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#1 of 18 Old 05-09-2011, 09:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need a diary. I get it. But I'm posting here tonight, because I'm just confused and overwhelmed.

 

I'm a child of divorce - early divorce, before I was 2. And I think that did something to me. I didn't want to be the Second Woman. I didn't want someone to tell me stories of their first wives pregnancies; or worry about, does he love Our kids as much as his other kids. I didn't want to think about that potential jealousy. So I never dated men that had children, just to save myself that potential. I wanted Our Child to be something special, the First, for the both of us.

 

So I met a guy and had a baby. We're not married; we're actually trying to split up. We're definitely weird, but this isn't about that. He was my birth partner, an incredibly supportive partner in pregnancy, a father with a ton of love. He's not a lump of coal, I guess I mean. He's there. He loves our son. We might not survive our relationship, but even in that, we're respectful and actually... loving about it all.

 

But.... we just found out that he has ANOTHER CHILD. This is not about that woman either, and the fact that she freaked out and told him she'd had an abortion, which ended their brief, 3month relationship... and that, come to discover, she didn't have an abortion. I've rationalized her freak-out, her lie, and then how she did try to remedy it, but he refused to take her calls. Seriously, this is not about that.  Let me just make clear point that this was all before he met me. He didn't do anything wrong here. I knew about this relationship when I met him. Still, not about that.

 

This is about ME. Me, not wanting the jealousy. Me not wanting the competition. Me wanting to be special.

And now, I'm all Freaked Out! Now, while he was there 100% for my pregnancy, for the birth, cutting the cord, the first year + of our sons life.... he now has another child, a daughter, that is not quite a year older than our son. And he's elated. He's excited. He's overwhelmed and freaked, of course. But he's excited - as he should be. He now has a daughter only 8mos older than our son, that he's being given the opportunity to love and be participant in her life. Mom says, I tried to contact you, I did ok without you. I'm not asking for anything (monetarily or otherwise). But you are her father, you can BE her father if you want.

 

I realize that my thoughts are irrational. He will never forget about his son. No Way! He will never forget about our experiences with pregnancy and birth. No! I KNOW this in my head. But all that green, this jealousy of this woman that came before me, this New child in his life; the fact that my son has a sister not too much older than him; that it's a Daughter, which he always wanted.... I'm jealous. I'm crazy freaky jealous. All my solid...even if we separate,  "I'm the mother of his child" , crap is gone because.... there's now two of us. A few years goes by, and he'll be, potentially, just active a parent with his daughter as he is with our son. which is, how it Should be. I get that!!! I DO!!! I'm just not over this shock.

 

My question is... how do you deal with the jealousy?  I'm jealous of this woman who has an older child than mine. I'm jealous that even though he was there for me and not for her, that her child is older, she is the first child. My son is now second.

 

Is this not the stupidest thing in the world? There is a reason I'm asking this outloud. It's SO irrational, I have to ask other women if you've felt the same thing, and how you get over it. Cause really... the result is, my son has a sibling. And that rocks. And it WILL rock, when I get out of my head. It will be an amazing thing for my son. I just need to get over this shock.

 

Help? Flame me, I'm ready for it. Call me silly and shallow - I already feel it. But also tell me that the jealousy subsides?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 of 18 Old 05-10-2011, 04:56 AM
 
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wow!  of course you have a right to be shocked/jealous/whatever-this is a really big surprise to deal with.  I had a really hard time knowing that dp already went through the pregnancy stuff before he did with my kids and had some jealousy issues with it for sure.  I think that is totally normal.  Your situation is a little reversed bc you DP was with you and NOT with her during the pregnancy, so you might find she is a little jealous of you too!  (even though it was obviously her choice for dp to not be around).  

 

Just keep breathing-it soundsl ike you have a very rational viewpoint of how this might work out well in the future, so give yourself time to adjust to the new reality.  Is your dp being supportive of your feelings or is he too immersed in his own?  In any case, hugs, and I hope others have some more concrete advice for you on how to deal with it all! 


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#3 of 18 Old 05-10-2011, 06:16 AM
 
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To get over the jealousy you figure out why you have such a strong belief that being "second" is a thing at all, let alone a thing HE is thinking (and if you accept he ISN'T thinking it then you work out why you are willing to belittle yourSELF inside over this issue).  You work out why you think that having his only child makes you feel secure and having his second child makes you feel so insecure.  You figure out who it was that made you feel unimportant enough that you feel such importance over these issues, and you take it up with them.

 

You allow yourself to FEEL the pain that you pushed down by telling yourself "when it happens to me i'll make sure XYZ so it will be safe/ok" and you deal with it and you heal.

 

Sorry you're going through this, it sounds like torture.

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#4 of 18 Old 05-10-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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Experiencing irrational jealousy/emotions is a normal part of stepfamily dynamics.  I can imagine it would be worse in your situation b/c it was a surprise.  Recognizing that your jealousy is not rational is a good thing.  It means you're not crazy!  :)  Just take it day by day, talk about it with a trusted friend, and I'm sure those feelings will subside. 


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#5 of 18 Old 05-10-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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I don't have experience with this so I can't tell you the jealousy will subside (even though I am guessing it will), but I wanted to point out that you have said he is a loving father, supportive, etc.  Having another child doesn't change who he is.  Yes, he will now have responsibility to two children instead of one, but it sounds like he is a person who is capable of providing more than one child with love and support.  Of course you need time to process this, but also process the possibility that he will be able to continue to be to you and your child what he has been, while also providing his daughter with a father as well. 

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#6 of 18 Old 05-10-2011, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by greenemami View Post

 Your situation is a little reversed bc you DP was with you and NOT with her during the pregnancy, so you might find she is a little jealous of you too!


 

I've been calming a bit today, and realizing this truth so much. What if she has jealousy too! And suddenly, I'm a bit more sympathetic for HER. Not quite done with my rantings of jealousy. I just can't stop looking at this picture of this gorgeous baby girl. But thanks for bringing up this point about her potential thoughts as well.... afterall, to my knowledge (and his), she DID try to contact him. She probably would've enjoyed a caring partner as well. I think I'm rational enough tonight to realize that.


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#7 of 18 Old 05-10-2011, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

To get over the jealousy you figure out why you have such a strong belief that being "second" is a thing at all



This has been my whole point all along. WHY am I so freaked out. It took me a good few hours to realize that I've always been worried about this. Why i didn't date men with kids to begin with. I've done a lot of soul-searching the past 48hrs. And i chalk it up to something with my parents being divorced.... maybe I, somehow, as a kid with beautiful, wonderful 1/2 siblings (which, btw, i NEVER call HALF-siblings, except on these forums to give point to family dynamics) never felt first. Maybe I've always struggled with competition. Maybe I always had an issue with SECOND. I've worried about our break-up and the fact that DP (or ex-DP or soon to be ex-Dp, whatever) could potentially have a lot more children than me. I'm 35, he's 36... we're neither dead, but he's more likely to meet someone else and start another family than I am. And maybe I've had lingering fears that this would happen... but even in that scenario, I'd be FIRST. Now, somehow, I've worked my brain into being second.

 

Oh, it's all just stupid. It's just head-games. It is. I appreciate all of your words of guidance. This initial shock will pass.


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#8 of 18 Old 05-10-2011, 09:58 PM
 
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i think you are on your way to getting over it. 

now prepare yourself for the possibility that he will have yet another child or children with someone else in the future. anything is possible if you break up. 

my DH has children from his previous marriage. it doesn't bother me. but they are much older and already grown. i think that makes it easier i guess.

yes, keep working at it, and your jealousy will subside. 

if you're looking for suggestions: befriend the other woman. get to know her, since, well, your kids have so much in common.

you might be pleasantly surprised!

good luck!


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#9 of 18 Old 05-10-2011, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post

i think you are on your way to getting over it. 

now prepare yourself for the possibility that he will have yet another child or children with someone else in the future. anything is possible if you break up. 

my DH has children from his previous marriage. it doesn't bother me. but they are much older and already grown. i think that makes it easier i guess.

yes, keep working at it, and your jealousy will subside. 

if you're looking for suggestions: befriend the other woman. get to know her, since, well, your kids have so much in common.

you might be pleasantly surprised!

good luck!


oh wow. do you ever really get so solid to befriend the "other"? Man, I really consider myself a non-drama person. But befriending? Actually.... seeing life in her eyes and watching our children playing together and being okay with that? See, this is why I need stories from others. In a perfect world, I know it can be. I really find logic in most things - it's what guides me. That's all I've been telling myself... I need to be stronger. Embrace my crazy emotions, but let them subside, find the good, move forward, see the potentials.

 

I'll get there. Thanks for seeing that in my words. I think I'm on the path. I dunno about befriending :-) But, hey, stranger things have happened! :-) My son has a sister. Seriously, that will be amazingly cool once I throw away my head.

 

Seriously, thanks for letting this forum be a diary. I needed it.

 


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#10 of 18 Old 05-11-2011, 06:11 AM
 
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To me, it sounds like you're less jealous and more having a hard time letting go of an idea you have clung to, for years.  Which is good!  Perhaps if you can let go of the idea, you'll find it unexpectedly easy to deal with the existence of this other baby.

 

#1- It sounds like you convinced yourself at a fairly young age that being first (first wife, mother of a first-born child) could somehow keep you from repeating mistakes/pain you saw in your parents' divorce (and remarriages?).  It is perfectly normal to look for ways to feel in-control of our futures, especially parts of the future that seem scary or risky - and family-making can certainly seem that way, if your parents divorced!  But you do see that there was never any actual, logical connection between being first and having a better marriage than your Mom did...right?  It was just a youthful idea you held onto, for comfort.  Sometimes having a man's first-born child does NOTHING to bond you to the man, or make you rank first with him.  You can see that, with the mother of your partner's daughter.  (You do know that the birth-order switcharoo doesn't magically make his relationship with her matter more than his relationship with you...right?)  Or, sometimes a man will realize he made a grievous mistake in his first marriage; didn't know the woman as well as he should have; and his next wife is the one for him.  And his next wife, secure in her place in his life and his heart, feels no jealousy at all over the kids and experiences he shared with the first wife.  It's never a bad path, to steer yourself toward men who have no baggage from prior children and their mothers.  But as you see now, we can never know for certain.  We never have complete control over the future.  It was understandable - but a fallacy nonetheless - for you to imagine you could control it, by making sure you were first with someone.

 

#2- It sounds like you again clung to the importance of being first, to help you deal with the impending loss of your relationship with your partner:  "It'll be OK.  We'll always have that bond of the birth experience and becoming parents for the first time, together."  Break-ups are hard!  Even if you no longer want to be with the other person, the idea that they got to know you as well as they did and they don't want to be with you is a major ego-blow.  And any time you've grown accustomed to having a partner, it's hairy to contemplate moving forward alone...especially when you're moving forward with the responsibility of an infant who's completely dependent on you!  It's perfectly natural to search for an idea to cling to, to reassure yourself that everything will be alright; and that you haven't screwed up - that there will always be a higher meaning to your relationship, even if it ends.  But that higher meaning is your son!  NOT because he's first-born or exclusive.  JUST because he exists and you and your partner will both always love him, no matter what transpires between you.  Whether you and your partner continue to feel a bond and fondness for each other after you break up will depend on the quality of your relationship, the mix of your personalities and how each of you handles disappointment, stress and break-ups.  The essence of your connection to each other does not hinge on ONE intense, transcendental experience (birth); nor on the fact that (you thought) you lost your "parental virginity" together.

 

#3- So, for all of your adult life you've clung to this idea that being first will protect you from certain heartaches.  And you were careful to achieve your goal!  Then, the existence of this daughter turned all of that on its ear.  I don't think you're actually jealous that she exists, I think you're upset about the symbolism - that you don't have the control over your life that you so wanted to have.  I think if you can reset your thinking - really, deeply, truly understand that the security blanket of being first was NEVER a REAL security blanket - it won't be nearly as hard as you think, to accept your son having a half-sister.  Every day, people deal with their partners and ex-partners loving other children and it doesn't have to be traumatic.  The time it would be traumatic is if a woman thinks her relationship is fine, then discovers her partner has conceived a child with someone else and wants to leave her, to be part of that family.  But that is not at all the case, with you.  If your relationship ends, it will not be because he prefers this other woman, or her child, to what he has with you.  And you know that...right?

 

Hang in there! 

 

 


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#11 of 18 Old 05-11-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by JordanKX View Post

oh wow. do you ever really get so solid to befriend the "other"? Man, I really consider myself a non-drama person. But befriending? Actually.... seeing life in her eyes and watching our children playing together and being okay with that?


Absolutely!  

 

Not if your partner cheated on you, to conceive the other child.  That would probably always be awkward.  Although I know a couple women who have done it!  But I don't think I could.  

 

But this woman is not a threat to you.  Your partner ended things with her before he started them with you...and he's not going back to her, if he breaks up with you!  You are not in competition with her.

 

If you like to feel in-control of things, you will feel better about your son having a sister, if you are somewhat involved in that relationship and it's not a part of your kid's life that is completely separate from you, all the time.   

 

Besides, babies have a way of ingratiating themselves with people.  If you spend a bit of time with this child - when you're ready - you're almost guaranteed to like her.


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#12 of 18 Old 05-11-2011, 09:12 AM
 
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There is really a grief process that will be happening here.

 

You had a plan, a vision, and it totally didn't work out the way you intended.

 

When my marriage ended, I was shocked by everything there was to grieve. It wasn't just the loss of the person. It was the family being together, it was our weekends, vacations, finances, retirement, etc.

 

So recognize the stages of grief as you go through them and realize it is not a linear path. This is a lot for you to process. It is not JUST the other baby--as you see, it ties in to your whole life. This is BIG. And if you work with it, and go into that pain as a previous poster suggested, it has the potential for HUGE personal growth. I used to say that trauma as personal growth is highly effective. I now say that trauma as personal growth CAN be highly effective--you gotta do the work. And it sounds like you are on that path...

 

If you can, seeing a counselor who does EMDR could be super helpful. It could help relive some of the original trauma and make this not such an issue. Seriously, EMDR has done wonderful things for me--I couldn't get an ex out of my head and had physical symptoms of fear and EMDR took care of it!

 

And situations like this is where my username comes from. Seriously. Oh the Irony.

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#13 of 18 Old 05-12-2011, 10:33 AM
 
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I feel for you because you planned for your life to happen in a certain way and now all of a sudden your choices and actions have not protected you from the one thing you were trying to avoid all along.    I think you will be ok once you adapt the the news.   In a way you are still the first ;),  if that makes you feel any better.  

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#14 of 18 Old 05-13-2011, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pranamama View Post

I feel for you because you planned for your life to happen in a certain way and now all of a sudden your choices and actions have not protected you from the one thing you were trying to avoid all along.    I think you will be ok once you adapt the the news.   In a way you are still the first ;),  if that makes you feel any better.  



I thank you. And really... everyone who has responded to this. I am definitely having some emotional turmoil. I don't know what EMDR is, but I'm going to google. I've been thinking for the past few days that counseling would be a good idea for me. Apparently, I have some deep-rooted issues that I'd like to figure out. I don't think I even knew about them until I started writing this post. I'm seriously "in my head" right now... maybe there's a lot of stuff I haven't looked at about myself and my past that I should. I know I'm looking for advice and help. A little counseling could be a great thing.

 

This post... this is where I feel tonight. So much in my head. That I thought I'd planned and shielded and protected...and here I am. Clearly this is something I need to figure out - the roots of it all.

 

Thanks, everyone, for giving me so much to think about. Hours of the day, I feel totally solid and rational and growing and accepting.

Each day is having more positive thoughts than the days before.... so I'm working on it.


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#15 of 18 Old 05-13-2011, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

To me, it sounds like you're less jealous and more having a hard time letting go of an idea you have clung to, for years.  Which is good!  Perhaps if you can let go of the idea, you'll find it unexpectedly easy to deal with the existence of this other baby.

 

#1- It sounds like you convinced yourself at a fairly young age that being first (first wife, mother of a first-born child) could somehow keep you from repeating mistakes/pain you saw in your parents' divorce (and remarriages?).  It is perfectly normal to look for ways to feel in-control of our futures, especially parts of the future that seem scary or risky - and family-making can certainly seem that way, if your parents divorced!  But you do see that there was never any actual, logical connection between being first and having a better marriage than your Mom did...right?  It was just a youthful idea you held onto, for comfort.  Sometimes having a man's first-born child does NOTHING to bond you to the man, or make you rank first with him.  You can see that, with the mother of your partner's daughter.  (You do know that the birth-order switcharoo doesn't magically make his relationship with her matter more than his relationship with you...right?)  Or, sometimes a man will realize he made a grievous mistake in his first marriage; didn't know the woman as well as he should have; and his next wife is the one for him.  And his next wife, secure in her place in his life and his heart, feels no jealousy at all over the kids and experiences he shared with the first wife.  It's never a bad path, to steer yourself toward men who have no baggage from prior children and their mothers.  But as you see now, we can never know for certain.  We never have complete control over the future.  It was understandable - but a fallacy nonetheless - for you to imagine you could control it, by making sure you were first with someone.

 

#2- It sounds like you again clung to the importance of being first, to help you deal with the impending loss of your relationship with your partner:  "It'll be OK.  We'll always have that bond of the birth experience and becoming parents for the first time, together."  Break-ups are hard!  Even if you no longer want to be with the other person, the idea that they got to know you as well as they did and they don't want to be with you is a major ego-blow.  And any time you've grown accustomed to having a partner, it's hairy to contemplate moving forward alone...especially when you're moving forward with the responsibility of an infant who's completely dependent on you!  It's perfectly natural to search for an idea to cling to, to reassure yourself that everything will be alright; and that you haven't screwed up - that there will always be a higher meaning to your relationship, even if it ends.  But that higher meaning is your son!  NOT because he's first-born or exclusive.  JUST because he exists and you and your partner will both always love him, no matter what transpires between you.  Whether you and your partner continue to feel a bond and fondness for each other after you break up will depend on the quality of your relationship, the mix of your personalities and how each of you handles disappointment, stress and break-ups.  The essence of your connection to each other does not hinge on ONE intense, transcendental experience (birth); nor on the fact that (you thought) you lost your "parental virginity" together.

 

#3- So, for all of your adult life you've clung to this idea that being first will protect you from certain heartaches.  And you were careful to achieve your goal!  Then, the existence of this daughter turned all of that on its ear.  I don't think you're actually jealous that she exists, I think you're upset about the symbolism - that you don't have the control over your life that you so wanted to have.  I think if you can reset your thinking - really, deeply, truly understand that the security blanket of being first was NEVER a REAL security blanket - it won't be nearly as hard as you think, to accept your son having a half-sister.  Every day, people deal with their partners and ex-partners loving other children and it doesn't have to be traumatic.  The time it would be traumatic is if a woman thinks her relationship is fine, then discovers her partner has conceived a child with someone else and wants to leave her, to be part of that family.  But that is not at all the case, with you.  If your relationship ends, it will not be because he prefers this other woman, or her child, to what he has with you.  And you know that...right?

 

Hang in there! 

 

 


:-)

Is a smiley-face enough of a response? :-) Seriously.... this made me laugh out loud and almost come to tears. I kinda want to hug you, and so many others that have posted. I so appreciate the thoughts and responses.

 

Today, I've just been trying to feel the love. This little girl is beautiful. I know this because her father is an inappropriate communicator who keeps texting me pictures of her. Because I'm an individual who hasn't shared any argh with HIM (only with you guys online), so to him, I'm his best friend and he's excited and keeps sharing. So, I'm trying to embrace the love and the happiness that he has with this new being that looks EXACTLY like him. And so much like our son.

Eventually, I'll have to get around acknowledging her mother.

I'll get there.

If I can embrace the child, I can embrace the momma.

 

I've got to deal with me. Cause I'm still all choked up inside and I can't let this fester forever.

But I'm working on it.

 


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#16 of 18 Old 05-13-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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I've twice written a long post in response, then deleted it because it just seemed too long and tangential... but my point was that it might help to look through the lens of your son. Your son, who doesn't have any control over the adults in his life, or the things that happened before he was born, or the decision the grown-ups make. He has a sister, who he should have the opportunity to get to know and be allowed to love, free from all the grown-up issues and baggage. And this little girl didn't choose to come into this world to the parents she has in the situation she came into, and she should also be allowed to know and love both her parents, and to know and love her brother. 

 

I can be angry and jealous and infuriated and frustrated all I want with life and the circumstances of my marriage and my children's birth order and the adults that are part of my world. I can be pissed off about their decisions and I can feel hateful and want to punish them for their stupid choices. But ultimately, at the end of the day, I will set it all aside in order to give those children what they need and to allow them the relationships they want and deserve to have. When I look through their eyes, I can put aside my own feelings and do what needs to be done for them. And not just my own children... I buy birthday presents for my step-daughter's little brother (her mom's son with her new husband) and I talk to him on the phone and send him stickers in the mail because HE sees us as part of his family, people his sister loves and spends part of her life with. HE wants to feel a part of this family that somehow seems to only belong to her. There are days I want his mother to suffer for the suffering she puts us through, but it's not HIS fault, and he's just a little boy who deserves to be loved by everyone in his world, and who hasn't done a single thing to deserve anything else. You don't have to love the adults to love the kids.


Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#17 of 18 Old 05-14-2011, 11:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by aricha View Post

I can be angry and jealous and infuriated and frustrated all I want with life and the circumstances of my marriage and my children's birth order and the adults that are part of my world. I can be pissed off about their decisions and I can feel hateful and want to punish them for their stupid choices. But ultimately, at the end of the day, I will set it all aside in order to give those children what they need and to allow them the relationships they want and deserve to have. When I look through their eyes, I can put aside my own feelings and do what needs to be done for them. And not just my own children... There are days I want his mother to suffer for the suffering she puts us through, but it's not HIS fault, and he's just a little boy who deserves to be loved by everyone in his world, and who hasn't done a single thing to deserve anything else. You don't have to love the adults to love the kids.


nod.gif nod.gif nod.gif nod.gif nod.gif !

 


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:  partners.gif  orfencing.gif... twin sons:lurk.giflurk.gif(HS juniors) ... step-son: guitar.gif (a freshman) ... our little man: kid.gif  (a kindergartener) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  ourdog2.gif. 
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#18 of 18 Old 05-20-2011, 08:29 PM
 
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I haven't taken the time to read all the follow-up posts but here are my thoughts...

 

Time and time again, I see people struggle with the very things they planned to avoid when it comes to love---you know the "deal breakers" we all have. We, humans, think we can love only when things go as we've planned. Here is a huge, tremendous opportunity that I believe in some crazy way you may have called into your life. This idea of being "second best"----that's just a story! It's just a wall you put up and you tried to dance around it until you found someone who didn't pose such a huge threat to your fantasy of being #1. And....well, love, is greater than that. There is no # 1. 

There's just ONE! :) 

 

I have high hopes for you in this situation. With time, I think you're going to go for the higher road.  You sound like a loving being and your partner sounds awesome. He's so willing and excited to welcome a surprise child into his life like that....that's really awesome and says a lot about his character. Just breathe..this too shall pass and you're going to grow from this experience. 

 

 


Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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