Surviving Marriage is our topic at this week’s #DadChat on Thursday, October 3 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PT/9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET with my friends Jenny and Rufus Triplett as co-hosts. They have literally written the book on surviving marriage and you can win a copy of it (three chances!) at this week’s #DadChat. See the book image, below as well as their bio in a screenshot. What have YOU learned about marriage? What could you learn that might save a troubled marriage or that you can bring to a new one (or relationship)? Their book is an easy-to-read 13 steps guide and it is spot on!
No, we’re NOT offering a divorce at #DadChat this week, but we are going to talk about divorce with Adryenn Ashley this Thursday, January 17 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. PT/9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET. How has divorce affected you? Your family? Were you “the product” of a divorce? What are the value of pre and post-nuptial agreements? Yes, there is such a thing as a post-nuptial agreement!
So, what do my wife and I fight about? The big things like sex, money, and the kids? Nah, that would be too easy, too typical. We fight about a clean house including the dog-hair, where the dishes go, the vacuuming, wiping off the counters, folding the laundry, and the kid’s messy rooms. Oh, and making the bed with ALL those pillows!
I was a 24/7 single dad to my two boys and two dogs for several years. During those years, I lapsed in the area of clean house. There were more pressing things to deal with, in my opinion. Dating again, for one thing. And, more seriously, the emotional fall-out to my boys because of their (biological) mom abandoning them.
This past Winter Break I ended up with some alone time as my wife and younger son went to Japan and my older one, 16, stayed home to be with his friends and his girlfriend. I went alone to the mountains to ski. I used to be able to bring my dog, Simon, but the place where I stay has begun enforcing archaic HOA rules forbidding dogs of guests. So, instead of a warm, furry body next to me, I had the cold sheets and my wandering mind for company.
So, herewith Part Three of my blogs about the “Big Three” subjects most couples argue about. We’ve done money and sex; now “the kids.” I will declare, at the onset, that this issue is usually more combustible in blended families, though it certainly is present in nuclear ones as well.
For us, we had to deal with me having raised my kids alone for several years and my second wife having not had kids or any meaningful (especially living with them) experience with kids. But, she’s got an opinion and has never been bashful about expressing it (anymore than me).
It isn’t just a factor in Vegas. It’s a factor in everything in life. And, I believe it’s one of the biggest influences in how our kids turn out. Yes, every yuppie thinks they will do it better than every generation before and many of us do make parenting a bigger priority, but I assert raising kids takes luck!
Coming from a showbiz background, I saw how luck was a contributor to so many people’s success. Why did one actor “luck out” and get a career-making role like J.Lo in “Selena” while another whose name we don’t even remember got their “break” in what turned out to be a flop? Luck.
Cosmo, the wonderful Donald O’Connor star of “Singin’ In The Rain” sang “Make ‘Em Laugh” in that seminal musical number, but I say “Give ‘Em Luck,” for life and kid success. A little laughter along the way won’t hurt though. In fact, I’d suggest watching that number whenever you need a lift. We all know parents that have done everything “right” yet have kids who are addicts, failures at school, and more. We also know many lazy, lousy parents whose kids turned out great.
I don’t believe we should just rely on luck, but don’t discount it either. And, don’t beat yourself up when your kids disappoints and blame yourself or your spouse, or your divorce, or your own problems. That can make a difference, of course, and we all should do our best job at parenting. Luck is a non-negotiable, uncontrollable factor but, what do I know; I’m just a guy. But I will still assert – raising kids takes luck!
What happened to kids listening to their parents? It seems whatever I ask my boys to do, the response is always some sort of “No,” whether it be questioning why I won’t do it myself or saying “later.” Am I missing something or have I just become a total wimp of a dad?