I don’t talk much about Ted’s new family. I think, because, I really don’t care. I was the one to leave and my emotions for Ted had been dead for a while. If I thought he was bad when we were together…once I left and his worst side was aimed at me, I never looked back. I was shocked, though, to read his name in the newspaper in the marriage license section. Grant and Kristy were sworn to secrecy of the existence of a girlfriend, so I was completely blindsided. Come to find out a few weeks later, new wifey had been in this country for less than a month when they married. I was threatened to never speak to her in public.
It was rough in the beginning because new wifey, in her very broken asian-english, had loud opinions about my parenting at a school event not even a month after they were married. That was her one and only pass. She does not get another should she have more loud opinions.
It has now been two and a half years. I am certain my “acceptance” of her and now their one year old child is due to the progression in my own healing. She is not a horrible person and she is not a horrible person to my children. She has chosen to keep out of our conflict. Therefore, why make my children miserable during my parenting time just so I can bash a person I don’t truly know? Seems like a whole lot of wasted energy to me. Now, don’t get me wrong, if she treated my children poorly, I would be singing a different tune.
So, here are some ways I have progressed and learned over time
1) I can’t control what my ex does. I would rather not even think about him, really. This is supportive for my kids’ sake because I am free to consume my thoughts with positive activities for Grant, Kristy and I when we are together. Freedom is a wonderful thing when you feel like you lived in a cage for many years.
2) I listen to stories Grant and Kristy share about the baby and step mommy. I have a smile on my face while I do this. Sometimes this smile is VERY, VERY forced. I don’t care about him or how cute the baby is or what she did…blahblahblah. But, Grant and Kristy feel they would like to share their story with me, so, for their sake, I listen. This is part of their world so, yes, as much as I would rather be poking my eye out with a dull butter knife rather than listen to a rambling about something I could personally care less about, I listen.
3) Ted routinely bashes Dane, my boyfriend. How can I enforce good, healthy values in Grant and Kristy if I do not follow up my words with my actions?
4) It just enrages Ted when he drills Grant and Kristy about my questions about step-mommy, to which they reply “Mom doesn’t ask about her.”
5) Grant and Kristy have a chance to learn a lot about another culture. Is it a bad thing? I don’t think so. Their lives are richer and they are learning to be more open minded…except when it comes to step-mommy’s cooking. Any attempt she makes at American food usually turns into a disaster with an asian twist. Kristy is learning some of my recipes to make at dad’s in hopes of passing them on to step mommy. This actually makes me laugh because when I would try a new recipe while married to Ted, he would often turn his nose up at it, tell the kids they didn’t have to eat it and make everyone toast. I bet they go through a lot of toast now.
Grant and Kristy don’t deserve to be in the middle of more conflict, so swallowing my pride and accepting that their new family is out of my control, makes our lives less stressful during my parenting time. Grant and Kristy have to come before me. I got out of my unhappy marriage for all of us, but mostly me. It is up to me to now protect them and their emotions as they grow and their brains continue to develop. It would be incredibly selfish and cruel of me to not want the absolute best for them, and to be the example they deserve.