It has been said that everything we learn and experience is a lesson from which we ultimately profit. One might ask, how can one learn from a painful experience such as separation or divorce? At times, even a spouse’s remarriage can prove itself painful for an ex-spouse.
Learning from our lessons can seem an impossible task but not so, if one can learn to let go of control. There are numerous things that we feel we must control. For example, a custodial parent may feel the need to control every aspect of the relationship that their child shares with the non-custodial parent. They pad you down, to not just the hour, but every extra minute that you may spend with your child outside of your normal visitation time. Instead of embracing the idea of your child benefiting from the extra time, they scoff at the idea, not just with words at times, but also with attitudes that your child ends up the recipient of. That parent feels that if they release any bit of control, the relationship they share with their child will disseminate or slip away. In my opinion, that view is quite the contrary. The more you release control and rid yourself of those issues, the more you will gain out of your own relationship with your child. Hanging on for dear life to control issues only causes detriment to you and your child(ren). When you find yourself clinging to issues about what you think is in the best interest of your child, you are really only hanging on to what you think is in your own best interest. You are not thinking about your child at all. The issue is with you! Let go of the control.
Lesson that can be learned from this experience is: your child will become a more productive, kind, well-rounded adult by having both of his/her parents fully involved with his/her life and will never have a reason to resent you in the long run.
Our lessons and experiences teach us that life can be so much easier when we decide to give up unrealistic control, views and ideas. One of the major mistakes that step-parents make is holding on to unrealistic expectations about the relationships they may or may not end up sharing with their step-child(ren). For example, as a step-parent, you cannot expect that you are going to share the same relationship with your step-child(ren) that you share with your own children. You are a step-parent, not their parent. Another example of a step-parent issue is going overboard during visitation , trying very hard to make sure that you are giving your step-child(ren) everything that they want all of the time because you think that will bring you closer to them. This is an unrealistic idea. What is realistic is if you show them comfort and love all of the time, and listen to them when they feel the need to confide in you. Remember, the best adventures in your step-parenting experience begin with simple things like, trust, hope, family and love. Let go of the control. By doing so, you will never regret the love you accept or give to your step-child.
The lesson one can take from this experience: is that you will gain an enormous gift from the unwavering love from a child that you may not have given birth to or helped create, but a relationship that gives you more happiness than you know, and one that you will cherish and continue profit from for the rest of your life.
In today’s modern family, another unrealistic expectation (which is a form of control) is feeling like you have to be the “fixer” of everything and everyone. The title “people pleaser” is an understatement. You are not perfect, therefore, you cannot fix everything and everyone, and trying to do that all the time is really your own way of trying to control everyone. Accept that nothing and no relationship is ever going to be perfect, whether that relationship be with your husband, wife, ex-spouse, divorced mom, step-child(ren), step-parent and even with your own child(ren).
Choosing to let go of control helps us to grow our souls. Being in touch with our own expectations and realizations allows us to not only profit ourselves, but allows us to give more of ourselves to the other important people in our lives.