I have been trying diligently to have a cordial relationship with Eliza. Why? Even I ask myself this. Her antics over the years have truly tested our marriage. And not that I was the damsel in distress in need of rescuing, because I was always willing to spar with her. And in my opinion all my reactions were, well reactive (the DHX has a very thought provoking quote about this). Is it because I want to make the impossible possible? Or I am extremely tired of the animosity? Do I want to be at peace with self and world? Do I want to befriend the enemy?
I have tried fighting fire with fire, killing her with kindness, and ignoring her. But I found that the best approach is to do what I am comfortable doing and that is being me. I am kind, loving, genuine, confident, compassionate, and strong. This is what I want to share with her. The little voice in my head says that she doesn’t deserve it. This little voice then recalls all of the things that she has done to us. But so what? I am not always the nicest person. And sometimes I don’t “deserve” kindness. Nevertheless, that is when I need it the most.
I, too, want the kids to be comfortable. I get along swell with the little one; he loves me, and this I know. Though with Ethan, I’m not so sure. Our family poses such a catch -22 for him. I haven’t done anything in particular for him to dislike me, yet loving me would probably feel like he is betraying his mom. I can see this dilemma in his eyes. I guess that is the real reason I try so hard to keep things civil between she and I. I don’t want him to have to feel that way. I know that our past has created this burden for him. I just want to do anything that I can to keep their tender hearts from bleeding, so I use Romans 12:18 as my personal mantra if it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.