“No relationship is perfect, ever. There are always some ways you have to bend, to compromise, to give something up in order to gain something greater…The love we have for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that’s the key. It’s like a big pie chart, and the love in a relationship has to be the biggest piece. Love can make up for a lot.” ―Sarah Dessen
“No relationship is perfect, ever…
The relationship between child and stepparent is a complicated one, defined by lifelong adoration and momentary contempt. At first they will resent your advice and warnings. There will be times when they will contest your very existence. But don’t be fooled, they always need you, more than they can even say.
One day they will come around, they will begin to understand you and empathize with you. Be patient, they need your advice and wisdom. There will come a day if it hasn’t already when they will reach out to you, longing for your support and love, admiring you.
There are always some ways you have to bend, to compromise, to give something up in order to gain something greater...
A child of divorce never listens to people’s words - they listen to their actions. Don’t make promises you can’t keep - the greatest intentions mean nothing to them unless they’re executed through actions. You need to show up for them. You actually have to show them you care to win their heart.
You have to choose them everyday. To choose them means to never give up on them. No matter how hard things get, no matter how much you fight and they protest, you have a duty to be there for them. To challenge them, to teach them to be better. To not walk away when things get tough. They will test you, they might push you away before they can bring you closer. It’s not going to be easy. But when you will gain their trust and love, it will be everything.
The love we have for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that’s the key.
Love scares them. When they finally start to feel safe with you, they question it. How can they not? They’ve seen firsthand how even true love can break into a million pieces, bringing out the worst in people. So they’ve put up a shield they spent years crafting.
They’re so strong, they will seem bulletproof. The people who have have experienced the most pain always do. Be gentle with them. If you hurt them, it’s like an old wound being ripped open again, it bleeds from deeper within. In those moments where they feel that you hurt them, the wound on their heart will bleed the pain from both your neglect and their parent’s neglect.
It’s like a big pie chart, and the love in a relationship has to be the biggest piece.
No matter how much they love you, they’re incredibly uncomfortable letting you see their most vulnerable parts. They do it for protection.
They will share small moments about their biological parent with you that do not seem like much of anything. Do not underestimate how monumental this is. They have never shared these moments before. This is them slowly lowering their shield they have spent years crafting. This is them trusting you.
"Love can make up for a lot.”
Never give up. Never have one foot out the door. They are worth fighting for. Be there for their first heartbreak. Be there for them when their dreams comes true. Hold them when their world comes crashing down. Give them your time, your love; take them on crazy adventures, spoil them, but not too much. They need to be challenged – to change, to grow, to expand in ways that wouldn’t have ever occurred to them before they met you.
They want to believe in lasting relationships again. They want to believe that people fight for what is worth fighting for, that people don’t leave when things get hard. They want to be better, they want to trust again, they just don’t know how. You can be the person who gives them a fresh pair of eyes to see it all again.
No, you didn’t give them the gift of life. Life gave you the gift of them; life gave them the gift of you.