“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you had told me during my divorce that some day I would be able enjoy being around my ex and his new wife, I would have laughed in your face! Divorce is hard… and it hurts. But God can truly change any situation! One of the friendships I am most grateful for is the one with my ex husbands new wife. Crazy, right? Not really, though, if you think about it…
It’s so easy, as women, to tear each other down and focus on the bad…what a waste of time and energy! We are raising kids together, and she is a great step mom to my big kids. How awesome to know that there are so many people who truly love and care for my kids. She never tries to replace me… I’m always mom. But she is a bonus mom and lets face it, raising kids takes a village! She gets me… and I get her. It helps that she is nice and hilarius and fun. Let’s face it, we were married to the same man. That alone gives us a common bond that is very unique, and we’ve learned to use it to our advantage. If my kids are ever looking fashionable, it’s probably her doing. Again…I’m so grateful that she can fill in areas where I struggle.
‘How lucky for your kids!’ – we often hear. And it’s so true. We were all able to go trick or treating together, celebrate birthdays as a group, and most weekends you can find us together cheering on some sport or activity. We are all lucky. It also has already proved to be not so lucky for my kids. We are (usually) a pretty united front. This means twice as many adults watching. My son found this out the hard way (five seconds into Christmas break) when he was riding his bike somewhere he wasn’t supposed to – having multiple adults on the case increase the chances of being busted.
Maybe this will come in handy when they try to throw their first high school party…or maybe they will be less mischievous than I was in high school and never even try to pull any of that crap. (Sorry mom and dad).
My husband, Nate, plays a huge role in the ‘modern family movement.’ First of all, where I am dramatic and sensitive and reactive…he is level headed…almost always. He respects my ex and they communicate (as much as men do) in their own male way. A turning point for us all was when Nate coached my daughter and her step sister in softball. It bonded and healed us all in a strange way. I’ve come to find team sports have a way of teaching me all kinds of life lessons. (Spoken like a music major, right?)
The bottom line is, I’ve learned that I cannot afford to have resentments. And really, who wants to carry around that negativity all the time? It took me years to realize that having a resentment or hating someone was mostly hurting me, not them…in this case it was also likely to hurt my kids. If you are reading this and it sounds unobtainable, just know that healing takes time. There is always HOPE, especially when you let God in!