Cheating on Your Adult Child Relationships With Their Ex - Good Idea, or No?
Breaking up is Hard to Do
The Adult Child Relationships are Valuable
Raising kids is an adventure from the moment of conception, and even that can be an adventure in itself. They are helpless and hungry at birth and from there, everything they learn will come mostly from you. At least, until they become prepubescent; there is no predicting the behavior of an adolescent with raging hormones who is learning who they are; it can be a delicate time.
Then they become full-fledged teenagers before you know it, and they’ve learned to drive and do things that weren’t even words when you went to school. They’re either dark, lazy and dreary or active, fun and upbeat. There is a median-mind-space there, but it‘s small and yet varied widely at the same time.
When they start dating, the whole entire world changes for them, and maybe for you, too. Sooner or later they find someone they ’love’ and go steady with, but you know that they’ll break up some day - rarely does anyone marry their first highschool boyfriend or girlfriend. But respectfully you treat the person like family until it’s time to pick up the post-break-up pieces and comfort your adult-size child through their first heart break.
Some People are Just ‘Naturals’
Some kids are heartbreakers, plain and simple. They’re smart, attractive, and maybe even popular, so they go through more dates and hearts than others do. Eventually, though, most people experience at least one broken heart before they settle down for life.
Now you’re saying, ‘I’m a parent, I already know all of this, where is this going?’ Well, it’s all about those boys and girls your children bring home because they’re in love with the person. Your child falls in love with the person because there is usually some great qualities that attracted your child. Often the parents can see those good qualities, too, and if the relationship lasts long enough it‘s not uncommon for the parents to learn to love the other person, too.
Adult Children’s Relationships
Like a family-love that someone gets (hopefully) from sons and daughters in-law. The thing is, until there’s a wedding, nothing is permanent and someone can be no-longer-family very quickly, because they’ve suddenly and surprisingly broken up forever.
With my family, I didn’t allow myself to love anyone who was together with my beautiful daughters until they’d stayed together for a year. I figured, that was a good long time to judge if the relationship was going to work out, or not.
Wrong! Don’t be fooled, like I was. Some of those guys stuck with them for three or more years before they broke up forever! You can never tell when it’s going to ‘stick’ or not until you have that wedding going on, and even then, sadly, it can be temporary. However, it’s okay to love the ex-spouse of your adult child after there’s been marriage or a child.
Breaking up is Hard to Do
My girls had all the symptoms; they were living together or practically living together, sharing cell phone bills and gasoline for the car, spending all their holidays with us, going on trips with us, and having hundreds of dinners and family gatherings with us. They borrowed money or had to rent a room from us, or they stayed at our house while they went to college.
They borrowed our truck and helped us move more than once; one time they helped us move in the snow. They were there for us, and they even bought me Mother’s Day cards and flowers. But, no. No, it wasn’t a for-sure deal, yet. Not even after five years, he wasn’t a permanent family member, yet. The girls ruthlessly tore through the heart of every man they dated, eventually.
Some People are Worth the Trouble
We have kept friendly relationships with the long-term exes we love the most, much to the chagrin of our adult daughters. They get upset when they find out we’ve had one of them over for dinner or something. But, what, we’re just supposed to break up with the guys because the girls don’t like them anymore?
The answer is yes. As it turns out, we’re supposed to support our children in all their adventures, even if it’s to stop loving someone. That’s what the girls have told me, anyway, but I’m not really buying it; these are perfectly good, friendly people we love. I can’t throw them away after several years, it’s not in me.
They don’t come for holidays anymore or anything like that, just an occasional bbq out back when the girls aren‘t here. Maybe flowers sometimes get delivered on my birthday, or one little fishing trip - it‘s not easy to come between fishing buddies. One guy calls me his ‘pretend mom,’ and another has the cutest new girlfriend and gives the best hugs.
Again, Discretion Please
Once, the youngest daughter called up her ex and screamed at him to STOP SEEING HER PARENTS! (((sigh))) Of course the guy did stop coming by, but we’re still FaceBook Friends.
So my advice is, if you’re going to cheat on your kids, be very discreet and prepare for them to be angry when you tell them or they find out. But never take the ex’s side in any argument with your own adult children; sometimes neutrality is best. Don’t ever offer information about the ex or his/her life to your child, and visa-versa; keep it a taboo subject. Talk about anything else, but not your grown child, or his or her ex. And never, ever break the rules.
Then, in ten years when nobody hates anybody anymore, just think of the holidays you can all have, and everyone will have their own kids, too. It’ll be a grand gathering…
In a perfect world.
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