Surreal Family Life of Divorce and Remarriage
I got to thinking about this earlier this week and I wanted to share. I am 39f and my husband is 48m. We are in our second year of marriage. He has been married twice previously and has two adult sons (18 and 20) with his first and one son (14) with his second. I was married once before and have two daughters (8 and 10) with my ex-husband.
My girls live with us full-time, and visit their father three weekends of the month. My current husband is raising my daughters. I say this because their biological father picks them up and drops them off when it is his time and that is it. He is uninvolved completely in the day-to-day happenings of their life. He is more like a babysitter than anything and is out of sight, out of mind. They rarely even mention him. My current husband fortunately has embraced them as if they are his own. The surreal part of it all is that he acts like more of a bonded father with my girls than he demonstrates with his own kids. Here is what I mean by this.
With his boys, all three of them, he was always a weekend father. So he has always been and continues to be in the role of a big playmate, a companion, someone who has fun with them and sends them home. Just like my ex-husband is with our biological daughters.
My ex-husband lives with a woman with two young daughters. And he behaves with her children in a fatherly way that when I have seen him that is very different than with my girls. It is the same dynamic. Those girls only see their dad every other weekend. He is in that role with those girls, while my ex-husband is raising them.
My husband's 14 year old son comes over every weekend. He I feel sure has undiagnosed aspergers... unable to socially interact and speaks only to his father when he is here unless he has to speak to me, not even a hello or goodbye, has little to no friends, obsesses over video games and plays them 24/7, has to have all of DH's attention when he is here like DH has to sit next to him on the couch for hours uninterrupted playing video games with him, and he has very poor personal hygiene (doesn't wear deodorant) and smells horrible, which I think is part of the reason they are always claiming that he is bullied. It has always drained me, but DH takes it in stride because it is basically what he does every weekend. It was interesting this week because the BM had gone on holiday with her new husband for a week and he had to shuffle between our home and his home with her where someone was staying to keep him and finally, I saw DH become drained by his presence and his need for constant attention. It was really surreal, yet again.... my girls and DH and I were like the family that was established in our routine, and him being here because he can't or won't interact with us in a typical family way was something that seemed to interrupt what has become our life. Like my own daughters that aren't biologically his seem to be more bonded to him in a parent/child way than his own son. Even to the point that the boy was stinking to high heaven with B.O. tonight and I pulled DH aside and said he smells really bad, could he put on some deodorant? To which DH shrugged and said, it's not my problem. I am taking him back home in an hour...whereas if that had been my 10 year old, he would have had me address it immediately.
It's just weird. And in the surreal cycle again... the boy is being raised in his mother's home with her new husband, who is playing the day to day role of parenting him in a way that my own DH doesn't.
It is just such a weird cycle, and so interesting what makes a family. It isn't biology necessarily, it seems more to be about choice and the circumstances one seems to end up in.
Just wanted to reflect on this.