Accepting change or fighting it

When I was younger, I had a step-mother who was not so kind. My parents had a difficult (to put it mildly) divorce and my step-mother came into the picture right after the ink was dry on the papers. I was 12. I was a difficult pre-teen. There was a lot of angst and a lot of yelling and a lot of crying and a lot of drama. It was not an ideal situation. So when my friends and clients come to me to talk about what happens when their ex meets someone new, I have both personal and professional experience to draw on. Because we all want to do what's best for our kids, but we all also have to acknowledge how things may change when someone new comes into the picture.

And of course there is nothing wrong with either or both parents meeting someone new. It's to be expected. It happens every day. It means life moves on and the world continues to turn and the hope that we have for love doesn't end with getting divorced. And, for most, the anxiety of this third party coming into the picture has nothing to do with jealousy and nothing to do with worrying about being replaced as a parent; what is really has to do with is wondering how things will change, wondering how the new person will fit in, wondering how you will fit in when this new dimension is added to what your life looks like now.

You wonder if holidays will change and if birthday celebrations will happen differently. You understand that space needs to be made for the new person and you wonder how that will affect you. And of course things will develop and things will change, but the answers about how or how much aren't yet written. And that lack of certainty and lack of steadiness right when you thought things were getting on track, brings back many of the same concerns you had getting divorced.

So here's the advice I have for those experiencing this new wrinkle post-divorce: remember that while things may be changing, you don't have to feel like a victim of circumstance. Remember when you got divorced and you thought your world had fallen apart, but it didn't. You moved on and things moved along and everything worked out somehow and someway in the end. It may not be what you used to imagine your life would look like, but it can be even better than you hoped. So think about the future and how you'd like things to be, and work to get there each day-  not all at one time, not all in one step- but small moments each day that get you closer to where you're going. And you will get there. And your children will get there. You will all get there- together and apart- each in your own way, the best way you can.

And as with any change in life, you can accept it or fight it, but it will happen either way. And your fight is best used for yourself, to spur you on and keep you moving, toward what you want and what you deserve, to what you wish for and what you dream. Keep fighting, my friends, not against what is but for what can be. Cast your energy inside and don't let it go. Because you are all you have, you are all you need, and you can find your happiness all on your own.

This is the life.


  1. Hang another shingle and get paid for your counseling, you are good! Allison, we all go through it, and you are right, we all GET through it. Why make it more difficult than it already is? I love your posts.


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