would have without the hope of him. But knowing it was over when our family had just begun was surreal, and something I don't think I completely believed at the time. We both are equally at fault for our unraveling, but I naively thought things might get better once we got more sleep.

We decided not to change how we lived before the holidays. We faked it with our families so everyone could focus on Mr. Carter's first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. But by the time spring arrived, Katie was out of the house and we were co-parenting.

To say this year has been a difficult one is an understatement. I have, on the one hand, had the most incredible experience of my life getting to know and care for my son. At the same time I've had to grieve in private a relationship I thought would last much longer, and simply endure the comments from others about how excited they are for us as a couple.

The hardest time came when the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. My activist's tears of accomplishment were mixed with those that saw a personal dream unrealized. Good wishes poured in from people trying to guess when Katie and I would get engaged. Just last weekend several people referred to her as my wife, and I simply let it slide.

So, it's time. It's time to speak the words I never expected to; I'm a single parent. Katie and I are committed to raising our son in an environment of incredible love and support, and I'm grateful that our end can transition into something more meaningful than us. Moving forward, though, I have no idea what to expect from my new dating life. I'm sure it will be the normal mix of Hey She's Got Potentials and the Oh Hell Nos. Regardless of what comes my way, I can finally say I look forward to the challenge.

11 Responses

  1. Sjanna

    I am sorry to hear about you and Kate ending your relationship. I'm syre you both will co parent just fine. Good luck in the dating world. It may be a little fun. Who knows you may meet the personal you never knew you were meant to be with . Come parry for black pride we will cheer you up lol.

  2. Sheri Coleman

    So sorry to hear about this Melissa. I listen to you and Jeff every morning and I hope for the best for everyone involved Best wishes on your next adventure, I am sure Mr. Carter will do great as long as you and Katie Jo work together. Much love and support as you move foward in your life.


  3. Donna Johnson

    I feel your pain as I have a similar pass with my ex and our two children.

    After a high intensity custody battle that began in Cherokee County and migrated to Fulton County (Forty One Miles-forthcoming book), we have adjusted to our new norm three years later. Being my primary focus, our children's hugs secretly pulled me through many blue nights filled with lousy cooking, closed blinds as I slipped on the autopilot button. Allowing my children to teach me to love in a new way has put me in a place of peace, contentment and….we removed all blinds from windows together.

    Now 5 and 7, our children are well adjusted and I often wonder, as sad as it was, had this not occurred, would I have slowed down long enough to be my best for them.  

    Sorry for your update and wishing nothing but the best. Enjoy Mr. Carter and the rest will fall into place. DJ

  4. Rachael

    It must be hard to live your life out in the public. When the rest of us are vulnerable we might get a couple of negative comments.. when you unfortunately get 100's. I wish you and your changing family all of the best as you travel this next leg of your journey. 

  5. marlene bell

    So sorry to hear this Melissa.  I listen to you and Jeff every morning and actually have missed you this Friday.  It's just not the same without you. I know you and Mr. Carter will be just fine – as a matter of fact, I know you will ROCK.  I have been a single parent from the time my boys were 2 and 7; they are 34 and 27 now. My oldest Josh is getting married in October and Jordan is engaged (his little fiance has another year and a half of Vet School). I really think my boys turned out so amazing and I know in my heart that you and your precious son will just excel in anything you 2 do. You are such a wonderful,  strong woman and I know everything with you and Mr. Carter will be an amazing journey and life. Good luck Melissa and God bless you and your precious baby boy♡♡

  6. MaryAnn

    I'm SO sorry to hear the sad news. The end of a longterm relationship is hard, especially a loving one. I'm sorry you two had to put on a brave face for family, friends, and fans. I did that with my exhubby, and it's amazingly hard and painful.

    Regarding little Mr. Carter, as long as you both love him, work together as his parents, and never speak bad about his other mom, he'll be great like you (both)!

  7. Debbie

    I am heartbroken for the both of you.  As we all know it doesn't matter what kind of relationship you are in, sometimes it just doesn't work out. Regarding your precious son, my best advice is give him all of your love and remain friends with your ex-partner.  Never speak negatively around him about her.  As long as he is loved by you both then he is a blessed child.

    My heart goes out to you both and as long as you stay positive I know deep down inside that you both will find another partner.

    All my best….a loyal listener ((HUGS))

  8. Erica McCurdy

    Good morning!

    I have been listening to you since you were on the Bert show. Thank you for your transparency and your courage in sharing what you are going through and your dtermination to make your son a priority. As a working CPC in Metro Atlanta, and a co-parent myself, I have a particular passion for co-parenting families.

    Yes, you have a challenge ahead, but this is one you CAN break down and manage well. To begin, continue to ask yourself- what is the best next step for my children and myself?

    In some ways, this probably isn't very different than what you were doing before, but in other ways, this likely feels radically different to you right now because you are making this decision while in the process of redefining who you are. You have a new identity and a new paradigm. You've done this before, just in different areas of your life. 

    The challenge is tri-fold:

    To continue to parent well with the end-game in mind

    To re-define who you are in the context of your singleness

    To learn to work in harmony with the other parent, to make the absolute best use of each of your strengths, tabling pride and frustration, so that the first two goals become easier and more achievable.

    All of this is possible. Not only do my clients learn to do this, but in my own life, I have learned to do so as well, through separation, divorce and subsequent remarriage for each of us. We now live two miles apart, go on joint vacations and have learned how to lean into our strengths and disregard the others weaknesses.

    I would love to share more.

    'Coach' Erica McCurdy

  9. Barbara

    So sorry Melissa! I was very surprised and saddened by this news but understand and appreciate all you're going through right now. You are a strong beautiful woman and will rise above this and be an awesome me mom to Mr. Carter.  He is a very lucky little man. 


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