As previously mentioned, I’m currently experiencing the first remarriage since my parents’ divorce last century.
Since the divorce, my mom and dad have each maintained long-term committed relationships. I’ve had a handful of pseudo step-parents and step-siblings… but it was never Official. I’ve since learned that when something becomes Official, it makes a big difference. With marriage comes expectations. (and that’s one of the things I hate most about marriage… darn expectations!)
Blended Family Territory is difficult to navigate. It doesn’t matter which branch of the tree you represent nor does it matter how old you are or where you live. At some point, everyone reaches his/her own “WTF!?!?!?” moments. I’m glad that I can check out https://www.genealogybank.com/explore/ssdi/all for help with this new family tree we’ve got going on! I wanted to plot a map of this new territory, so I called upon my sister and we pinged New Stepsister on Facebook:
Would you be interested in doing another halfway meet up for dinner sometime with us? We were thinking we should get together and catch up… or whatever it is that adult stepsisters are supposed to do.
The following day I received a response:
I would love to do whatever it is that “we” do haha!
We collaborated to work out the details and last night, Sister and I drove 45 minutes to meet Stepsister at a little restaurant/bar a quarter mile off the highway between our hometowns. On the way, Sister and I rehearsed what we wanted to talk about:
- What does she expect from us?
- What does her dad expect from us?
- How much has her life changed since the big Union? (she actually resides with the Happy Couple)
- Is she OK with the changes?
- How does she feel?
We met in the parking lot and exchanged informal niceties. After we placed our orders, the discussions began. I’ll spare you the details (partially because my mom is reading this and I know she is mad with curiosity right now)… Let’s just say it was a relief to get everything out in the open:
- We accept the fact that we hardly know each other, and that’s OK…
- We talked a little about our pasts…
- We agreed that we’re similar enough to be friendly and chat, yet we don’t feel the need to exchange holiday gifts or indulge in other obligatory family customs…
- Overall, we have zero expectations of each other…
- And we’re all quite happy that none of us think we should start shopping together and sharing clothes.
It was good visit. I’m feeling a little more confident about the new branch of my family tree.
That’s a heck of an idea. My biological sister and I really have no expectations either. I think that, at one time, bothered her but after we have had discussions it has become much more amicable and our relationship has improved.
I’ll make a prediction, in light of your meeting the relationship with your step will get closer over time….
I think you’re right. And even if we don’t get closer, I think that, given the communication standard, our relationship will at least be more stable.
How brave of you to go out and initiate the meeting! Even braver, to go the extra step and eliminate ‘the elephant in the room’ questions that are usually never asked.
I was just too uncomfortable not to say something…
I think Chopper Papa is right – you will become closer. Well done for initiating the meeting – not easy to do.
Thanks. I’d really gotten to a place where I couldn’t afford NOT to… I was sensing a lot of pressure to treat her in a manner I wasn’t sure she was comfortable with.