New stepmom had bitter rivalry with boy’s real mother—but no one expected what she said at wedding

November 10, 2017 9:45 am Last Updated: November 12, 2017 12:19 pm

Katie Musser started dating Jeremy Wade in 2013. Six weeks after they first met, they were still opening up to each other—and Jeremy suddenly dropped a bombshell that changed their relationship, and Musser’s life, forever: Wade had a child.

Katie, who was 20 at the time, was surprised, but assumed he had a 2-or-3-year-old child from a previous relationship.

But Jeremy told her that his son, Landon, was only 3 weeks old.

(Facebook/Jeremy Wade)

She acted excited for him, but secretly had her concerns about the revelation. They stayed together, but things changed.

“It was rough. Jeremy was different after Landon,” Katie wrote in a Facebook post. “There was a constant battle and fight.”

But for Katie, the worst part was the sudden animosity and rivalry with the boy’s real mother, Casey.

“[We] hated each other,” Katie recalled. “So many stories, rumors, and judgments, but what would you expect? That’s all we ever saw.”

“That’s the norm. You don’t like the ‘other person.'”

This went on for a year. But right before Landon’s birthday, Katie became introspective. Not only could she feel the rivalry was corroding her relationship with Jeremy, she couldn’t even understand her own behavior.

So, she reached out to her “other person” with an olive branch.

“I reached out to Casey. I spoke nothing, but truth to her,” Katie recalled. “It was not easy.”

But she was glad she did it—the air between the two women began to clear. Not only that, they began bonding over “mommy dates.” If they weren’t quite friends yet, they could still acknowledge that they were on the same team when it came to their son and step-son.

“The one thing we had in common though was Landon. Landon was and is the beat to our heart.”

The two became allies, respecting each other’s role in Landon’s life. While Katie wasn’t the boy’s real mother, she says Casey genuinely never let her feel left out.

(Facebook/Casey Jo Bender)

Their alliance has remained stable over the years. Casey married a man named Tyler Bender, and despite a rough start, the two couples have successfully raised their now-4-year-old son as co-parents.

And this year, it was time for Katie and Jeremy to tie the knot. As the big day approached, Casey and Katie were closer than ever.

“Casey was there when I needed someone to talk to, cry to, or just be a friend,” Katie wrote. “She is someone who saved me without even realizing it. Casey was there. Casey was always there.”

So she wanted to let her know how she felt—by doing something special for her at her wedding.

Katie debated exactly what to do for Casey. She knew it would be seen as an unusual move to pay tribute to her new husband’s ex, but that was also the point: she wanted to prove to everyone that there was truly no bad blood between the two of them.

Katie bought matching bracelets as a gift for her bridesmaids. Casey wasn’t a bridesmaid—but on the day of the ceremony, Katie called her in to check her dress … and then surprised her with her own bracelet.

Casey was moved by the gesture. “She deserved that and I wanted her to see her importance,” Katie wrote.

(Facebook/Katie H. Muss)

But that wasn’t all.

Soon after, the ceremony began. It came time for Katie and Jeremy to do their vows.

Everyone was stunned when the officiant suddenly asked Casey and Tyler to stand.

(Facebook/Katie H. Muss)

Katie dedicated part of her vows to thanking Casey and her husband for being such a considerate part of her life.

“First I want to thank you for accepting me as your friend and allowing me to be a part of Landon’s life,” she told them. “I promise to be an amazing mother to your son.”

“I promise to respect, work, listen and communicate together as co-parents. I will love you guys no matter what comes our way.”

She then delivered vows to her new step-son.

“I’ve had the privilege of knowing you since the beginning,” she tells Landon. “I’m so happy I get to officially be your bonus mom.”

“We will be one big family that I promise you will have for the rest of your life.”

(Facebook/Katie H. Muss)

It was a complete surprise—and left everyone in tears.

“No one knew that it was happening, not even Jeremy,” Katie told Inside Edition. “Casey cried the entire time. It hit her hard.”

(Facebook/Katie H. Muss)

Through the emotional surprise, Katie hopes that she’s solidified her family for good—and proves to everyone that it is possible. Katie and Casey went from being bitter rivals to not just family, but friends, too.

“For a long time, I struggled with people asking me why I get along with her or why I would do that to myself,” Katie told Inside Edition. “Regardless of whether people accepted it, I needed to let people know how much they mean to us.”

“I wanted others to see that it is possible to co-parent regardless of the situation.”

(Facebook/Katie H. Muss)

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