children, family

The blended family

Picture the scene; you come across a party of four, in a restaurant talking absolute bollocks and then hitting Brighton pier on the 2p machines, the four of them look like they are just double dating and enjoying the evening, for the most massive part you would be right but when you see these four, laughing idiots walking around Brighton like they had all been friends for years you don’t realise that two of them used to be married to each other and the other two are their partners.

This evening myself, nerd boy, Edwardo and his partner (we shall call her ‘lovely lady’) all went out for the evening, just the four of us without mine and Edwardos children and I can honestly say hand on my heart it was probably the most fun, funny and entertaining nights I have had for a very long time, we danced and sang in the car, we tried some gorgeous Bajan food in a lovely little restaurant that has authentic food Barbados where ‘lovely lady’ is from, we had fish cakes that tasted more like, well I don’t know! Not fish cakes and macaroni pie, we walked in the rain to the pier and went in the arcade, had some doughnuts and for anyone looking at us you would never think of the history two of us have and to be quite honest, even though I’ve known Edwardo for nearly 30 years, I don’t think much about our past and I am sure he feels the same.

Just Friday night we were in a bar where Edwardo works and we got chatting to a customer and somehow we got on to the subject of who we were and how we knew Edwardo and they had the exact same response as 99% of people we meet; go quiet and then say ‘whatever works for you’ and they often sit there and ponder the scene in front of them but more often that not it’s normally confusion running through their mind with so many questions, probably like do me and Edwardo still love each other, do we still fancy each other, how can we still be friends, don’t you find it weird? Well I can answer all of those with total honesty;

We have children together of course I still have love for him, he raises my boys with ‘lovely lady’ and he is still a very good friend and you love your friends to a certain degree don’t you? I have enormous respect for him because it couldn’t have been easy at times.

No I don’t still fancy him and I am sure he feels the same (well knowing Edwardo he does fancy himself, he’s a bit of a big head), he’s just Edwardo to me like you are with a friend.

We were friends well before we were married so why wouldn’t we be after? We didn’t break up for any other reason than we married a bit too young and we grew apart, that same person is still there before we married and all that business so why on earth wouldn’t we still work as friends.

Lastly no we don’t find it weird, nerd boy has never found it weird or daunting, I think ‘lovely lady’ took a little while to get used the idea as I guess it is strange but you just have to look at me and nerd boy to see where my heart lies.

Nerd boy gets on really well with Edwardo, he summed it up perfectly on instagram the other day:

I know that on the most part relationships end badly and parents are unable to communicate with each other but it is a shame more parents can’t be likes us because our kids have benefited from having us being friends and our partners being friends with each other, they see the four grown ups in their life, settled, happy and parenting together, they know they can go to either four of us with any problem and when the rare occasion we all go out as a seven (not including nerd boys kids) they are equally happy taking a hand (not the older ones), playing a joke or just walking with one of us, to them even though this happened quite late in their childhood they have settled well and as far as we are aware never had any issues, this is normal to them and I hope that if ever one of their relationships didn’t work out this is the way they could conduct themselves and see the hard work we’ve all put in to not disrupt their lives too much.

I guess the way myself and Edwardo sees our relationship breaking down is this;

It wasn’t the kids fault and why should they be unhappy because even though we worked hard on our marriage and didn’t just ‘jack it in’, they shouldn’t be the ones to be caught up in the middle and have their whole lives turned upside down, they didn’t ask for this so instead myself and Edwardo set to work to see how to make sure that they never thought it was their fault, never had to choose between us and ultimately be happy with everything. Of course their life was probably turned upside down we aren’t under any illusions about that but at the same time, we made that decision for me to spend as much time as possible with them when I moved out and still all have dinner together, that I was here for them whenever they needed either one of us, saw that their mum and dad still went out together with their friends (because that’s another thing when you share friends too, how do they cope? Who do they choose, the simple answer is they didn’t have too) which may have been a little confusing for the boys to still see their mum and dad going to the pub but it’s the way we dealt with it and slowly after a while I began to pull away, little by little when nerd boy came along, drip feeding them little changes, so it wasn’t one massive one, as I have mentioned two of my boys are autistic so making sure their life wasn’t turned upside down in one hit was important. It was by these small changes, we find ourselves almost four years later all in a happy place, I haven’t laughed so much in years this weekend, my face has hurt and my belly has been in stitches.

Edwardo’s ‘lovely lady’ is an awesome lady, she is brilliant with the boys and has sorted out some educational problems for us and we couldn’t have done it without her, she is so fun to be around (I didn’t find that out until this weekend believe it or not!) and it’s clear how well she and Edwardo fit together, just like nerd boy and us.

So sometimes in life, you don’t always stay together with the first person you get together with but on the very rare occasion, instead of throwing away everything, you work hard for the children and then for yourself, you meet someone else who you fits with you better but somehow, I don’t know how, it all melds together into one and just ‘works’.

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