How much do we really learn from our mistakes? I mean, we’ve been married and divorced so clearly we’ve lived some valuable lessons. But what exactly did we learn? Here are some possible learning statements…
“I’ll never again marry someone who tries to control me!”
“Next time I’ll know the danger signs to watch out for.”
“I was such a kid the first time around. This marriage has a firm foundation and includes 2 adults!”
There is nothing wrong with these statements. Yes, you will do many things better than you did in your first marriage. But the fact that more second marriages end in divorce than first marriages tells me that we still have a lot to learn. It’s like saying “I know that I failed 9th grade math but I know where I went wrong so I think I’ll go ahead and jump into quantum physics.”
(For tips on new re-marriage see Blended Bliss: 3 Ways to Get Started)
If you’ve been in a blended family for very long you, may be thinking that quantum physics sounds like child’s play compared to raising children who never think you do anything as good as their real mom, or battling exes who were apparently put on this earth just to torture you, or even trying to plan a family vacation that doesn’t coincide with your visitation schedule.
This is the problem with multiple marriage math. The first time around it’s 1 + 1 = 2. Kids are added in usually 1 or 2 at a time; still pretty simple math. But blended families add so many variables! Take ours for example: 1 mom comes with 2 kids and 1 dad comes with 3 kids, but those 3 kids have 3 different moms who each have children from other marriages. So on the other side of their families kid #1 has 1 half-brother, kid #2 has 2 half-sisters, and kid #3 has 1 half-sister, 2 step-sisters and 1 step-brother. This equation is starting to hurt my head (and my heart). At that point I stop and say, “God, you do the math please. Your math is much better than mine!.”
And remember, there is HOPE! This family will test you but it’s not pass or fail. If we each strive to do better than we did yesterday, eventually the equation will come out right.