Can’t We All Just Get Along?

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Many of you aren’t aware of this, but I was married before. I got married a year after I graduated high school and I was totally unprepared for the challenges it presented. My mother suggested it at the time but I was too grown to listen, so by the time everything was said and done the marriage yielded a stepdaughter and a son, and two damaged parents. I have never admitted it outwardly but as I got older, and better versed in the Godly role of a husband, I placed the blame for that failure squarely on my shoulders. I am who God expected to lead.

Fifteen years later, I married Jennifer. And while I had the benefit of greater maturity, marriage still wasn’t a piece of cake. I had to learn many things, some of which were a remedial course of sorts. But because of a closer walk with Him,I was a far better husband and father this time around, though far from perfect. One mistake that I seemed to repeat, though for entirely different reasons, was a failure to build a proper relationship with my stepchildren. In my first marriage it had more to do with the brevity of the relationship. This time it was multiple factors but I bear the blame in each instance. I am the adult and the responsible one. And many years of them having the loving father that they deserve, that I in fact had,were lost. They both love me, as I do them. But things still aren’t as they should be.

I was able to be there for my oldest son for the last eleven or so years but I missed out on a large chunk of his first twelve or so years, and it’s evident in our current relationship. Now he loves me dearly. But he’s been trapped in the middle of my first family and my current one. And having walked that fine line for so long, he’s settled more with his family than with mine. Which severely limits our time together. This again, is my fault because he learned the art of inconsistency from his dear old dad.

So as I lay here lamenting the plethora of poor decisions that I’ve made, not the least of which is not trying harder to foster a fundamental understanding between my wife and my ex-wife, (which may have been impossible), I have two fractured families and a ton of regrets that I can do nothing other than pray for. As the great humanitarian Rodney King once said…


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