Home: Florida (read Lynn's first submission here)
Well, here's my one year update - as of the beginning of June, we have been married one year. What a year it has been!
First I have to say thanks again to Ron...that book really set the stage, gave us realistic expectations. I think my daily mantra is "crock pot...crock pot...give it time!" Because it definately is a slooooow process.
I am very grateful first for my God - my strong faith is essential in making this work. Second, my love with my husband. Our relationship is stronger and committed - we are united and determined to blend and make this work! We are still like newlyweds, and have not had problems between the two of us - our discussions have been about the kids.
The biggest stressor is definately the inconsistancy - his ex still is living an ungodly life, with rotating boyfriends and she is constantly undermining the children. We know we can't control her - all we can do is deal with the fallout. There is no use stressing her behavior - can't do a thing about it. We pray for her, and we try to be as steady as we can for those poor kids. It's especially hard for his 13 year old - she can wear makeup at moms, and dresses provocotively there (just like her mom), but at our house we stress modesty. We have both girls in counselling - his daughter is considerably overweight and has mild depression and anxiety/OCD...none of this was addressed by her mom. The counselling is helping.
My daughter's struggles have been her strong will - his daughter slipped into the "good girl" role, and mine into the "bad girl". We are trying to break the mold here, and stop the trend...again, the counselling helps.
VERY IMPORTANT...Ron I think talked about it, but it is important that the biological parent is the primary disciplinarian, so that the non-bio parent can establish a relationship. I had been slack in my discipline and that set up some bad habits and behavior, and we are working on that.
My 24 year old has been hanging out with my husband, and they are getting along great. My son is still guarded, but it is encouraging to see him start a relationship that is positive with a man. His father is deceased.
My 17 year old has done very well, as has his 12 year old son. The 12 year old has some challenges which we are now pursuing - he was adopted, and has some kind of autistic like issues, we are going to find out what so we can help him out.
I am in therapy as well...being a strong, secure, Godly relationship has let me take a breather - but some of the issues that were obviously on the back burner came to the forefront. Things I have not dealt with, childhood issues, are now being discussed and dealt with, and healed with God's help. It has not been all pleasant, but I know I will be better for it.
My relationship is still not good with his 13 year old. I think a big reason is her mother is not the "mother" she is the "friend" type of mother, and spends a lot of time talking trash about me and demonizing me. I know that his daughter will one day see the truth - but in the mean time, it makes it hard for us to bond. She is still pretty standoffish. Crock pot!
So, after almost a year, I can say that this is an interesting journey that takes lots of time, patience, love, and faith. With God's help, and guidance, we are moving forward. I can't wait to see what the next year brings!