One of my favorite feminist writers, Simone de Beauvoir, says this of true generosity: “You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”
It’s Saturday, and my husband’s daughter is with us. My husband is meeting a friend for lunch, and I’m in our bedroom, getting some much-needed down time after a very busy work week.
I asked my husband to let his daughter know that I’m writing and enjoying a quiet morning, but that if she needs anything, I’m here. My husband wants to encourage his daughter to be more independent (co-dependence is a direct consequence of narcissistic parenting). So this is a good opportunity for her.
This morning I took a hike with my neighbor and our dogs in the forest that opens up behind our house.
It was gorgeous out, the ponderosas rising up from the snow, the dogs running ahead happily, my new friend and I talking about the history of this old mining town and the eccentric people who make this place so special.
My husband refers to his former wife as “Mommy” when talking to his daughter. I think when parents are married and children are young, referring to each other as “Mommy” and “Daddy” is natural. When the parents are divorced and the child is almost 10 years old, it seems odd to me.
For the past two years, I made the mistake of spending way too much time with my husband talking about his former wife and their daughter. I realize now how important it is to step back, breathe, and let go.
While my husband has let me work through this in my own way, it’s what he wanted all along: for us to enjoy our life together while he manages those relationships.
I stepped back this week and had a big realization. When it comes to my husband’s daughter, I have often experienced protectiveness as love.
Trouble is, it’s a false sense of connection because she doesn’t need protection. No one asked me to involve myself in that way. Not my husband, and certainly not his daughter.