well the relief is palpable. After far too long, 'The Conversation' was embarked upon. SIL had returned east, babybean was in bed, and the other 2 beans were happily embedded at friends houses for the night. Chilled wine opened (could have been a bad idea, but it wasnt) and we sat end to end on the couch and waded in to the depths of our fears, hurts, anger and expectations. As anticipated, it was a very fruitful and respectful evening; we both have quite strong opinions about how such conversations need to be managed, self hung on to and dialogue held very much in the present. It just took us a week of acceptance of our sadness, 'innocence lost' (it was only the second big dispute we have ever had) and reflection as individuals to get there. We are both taureans (stubborn as hell) both with the experience of our last big relationship being to Scorpios, so we have pretty much identical patterns of expectations about who is responsible for what when it comes to sorting out disagreement! Laughter did occour.
Being a blended family comes with challenges. In our case B2 is a strong willed extrovert and empathy is not very present in her emotional vocabulary. She likes to argue and argue her point when asked to do something not to her liking. It appears to be her tool for tying you up in knots in order to get you to drop the request. I've been dealing with her since birth (obviously) and am sometimes quite unaware of this behaviour, certainly as a parent who encourages debate and negotiation, perspective on what is healthy posturing can get skewed. So thats B2. Simon brings to the table a very conflicted relationship with his late step daughter, who fell off the rails then into a negative crowd and behaviours, ending with her very tragic death in her teens. B2s apparent similar behaviour traits pushes all his panic buttons and he goes into a tailspin which i am yet to be able to pick. So he gets spooked, reacts innapropriately, B2 gets worse, i get freaked and we all head down into a very murky place for a while, culminating in an argument between them; she gets beligerent, he regresses and then gets beligerent and i blow up at both of them. Pretty. Not.
So this morning i find myself in a place that is a little battered and worn but feeling loved, loving, supported, understood, understanding and a little wiser with a mutual resolve to do it a little better next time, and bloody looking forward to an uncomplicated and hopefully hot week with the boy in Hawaii and Christmas with his family in San Francisco.