I am an auxiliary parent. It’s not a role that has produced recent joy. It is a responsibility.
My husband has two sons from a previous marriage. I was not part of the demise of that marriage so I am above reproach. I was also a child of divorce. I know what that’s all about. I was well informed in my choice to forego my biological destiny.
My husband’s kids are alternately demanding and demeaning. They forget that I am not their stepmother; my husband is their father, the distinction is clear.
Don’t be getting all up in arms about the second wife here. I have lived somewhere I have no interest in being for well over a decade and donated hours and hours of my time (the only truly priceless commodity) as well as pouring thousands of my own hard earned dollars into those kids, to give them a decent foundation for independence and meaningful lives.
I have known those boys since they were little. I’ve loved them up and tucked them in. They have come to me for objective truth. I’ve heard them ask their father, “What does Elroy think?” When my husband bought a fishing boat all three of them (2 small boys and one overgrown kid) lined up and begged, “Please, please can we get this? Please we’ll never ask for another thing, please?”
I am lucky in not having the inescapable pull of biology and DNA worrying me to death, taking the happiness right out of my life when those selfish, ungrateful young men say spiteful, mean, hurtful things. My husband isn’t as fortunate.
Those boys have been a misery for at least 10 years but I think they’re starting to come out of it. I’ve banished them from my life on several occasions only to allow the door to swing both ways so they can get back in and slam it in my face one more time. If I’ve been disappointed, you can only imagine what my husband has suffered.
As adults in the lives of children, it seems we all suffer in isolation believing erroneously that our young people are the only ones who behave irresponsibly and treat us with such disdain. We are not the only ones. Young people can be secretive, dismissive, and rude to their parents. They don’t have the life experience to behave better.
The majority of kids will grow to become decent human beings. They’ll return to our lives, once they’ve established their independence, and love us like nothing was ever amiss. We’ll forget that it was.