Every relationship is fighting its own battles. Sickness, distance, difference in faith, an against-all-odds dramatic affair, third parties, lies, secrets, and all other complicated setups we might have all heard from various love story tellers. Love is not a walk in the park. It takes patience, respect, acceptance, sacrifice (a lot) and deep understanding of things and of many difficult situations. It requires a great deal of maturity.
Loving a person who has a kid has taught me a lot of bitter-sweet lessons in life. This kind of a non-conventional setup has always left people wondering how things really work out among those involved. I knew I was entering into some kind of a jungle which could eat me up, in the end.
I realized these things along the way:
1. Timing Is Important
I learned that when entering into such kind of relationship, you need to wait. Wait until it’s the right time to meet your partner’s child. It took me ten months before I met his boy, and I was honestly not in a hurry. It is only right to get to know your partner really well first, be satisfied with descriptions and short stories about the child for the mean time, and know the situation better so you won’t be coming in like a wrecking ball. To wait means to enjoy your time with your partner first and assess whether you really want to be in that situation permanently, with him. Know him well, be ready and be firm, then go and meet the other love of his life.
2. It will never be about you, anymore.
Once you get into the picture, you should know it will never be about you anymore. It will never be about you and your partner, nor your love for each other. It will all be about your partner’s child. You’ll learn giving up dinner dates to spend time with your little one instead, you’ll forget buying novels and office stuff from the bookstore to get spellers and coloring books instead. Expect that there will also be times when you will never be counted, included, and expected to be there. There will be instances when your opinions won’t matter, how you feel won’t weigh and your presence not needed. No matter how painful it is for you, but because you chose to be in that plate, you will take every bit of it, chew and swallow until you start feeling indifferent, and until all that matters to you is only your partner’s and his child’s happiness. You will do everything to make things convenient especially for the kid.
3. It’s a special kind of love
I have never known love like this since I started figuring out what it means. I never thought love could go beyond how you feel for your partner, for your family and lifetime friends. I never thought this could go beyond even the love you have for yourself. What you have for such an angel whom you treat as your own is something very special. For me, it’s the most unconditional love I have ever experienced by far. I never cared for anyone this much before. I’ve never been this gentle, I’ve never been this afraid of causing harm to someone who is someone else’s child. And that joy you feel each time he goes to bed with you and listens attentively to your bedtime stories, that happiness when he proudly presents his high test scores, when he tells you how’s school, when he hands you his first fallen tooth upon waking up in the morning, are definitely priceless. All these, wash away the pain you feel each time you’re reminded that you are not the real mom, the sadness each time you say goodbye ‘cause you are not in the same roof, and the hurt when you can’t witness his every milestone cause apparently you can’t and must never be there all the time. All of a sudden you’ll find yourself in your mother’s shoes – loving unconditionally, and you’ll never understand how painful and ironically fulfilling the situation is, all at the same time, ‘cause it is meant to be wonderful just that.
4. You will marry a Groom, and a little groom.
I have promised forever not only to my partner, but to his child as well which makes me fully committed and inspired. When I promised loyalty and support to my partner, I promised the same things to his young boy. I’ve been dating both of them for four years now and I have no regrets. I know they love me just as much and it’s all that matters. Believe me it’s possible to love two people equally, at the same time (you may call me two-timer). Though I try not to answer my partner each time he asks me who I love more.
5. God is with you all the time
Now when you cry in the shower, when you cry to sleep, when you silently cry at the other end of the line, and all those moments when you choose not to say what you think and kept mum about how you feel, when you pretend you’re okay ‘cause you’re too afraid to hurt anyone, God hears you and He is there all the time. He knows your struggles, He knows exactly how you feel, for Him your opinion matters and he acknowledges your time, effort, patience and unconditional love. He knows you only want everything to work out so He’ll make things work for you. God has prepared you for this and trust that He made sure you were equipped with wisdom and a loving heart.
They say it takes a special person to forget the situation and let the child in her heart. I’m not sure about me being special but the act of loving the child wholeheartedly despite the inconveniences along, is certainly exceptional. Yes it’s never a piece of cake, but I know that my partner’s child is a blessing and one day he’ll be thankful for me, just as much as I am thankful for him. And I realized, I don’t necessarily get to be eaten up, in the end, and what matters is that I loved much more than I thought I could.