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  • Does the adjustment ever end...or happen?

    9 posts, 9 voices, 916 views, started May 21, 2008

    Posted on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 by Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A.

    •  



    • Amethyst
      Offline

      My step-daughter has her 8th grade graduation in 2 weeks.  There will be a commencement followed by a party at her mother’s home.

      We just found out last night that we aren’t invited.  My step-daughter said it would be “too weird“.

      I didn’t say anything, but I thought, “Let’s see, it’s been 9 years since I’ve been in your life, almost 8 years since I became related to you, and it’s STILL WEIRD!”

      I talked to my husband later and encouraged him to call his former wife and tell her that she need not worry about me being any part of the party but that he would like to be a part of it.

      Fortunately, my husband and his ex get along fine.  It’s me that she’s had the hard time adjusting to.

      This is really ok.  My focus is on my husband’s daughter and her happiness.

      cookies
       

      I never want my step-daughter to be put in the middle.  And, I want her to have a wonderful party and enjoy the presence of both her mother and father.

      I really don’t have an ego around this.  In my work with couples, unfortunately many do and the constant power struggles between step-parents and step-children smacks of junior high school.  At the end of the day, it’s completely unnecessary.

      My step-daughter didn’t ask for her parent’s divorce and she certainly didn’t ask for the constant back and forth between two houses.  I hope my step-daughter knows I love her and I will find my own special way of celebrating with her.

      But, bottom line, Mom and Dad should be at the party in honor of her.

      Mary



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Yana Berlin wrote May 21, 2008
        • Mary,

          You are a wonderful person, and I hope that your step daughter grows up understanding that. As for the ex wife maybe 30 years from now she'll realize how fortunate she got when you and not a "nut" case married her ex husband.

          Y



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Nate23 wrote May 23, 2008
        • Well Said Mary.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Gruesome wrote May 23, 2008
        • I guess I’m luckier than I knew.  My ex married a lovely lady who treats my/our kids as well as her own.  I never want my kids to feel guilty about loving their stepmom.  I think kids can NEVER have too many adults who love them!

          All of us come to sporting events and stuff when we can, and the kids love having us all there!



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote May 27, 2008
        • Hi Gruesome,

          Thanks for sharing your experience with us and offering hope that there are actually a few grown-ups out there.  You may be lucky, but I believe you are lucky because of your grown-up and gracious attitude about your ex’s wife.  It takes a grounded person who loves herself to be able to see the benefit of having more than two adults in a child’s life to love them.

          Kudos to you!  Your children are the lucky ones!

          Mary



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Privateeyes wrote May 27, 2008
        • I have experienced the same. I called the husbands ex and explained that I thought it would be best, in the interest of the child, who is not really a child anymore, that we all join together to celebrate the accomplishment of the child. She, the ex, (kinda dumbfounded), maturely agreed. We both went, and I made sure I was pleasant and kind. (Even though, I felt out of place). Once the child saw how things were going, he eagerly accepted his WHOLE family. I talked with the ex and helped her doing the party things. It turned out to be a great experience, and I think, it also taught the young one that there is no playing sides.



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Mary Kelly-Williams, M.A. wrote May 28, 2008
        • Private eyes,

          You rock! I love that you made the phone call and I love that the former spouse was an actual grown up and responded in such a positive way.

          This is a wonderful story...the great example you and the ex set for the son makes it easy for him to accept his whole family.  

          Thanks for sharing...

          Mary

          www.marriedwithbaggage.com



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Princess wrote Aug 27, 2008
        • Geez... I wish I was in any of your situation.  

          Unfortunately, there seem to be a power struggle in this family. I often have to tell myself that I need to be the mature one here.  

          It’s a daily struggle and I am finding new ways to feel and be ‘belonged‘.  

          I guess it takes time.  



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        • 0 votes vote up vote up

          Amylou85 wrote Sep 17, 2008
        • We have been fortunate when it comes to our exes and the kids activities. I have hosted 16th birthday bashes with my ex husband and his new wife, along with my husbands ex wife and her family. It makes things so much easier for the kids when everyone can come together for them.



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