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?

Social Media and the Blended Family

Does Anyone Else Hate Facebook As Much As I Do?

I have put this blog post off for a long time. I feel gutsy today and I’m on my third cup of coffee. Watch out! lol! I’ve also been up for many hours while the world is starting to stir this holiday morning.

I’m going to dive right in with my bullet point thoughts. These are the reasons why I loathe Facebook.

  • Facebook is fake. I’m not going to go as far to say that those who consistently post filtered fabrications of life on Facebook are fake, but if the shoe fits….
  • Facebook is full of fake rage. I recently saw a comment to a friend of mine that would qualify as “bullying” according to many of you. It alluded that a certain demographic of people are the devil and if you have experienced any personal success in life you should be burned alive. (The aggressor appeared to have “nice” things. I was really confused.) If any of you talked to me that way, I’d never speak to you again much less have you in my “friend” list. I later found out that the aggressor never would have the STONES to pick up the phone and say this garbage, and DEFINITELY didn’t have the moxie to speak such hate in person. She, instead, hid behind Facebook and spewed hatred from a keyboard. Bless her heart.
  • Facebook is full of fake happiness. A few years ago I saw a picture pop up in my newsfeed of a seemingly happy friend and her two children. She was smiling, they were smiling. Flower-filter applied. She said they were her “world”. She shot herself the next day.
  • Facebook is full of bloviating and staged carnival-type glee. There are some who cry “poor mouth” during the work week but post pictures of bar-hopping and extravagance on the weekend. If you are going to complain publicly about how you can’t fix anything in your house because you don’t have two dimes to rub together, don’t expect sympathy from others when your nightly club lifestyle check-ins tell a different story. Get your life together.
  • Facebook is a clever tool of the parental alienator. An alienating non co-parenter is quick to rattle off paragraphs about their love and devotion to their children. I’ve seen the “real” story, and it’s nothing like the sugary sweet dissertations. When the alienating parent does pick up the phone, it’s to talk incessantly about his/her OWN world while closing the ears and mind to the life of the child. God forbid the child mention any joy or fun being had at the home of the targeted parent/stepparent. If the child posts a picture of the targeted parent or stepfamily, there’s usually hell to pay.
  • Then there’s the “we’re getting divorced but let’s make the world think we have a perfect life” couple. Candy and flowers, abundance of material accumulation (A.K.A. a mountain of debt), and “my moopy shmoopy cuddle lumps” is the best husband/dad/wife/mom/ of all time”. Seriously, you are sickening. All relationships have trials, and that’s when I’m DEFINITELY not posting on social media. I’m using that time to invest in my marriage.
  • Facebook CAN BE used for good. I love to read the touching and real posts about overcoming a burden or a struggle. Some people in my feed really touch the soul with uplifting experiences. Others are snoozed and unfollowed on a regular basis when the Snapchat bunny filter is applied during a drunken escapade.

Back to keeping life in full focus AND unfiltered.