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Starting to Tread the Deeper Waters ... between budding and fully committed ...


arneal
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What a perspective! I remember blending the families with dh, and I as difficult and hard as it was I wouldn't have changed anything! He ended up adopting my kids, what a blessing for us¬†ūüėä.

Enjoy the journey...

Will keep all of you in my prayers. 

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Welcome to Club Five-Oh, tybec! I hope, despite all the real talk, it was truly wondrous for you!

 

Ah, blending. Like sudnly said, thinking back on the difficulties of blending with LH. The things we consider now, having known and lived, that we didn't then. I've been thinking on putting together a will or living trust. It seems crazy to me to think of such things, but I realize that I am only four years younger than my dad when he was killed in that car accident. I am eight years older than my son's father when he died from that heart attack. The next moment isn't promised. My head is more in that space than the actuality of blending, per se. Interesting that the message at service a couple days ago was about doing what the Lord says for us to do. If we claim him as our Savior, we can't do so without claiming him as our Lord first, which means doing what He says. I am struggling to know if I'm on the right track. When I try to open my mouth to talk about 'future', beyond the practicalities of what will happen to all the crap I own when I am no longer here to deal with it, I cannot. It's like there are no words and I am reminded of those Biblical stories where the Creator closes someone's mouth ... dramatic? maybe. But where I am these days. Still struggling with the change to spring. I am back at the gym, which is actually a balm for my soul. Work is work, which is also good. 

 

Hoping everyone else out there is well!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quiet for a while.  Made it through another holiday.  It was okay.  The changes from my LH's death and family gatherings are still hard to swallow. Making new ones, slowly.  Summer break is 5 weeks away.  Hard to believe how fast time flies.  As they say, the days are long, the years are short.

NG and I continue to have things to work through.  Nothing that is a deal breaker, but so much to think about.  Over two months since court. I think the judge is waiting for summer break when NG gets his children 50/50 anyway.  My guess, which is all it is.  Can't pretend to understand it.

 

I get all twisted up at times.  I feel no purpose or motivation for goals. Where do I see myself?  What do I want in life? Just one day at a time, which is unsettling to me. I want to have things to look forward to, plans but since an untimely death of LH, I lost that.  Anyone else?  I do focus on getting my kid raised, but that is more about the idea of then he will be okay if something happens to me.  Not real positive.  I don't know.  It will pass, this feeling. Always does.

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Everything is going well here with NG. It’s all a matter of making the time for one another since we have our own homes and our own kids to raise. I’m working on creating more instances for his kids to come over to my house with him and have fun and positive experiences. I know we’ve started to make loose plans where we’d like to travel and do things together but it’s matter of logistics, mostly related to his own logistics with his kids and his equal custody. The relationship is progressing at a comfortable rate. 

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It has been quiet here.  I'm still bumbling along with work, family and NG.  My mother and I celebrated Easter with church service in the morning, and NG joined us for brunch later.  Spring has been a little bit of a strange transition, my son started work in a city far away and although I'm happy for him it was sad to see him go.  My daughter will be home from college soon for summer break, she's fretting about choosing a major and nothing is resonating with her about making a decision on this.  

 

I think that all of us have a God given purpose.  Something that makes us unique, something that we're good at and that we're happy doing.  What is this for you, tybec?

 

My method lately of dealing with a purpose is to fill my days with work and volunteering.  It fills me up to give to others, and I sometimes give until it hurts.  I'm also project driven, make lists and check things off.  If I still need more motivation, the list gets longer and more complicated and I get more obsessive about checking things off.  This works some of the time to make me feel better, but I don't think that any of this is really healthy.  The days are filled with busy work to stay distracted and occupied.   Lately I've had some pajama days - haven't had one for awhile and it surprised me that 5+ years out and lately I had a few days when not much got done other than taking care of the dog's basic needs.  I don't know whether it's the transition of spring, kids becoming more independent, aging parents, maybe a combination of all of this.  NG and I are doing well, I'm happy being with him but he doesn't give me purpose.  I don't know, maybe purpose comes from within us.  

 

This too will pass, as you say, tybec.  It always does.   

 

 

Edited by trying2breathe
grammar
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Hi, all and thanks for the check-in reminder :)¬†I was thinking to myself a couple days ago that things are quiet here and I haven't contributed¬†ūüėā

 

tybec, you bring up a great point about purpose and I echo what trying2 said -- from a faith perspective, we all have purpose. It comes from within us, it is who we are, apart from others. It is put in us from the beginning of our creation and we will continue to feel empty if we look elsewhere for it. I do not mean to suggest that is what you are doing, but I think it is a good thing to keep in mind, that others are like the meringue on our pie -- they don't make us, just like the meringue doesn't make the lemon meringue pie ... they add to how awesome we already are (says the woman who is a sucker for a good lemon pie or lemon bar, sans meringue!). 

 

BF passed his licensing exam and is moving forward with business plans, which is great to see. I was very sad he didn't come to service with me yesterday; his church experiences, as I think I've shared, have been negative so he is pretty gun-shy about going. The people around him who attended church have never it seems shared what a believer should look like, about the importance of giving, and all that. I've started giving in his name as well as of yesterday. He said he would come with me at some point. I don't press, I just ask. I pray about it. I believe he would get a lot out of the messages and the fellowship.

 

One thing I've noticed is that he is still very much someone who speaks in terms of 'yours' and 'mine'; I am hoping to get at is whether it's simply semantics. I suspect it is but will likely ask. As an only child, I don't understand what life is like with siblings, where people take your stuff :) He had siblings and things seemed to be very much 'yours' and 'mine' in his family. However, he did refer to 'home' a few days back when he was talking about 'my house'. 

 

Overthinking? yeah, I'm great at that!

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arneal ¬†I agree that a relationship can be the meringue - although I'm not much into meringue, I tell NG that he's the frosting on my cake¬†ūüėȬ†¬†

 

Looks like I may be meeting NG's ex for the first time this weekend, I'm kind of nervous about it and not sure if this is the time and place to meet her.  NG's 39 y/o former nephew, from his ex - very sadly died 2 weeks ago from a drug overdose.  NG has been kept in the loop on funeral arrangements as he gave support to his nephew, and considers his former BIL (nephews father) to be a good friend.   It's been a sad few weeks, the funeral is this weekend.  He will attend and wants me to be at his side.  I know the BIL and his wife, and have had several occasions  to hang out with them. But I don't know if it's appropriate for me to be there, don't want to create drama when there shouldn't be.  NG things his ex will be okay with me being there, but I don't know.  This is not about me, or about NG.   Should I go to pay my respects, hoping that it's okay?  Any thoughts on this?  

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I am at the place that I don't think NG is really marriage material. But then I know right now I am not either. 

The qualities of honesty, integrity, communication, chemistry- we have all of it. But we've talked, he's pretty much tied down to the family farm with all of his relatives living around him. No way in Hell will I move out there. I said "Not until my kids get out of school"- Last night he said "I really don't think you would want to live out here even then would you?"

 

I mean..it's really really out. It's his family land. They are very cliquey with each other. That land would never be mine, why would I invest money into a home out there and my kids would be left with nothing.

 

His kids are a train wreck..drug addict 25 year old is expecting a baby in 3 weeks..Him and his girlfriend are living with NG ex wife parents. Ex wife is still crazy as a loon but has a new sugar daddy so she hasn't left as many hateful messages to him.

 

I distance myself from all of it. Detached myself from his kids. I am kind and polite..but I put my energy into my children and my parents, etc. Worked too hard to get my kids screwed up in the mess.

 

But him? He alone is wonderful. All the comes with it, not so sure. I will be the 80 year old girlfriend living in my own house, I think it may actually work that way. 

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trying2 -- it is often that there is never a right time to meet the ex. When LHs dad died, we weren't married yet but had been living together with his dad in the house as well. Ex 'insisted' on riding in the family limo, thinking that would be a dig at me. I told LH that I had no desire to ride in the limo in the first place and that I would get to the church early to make sure things were in order. It would give me time to spend with his dad alone, paying my own respects, before the rest showed up. He was grateful, having dated before me and having to deal with girlfriends who were nutty and an ex who was as well. I asked him if he wanted me to sit with him on the front row and he said yes. He had me walk into the sanctuary on his arm -- ex was hotter than a hornet but what could she do? They hadn't been together in 15 years? Seriously. And at a funeral? Anyway, LH insisted that I ride to the cemetery with them, so I ended up in the limo with ex anyway. She had the audacity to say that her mom didn't come because she had a hair appointment. It was all I could do to not let my mouth drop open ... I mean, just say 'Mom sends her love; she and Dad couldn't come'. Ugh!!! 

 

I share that to say, if your BF wants you there, be there with bells on. Or whatever is appropriate for a funeral ... I say that in an attempt to be light hearted because I've been thinking about my own lately. No muss, no fuss, have fun ... laugh at me but just don't stand around crying and telling a bunch of lies. If you didn't like me, great. If you did, great. I'm gone so smile and remember me for who I really was. The end.

 

Sugarbell -- that's a tough one. However, good for you for standing your ground. I can't imagine living in such a space. LHs family was pretty cliquey as well. However, he didn't go for it and I certainly didn't, which is how we ended up moving across the country from both our families. Maybe because we were both only children by birth (he had half-siblings down south who I let know he had died but who didn't come or anything. I think his 'sister' sent flowers for the memorial they had back east. I didn't go to that myself, having had a memorial here) but the ties were not that tight anymore. Both his parents were gone, my dad was gone, and that's that. My mom is still back east but she was glad I went where my heart led me. Nonetheless, you go, girl! Be who you need to be, for yourself, for your children. If he ever changes his way, he'll see you as the strong and independent woman you truly are. 

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I ironically met NG’s ex at a funeral as well. I was polite and then I kept to myself as I was working the hospitality suite for NG’s family. NG’s grandmother had died. The ex brought her parents as well. I opted not to meet them however. 

 

I’ve run into her at NG’s house a few times as she’d be late picking the kids up. I may or may not acknowledge her because she’s there for the kids not me. I’m polite and chime in when asked. I’ve decided that my focus is NG not her. I’d like to have a better relationship with the kids as much as NG would allow me to. I totally try to sell how cool and generous that I can be but that’s my natural self anyways. I want to be an added positive bonus to their lives because I am in their dad’s life but not take over because they have a mom. 

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T2breathe,

I believe if NG wants you to attend, then you stay by his side. It's for his support. And others are going to have to accept it. No drama with just your presence. NOW, don't get up and say few words or sing!  LOL!  But he wants you there.

I have been in NG's ex wife's presence 3 times with the kids in 3 years, I think.  I stay out of the way. I do not want the children to feel awkward. At first, I felt very much unimportant as NG would not invite me to things but then I was able to step back as he stated he felt it would cause undue stress for the kids.  So, I will do what I need to for the children. If the adults handle it poorly and put the kids in a bind, then I need to step out.  They have a mom and don't need a mothering figure. Each blended family is so different. So, adapt.

 

In court, for the custody hearing, her attorney asked why I had not introduced myself to her since NG and I were serious.  I was taken aback.  He caught me off guard, which I think was his intent. WHY would I approach her?  I stumbled over my words, then. She actually smiled and held up her fingers of 2 when I stated I had crossed paths maybe 3 times.  I finally stated that when I had a ring on my finger, then I may feel I would approach her to introduce myself formally.  But then, isn't that her job as the mother to want to know who is in her children's lives?  Or my NG to introduce?  IDK......

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Oh, tybec ... what a slime, that attorney. I think the east coast in me might have jumped out of my mouth before my brain could catch up. My LH introduced me to the ex as she was the mother of his daughter. It wasn't like we just happened to run into each other at the market and her daughter pointed me out or something, you know? It was at a time he was picking up his daughter and that's just proper manners. She seemed irritated by the whole thing, but I didn't care. Whatever. I was civil because that's his daughter's mom and like you said, I wasn't trying to become her mom! His daughter started calling me mom but when her actual mom was listening, she called me 'Ms.' and my first name; she had called me mom once on the phone and got fussed at, so became very careful. Ugh. Ex drama ... interestingly, after LH died, his ex acted like she really liked me for a while. Easy to show that since I live on the other side of the country ... but I've never disrespected her, despite her weird behaviors. And yes, whenever he wanted me by his side, even before we married, I was there if possible. I would go to court when she drug him there and it got to the point that his child support officer would call me, even before we got married. Interestingly, the officer's boss and my LH had dated back before he married his ex. Both she and the officer knew the ex was not right. But that's small town life.

Edited by arneal
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Reading these comments reaffirms to me that it’s right for me to detach.

 

i just can‚Äôt blend...if an attorney would have put me on the spot like that i would‚Äôve flipped. i do say it all the time ‚ÄúI‚Äôm just the girlfriend not my circus to deal with‚ÄĚ.¬†

 

Hats yes off to you ladies-y’all are better women then me. i’m just too selfish to deal with it. 

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Aw, Sugarbell ... 

 

I think it's a matter of accepting all that comes with 'established adults' and being accepted as one. If I had a man in my life who couldn't handle that my son has special needs, even though he doesn't live with me, we'd have problems. Heck, we wouldn't be a 'we'. I know what it's like to be passed by because of my son. If I love the person I'm with and they love me -- knowing how I am about kids (I don't do well with them. I don't coddle), we'll work out the rest. I am the empress of my house -- even when LH and I lived together before marriage, I didn't care if the ex came around with their daughter. No, you can't sit in my living room while I watch TV -- you want to spend time with your daughter (who lives with you all week???) at my house, go to her room. That's how I rolled. With BF, I always spoke to the daughter who lived with him. He introduced me to her and her boyfriend the first time I was over and they came back to the apartment. We had a couple of brief conversations. I got her a gift card at Christmas. Now that BF is not connected to his children at all because of the family madness last year, I just pray for them all but don't mention them. 

 

It's tough since we didn't raise those kids or establish the relationships. It is what it is, I suppose ...

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So I did attend the funeral, I was by his side for support and there was little drama.  BIL said said that it was good to see us there.  As NG and I walked into the sanctuary for the service, NG chose to sit next to his ex, who happened to be sitting by herself.  I stuck out my hand and introduced myself and then sat down, NG between us.  Weird that he chose to sit there, but oh well.  Otherwise I may not have had the chance to meet her.   And no, I didn't get up to speak or sing  LOL!   It was kind of a non-issue, to meet the ex.  The family is welcoming and accepting, and there were so many other family issues going on there that my presence wasn't a thing at all.

 

tybec   Hmm, well there's a power play there with her attorney and the ex trying to make you feel uncomfortable.  It's not your job to introduce yourself, and this should have no bearing on a custody issue.   For a parent to have a paramour, a significant other, girlfriend or future wife is perfectly normal.  And as long as you prove to continue to be healthy for the relationship and for the sake of the children, all good.  They took advantage of catching you at an unexpected time, low blow.  Yes, it's her job to find out who is in her children's lives and that's on her.   You now know how she plays and can continue on with this knowledge.  

 

Ughhh -  blending.  I don't live with NG and we may not ever get married and I thought that could keep me out of the drama of his stuff.   I supported him by attending a funeral, and because of that met his ex - something that I thought I would never have to do.  Like sugarbell,  I want to detach - want to say no about getting into NG's stuff when he says that he needs me.  It's like I attended the circus and watched, but I didn't participate.   I love him but there's a limit on what I want to get into.  

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Trying2breathe. Good for you for supporting NG and attending the funeral. It’s so confusing how this (blending) is supposed to work - why would he go sit with her when you went with him to the funeral? Sounds like you handled it superbly. But I’ve had to spend time with my NG’s ex and him and kids (we all ended up at the same ski resort) but it was downright awkward and I felt NG was kind of having to deal with bouncing back and forth between his ex and us. I was cordial but it was draining and she has no boundaries. Makes me super cautious about moving forward. Some groups of people are not meant to be thrown together. For me, I know there is an underlying sense of resentment of having to deal with his ex (indirectly maybe but still..). 

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Trying2 -- good for you for handling that so well. I suspect I might have sat elsewhere, having been through the whole funeral thing as girlfriend to LH as I mentioned. Ugh. I will say that I'm not sure how we can couple and not end up in all of each other's stuff though. I mean, even if not coupled through 'official' marriage, if we are in a committed situation, it seems like we'd need to work all that out. BF hasn't kept me out of his issues with his daughters -- sure, it all freaks me out sometimes, but I am in for the long haul and want him to have a relationship with them, particularly his granddaughter. I pray for that for them. So, I already am in it, no matter what ...

 

Oh my, Captains wife ... that does sound difficult! The same resort? Yikes!

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Thanks, it felt good to give support to him and to the family.   NG is struggling to figure out this blending thing too - he misses being a part of this family, and I think he sat next to his ex because it may have seemed awkward to sit somewhere else.  We were standing there looking at her, and he took a seat.  I give kudos to both of them for keeping it cordial, and staying civil for the sake of the kids.  He says that there's nothing there for her, and hasn't been for a long time.  I'm pretty sure she didn't expect that I would be there, but there was no reaction that I could sense or awkwardness otherwise.  I agree that it's hard to not be in each other's stuff, in a committed relationship.   But I want to have the chance to back off and say no, go back to my place and decide to not be there for some of it.  And still try to be supportive and keep the relationship going.  

 

That would have been awkward, CW.  As you say, some groups just shouldn't mix, at least for vacation.  

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Blending families. Hard when you are young and no kids. So, add all this extra time and people.  It is amazing when it happens well! 

 

I was unprepared. I am reading up.  May ask for premarital counseling. I certainly understand where folks here would say, "well, let's just have our grown up time and enjoy and by pass all the other."

 

NG and I are talking, discussing, disagreeing at times. It is  tiresome.   He reminds me all the articles I send state give it a few years to bridge it all, not a couple months or so.  I see everyone's points here.  Glad I am not the only one.......

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Hi, tybec!

 

Your post reminds me of something. I was driving home from the gym this morning (my usual time for deep thought, when I am away from all people, pets, and duties before the day really kicks in) and I was thinking about May being the three-year mark for BF and my first date. It seems perhaps that for those of us who have lost so much (not that divorces and separations aren't losses, especially where children are involved) through situations where we can't go back, we can't make amends (or not), we can't repair, it's like time goes faster and means more. Yeah, okay, maybe we are thinking about some sense of permanency a few months or a few years in, where others are taking their time. We know that the next second isn't promised, so it seems those factors come into play ...

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Happy May!  

 

arneal   I relate, time does go faster and has greater meaning.  I have less, almost no tolerance for drama, and try to focus on what I consider to be priorities.  I also need some sense of control, because after DH died I was in a free fall for a long time.   I think that the boundaries set with NG gives me some kind of feeling of control, although it's funny to think that there's a way to have control over anything at all.  What we do to move forward and be resilient as wids - continues to amaze me.   

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So nail on the head right there, trying2 -- free fall. Ugh. That was me (and not in a good way, for a long time) after the first husband died. I learned a lot and felt in much more control when LH died. It's a steep learning curve for sure.

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Just a nice update.  I am feeling stronger and more confident in my relationship with NG.  We are talking and though it is hard, it is working to work out  misperceptions, and challenges.  He has gone 3 months with no court decision as of next week. I know the courts are backed up due to my volunteer work.  TPR is 6 months out for cases.  And I do know the judge has imminent danger cases, so this case is not a priority. The children are privileged, well cared for and stable, so maybe why the judge is waiting.  Not a comfort to NG, but possible explanation?

NG has stated he is tired of hearings, stress, finances and getting to a point of acceptance.  We have had some hard talks. I told him again I can support him, but sometimes he forgets who he is talking to.  A widow with a fatherless child.  And he gets to have a real relationship and have a physical presence in his kids' lives. His kids have had a dad longer than my kid ever had.  So, sometimes I can be supportive and sometimes I feel he does not put it into perspective.  He has been working on being grateful, as he did live 5 hours from here, so he has a much better connection due to that change he made. 

We are equidistant to the middle school his kids are likely to attend, so eventually, my home will be as convenient.  Right now he is right next to their school.  His kids are growing up  and, like normal  kids, sometimes they want to be with him and sometimes they do not.  He is dealing with that, too. 

My kid is finishing up his first yr. of high school in 3 weeks!  WOW!  And he is still doing very well.  I hope it continues. 

I am learning about myself, and I told him so.  We both have a commonality of our lives were devastated in 2012.  Different reasons, but still. And though we have our losses to commiserate upon, we can't continue to just lick our wounds and talk about our losses. I know I do when things get tough with him, ruminate about what I had, and it is not helpful.  I told him we needed to have joy for our future instead of focus on our losses. He agreed.

So, moving forward.ūüėÉ

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Hi again, tybec and all! I wanted to share this app in case you've never heard of it. Feel free to pass along info to those who might benefit ...

 

WeParent (currently live on iOS and launching soon on Android) helps reduce stress and conflict in divorced parents' relationships. It lets them manage custody schedules and calendars, exchange messages, and share important information with each other in one convenient app. The app is free to download and free to try for 30 days, and after that it's just $9.99 per year for unlimited adults in both families.

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