Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Tense Situation...

So I posted yesterday about the importance of having our children involved in our wedding. We’re not a typical couple and this isn’t a typical wedding…we’re going against the grain on the whole “big wedding” idea for an encore wedding and we’re ok with that fact. At the same time, one thing that I don’t think is against the grain is involving your children in your wedding, if you have them.

Mr. CC and I each have a child from a previous relationship. They are the most important part of our lives, coming before each of us. That might sounds weird to those of you that don’t have children, but for those of you that are reading this that do have kids from a previous relationship, I think that you can understand where we stand on this. From the very beginning of our relationship, it was important to me for Mr. CC to understand that although he was important to me and I was beginning to care for him in a big way, little CC was, is and will ALWAYS be the MOST important part of my life. And when things got more serious between the two of us, and like turned into love, it was something that I really needed for him to understand. That although I loved him more and more with each passing day, and that he was vitally important to me, my feelings for little CC and my love for her were still more important than he was. For some men, this would probably be a pretty hard concept to swallow.

Not for Mr. CC. Mainly because he agreed with me 120% and felt the same way towards his son. That yes, I was important to him and mattered more than anything…except for his son. It was SO easy with Mr. CC to overcome this hurdle that other people who have kids and date are faced with. Everything that we do revolves around keeping our kids in the forefront and making them feel included and secure in where these new changes put them in our new family. Knowing that little CC likes Mr. CC wasn’t enough for me. I wanted her to love him, and want him around, and be okay with all of the changes that mommy being involved with someone else could mean for her.

Don’t get me wrong, there were some hard days. Sometimes it felt like we would make SO much progress with her and her feelings towards Mr. CC and then one little thing would happen and we would fall backwards three steps. The old saying is one step forward, two steps back…and that was definitely appropriate! But given time, and a lot of patience and understanding and acceptance, I can honestly say that she’s ok with my upcoming marriage to Mr. CC. In fact, if you remember, she and Mr. CC’s son were hounding us constantly for the few months before the engagement to get married! It was cute to see her enthusiasm for our new family and blending our lives with Mr. CC’s life. It was truly touching.

Why do I write all of this? Well, it’s really pretty simple. It’s been almost two years since Mr. CC and I started dating. We dated for about 3 months before we started spending time with him and his son on a regular basis and she knew that he was my boyfriend. At 6 months into the relationship, I knew that I wanted to marry this man, but also knew that little CC needed more time. That although I was ready, she wasn’t. So, I took things nice and slow and feel like my reward for that is the knowledge that she’s totally ok with all that’s coming up for us.

But recently, little CC has started having some problems in school and acting out at home that concerned me. Her father and I discussed the problems, and neither of us had a solution and I became really concerned about her. To the point of searching for a counselor for her. I spent several sleepless nights worrying about my child and what was going on, and why she didn’t want to talk to me about what was troubling her….then I found out that her dad is engaged. That he’s getting married the month before I do, to someone that he hasn’t known or dated all that long. And that he’s planning a wedding that doesn’t include little CC. Not only does it not include her, but she’s not even invited. So, he’s making all of these BIG changes that will affect her life as she spends 50% of her time with him, and he’s not involving her in any of it. I know that she likes the woman that he’s chosen to marry, and that’s not the problem. She can like her all she wants and still be uncertain of her place – especially since all of their actions shout to the world that she’s not a vital part of their lives.

I’m confused by his actions. Not surprised, necessarily, but confused as to how a father can treat his daughter that way…I could not fathom planning something as important as my re-marriage without having little CC included in the wedding or even invited to be there. As it is, she even helps me with a lot of my DIY projects – she’s a great trash-gatherer, a champion shopper and skilled string knotter…I just can’t imagine it. And I know that she’s hurting…that she’s confused…and tried as I might, I can’t make him see the light.

I got a little rough with him on the phone the other day when we were talking about this whole situation. He’s convinced that all of her problems stem around her unhappiness with his house, and that she’ll feel better once they sell it and move somewhere else. If you’re thinking “WHAT?!?!?” you’re not alone, you’d have to know him to understand. I hope that I got through to him. I hope and pray that something that I said hit a nerve and helps him wake up and see what he’s doing to her right now…I just know that at the age that she’s at, this is where she understands SO much more than we give her credit for…and she could really resent him and his actions at a later time. I don’t want that for her. She’s a little girl, and she needs her daddy involved in her life, but at the rate that he’s going he’s pushing her out of it so fast.

I’m just grateful that I have someone involved in my life who is ready and willing to pick up the slack that her father sometimes drops. I am SO blessed. In so many ways. It’s comforting to me to know that little CC is getting such a good step-dad. She doesn’t realize how important this is to me, but it is one of the MOST important reasons that I’m with Mr. CC. His love for my daughter is evident each and every day…and that’s so important to me and to little CC.

How do you deal with someone who can’t see how their actions are hurting those that they love? Do you have any suggestions for me?

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