Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Letting Go

letting go, stepmom, step mothers, step mom advice, blended family, step family
We all have someone we do not mesh well with. We all get hurt from time to time from people we love too.  It’s even harder when it’s your husband’s ex-wife or when it’s your stepchildren.  We need to learn that letting go of the hatred, hurt, resentment and unforgiveness is learning how to free ourselves.  We also need to try to understand that hurt people, hurt other people.  This took me a long time to understand and apply to my own situation.  My husband’s ex-wife has done so many things to us from nasty phone calls, voice mail messages, text messages, emails, and then taking my husband to many court hearings.  Going through it all I have become to realize that she’s a hurting person and what does hurting people do? They hurt others.  We have learned that we can’t control what she does to us but we can control how we will react to it.  Stop reacting to the drama and learn to let it go.  I know us women have good and long memories when it comes to getting hurt by someone. 

It’s even ten times harder when you’re hurt by a stepchild.  But we need to ask ourselves these questions:
  • Am I holding on to resentment?
  • If I choose to hold on to this resentment, how will it affect my relationship with this person or stepchild? 
  • Will holding on this offense help or hurt my marriage? 
  • Is there a way I can protect myself from getting hurt again and still forgive this person or stepchild that has offended or hurt me?
  • If this was your own child would you hold on to the hurt and resentment for long or would you quickly forgive and move on from it? 
If you can move on and let go when it’s your own child, you should be able to move on and let go when it’s your stepchild.  We need to learn to stop playing the offense over and over in our minds on instant replay and learn to move forward and forgive them.  Stop talking about it and move on. Did you know that where your mind goes about is where you go about?

Holding onto resentment and hurt from a stepchild does affect our marriages. It puts our husbands in the middle and it also makes our husbands feel like you don't like or love their child anymore because of what they did to you.
Does letting go make us vulnerable again? Yes, it may make us vulnerable again.  We are vulnerable in every relationship we have.  We get vulnerable when it’s even our own children. We can never develop a good relationship with our stepchildren if we can’t move on and forgive and forget the past offenses. 
How do we move on? Well, first we need to stop talking about it and thinking about it.  I truly believe that all children can be a product of their own environment and whoever they spend the most time with is who they end up taking after the most.  Our children and stepchildren are watching us see how we deal with being hurt, if we can move on from it, they will also learn to move on from it.  Just like if we were in the wrong for something we said or did to them, we need to own up to it and apologize to them.  If we never own up to our mistakes, the children will learn to do the same too.  Children learn by examples, so what example are you showing and teaching your children or stepchildren? We need to stop playing the blame game and learn to let go and let love in again. I know it is hard to let the offense go, but we need too. If you love God and have a relationship with him, a big part of loving God is loving others too.  God is with us and he will enable us to do the impossible.  All things are possible for those who love God.  So when we face these challenges of letting go and feel overwhelmed by it, God will give us the strength to persevere and trust him for the outcome.  God is with us and God will supply everything we need (Philippians 4:19).
There have been many things my stepdaughter has done and said to me in the past that has really hurt me. But I have learned to let it go and try to understand that she’s a child and a product of her own environment and she can’t help what she has learned from her mother.  I need to move on and let go and let love develop again and pray for her daily.
In the book “The Smart Stepmom”, I read that we need to put on invisible bulletproof vests on in order to protect us from getting hurt from our stepchildren, so when the bullets come which they may, it bounces off of us. Meaning when they try to hurt us by saying or doing hurtful things, let it bounce off of us.  Don’t let it affect your relationship with them, but you don’t have to stand there and take it without saying a word back to them either. A good example of what to say is: “Stop. You cannot talk to me that way, if you want to discuss an issue with me, I would happy to do that, but you may not criticize or call me names or judge me in that way”. Then you may need to remove yourself and, of course, your husband needs to back you up and take over the discipline.
Letting go of resentment, hurt, and unforgiveness is the best thing you could ever do for yourself, for your stepchildren and most importantly for your marriage.  Let it all go and let love in for your stepchildren.  All children and step children need to be loved, accepted, and cared for and it all starts with us parents.  So let go, today, everyone will benefit from it, more importantly, YOU will benefit from it.


References:
Ron L. Deal & Laura Petherbridge (2009). The Smart Stepmom. Practical Steps to help you Thrive. Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group.

21 comments:

  1. I so agree. Holding a grudge of any kind is like drinking poison & expecting the other person to die. It's not good for us at all!
    Carol
    http://carolcassara.com/dont-be-afraid/

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  2. it's a little bit at a time - one step at a time. Sometimes it's even one minute or one second at a time... :)

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  3. While I don't have stepchildren or a divorce situation to deal with, I think your points apply to everyone at some point in their lives. My favorite part is when you say, "We need to learn that letting go of the hatred, hurt, resentment and unforgiveness is learning how to free ourselves." So very true.

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  4. While I am not a step parent, I was once a stepchild and I think the world would be a much better place if all step parents carried this kind of attitude. With that said, I also think it is important to remember that forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, not for the other person. It is freeing to forgive someone, it really is. But forgiveness is also not a 'get out of jail free card' and it does not mean we have to allow the same negative behavior to effect us over and over again.

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  5. Letting go is really the only way you can begin to heal. That holds true in so many different areas of life.

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  6. I used to hold grudges, but I've learned to easily let go as I grew older. This is the only way you can heal and move on.

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  7. Life is too short to hold grudges. It makes me sad to know that so many people walk around daily with so much anger and resentment. Let's let it go and free ourselves.

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  8. Holding a grudge of any kind is not good! Yes we should let it go and free ourselves!!

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  9. I'm afraid I'm going to hold resentment from the situation I'm in. I guess, time, space, and God will help heal my heart.

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  10. Holding grudges hurts the person holding the most. Letting go feels good.

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  12. I started my legal career doing family law but after handling a few divorces the negativity was too much and I actually found the criminals that were my clients were nicer to deal with so began focusing more on being a defense attorney. All my divorce clients didn't want to resolve things and go their separate ways they wanted to hold onto grudges and hurt the other person. That is so sad ... life is to short to grip so tightly on that type of anger. Of course I'm sure being nice to others is easier to say than do when you are personally embedded in the situation but I hope people would give it a shot :-)

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  13. I let go quite easily, but doesn't mean I forget or allow people or persons who do wrong back in my life. Life is way too short. Living it how you want is key and being happy is what I strive for. - Jeanine

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  14. I've learnt the hard way. Grudges aren't worth it. Forgive and move on.

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  15. I completely agree with you that the people that actively seek to hurt us are usually hurting themselves. It's usually not a personal vendetta, it's just what they know. It's truly all about how we react to being hurt.

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  16. The quicker you let go, forgive and move on, the happier your life will be. Great read.!

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  17. Holding grudges in any relationship will be detrenental.

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  18. Great advice. I really needed to read this today. Thanks for the reminder.

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  19. I always try to remember that about nasty people. There's something that happened to them to make them lash out at others.

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  20. I have a huge problem with holding on to resentment. I'm working on it, though. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. I agree too! holding grudges hurts only the person holding it!

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