Finding your Voice

Different Yet the Same

At this point everyone in our house seemed to be in therapy. My daughter after all she had seen with my older daughter, myself so that I didn’t murder anyone, his kids because of all the issues they were having between the two houses and their parents, everyone but Jolly Guy. In my opinion one of the ones that needed it most. At some point the conversation came up that maybe he should see someone for himself. That it may help him to deal with all the change that’s been happening around him. He wasn’t all too interested in that, but he was willing to go with me, as a couple. I thought that was very big of him and his way of going the extra mile to make us work. I was thrilled, until we had our first session. Note to self: take separate cars to couples counseling. We had very different communication skills, we had very different parenting styles, we had very different everything. One of the first questions we were asked was “What do the two of you have in common?” We both sat there dumbfounded at first. Then we giggled as the tension mounted and we really couldn’t come up with much. “Well” I said “We both like to entertain” He agreed and that’s where our similarities stopped. At first I was horrified that I never noticed it before. I mean I knew I loved the beach, he hated the beach, he loved the pool, I wasn’t all that big a fan, he loved heavy metal and I liked Jazz, I loved Broadway and he wouldn’t be caught dead there. I loved concerts and parks and wine. He liked house parties and solo cups and vodka. He smoked, I didn’t. He had a cat, I had dogs. I could use 1,252,657 words to get one point across and he would use 7. He was OCD about material things, I was obsessed with emotions and feelings. We were as polar opposite as two could get. Opposites attract right? We left that first session and I know I felt like the wind was knocked out of my sails. How could all this time, we both be so blind? We had no common interests at all. Even our entertaining was different. I liked white dishes and cloth napkins and exquisite food with accompanying wine. He liked BBQ’s with people in bathing suits and solo cups and snacks galore. There’s nothing wrong with either, they are just very different. Everything about us was different. Maybe too different. Maybe there was no common ground for the two of us. I found that hard to believe. We both wanted a happy home, we both wanted our girls to have love and stability. We both loved animals. We both loved the traditions we were putting in place for our new blended family. Weren’t those things enough to build a foundation on? Our upbringing was also very very different. Although my own love life had always been a mess, my parents had been married 48 years and my sister over 17. I had wonderful role models of how relationships worked and lasted. His parents had both been divorced, but I saw them as role models too on how to not give up hope and faith that happiness with another human being is possible. Different ends of the spectrum, but both good life lessons. I liked his parents very much. They had big personalities and loved their families, but also took care of their own needs and I respected them for that. They had welcomed me from the minute I met them each and always had nothing but kind words to say to me. My parents liked Jolly Guy too. They thought he was fun-loving and hard-working and always thanked him and noted his dedication to me and my children of which I have to say he endured gracefully for a while. None of this would combat the utter and total differences of the human beings jolly guy and I were, but it helped to know we both had families that loved us and supported us and were rooting for us, even when we weren’t too sure what we were continuing to fight for.

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