Blended Family – Baggage Edition

Howdy from Texas y’all.

Sorry if I’m blowing up your email today but I’ve got 4-5 blogs jotted down and finally have the time this morning to upload a couple of them. I tried to book a Pilates class but it was full, so blogging it is 🙂

Baggage. Good old fashioned baggage. Does anyone else carry it? I sure do and so does Hubs. Life teaches us lessons. If we are wise, we learn from them. But is it fair to our current partner when we carry baggage from our past relationship into our new relationship? Is it a lesson learned or is it baggage?

Let me give you a few illustrations for example only. Hubs was married for about a decade (hmmm… from maybe 1998-2008 give or take). When that marriage was having problems, he attended counseling. I’m sure that was difficult for him because he can be the quiet and shy type and warms up to people slowly over time (he’s a wise man for that. I should take note since I’ve never met a stranger and pretty much share all of my baggage immediately with nearly everyone I meet and that has definitely come back to bite me when it’s a gossip or liar who spreads that info and especially from a church small group setting. Yeah, I’ll never share in church again … ). But anyway, Hubs attended counseling in his prior marriage and found that it seemed to make things worse and the relationship ended anyway. So Hubs now has this check mark in his mind that counseling makes things more difficult, it doesn’t work, and he’s not open to doing it again. He’s “been there, done that”. I, on the other hand, have seen several of my friends and family law clients relationships blossom and bloom after attending counseling and I want to do it with him. One couple acquaintance of mine attend monthly whether they need it or not. I think it can be good to have a third party help you walk through your underlying issues, bounce things off of, give you encouragement and pointers and hold you accountable. If Hubs did not have that past experience – that baggage – would he be more willing to attend counseling with me because I feel I need it?

On my end, my long term ex boyfriend was very controlling. Very. Over nearly every aspect of my life. What I wore (that was a very big one because anything less than a baggy turtle neck made me look like a … insert bad word here). And I really wasn’t allowed to go out with my girlfriends. If I did, I had to check in with him and be home by 9 or 10 pm when he said he’d call me. He would even drive by my house to make sure my vehicle was home. If I did schedule a girls night because he was busy, amazingly enough he would end up free and would want me to change my plans. When I wanted to go to law school, he told me he would never support me going to law school because it would conflict with his law firm and his long term goals and alter the team work we had going on (I said he’d just be jealous that I’d be the better lawyer haha).  Though I loved him dearly, I rebelled. Big time. I started wearing everything he hated, going out with my friends, not returning calls, and really ticking him off. Then when I met Hubs, I was very clear that I was never going to be manipulated or controlled ever again. Throughout our relationship I have been on a playground seesaw going from far left (honoring and respecting his wishes) to far right (regardless of how you feel, I have to do what I feel is right and what is best for me and you’re not the boss of me). My ex spouse also did me really dirty in the area of finances so I swore I’d never let another man ever mess up my bank account. We could have separate accounts. He could physically pay the bills. But I am going to sit there with him while he does it so I can make sure that everything credit reported is paid, money is saved, business expenses are itemized and there aren’t any credit card bills coming in the mail that I didn’t even know about. Oh yes, I even pull the credit report for both of us at least annually (everyone should). My past experience – the baggage – left me with a great need to control my own life regardless of my marital status. If I did not have that past baggage, would I be more willing to see his requests more as simple boundary requests rather than as an attempt to control me? Would I be more trusting of him as a man? Would he be less frustrated with me? Probably so.

Above I mentioned that I’d never share in church again. And I haven’t. In fact, I manage (or control lol) my “own” small group because I’ve got serious trust issues y’all.

Is that wisdom speaking from life lessons learned or is that baggage that I carry? Or are they one in the same? Or is there a balance somewhere?

I’m really not sure if this “helped” anyone but it’s been repeating in my mind over and over so it was time to jot it down so I can move on LOL.

Coffee cheers your way and have a great day!

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