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Tag: Blended Family
Sixteen years ago, when I married my husband, I did not give much thought to whether he was Askenazi or Sefardi. Having grown up in what was then a small close-knit Jewish community, it held little importance; my concerns were focused around whether or not my bashert (intended) was Jewish according to halacha, someone who was upstanding in both ideals and actions, and a man solidly committed to a Torah lifestyle.
After my recent article about the difficult trials divorcing couples face within the court system (Family Issues 1-13-2012), especially when there are children involved, I received a heartfelt e-mail from a grandfather in tremendous pain over the demise of his son’s marriage and the subsequent custody battle over his beloved grandchild.
Multi-generational families are making a comeback these days. For some the choice is made out of necessity because of the unstable economy, for others it is due to the physical needs of either the younger generation or aging parents. And then sometimes the decision to live this way is out of a mutual desire to be full and present participants in extended family life. For us it was a combination of factors that brought us to this point.
There was a time when I thought we would never reach this stage. However, I can now say that we are "courtroom-drama free" – at least in regards to our blended family. The scars remain, the experiences no doubt have changed us, but the constant upheavals no longer control our daily lives.
Certainly most of us have heard the term "deadbeat-dad" used in relation to fathers who fail to be financially responsible for their children. There is also another type of "deadbeat- parent” (I prefer to use the word parent in an effort to avoid gender bias and with the understanding that this phenomenon can occur with mothers as well), and the phrase is used to depict parents who are emotionally unavailable or inattentive to their children's emotional needs after the breakdown of their marriage.
Ever since I become a stepmother I have not been able to stop this nagging feeling that there just may be more to the story of Cinderella. The well-known fairy tale of the forlorn, young, beautiful girl stuck in an oppressive home as the maidservant to her stepmother and stepsisters after her father's death somehow left me yearning for more details. There must be missing chapters somewhere or perhaps the story has only been told from the perspective of Cinderella and her perceptions during a grief stricken time in her life.
Recently, my two children from my first marriage visited with their father after three and-a-half years of not seeing him. Even though I was faced with some opposition from friends and relatives that lived through my divorce and its aftermath with me, I actually supported the idea.