Managing Changing Relationships

Relationships can feel hard even though we want them to be easy, loving and gentle.

All relationships go through changes life circumstances change and as we age. What changes are you experiencing right now that is affecting some of your closest relationships?

I’m not only talking about romantic relationships, but rather all those that matter to you.

We want to fit with those we love. We desire connection and belonging. To feel needed, valued and loved. I know that the best way to feel that is to be that. But that’s where it can get complicated as well.

I just spent the weekend with family. We are a big blended family with 7 children that are now adults in their 20’s and 30’s so relationships have changed from when we first blended and they were much younger. But our mutual desires to fit in, to belong and feel loved has not.

I am still working out my new relationships with my sons as they are adults and need me in a completely different way and essentially need me less. Being less to them is something that I am still adjusting to. Knowing I am as loved while not as needed is an adjustment for sure. I am getting much better at this and spending time with two of my sons this weekend was wonderful. As one of them gave me the most spontaneous and wonderful hug this weekend I was reminded of how much he liked to cuddle as a little one. As I try to figure out my new role with them, and him, I was reminded that he might still really need that from me, especially since he doesn’t have a partner in his life right now. I must allow myself to be guided by my heart and not my head where the doubt and fear of being “too much” tends to rule the day.

I continue to be a work in progress and I am ok with that and much more gentle with myself than I used to be.

My relationship with my step daughters is more complicated. There’s a lack of trust and comfort from both sides.

Guarding. Watching. And too much judgement.

I can tell I’m not fully relaxed. I love them, but I am guarded and not sure that my love is welcome. When they were younger they wanted this and I gave it, but even then it was hard for them to receive it because of loyalty to their mother. Understandable. I hated that they felt this dual pull in opposite directions and that they didn’t feel free to just receive love unconditionally from all of us. 

I still wish to give to them freely and without hesitation but often feel that it is not welcomed. That is my journey. My insecurity. 

In an effort be present with them I get caught in energies that aren’t true to me. Gossip and judgement of others is often the topic of conversation for them and as I join in I’m also aware of that I have no business doing so. Why do I do that? 

To belong? To fit in? To be liked? (I will be writing a whole post on difference between belonging and fitting in so look out for that)

I know that the only way to be truly loving with them is to be myself. But too often I feel that I can’t speak my mind. I fear judgement. I fear I will be the topic of gossip and misunderstood feelings. So I don’t. I don’t share. I limit attention to protect myself because I have been hurt. Again, this is my journey.

But I believe it is also yours, just with different people or under slightly different circumstances. Many of my readers are going through divorce with adult children for example and managing the changes together while also making space for everyone’s feelings including our own is a challenge indeed.

How do I put myself out there with them without fear of being hurt? Without feeling deliberately misunderstood? I am searching for the answers and for my path with them. We can all do better here – I will endeavour to do so regardless of what they choose.

I will be continuing this conversation and would love to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “Managing Changing Relationships

  1. Colleen Mccolloch

    We walk on eggshells sometimes. Perhaps time with each girl separately would help create a better relationship. Break up gossip train and develop your own time with each.


  2. Charmaine

    Continue to be your true self. Don’t we speak about only being able to control our emotions and actions? You cannot control the girls but you can continue to be there for them in whatever capacity they need just like you are there for us in your Facebook group. There are many different views/opinions in the group so I think the same way you juggle “our” differences (with grace and understanding while continuing to be you which we all love and appreciate) will allow the girls to see that this is you and if they want or need more then they also need to step up and contribute to the relationship. In my journey I am trying to remember my worth. Elizabeth, know your worth and take pride in knowing that you are a wonderful person. We all know that. Have faith and continue being you.


    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughtful reply. You’re right of course. Somehow it’s easier to say than do. This will continue to evolve as these are important relationships. Thank you again 🥰❤️


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