I am a mother of a 23 year old son and a step mother of a 29 year old son and a 21 year old daughter. My husband and I married about 10 years ago and like any blended family we had our share of struggles. I don't know my step son as well since he was already out of the house when we married and unfortunately he missed out on the home life that forces you to get to know each other and work through things. He was bitter about the divorce and stayed angry for some time. Luckily I remember having to accept a new family when my father remarried so I could have patience in ways that maybe others would have struggled. When I first met my husbands daughter, she was such a joy but I was taken aback by her opinion of her father. She seemed surprised that I thought he was cool, surprised that I said nice things about him and she became rather fascinated and excited that she was seeing her Dad through different eyes. This gave me a lot of pause and made me wonder what there was about this man I didn't know. Did he have a temper? Was there some hidden personality I hadn't seen etc? It made me sad to see that a young girl at her age 9 had such a dim outlook on her Dad when most girls are daddy's girls at that age. Or at least I was. Well...12 years later I can tell you my husband is the most mild tempered, logical, responsible and well put together man I know. I'm not buttering this up...I can promise you it's not easy living with someone who is convicted to always do the right thing ALL the time. :-). Anyway He loves his children very much and his largest desire when I met him was to build a closer relationship with his children. He had his son at 18 and worked two jobs so his wife could stay home with the child up until he developed stage 4 Non Hodgkins lymphoma Cancer 11 yeas later and was hospitalized for almost a year with two bone marrow transplants and chemo. After his cancer went into remission he then had medical bills to pay and returned to working long hours to catch up. Obviously things weren't going well in his marriage and he and his ex wife divorced. To try and stop rambling I will get to the point. Basically with time... he started to build a really close relationship with his daughter. In the beginning his ex wife made a common mistake and let her bitterness fall onto the kids. His daughter was able to see the character of her dad but his son was still angry and basically made it very difficult on his sister. He felt like she was rejecting their Mom and being disloyal. This had a pretty harsh impact. Today...my husband is the last priority in their lives ...unless they need money. My husband now has a life threatening blood clotting disorder due to his cancer treatment and even with that it doesn't seem to step up the contact. He is a quiet person and will let them know he loves them and wants to spend more time with them but he will say it without any expectations. His comment is... actions speak louder than words and he would rather it all be real. I have been very supportive and understanding to all sides of emotions and baggage but I'm now starting to lose patience and I'm getting angry. I am tired of their taking from him but never giving back, I'm tired of his ex wife feeling threatened if the kids start getting close to him, I'm tired of making excuses for why this is happening and I'm really tired of my husbands calm demeanor that says they will understand appreciate him after he's gone. I just feel like this is so sad. I have a close family and I have been a cheerleader for them to have strong relationships with both their parent like I have but know I'm getting emotionally angry and I'm about to throw in the towel on my efforts to be supportive and understanding. Is it wrong to feel like this? Help!!!!!!
What you feel isn't wrong, but it isn't helpful either. Feel it -- say it, write it, make art about it, talk to a therapist about it, cry about it. Don't hold back, don't judge the feelings -- completely feel the pain of them.
Then let them go.
And then go back to seeing the sweetness of life with your DH, and stay in the moment with him.
but everything has pros and cons
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