A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to my stepdad on the phone. It was a lengthy conversation. We discussed lots of things, some of them regarding questionable things that were happening with some people in his life. At the end of the conversation, he said, “You know people do crazy things and it still works out. Look at us.”
That reference is in regard to the shenanigans that he and my mom engaged in nearly 35 years ago. After meeting at church, these two lovebirds went from first date to wedding in three months. Yes, three months!
Looking back, the accelerated rate of that relationship could have been the reason behind the initial stumbling blocks in our stepfamily. Okay, by stumbling blocks, I should say, my unruly behavior.
But I was a young girl just entering my teen years, full of questions and raging with emotions that I did not yet understand. My mother and new stepfather didn’t prepare my sister and me for their wedding. (They eloped during the school day which is another story altogether.) The hurried nature of their relationship didn’t give us time to know our new stepdad or trust that he had our best interests at heart. Without the opportunity to give voice to my feelings and to understand the reasons behind those feelings, I acted out my emotions in unhealthy ways not just for me, but for my entire family.
The entire family now looks back at this swift courtship and laughs. (After 35 years you can do that!) Still the fact remains that this situation did not ensure the best environment for creating stepfamily harmony.
Now that I’m a adult I understand the all-encompassing love that causes you to lose sight of reality and rush headlong into a relationship and/or marriage. However, as an adult who married a man with three children, thereby actualizing my own stepfamily, I realize the importance of considering the needs of all of the parties involved, including the children. That does not negate the wishes and desires of the adults involved. It does, however, encourage the goal of looking at the situation as a whole, on a continuum, in consideration of the life that you covet now but that which you will aspire to in the future.