Sunday, April 11, 2010

Right & Wrong - Marching to the STEPfamily TUNE - Part 3


“When you know you are right – there’s no need to fight”.

I wish I’d heard that saying years ago. But would I have really understood its wisdom? I think not!
My husband and I are regular talkers about the general ‘goings on’ in our lives. However, when the discussion revolves around the ‘ex’ I guess you could say that the “you know what” hits the fan. At those times I feel like every brain cell that is suppose to produce a reasonable and logical thought in my husband’s head is dead and I cannot comprehend how this normally rational and intelligent human being turns into a big jellified blob.

The struggle to be heard in our house is - I believe - due to the fact that there are not just two adults involved in decision making, but four. Whilst we don’t have that problem in relation to business that concerns my husband and me, when it comes to decisions that involve the kids I still fel like I am 4th in line (and the kid’s bonus dad shares that feeling). My husband strongly disagrees. He reasons that the fact he never has and never will make a decision without first talking it over with me should encourage me to feel on equal footing with him – but it doesn’t. I guess I know in my heart that, regardless of what I think, in the end it is up to him and the ‘ex’ to make the best possible judgement. However, there are many times when I don’t agree with what the ‘ex’ considers best for the kids and, truth be told, more often than not I have no faith whatsoever that she really puts their interests first. The occasions when she actually does seem to care about their welfare are few and far between. She generally spends far more time using them as pawns in the weird and twisted games she likes to play. There is no consistency in her decision making. On one hand she shares with the world how seriously she takes parenting, on the other she doesn’t have the time or energy to be bothered with her children. The only time we ever hear from her is when she wants money or has a problem she considers their father should fix.

My annoyance usually stems from the fact that it is SHE who creates the problems, then wants my husband to rectify them and in turn causes aggravation between him and me. I am tired of her incompetence encroaching on our otherwise uncomplicated lives and in the process draining our bank accounts. I’m hoping that, when the time comes for us to have a baby of our own, some of these control issues and the feelings I have regarding my lack of involvement, will have subsided. Until then, however, I’ll be working on the obvious. EVEN THOUGH I WANT TO FIX EVERYTHING, I CAN’T. I realise that there are times when I’m hanging on far too tightly and that I must learn to let go of what is out of my control. I’m prepared to admit that all too often I’m determined to make a point without considering the outcome of my actions. After this happens I frequently ask myself:
Is it really worth the anger and pain this causes to our relationship when I can see that my husband is doing the best he can, given the tools and skills he has???

I must admit that what I find really hard to accept is that it’s been me who’s helped him get to the place he now is at. It’s infuriating and, I guess you could say I’m jealous that whilst supporting him to keep the peace, I somehow seem to get lost along the way. There’s truth in the saying
“When you know you are right – there’s no need to fight” and I keep reminding myself of this wisdom.

Lessons learnt:

* When I know I am right there really isn’t any need to fight. It’s a good idea to save my fighting spirit for another (more important) day.

* Bio parents (especially husbands who only see their kids every second weekend) can’t be expected to be logical – well, at least not all the time!

* I cannot control or fix things that are outside of my sphere of influence – this includes the ‘ex’ and her behaviour. It also includes some decisions that are considered to be in the children’s best interest (whether they are or not) and that I am not consulted about.

* To rejoice in the fact that my husband has come a loooooooong way and to remind myself frequently that it doesn’t matter who knows or understands that this progress is not least of all due to my influence on his life.

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