Families are so complicated. No matter what you see on the outside, most people have skeletons hanging in every closet of their house. Mine of course is no exception!
If every woman married one man, had children with same said man and died married to same said man life would be fairly uncomplicated. It is extremely difficult to find this type of arrangement beyond marriage licenses issued in 1955.
As a kid, I always thought my "core" family was totally normal (with exception to having a disabled sister). I had one mom, one dad, gparents on both sides and siblings. Normal, right? Hmmm. What I DIDN'T learn until I was about 11 years old is that BOTH of my Gparents had been divorced - one remarried SEVEN times! YES, I SAID 7! My Gma on Dads side came to live with us. She didn't live w/Gpa? Oh, I didn't know that. She moved on to one of her other 7 kid's homes by the time I was 13 but along came same side Gpa. Ugh. I didn't even know him and found him totally irritating. Unfortunately he died by the time I was 15 so I never really got the chance (he was our first generation Navy serviceman though - oh I wish I would have paid attention!)
FAV Gparent was Nana (mom's mom). She ROCKED. We were kindred spirits from the day I was born and I never lived closer than 2 hours from her my whole life. I didn't even see her too terribly often but I loved that woman to my core. She was married to my only Gpa (Papa Art) who I ever really knew and loved - one tank of a man.
My world came into clear view of "dysfunction" when my parents split up after 37 years of marriage when I was 16. Then my Gparents divorced. WTH? I thought the whole world was crumbling down.
So naive. I had friends all around me who lived that their entire lives but I didn't get it at all until I went through it.
Today, I'm divorced (and remarried of course). My son's bio dad has been married 4 times. My brother - 3 times. My friends have numerous marriages and divorces. It is the norm at this point.
I'm amazed with all this commotion how people want to try to be "normal" still. It's NOT normal and it never will be. Bio parents are responsible for their kids, period. Steps can get in and work the system but ultimately don't have a say.
Is it that easy? What about the in-laws you accumulate along the way?
I think it is like anything else in life - if I like you, you like me and we want a relationship, then we will. The rest doesn't matter. I have a TREMENDOUS relationship with my "ex" sisters in law. I will never, ever change that, no matter what. And yes, of COURSE I love my current sister-in-law! She should never, ever feel threatened that I love and maintain contact with the prior ones. They are, of course, FAMILY. Whether "ex" or not, we came together with a common denominator and it will always remain. Even MY ex's sisters and I have good relations and talk and even if he does have 4th wife, I won't avoid them or run away. It's not her call - it's mine and the other person.
I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on this one - message me if you don't want to comment publicly! This topic creates such controversy but the reality is simple: this is the NEW normal and we all have to figure out how to lose our insecurities and move forward. I know it's a big task for some to strap on their big girl panties and suck it up, but life will be filled with disdain, drama and lost relationships if you don't figure it out.