I have come to find that it is always good to have balance in most if not all situations. Living in a blended family setting definitely requires this.
Rarely does a day pass that I don’t try to come up with solutions for our stepfamily issues. I read books, blog, do research, and attempt to form bridges where they need to be. Thankfully I have Rhonda and Stacy to bounce ideas off of. My goal is to truly find blended family equilibrium.
In order to have proper balance all of the adults involved must meet in the middle. But somtimes it is confusing as to where that middle ground is located. Each person has a different sense of direction. When I look through the eyes of the children, I can see much more clearly. It’s like having a blended family GPS device–it tells me exactly where to go.
I’ve decided that I don’t want to accumulate points at their expense. Plus, I’d rather have peace than points. I’m not keeping score but I know that she is. I’m busy waving the white flag with one hand and extending the olive branch with the other.
I find that being contemplative about situations that arise is the best way to go. I now understand that most of Eliza’s issues are really not about me; they are rooted in her own insecurities, habits, emotions, hurts, and perceptions. She only projects them onto me. Understanding this allows me to view her more compassionately. Sometimes you have to read between the lines. I am not always successful, but I try.
Case in point: When Eliza wrote to the judge, we chose to reply and address her concerns in a factual manner. Though tempting, we refrained from using any emotion and simply addressed the issues she had. I didn’t want to use words to attack her because I knew it would have added to the continued pattern of miscommunication, animosity, and stress.
I have to believe that even if she chooses not to operate in this manner that she will eventually upon seeing it modeled by us. The drama simply gets old after awhile.
This was a fantastic post, Morocco. The drama gets SO old and it wears on a family. It’s so difficult and sad when you try so hard to get along and do everything to attain that, to no avail. It’s frustrating when not all parties choose to put the children in the forefront of focus. You have to keep fighting for the rights of your children, but it is so wearing on a person.
Your situation is different than mine and I know how much you give, how much you try and what a wonderful example you are for all of us. You are constantly my inspiration. I only pray that soon Eliza will see the light that shines from you and realize that you are not her enemy, but an ally.
Peace and balance…I have this in all aspects of my life except one and I pray everyday that God will work miracles in that part, too.
After 4+ years of dealing with the drama (100’s of horrible emails, mountains of court documents, lies, court visits, etc, etc, etc) I have found a small glimmer of hope. http://writebrite.wordpress.com/2008/09/23/the-boy-is-mine/
Contrary to just about ALL the advice I’ve gotten from everyone (family, ex-husband, in-laws, friends, etc) I maintained my civility and integrity through all (most) of it…no lies, no mudslinging, none of the behaviour my ex and his family were so good at. All I can say is, keep at it and and some point in the future, however long off it is, it will all pay off for the betterment of the kids, you, sanity.
We all have the annoying drama but your is worst given the fact that YOU are the one that takes care the boys since she is in jail. She doesn’t even try to see all that you do for her and more importantly all that you do for her boys, that would be the hard part for me. You don’t have to do any of it and if left up to your hubby – it wouldn’t get done.
You are a great person for dealing with these roadblocks she has set up for you. Keep up the peace – points don’t do anything for your well being.
You’re so right that it’s not about points. It is totally about the children. I very much know how frustrating it is to be the bigger person an not fling the mud back, as tempting as it could be.
I’ve been looking back at my life and seeing how other situations, with somewhat similar emotions, have helped to build me to be able to handle my situations. And how I could apply the same thought thinking.
I hope that makes sense. 🙂 Don’t forget to take a personal mental health day though, all that can build up. And you deserve to be treated well too.
Wow- you are so calm about the whole thing. It is great that you are constantly working on the issues your family has. I am so impressed. I could use a few pointers about keeping peaceful in the midst of the drama 🙂
It is good you handled the questions for the court in a factual manner and didn’t let emotion play into it. I think that is usually the best way to go.
I TRY to be calm and peaceful about our situation. It is very hard because Eliza just does not want to comply with anything it seems. Really, I’m just weary. I can’t fight with her anymore. I concede, she can be the winner of whatever race that she perceives us to be in because I’d rather have my sanity than some abstract title.
Being contentious gets me no where in the long run. Plus, I feel better about myself when I handle things with dignity. I do fall short from time to time and this blog is evidence of that. And I okay with my successes and struggles because it shows that I am willing to make an effort to do the right thing.