You Married Him …
As a step-mother, for the second time, I am once again faced with the realities of this difficult job. As a child of blended families, they are NOTHING if not challenging.
There is nothing more reprehensible to me than parents who complain to their children about their other parent. It makes me wish the little ones were emotionally adept enough to respond simply, “you married him/her.”
That is the stark truth. Don’t complain to me about someone YOU married, or had sex with and produced me. If it was nothing more than casual sex, shame on YOU. If it was a marriage, you made the bad decision. All you are really communicating to a child is that they are the by product of a bad decision. How can any parent lead their child to such a conclusion?
You see, I am divorced, though I consider my marriage a great success. We had a productive business and a child. Do I regret my marriage? I can’t without also regretting my daughter and that is never going to happen.
If you worked at the same company for fifteen years and then took a new job would you consider yourself a failure? No. Would others? No. Marriage is no different. You stay while it meets the needs of all involved and you move on when it doesn’t. I know that sounds sterile, and I am not attempting to undermine the depth of marriage, but often it helps to simplify such hot topics.
A HUGE part of your children’s emotional and psychological development is rooted in emulating their parents. Think about that for a moment. They IDENTIFY with their parents. They idolize their parents. They admire their parents. They want to be JUST like their parents. So, imagine how they feel when you speak poorly about their father?
For all the faults of the father or mother (irresponsible, lazy etc …) if they love their children and parent with the best interests of the child at heart, you needn’t register your complaints. I know you think you don’t but you do. Every day. Every roll of the eyes, every mutter under your breath, every heavy sigh and out right derogation.
I’m pretty certain if you spent more time trying to be a better mom/dad, you’d have less time to fault find, nitpick and accuse. The VERY best thing you can do for your child is to be ready for the day when they recognize all those faults that perhaps drove you and your ex apart. They will need your support and your honesty.
None of us are free of fault. We aren’t perfect. No one expects that, but we DO have an obligation not to protect our children from hurt but to NOT hurt them with our words, deeds or thought disorders.