So she despises you...

Ok, ladies. What is up with us!? More often than not, it seems that the ladies involved in the blended families are the ones who just refuse to give the other woman a chance. What is the underlying motivation for this?

Last night, I was chatting with my stepkids mom about our relationship and how it evolved. She shared some really raw information with me about her initial feelings. I was young when I met her ex-husband. I had graduated college and was bartending at the time before moving on into my career. I moved in with him shortly after we began dating. Truthfully, though she and my fiance were separated, all of her belongings were not fully moved out. It was kind of a shit show actually. Yet, my fiance assured me it would be ok for us to cohabitate and that it would all work out. Though it did, there are plenty of things we could have done differently in respect to the circumstances and the fact that his children had a mother who was very much in the picture.

She shared with me that she was consumed by her anger. Those feelings were so strong that they created an illusion what she imagined me to be instead of who I actually was. Her feelings were important, but by allowing her feelings of what she imagined was happening instead of allowing for something else was torturing her. She saw me as a younger bimbo bartender who was a live in babysitter. She hated the idea of me- she thought she hated me but how could she, because she didn't know me. She just had negative feelings surrounding the idea of me. The truth is that I grew to have negative feelings too. I listened to other people on how to deal with the situation than live my truth- which was to talk to her and get honest!! Things were incredibly uncomfortable until I did that. Sure, facing my own insecurities and fears was scary as hell, but once I did it, a totally different reality began to be created. What I was afraid of didn't even turn out to be real. Sure, there are times that it does turn out to be exactly what you thought it might be. Doing what you can to shift your own mindset and create a different reality for yourself is what is key.

She shared with me how relieved and grateful she was that she gave us the opportunity to connect and be honest with each other. Based on her sharing, it sounds like the scariest thought she had was that I was somehow replacing her as their mother. She is fully aware that she is first and foremost the mother and I am a parental figure. My intention is to be supportive to the children, be emotionally available, and encourage co-parenting that brings joy, peace, and stability for all of us, while also creating a space space for the kids. Though it happened for us, the goal is not to be friends. That is not what is needed, though is a fantastic perk. What's needed is to create a space that has healthy boundaries, respectful communication, and adults that can co-parent without all the chaotic bullshit in between. If this is you, ask yourself- what is the real motivation behind these feelings? Why do I despise this person? How can I create a more peaceful experience for us both? Are my choices really bringing more joy?

If jealousy, anger, resentment, pain, and sadness are all consuming for you... perhaps it is time to change something YOU are doing. You have no control over the other person or people. Is who you are being, someone you would want your child to be like as an adult? Kids absorb everything. Even if you think your child(ren) are too young, or not paying attention, the ugliness will unveil itself at some point. Divorced parents have their own stuff as adults... and it is 100% their responsibility to uncover what it means for them, all without making it about the child(ren). The truth is that it is about you... never your child.

If you don't think this is possible, denial may be the name of your game. Just because you have been doing something the same way for a period of time, does not mean it is positive for your growth. Chalking it up to, "We don't like each other, she is crazy, she is this or that" is one big cop out for your part in it all.

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