“Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture.” (Kak Sri)
I’ve always been the kind of person that appreciates cheerfulness, a positive attitude, a spirit of gratitude, a sense of humor and kindness and courtesy toward others. It’s pretty much how I’ve always tried to approached everything, every blessing and every challenge, in my life. And true to form, it’s how I entered into remarriage.
I thought that if we all tried to be cheerful, if we all had positive attitudes, if we all counted our blessings instead of our misfortunes, if we all laughed at ourselves and some of the crazy blended-family situations we now found ourselves in, if we were just polite to one another, everything would (at least) be tolerable. It’s how I raised my children; it’s the home life I’ve always espoused; and it has worked well for us: the good times have been really, really good; and the challenges, even the practically unbearable ones in the wake of a Ponzi scheme revelation, the venom we endured, the divorce and complete life change which resulted from the situation brought upon us by a former family member, were more bearable because of it.
Unfortunately, the remarriage counselor had a different view. He actually told us to expect issues—and he told us what they would be! I was NOT a fan of all the counselor told us to expect. And, I recognize (now) I was extremely naive to think all of the above could eliminate from our lives what every other remarriage situation brings to all family members. I learned, firsthand, the professional expert, the remarriage counselor, did indeed know what he was talking about. Every single issue he told us to prepare for came to pass in the course of our engagement, our marriage, or in the months afterward!
Looking back, I guess it was easier to know what to expect (even though I’d forgotten to expect it by the time it happened). I recommend premarital counseling to everyone. On those occasions when an issue would arise, we were prepared for it to some degree. My husband would look at me and say, “No problem, we were told this would happen, we’ll make it work.” And he always did, we always did, reminding ourselves, “This, too, shall pass.” And it always does.
One thing the remarriage counselor failed to mention, however, was the impact mothers have on their children; especially the impact of different mothers raising their children! Remarriage, and my husband, have taught me, “Different mothers equals entirely different cultures!” I believe you can attribute most blended family issues to that.
As a result, while there have been some great moments, there have been some challenges. I even dared wonder, about three weeks into our marriage (and on one or two other occasions), “WHAT have I done? Can I really endure the issues that come with this territory?” But what marriage doesn’t make you wonder that at some point, even a first marriage? And as my husband always points out, “At least the issues are never with each other or between us.” True, and that’s something to be grateful for.
Another thing I’m grateful for is that despite eight months of marriage, he is still holding on to the whole “soulmate thing” with all of his heart. And the longer I’m married to him, the more I think he’s right. How awesome it is to have found mine, so unexpectedly, thanks, once again, to…the unexpected life.
Oh, the counselor was right about something else, too: It CAN be done. It IS worth it. And, to quote him, “You two are going to be just fine!” Second marriage moment #25.
“Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.” (Robert Louis Stevenson)
What blessings has YOUR unexpected life brought you?