Young Widow Forum

Socializing => Relationships/Remarriage => Topic started by: Trying on July 12, 2017, 03:46:36 PM

Title: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Trying on July 12, 2017, 03:46:36 PM
I was spurred by another post to get into this topic and didn't want to hijack another thread.

Combining families and the lives of 2 people who are set in their ways is no picnic some days.  I have a few divorced/recoupled friends who can relate in a lot of ways but there is that extra part of being a widowed parent that they just don't get.

New relationships require time for the couple to be alone and focus on their relationship and decide together how the home life is going to function.  But when you recouple each already has their own ways of how home life works and children who are used to certain things.  When you are widowed and a parent you don't have the luxury of time alone with your new significant other except maybe a few hours out to dinner or a rare weekend get away if you're lucky.

FiancĂ© and I have been arguing a lot lately, the stress of blending since he moved in last November and the fatigue of waiting for things to get easier is taking its toll.  I have 2 kids living at home and his 2 part time so even arguing is difficult because we have no privacy. 

My 18 year old is a slob and inconsiderate about where he leaves things, my 13 year old has a lot of time consuming activities, his ex is a pain in the ass and he thinks I don't understand how stressful she is, I want to spend time with my boys on the weekend doing water sports on the boat, he wants alone time cruising around on the boat without the kids, his boys want the undivided attention of my 13 year old and sometimes he wants a break,  and the list goes on.

Next week we are starting premarital counseling, at my insistence.  We love each other and when it's good it's great.  But the arguing is taking its toll.  He has a short temper and I am very defensive and get my feelings hurt.  If I get upset it makes him more angry so I try not to show it but then it bottles up and when it comes out it's worse.  He is a really good man and our relationship has been very good for each of us in so many ways but some times I just get so tired about hard it all is.

My marriage with DH was far from perfect but we were settled into our life after 20 years of marriage and there was a certain acceptance of the negative parts.  The one thing that we always shared was the love of our 3 boys and even though we didn't always agree on every parenting issue, we always knew the other one held them as a priority.  If one of the kids was acting out we were on the same team and there was no need to feel defensive. 
Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: TooSoon on July 12, 2017, 03:57:58 PM
Right there with you, sister.  Summer with the kids off school seems to be exacerbating it.  I am NOT looking forward to our blended vacation next week in a tiny cottage at the beach.  No advice but swimming in it, too (pun intended).  Solidarity! 
Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Captains wife on July 13, 2017, 06:42:58 AM
All of that sounds exhausting Trying - couples counselling is a great idea. I am moving at a snail's pace in my current relationship for the very reason that the limited blending we have done so far is really new territory for both of us. Dealing with difficult exes is so emotionally draining and there are added issues of blending kids. I'm personally finding it harder than I expected and I still don't know what will work for all of us. My NG has mentioned cohabitating a number of times but the thought of it is very unsettling to me- especially as I would need to move towards him (due to his child and ex that refuses to move) and that is an even farther commute for me. The thought of having his toxic ex in my life on a regular basis is very offputting and I'm worried as his young son is clearly still dealing with the aftermath of divorce (as it's still new and his ex refuses to let his Dad take him to counselling). If you discover any good "coping" mechanisms to deal with these issues of blending - can you please post? Ie dealing with challenging exes, blending the household with kids? Would be interested to continue hearing how others are dealing with this. My NG is amazing - one in a million - but he's not dealing well with all this - and he just keeps saying he doesn't know how to handle it.
Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Sugarbell on July 13, 2017, 07:38:40 AM
I hear ya!! And it's early on for me...Why I don't see us living together until his daughter and my oldest are out of school-and maybe not even then. The blended vacation we took while fun..wore me out!

Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: tybec on July 13, 2017, 07:41:52 AM
Thanks for the post. 

I can use more input myself.  I move in a couple weeks!  I will be uprooting myself from 22 yrs. and all the connections with it.

But, my mother is in a facility there and there was not equivalent in this smaller town.  My son will have a better school system.  I truly am not moving only for my NG.  I think of our relationship as the catalyst to get me out of my comfort zone.

I have told him me and my son need some time to adapt ourselves in our home and new environment.  I don't have cold feet about us, but going from long distance to living together seems a bit much for me and my son, now.  I too have an ex wife and her family to learn to co exist with some how.  I have not been a threat, I am sure, so far away, but the dynamics are about to change drastically.

NG told me he didn't think we "son and I" should get too comfortable in our new home if we are moving forward, though.  The territory, shared home versus he moving into our house is a why.  I do think that makes sense.

He doesn't get his kids this next year at any holiday or school break.  Isn't that ridiculous?  So, it could be helpful for us to get our groove or it could be harder as he is depressed about his lack of time with his kids and has my son full time.  So much stuff.

I love him, and he is a good, good man.  It is hard for there to be so much more complications.  It was so easy to just be my little nuclear family.  No doubts of allegiance, had worked through the past, etc.  Another level of widowhood and healing....
Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: kjs1989 on July 13, 2017, 09:45:28 AM
OMG.....I could have written your post. We are not  living together yet, but as I write this we are on a lake vacation  with his son, his son's friend, my daughter and her friend, and one of my sons and his girlfriend. Just getting a very small dose of what cohabitating or blending would be like, and I am exhausted. And yes, NG also tends to have a short fuse at times over minor issues. Combine that with my anxiety issues since D died, and it makes for fun times. Add to that his ex-wife texting every day  trying to micromanage their son's vacation  from 350 miles away....makes for great times indeed.

A bit off topic, but on the whole blending issue which is so foreign to me having been in a very stable marriage for 23 years, NG's 15 year old son's friend with us on this vacation often brings up stories of things he has done with his mom and "dad."  He qualifies which dad he is referring to (e.g., my real dad, my old step dad, my second step dad, my new step dad....) Ee  gads.....what some people put their kids through...I don't get it.
Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Mizpah on July 13, 2017, 10:03:21 AM
Yes.  All of you.  "When's the easy part?" 
Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Trying on July 13, 2017, 11:14:40 AM
Just hearing that this isn't easy for all of you either is a bit of a relief! I try so hard to just be grateful.  I am grateful that I have found love again, that my children have come to accept our relationship, that I have wonderful man who loves me and wants to share my crazy life with me.  But God help me there are those moments when I think "what the hell am I doing?!"

One thing I realize is that we now have 4 extended families to fit into our lives also.  My family, his family, DHs family (who I still have a relationship with) and his ex wife.  We are pulled in a lot of directions beyond just our children.

DH and I got to figure out how we wanted to parent gradually and together.  Now fiancĂ© is expected to fall into place with my parenting of 21 years and I have to accept his way and the very different way his ex parents.

I don't know when or if it gets easy.  All I want at this point is to be able to agree to disagree without arguing and find compromises when we can.  That's my new goal.
Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: MrsDan on July 13, 2017, 03:45:36 PM
Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Abitlost on July 13, 2017, 05:00:55 PM
I'm intentionally not blending. I spent years in a relationship that ended because I wouldn't blend into his dysfunctional lifestyle. I am sooooo glad I didn't.

I've been with NG for almost a year. On date one, we both spoke to how we didn't want to blend, so we are on the same page. NG is twice divorced, the second time from a failed blending attempt. We both have teens, so we are almost in the home stretch. I get along fine with his kids and he with mine, but our kids have only met once briefly in passing. I don't think any of them are particularly interested in getting to know mom/dad's boyfriend/girlfriend's kids. So, no drama and it's all good.

Trying, I think the premarital counseling is a good idea. Blending *is* hard!

Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Abitlost on July 14, 2017, 10:49:10 AM
Adding to my previous post (for some reason it won't let me edit):

I do think blending can be done successfully, resulting in a harmonious and happy new family. I think many factors go into that, including effort, acceptance, understanding, and flexibility on everyone's part. I think it is wonderful when it happens, I personally just don't want a blended family situation for myself and my kids.

Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Adley on July 14, 2017, 10:57:30 AM
I tried it, had no idea what I was getting into. My dad and stepmom had three apiece and pulled it off very successfully twenty years ago. Pretty sure the biggest part was that we, the children, not only got along, but that we became friends. Now we're brothers and sisters. But we had all been raised to work and be responsible. I tried it last year, naively, and took it for granted that kids would pretty well mind, help out, and be respectful. Nope. If the kids are getting out pretty soon, that's cool, but with kids the parents probably have to be on the same paragraph on the same page.
Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Trying on July 27, 2017, 10:16:09 AM
Well, we have been to 2 premarital counseling sessions now. It's good to have some outside perspective and she has us working on our listening skills because we both seem focused on getting our own point across. She also has told us it's ok to agree to disagree about some things. We are a work in progress but this relationship is worth the effort.  We have a vacation coming up with his boys and my youngest and I hope that a week away from the house and work will give us a chance to relax.
Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Sugarbell on July 29, 2017, 11:17:03 AM
Yes it is.

This is Fair week...NG has his camper all week at fairgrounds with daughter and her pig. 🙄..The folks they camp in the area with I'm friends kids and I chipped in money and we all do dinner together cooking. NG wants us out there all the time..we only spent on night and we come home every evening (his train wreck son shows up every evening high with his girlfriend cause the fair is a social event here-they crash at all hours in the camper). Son did and does nothing to help his Dad with all the work involved (my 14 year old helps him).

I told NG to back me up with my oldest when he oversteps me. My son said he doesn't mind (he really likes him) but doesn't understand why he's not that way with his kids. Then my son said "Well you dont intervene with his kids..and they are both irresponsible".. I explained he never asked me to and that they have a living Mom and it's not my place.

NG has busted his ass over this pig all week: Feeding, bathing...daughter is only worried about her hair and make up before a show: She was worried no one would but it (it placed low).. Anyway..NG sister bought the damn thing for 1,100. So last night daughter is on cloud 9 calling her Mom "I have 800 now to spend for school clothes..Dad only takes 300 for his cost..blah blah blah".

My oldest work horse highly intelligent 14 year old looked at her (I think he was at the end of his rope) and said "Are you kidding me? Your Dad has about 700 in that Pig..the feed alone is expensive...He should get the 800..300 for you is plenty for school clothes.."-i publicly scolded him and got out of there...

My son said what I wanted to but can't...I've raised responsible kids...not sure I can say the same for his two kids. I love this guy...But I think we are going to be keeping things separate for a long time:

Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Sugarbell on August 01, 2017, 09:40:38 PM
Well NGs 22 year old son is leaving for ReHab tomorrow (we hope..But who knows he may change his mind in the next 24 hours)

And his Ex Wife is still crazy. (She is sending him out of state for Rehab..wish she would go too).

Title: Re: Blending is exhausting!
Post by: Trying on August 02, 2017, 07:28:17 AM
Sugarbell I hope he goes and puts the work in needed.  Sounds like NG has lots of stress with his kids and his ex, tough for everyone.