Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Facing Reality

Reality is:
• N and W have trouble getting along.
• Both of them turn to me to mediate when they don’t get along.
• I make the situation worse, not better, by mediating.
• N and W get along better when forced to deal with each other rather than go through me.
• I have to learn to let go and let them develop their own relationship on their own terms.
• As part of the problem, I must work to fix my part of the problem only and let them work on fixing their parts of the problem.
• It is hard to keep my mouth shut sometimes, but I have to learn to do so.
• I also have to learn when it is appropriate to speak up and when it is not, and then follow through appropriately.
• N and W both benefit from having a relationship with one another.

Sometimes it isn’t so easy to face reality. It’s taken a long time for me to really see and understand my part in the difficulties between N and W. It’s taken a lot of counseling by the most patient counselor in the universe (at least from what I can tell) to finally get through to me. I am not the cause of their problems, but I am definitely a contributor. As long as I am available to them to mediate, then they are more than happy to voice all their complaints to me with the expectation that I will bear the burden of it, sit as judge and jury and issue a verdict. That should not be my role, and I am finally able to see that clearly. I am finally able to see that I am not helping the situation but making it worse. I am finally able to see that when I tell N that he will have to deal with W when he is with W and tell W that he will have to deal with N when he is with N that things start to get better. I can see clearly that W and I were never going to agree on certain parenting issues. Neither of us could persuade the other to the other’s point of view. It is better that we live apart and parent N apart from one another. N is starting to accept that Dad’s rules rule at Dad’s place and Mom’s rules rule at mine. It doesn’t matter whether or not something is acceptable one place if it isn’t acceptable at the other. What matters is that the rules are the rules, and just like rules at school may be different than those at home the rules at one home may be different than in the other home.

Oh, I know that some readers are going to think this is the most simplistic thing ever, and of course this is how it ought to be, and why on earth am I making such a big deal out of it, and why wasn’t I doing it that way all along. (Don’t you just love run on sentences? My grade school teachers are turning in their graves right now.) The fact is that being caught up in the middle of it made it harder to see the truth than looking in from the outside. I’m just glad I finally got my little pea brain wrapped around the truth of the situation, and I’m very glad that I am doing things little by little to make things better.

No comments: