Being a bride who is also a single parent to a teenager has its own unique challenges. My daughter Tylesha has been one of the biggest hurdles in my relationship. There was a time I was unsure if Shawn and I would survive Hurricane Tylesha. I was very young when I had Ty, so we basically grew up together. My Stinkey (my affectionate nickname for Ty – don’t judge me, LOL) was my shadow. We did everything together: vacations, restaurants, shows. You name it, we did it. While I did date, she was never privy to that, as far as she was concerned it was always “Mommy and Me” time.
Needless to say Tylesha was extremely territorial when Shawn and I became serious. Allowing a third person into our dynamic was not in her plan and she was having none of it. I will admit to being reduced to tears on more than one occasion. My baby has always been the most important thing to me. The thought of my relationship causing her pain was killing me. I know there were also times Shawn’s patience was tested, but he loves me and understood I was a package deal.
Advice from my own mother turned everything around for me. She reminded me I deserved a chance at my own happiness. Tylesha was in high school and progressing on her own path. I had sacrificed and gave her the best I could, as a mother should. And while I gave her life, I could not live for her. With my mother’s advice in hand I sat my baby down. I explained to her she is the most important person to me, but I would no longer allow her to dictate my love life. I was firm, but compassionate and to my surprise it worked. We still have our occasional issues, it is by no means a crystal stair — old habits die hard; but we are all in a much better place. So good in fact that on my wedding day Ty will be standing with me as my maid of honor. The idea of that alone makes me teary eyed. Standing before God with the two most important people in my life makes the day that much more special to me.
This candid Marriage Matters feature from Desiree and Craig and Tie the Knot Tuesday from the Wares both tackle the often complicated realities of blended families. Read, then share your own trials and triumphs on this matter with Jene!