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The Ex-Steps

October 31, 2011

According to family law, a step relationship ends whenever there is a divorce or a death. Well, that might be true in the law, but it certainly isn’t true when it involves matters of the heart.

And, I know this all too well.  While blended families present certain challenges for the children involved, when there is another divorce – and therefore another rupture of a family unit involved – what are the children to do about the bonds created between themselves?  If you do remain in contact, how do you introduce each other?  What do you call each other? “This is my ex-step-sister/brother,” which then invites curious looks at the least or questioning at the worst.  It isn’t quite honest to say, “this is my friend____,” because, in reality that ex-step-sibling is much more than a friend. Why? Because that same person – or persons – is probably someone you bonded with within a family unit. This means that you fought, fussed, laughed, cried with and probably defended that person(s).  Of course, upon the occasion of the divorce, you may have been – or they may have been thinking, “good riddance.”  But, I think in most of these instances, this isn’t the case.

I know it wasn’t in mine.  In fact, the day that my mother left the father of my at-the-time step sisters was one of the worst days of my life.  It still is to this day.  We’d only been living together as a family for 5 years, but during that 5 years all of us had transitioned from little girls to teenagers.  Needless to say, we’d lived through a whole bunch of the trauma/drama as can only be associated with any girl during those tender tween and teen years. And, yes we’d all bonded – deeply.  So, when my step-sisters were whisked off to the Mid-West to live with their biological mother and step-father, I felt a sincere, deep sense of loss – one from which I don’t think I’ve ever recovered.

Over the years, we kept in contact sporadically.  This past year, however, we reconnected. The relationship that had been cultivated years ago was abloom. The love that had developed during our life together was still intact. And, even though the relationship that had brought us all together had not lasted, ours had.  Since the reconnection, we’ve had the opportunity to be together on several occasions.  We introduce each other as “this is my SISTER___” and refer to each other’s children as our nieces and nephews.  You see, some relationships just aren’t and can’t be defined by blood, divorce or death.  They are just meant to be and those
involved in them recognize that and know that they are blessed. I know that I am.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 10, 2011 8:06 pm

    Well said, Sista! Our bond is forever. Love you!
    Blessed in Indiana.

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