Friday, January 20, 2012

Bitterness that I just don't understand

I read it this morning and it took most of my strength to resist commenting and harsh words.

She says in the article that “I am adamant that whatever the future holds, my son will not be raised with step-parents, step-siblings and a host of other people who have been brought into his life as the result of a flight of fancy. If my ex chooses to marry or have more children, I will still insist that any time he wants with his first-born is carried out as it is now — on a one-to-one basis.”

She is the exact type of woman that caused me to completely avoid men who had children until this year. 

When I started dating my BF, we took things very slow, we started dating at the beginning of February and his children (and ex) had no idea I existed until Easter.  The reason was that we wanted to make sure it was becoming something real before involving the kids in any way.

When I did start bonding with the kids, it caused a lot of friction with the ex, and my cousin (who is a mother of 3) kept me grounded and patient by constantly reminding me of the mother’s point of view.  She would remind me that it couldn’t be easy for the mother to accept another woman caring for and getting affection from her children.
My BF and I were very very careful about the kids’ feelings.  I did activities and spent time with them when he had them on weekends.  He would take the kids to his mom’s so that they could keep a good level of stability in their lives, I never spent the night.  We made sure to tone down the PDAs, our entire focus when the kids were around was them and their comfort.

A few months ago, we started having the kids over one night at our place, and one at his mom’s, gradually increasing my presence, all the while making sure they have time alone with their dad.  In the past year, we have not advanced a single step unless the kids had either asked (they wanted to stay over at my apartment) or we felt it was necessary (I would spend the night at his mom’s fi they needed reassurance).
It wasn’t easy, it took a lot of patience, but it was worth it.

While we are in no way buddies, after almost a year we are at least solidly on the same team.  I have proven to her that I am not a flight of fancy, that I truly love her children and that in no way do I want to replace her.  The kids tell me they love me, but they never have, and never will, call me mom.  I completely agree that they have one mom and one dad, no matter how many more people get added into the mix.

All of that being said, if the kids’ mom had not stopped being hostile and jealous (much like the woman in the article) my relationship would probably never have worked.  Dealing with a woman like that on a regular basis is very draining.  Having someone constantly trying to cause problems in your relationship that you can in no way EVER get rid of is a future that no woman would agree to, especially when you know that she could at any time make your partner choose between you or his kids, and if he is the right kind of guy, you will lose.

The worst part in all of this, is that she is damaging her own son the most.  He will always be at the outside of his dad’s new life.

One of my step kids mentioned the other day that they are lucky, they have three families, their mom’s, their dad’s and mine.  My entire family has accepted the kids and don’t treat them any different than the kids born to the family.  They get invited to all the parties and get Christmas and Halloween goodies. 

It took a lot of hard work on everyone’s part to get there, but we are at a point where everyone just wants happy kids.  If the mom were still jealous and hostile like the woman in the article, I hate to think of all the love and family and fun that these kids would have missed out on.

So today I am thankful that my BFs ex got past the hostility and even though she still drives us crazy at times, is way better than before.

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