Replacement Not Possible

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and specially on their children,  than the unlived lives of the parents. ~ Carl Jung

I felt for him. While he was not exactly articulating the words, I felt what he was trying to express.

He is afraid of being replaced.

As my relationship with my boyfriend deepens and my life changes positively in response to that deepening, those around me are also affected.

Even though we are divorced and my intimate details of my personal life is no longer something he is privy too, my ex husband is affected indirectly by my life changes.

This was very apparent during a conversation we had last night.

My sons and I are going on vacation to Chicago next week. My boyfriend will be joining us. My ex husband had some troubles with this. While his concern manifested itself in questioning the sleeping arrangements, I believe there was something else troubling him.

I am going to guess this trouble has at least two branches. The first branch is that for many it is difficult to see your past spouse move on with a new person even if you were the partner that initiated the divorce. The second branch shows that it is also difficult to see your children have another same sex adult in their life.

It is not lost on me that I am desensitized to this to some degree. Unlike my ex husband, I experienced a loved one moving on or choosing someone other than me when my daughters father chose his present wife over me, not once, but twice. While I might wince a teeny bit when my husband finds a new permanent partner, I don’t think I will wince quite as much as he has. I have already been there, done that. Experience can be a tough teacher but is a teacher none the less. My experience the third time around, I suspect, will not be nearly as painful as it was the first or second.

And what if my sons suddenly have a step mother? Again, I am rather desensitized.

I have already been replaced once before – by the baby brokers and the couple that purchased my daughter from said brokers. As a result, I don’t find the prospect of my sons having another adult female in their lives THAT awful. At least this time around I will still get to see my children, still be acknowledged as their mother. At least this time I have a voice and a legal position to be that mother. I matter.

Not so with my daughter and her adoptive parents, or society as a whole.

Having experienced a situation like what my ex-husband is experiencing, I found myself empathetic.

The odd twist here is that my husband will actually benefit from the injustice that was done to me. I would never expect my children to call my boyfriend  or  future husband by  “Dad” . They will never be expected or encouraged to recognize him as their father.

They have a father. He is a great father. They love him.

For me, it is a form of emotional abuse to my children to disregard their father (even if he was an awful father, which he is not).  Because I have experienced that type of abuse, I would never ever inflict it on him or my sons.

During our conversation, I reinforced this to him. I told him I understood that fear for I live that REALITY every day of my life. I told him he will always be their father and that my boyfriend respects and understands that. I told him I would never do to him what was done to me.

He became quiet during that part of our phone conversation but I believe he got the point.

Mothers and fathers cannot be replaced.