When I first started dating my husband… the recently separated father of three… my Dad didn’t say much. He wasn’t for it, but he wasn’t against it. He was indifferent. Probably because like most people, he assumed it wasn’t going to last.
And really, I can’t blame him for thinking that. Recently separated father of three starts dating a women 13 years younger than him?
**cough** cough** rebound **
**cough ** cough ** mid life crisis **
I know how people think. I know the stereotypes.
I’ve always been one to make light of a situation, so heck, I was cracking jokes too.
Then all of a sudden I was in love with this recently separated father of three.
So when I updated my father on the progress of my relationship, his position changed. He wasn’t so indifferent anymore.
He had some very stern warnings, and shed some light what becoming serious with a single dad would mean for my life. This was something he had experienced first hand, because once-upon-a-time my dad was a recently separated father of FOUR. And truthfully becoming a stepmom was not something he had hoped for me.
So after my husband got down on one knee and proposed while we were away on a romantic getaway, I asked him,
“Did you ask my Dad’s permission”
His response was “Well I was going to, but I was afraid he was going to say no… then what was I supposed to do?”
My response was, “Yeah that was probably smart”
And I wasn’t upset that we didn’t have the traditional engagement that started with my future husband asking my dad for my hand in marriage.
Not only because I knew there was going to be nothing traditional about this union, but because I’ve always been a bit of a firecracker, and truthfully, I have never really asked anyone’s permission to do anything.
To be clear, it wasn’t that my Dad was totally unsupportive of our relationship or that he had a personal problem with my husband. He liked him just fine. He just has some very very strong reservations. And rightfully so.
The thing is, I never blamed him for that. I never broke down in tears wishing that my father was over the moon about my new found love and my future as an “evil stepmom”. Not once.
Marriage is hard. Very hard. But when you add in additional stressors such as a stepchildren, an ex-wife, blending a family, co-parenting, finding your place in a family that was formed long before you were even a thought, and all the other additional stressors that come with being a stepmom… marriage becomes HARDER!
So hard, that there is up to a 75% divorce rate for second marriages when kids are involved. Now that stat doesn’t quite scream “happily ever after” does it?.
The bottom line is, no parent hopes that their child has a life that’s more complicated than it has to be. They just don’t.
But they do hope that their child will find the love of their life, and a partnership that will withstand all the bull-roar that life throws at them.
They want to see their child grow old with another human being who supports them as they make their dreams come true. To put it simply, they just hope that their child finds happiness.
The other night I sat across from my husband while he chatted with my dad on the phone about their common interests and an upcoming project that we have in the works. My dad was excited and he was excited. They were chatting like old buddies.
As they talked, I thought back to those initial reservations and chuckled to myself. Because even though I don’t blame my dad for having his doubts, I am very thankful that we were able to prove him wrong.
What did your parents think when you told them you were going to be a stepmom? Were they over the moon or did they have some reservations too?