Divorces and remarriages are widespread, as are mixed families, which require a great deal of adjustment to get along. However, not all are welcoming and accepting of new family members. Read the story to know what happened in this blended family and share your views on this.
I have two children with my husband who are 5 and 7. My husband has two older children who are 15 and 16. My husband and his ex-wife divorced 10 years ago and we met 9 years ago and married 8 years ago. My stepkids have had some complicated feelings about their parents divorce, understandably, and as a child of divorce myself, I understand them totally. The problem came up recently when my stepson had to write about the worst thing that happened in his life and he put the divorce of his parents.
My husband was concerned that despite being so young and after a decade, his son still feels that’s the worst thing to happen to him. His daughter also feels the same way, as she told her dad when he was talking to her brother. My husband had this discussion while our kids were home and they heard my stepkids tell my husband that they wish he and their mom had not fallen out of love and had wanted to stay married.
My kids were upset hearing this and took it more personally than it was meant. Later that night they were upset and asked me why their siblings don’t love our family and why they wouldn’t want them. I asked where it was coming from and my older daughter told me what they heard and how them feeling like that means they don’t love and want them.
I told them it’s not true, and I asked them to put themselves into their siblings shoes. I talked them through some of it in an age appropriate way (what if daddy and I were no longer together, how would you feel, they answered sad and I asked would they be happy if we divorced if daddy remarried and they had siblings from him and a stepmom and they said no). I explained that that was how it is for their older siblings. They said it is kinda different since it’s us and I told them it might feel that way for them, but it isn’t the same for their older siblings. They asked me if I felt the same way about Grandma J and Grandpa B and I said yes, I said I didn’t want them to be miserable together but that a part of me would always wish my parents had been a better couple together.
I checked in with my kids the next day and they were doing better. My stepkids thanked me for understanding and for explaining it to them because they would have hurt their feelings if they’d had to attempt to explain that stuff to them. I told them to never be ashamed of their feelings and that they’re normal and being kids of divorce is something not everyone fully understands.
My kids ended up talking to my ILs about what we discussed and their siblings and they blew a fuse and said the conversation was inappropriate for such young kids. My husband told them they were exaggerating. But they said I had a much too grown up talk with them and that I made them think it’s okay to not accept change and to think parents owe it to their kids to stay together for the kids. Am I Wrong ? Did I go too far here ?
Here are a few comments on the story where it was originally posted: