Family

Relationships

Relationships….what does one think of when it comes to relationships whether it’s with a spouse, significant other, children, parents, family members, co-workers, etc. Relationships could mean many things to different people. When I think of relationships; I hold a different meaning for each person. Some meanings may be good, bad, sad, painful, happy, beautiful, etc.

My relationship with my children is a beautiful one. It’s very important to have an open communication with your children. My oldest child is 15 years old. He will be turning 16 years old in June. I’ve been thinking to give him a 16th birthday party to show how much I appreciate and love him. He has witnessed and gone through so much with me ranging from being in foster care with me, homelessness to two failed marriages. He is such a helper and very understanding. He is not an average 15-year-old who will just sit at home and play video games or talk with friends on the phone. He’s busy thinking of ways to become his own businessman to take care of his family. He has babysat his younger siblings while I had went to school at night and while I worked when him and his siblings didn’t have school. Of course I paid him for babysitting. I loved how we were able to negotiate on his terms. Only because he needs to learn the skills of negotiation when it comes to selling his products. But what stands out the most for him was that he has been able to maintain his honor roll status in school for years no matter what was going on. He makes me a proud parent. I would love for any of you to share with me any ideas for a surprise 16th party.

My relationship with my other two children; son – 11 years old and daughter – 10 years old has been a difficult one, because I was married to their father in 2007 and divorced him in 2011 before our fourth anniversary. Despite our children being young, they (children) took the divorce hard. It was the hardest decision I had to make all because I did not want to be patient with their father’s growing up process and for him to become the man I needed him to be. I was so busy focusing on what my fairy tale life should be like after coming out of foster care. I wanted to make it seem like I had it all and that I had it going on. However, I realized you cannot force a man to be a man especially if they weren’t taught what a man is supposed to do as a husband and provider of the household. I knew I hindered that process when he would try to make decisions for the household, but my stubborn self didn’t trust his leadership all because of my own insecurities that was derived from I growing up in foster care. I always wanted to make the decisions of everything and that meant bills, appointments, budgeting, etc. I was not flexible and did not want to leave room for mistakes and disappointments, because all I knew was disappointments from people who said they would do this and that, but never did. It was the cause of our many arguments. My ex-husband and I had two different views on life in which he came from a background of his parents being married over 30 years and I coming from a background of being raised in the foster care system. I didn’t know a thing about marriage other than watching some Disney fairy tale movies. I aged out of foster care at 21 years old and married seven months later. I really didn’t have any business of being in a marriage while I was broken (hurt, not coming to terms with myself, etc.). I say this because when we are broken, we hurt those who are in our paths and it is usually unintentionally. I encourage you to come to terms with whatever it is that is keeping you bound whether it’s a lie that sounds like it is true, but it is not, your background of what you been through and more. Often times we forget that the things we go through in life is necessary for it to happen to help us become the person we need to be to help others who cross a path with us.

Divorce does have a huge effect on children. Statistics has proven it time and time again. Our children had to go through counseling. It was unfair to them to see both parents arguing with each other. Everything I had learned from my marriage with my ex-husband, I made sure that I wouldn’t repeat the same mistakes and to not be so quick in throwing in the towel. No one never told me that marriage takes a great deal of work and dedication despite us (my ex-husband and I) went to marriage counseling after marriage counseling. It wasn’t working for us, because we wasn’t putting in the effort to save the marriage. We didn’t have an open communication as well as the level of respect we were supposed to have for one another. My ex-husband had passed last week. He had a beautiful funeral service. I mourned over him and I kept questioning myself “Why did I leave him when he didn’t want to be out of the marriage?”. I could’ve never understand the resentment he had towards me until he had passed. Even though I had apologized to him years ago for hurting his heart. All I could say was that I was broken and dealing with my own issues in search for love in the wrong places when I should be searching within myself to love myself. Trust me, I loved that man with my heart despite him dogging me every chance he had. Even when I tried to move on and be in a relationship with someone else, he was always in my mind and sometimes I would say his name by accident to my significant other as if I was talking to him. I had refused to go back to my ex-husband, because I wanted to show him that I had gotten over him. I didn’t want him to think that he had control over me. I was too prideful. Anyhow my children are taking the loss very hard and I know I have to help them heal. I will do whatever it takes even if its to dedicate a day to him. Our children had witnessed so much of the things he did and said to me, but I remained humble hoping that he would change his ways and apologize. I just wanted him to be a better person for our children. Anyhow I will see to it that our children have good memories of him whether its to create a collage of them together with their father. If any of you have any ideas on how to help children cope with the loss of a parent, please share. I greatly appreciate it.

My last child is my one year old daughter I had with my fiance. Our daughter was the best thing that has happened for us especially for him because it was his first biological child. I’ve been with this man for seven years. We were married to each other for three years and divorced two years. He was everything that my ex-husband wasn’t. When we were separated for five months, I had filed for the divorce in which I shouldn’t have. I regret making decisions so quick and out of anger without thinking it through. He didn’t want to have a divorce on his record and I on the other hand didn’t care because I already had a divorce on my record. I learned to not include outsiders in our marriage especially if they are not married themselves. Some of these outsiders included family members and friends who I thought would give me some good advice especially with them being in long-term relationships and some were married as well. Instead of getting married right away, we’ve decided to take it slowly and work on ourselves especially our communication skills with one another. We work together as business partners on how marriages could be strengthen. He supports and encourages me to achieve my dreams. Our relationship with one another continues to go up within different levels as our relationship stands the test of time. We’ve been through so much together and we are still standing. Not every relationship is perfect, but it is a work in progress.

Now that I’ve spoken about my relationships with my children, ex-husband, and fiance; have you thought about your relationships? I don’t care how many children you have, you have to find a way to balance your attention among all of them. Some may need more attention than others, but include your other children as well such having them to help you bring the baby diaper, food, clothes, etc. For those who are married or in a long-term relationship, you must have an open communication with your significant other. Because if you don’t there will be problems in your marriage/relationship that would’ve been prevented. Never seek advice from some one who has never been married. Remember every one have their own opinions about marriage and how it should be. By the end of the day it is up to you to decide what you want to do with your marriage/relationship. If it is difficult to decide; do a pros and cons sheet listing your significant other characteristics as well as the things you love and didn’t like about them. If the pros outweighs the cons then maybe you need to take a look at yourself and see what you can change about yourself such as minimizing yelling or questioning your significant other’s every move. If the cons outweighs the pros then do what you have to do. Lastly, if a relationship was based on sex without getting to know the person then it was never a relationship from the get go. Relationships should build on friendship getting to know each other’s dislikes and likes, short-term and long-term goals, etc. Make sure your relationship is worth your time and worth investing in. If some relationships make you angry, upset then it is very toxic to your health, you need to get out!! Take care of you!!

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