The Ex-Spouse

Through New Eyes

“I want her to go to Heaven, too.”

The words fell out of mouth. I couldn’t stop them.

Honestly, after I said them I felt such…freedom.

It’s a VERY well known fact that my stepson’s mother does not like me. I have written several blog posts about the struggles we’ve had from zero percent participation with co-parenting to extreme forms of parental alienation through the years. She does little without motive, and that motive is usually to undermine my husband and to erase my name from her son’s history. I’m pretty sure this will continue while the participating parties are drawing breath. Yes, I know what I “signed up for”, and yes, I would do it all over again. All of it.

But why in the WORLD would I want her to go to Heaven when she dies?

That’s a great question. It’s a great time of year to ask it. Thanks for asking. 🙂

I want her to go to Heaven because Jesus Christ died for her sins just as He died for mine. He wants to be the Lord of her life just as He wants to be the Lord of mine. He came to give her “hope and a future” just as He did for me. I either can ignore that or embrace it. As a Christian, I choose to embrace it.

When we get to Heaven, we won’t have our earthly insecurities and pain. I won’t remember her stingy words and she won’t be caught up in her own perception of me. We won’t remember Facebook and all of the evil social media started. We won’t remember confusion and doubt. We won’t remember why we get really anxious before having to face each other.

We WILL know that we worship the same Savior. We WILL be caught up in eternal worship of Him. We WILL know peace that passes all understanding.

When I see her through the eyes of Christ, I see with a love my own mind can’t comprehend. It’s honestly supernatural. HE creates this forgiveness and love, not I.

So, yes, I want her to go to Heaven. There. I said it! Whew. Praise Jesus for His mercy and grace when we accept Him into our hearts and every corner of our lives.

Lynnette R. Flatt, Certified Stepfamily Coach, Stepfamily Foundation of NYC – Contact me for coaching at sunshinestepmom@yahoo.com

The Ex-Spouse

It’s Been Awhile…

Did I just make my Gen Xers start humming a Staind song? Sorry for the ear worm! I actually intended to dive into my blog writing today was intense creativity. This is my first day at home ALONE in a very long time, and I was planning to drop some creative power. But now, I have an ear worm!

“It’s been awhile…since I can say that I wasn’t addicted…”

What are you addicted to within your stepfamily dynamic? I’m not looking to dive into your medicine cabinets and wine stash. That’s between you and a licensed (medical) professional! I’m talking about the “other” stuff we don’t dare tell the world. Here are a few “addictions” we can have as stepmoms:

  • Drama. We can be flat-out addicted to the drama. In the beginning of my relationship with Steve, his ex caused us daily strife. The crazy talking head on the other end of his cell phone (and the country) would disrupt his last hour at the office, his commute home, or our late dinner. (I was still in my 20’s and I lacked some of the wisdom and empathy needed to understand why he tolerated her rants. He HAD to deal with her for the sake of his child.) I also found myself addicted to the night like it was a soap opera being played out right in front of me. The funny meme about “making some popcorn” and watching the drama unfold had not entered my online life yet. I think some nights I literally made popcorn and just listened. The 1-3 hour tirades on the other end of the phone were down-right fascinating to me. I could not fathom a person being so vitriolic. I never had witnessed such rage and hate in my life.
  • Social Media. I was made aware of caustic and damaging words about my husband and I in a public forum when our son was a minor. I could have cared less what the ex thought of us UNLESS it involved our child we were co-parenting together. (The phone rants came to a stop after awhile. It’s been way over a decade since we’ve endured anything close to that.) The “new” form of rage started around 2008 with the popularity of public “posting”. We were made aware of the posts because of the hateful half-truths and outright lies about my husband. He was and is a loving, nurturing, and responsible father. He NEVER missed a child support payment. He paid the maximum requirement AND we paid nearly 90 percent of EVERYTHING else for his son. He NEVER missed an opportunity to see his son. We took GREAT CARE of him, and we still do. However, what was written about my husband was so vile and false. Mutual friends (who are no longer friends with her) would tell us about the posts and send us a copy for legal purposes. I have a thick binder full of these posts – words documented for the rest of eternity. Keep in mind, these were all posts accessible and READ by our son. Now that he is an adult, I don’t care what she writes. As time has evolved, he doesn’t care either. I was addicted to it for awhile. I looked for my daily email like one would wait on their favorite dark-humored sitcom to come on. I’m glad to be free of this “addiction”.
  • Am I better? This can be “better” regarding anything. Insert your favorite hang-up or hobby. Insert weight, looks, profession, anything where we strive to be “better” than someone else. Sisters, maturity and the saving GRACE of Jesus will help you move past this shallow pool. You are EVERYTHING in the eyes of the Lord. Your name is written in the Book of Life. Strive to be better for Him, not mortal man.
  • What does the world think of me? Letting go of this drama and worry really freed my mind and spirit! With stepfamilies comprising nearly 60-70 percent of households today, what does it matter what the others think? We are a growing statistic. Like it or not, it is what it is. We were once a silent majority, too. Well, times are changing! We are reaching out, speaking up, and helping others. I think that’s pretty encouraging and exciting!

What are YOU addicted to? Did any of these strike a nerve?

The Ex-Spouse

It’s Complicated

boy in white shirt and black track pants
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Lynnette, can I have a hug?”

As I was sitting in the kitchen glow of early morning light, my stepson quietly comes downstairs, tears rolling down his cheeks.  His sweet brown eyes were a fog of sadness and sorrow.  He had just received a call from his mom that his Grandma (her mom) had passed away.

His Grandma (Patricia)  was 82 years old and lived a wonderful, storied life.  She was an accomplished wife to an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, a mother of four, grandmother and great-grandmother, a successful business woman, and according to Keegan baked the best pies and cookies he’d ever tasted.

I sat with him for a couple hours before I woke up my husband, Steve (Keegan’s dad.)  Steve understood, and he was glad Keegan and I had that precious time together.  I listened to stories about his Grandma Pat meeting the Queen of England, her famous apple pie, her fun Christmas Bag of gifts for each grandchild, and her caring heart.

Stepfamilies are complicated though.  I want to reach out to Keegan’s Mom and tell her I’m sorry to hear about her mom passing.  A woman losing her mother, her great teacher and first best friend on this earth, is a depth of pain that stands alone.  I felt sad for her today, but all I can do is pray for her to feel peace in the coming days.  No words said by us will be received with kindness.  My husband’s mom was the first of the parents to pass, so she set the precedent.  Although we were told there was “sadness” about the passing, it wasn’t acknowledge in a card, flowers, etc.  It’s just the way things are going to be I guess.

I CAN show my respects by continuing to show sympathy and understanding to Keegan.  He is the precious point that connects all of us.

Rest In Peace to Pat.  She definitely played a major part in raising my wonderful stepson.