We are jealous by nature – because we have a jealous God according to the Good Book. Jealous thoughts can dangerously consume us if we are not careful. Jealousy leads us into unhealthy places during our lives, especially in relationships. It moves our hearts to a destructive place and can damage the relationships with our kids. When jealousy is triggered as a result of the introduction of your kids to the new mate of your Ex, we don’t know how to function. I have seen this challenge.
It is painful to hear your children mention the name of another man when that individual is sharing your children’s time. When I imagine the sweet laughter of my young ones enjoyed by the boyfriend of my Ex I am disgusted. I hear my kids talk with excitement of the new experiences they have shared with this new found friend, and it makes me cringe. I, like many people, shiver at the words of affinity my children first speak of this friend, but I would never let them see this in me. I believe this is a battle taking place between my ears and I have to overcome; for their sake.
It isn’t something I am proud of – this feeling of jealousy, resentment, and contempt. It isn’t something I enjoy. It is there. I recognize it, and I desire to put a stop to it. But this is not a simple battle.
I wonder aloud in a quiet corner of my house – how can they see any good in this person? Why would they feel the way they feel around this new person? Is this person trying to take my place as their father? It doesn’t take long for me to recognize the obvious answers to all of these questions. More importantly, it doesn’t take long for me to substitute myself in the place of this stranger. I imagine me meeting the kids of a potential mate for the first time and hoping to make a solid impression. Me believing that I am a great person and putting my selfish feelings aside and get into the mindset of my little ones. I should not be quick to judge for I may become the judged.
I recognize that my kids want to be open about this new relationship, but they are sensitive. They are sensitive to my feelings and how the relationship affects me. So I press on and attempt to squash their insecurities in hope of enlightening them to all of the other great possibilities that might come from the new mate. I help them to see that I am not bothered. I have to do this with sincerity and regularity or they will see behind the thinly veiled mask I wear and see the pain that lies beneath.
My kids will attend events or go on trips with their mother and their mother’s boyfriend. I will get used to it. I have to condition myself to believing this is okay. I understand this is part of life and the adjustments we have to make in these types of circumstances. I may not be in agreement with how I came to be at this stage of my life, but I owe it to my wonderful offspring to provide them with the best experiences possible – even if it involves sharing the love they give. Frankly, with my kids I know they have a whole lot of love to give.