Love Unlovable People

There are days when I ask myself, “How did I do it—how did I be a stepmom?” I mean, it wasn’t easy, and I’ve definitely had my share of tears to shed. As I ponder that question, I know for sure that I didn’t do it alone. I got help in the form of inspiration and motivation from others. I read books and stories of what others did in similar (and, sometimes, worse) situations.

One author that has caught my attention is Patti Digh. She is an amazing woman and author. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at a conference I was attending where she was the key note speaker. She talked about her book Life Is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally where she compiled many of her blog stories to create this inspiring book.

It’s the kind of book where you can sit and just read a story at random and learn something of value in it. One particular story I read was about loving people you think are impossible to love, and I started to think about my own life and the people in it. As a stepmom, I thought, “There’s no way I could ever love the ex-wife. She’s crazy. My job is to side with my husband, to support him against the wrongs this woman did to him. I mean, she took the kids away, and only allowed him to be a dad 4 days out of each month. That’s awful.”

But then, there is always another side to any story—to every story, in fact. Until you can truly take the time to listen with an open heart, you never get the real picture. When we see the other person as a human being, just like us, with faults AND accomplishments, hopes and dreams—often the same hope and dreams we have for the same kids we care for in different homes—it starts to be hard to hate them.

We tend to be more alike than different. We all have the same goals and aspirations for our kids. Once we put aside our anger, frustration, and competitiveness, the fog in our head starts to evaporate and lets us see who is truly there—a parent desperately trying to do the best they can with what they currently have in place.

When we open the door to possibilities, only then can we help one another through our good influence and positive modeling. We can show others how we want to be treated by treating them with love and respect. While there is hatred in our hearts, there is no place for sharing what good is taking place in our homes and no place for children to learn that they are lovable and important to us.

Sometimes we need to do the hardest things in life in order to truly be free. Recognizing the good in another and focusing on that part of the person, rather than their shortcomings, is the greatest freedom of all. It also provides you with a view of the person you truly are, a caring and loving human being.

At the end of every night, I write down my daily successes, big and small. Although I acknowledge things I’m not happy with and things that bother me, by recording my successes I know when I put my head down to rest at the end of the day on my fluffy pillow, I have a smile on my face and say to myself, “I’ve done well.”

“Whenever there is a human being, there is a chance for a kindness.” Seneca

  • I was a stepmom and it was hard. Very hard, at first. And then I just started to drop the word “step” because and it all fell into place.

    • Janie, for most stepmoms, it’s a real struggle to try to “fit in” and be a family, so much past history, interference from others, telling us what we should be and do as a stepparent. Changing our perspective on our role makes a huge difference. That’s what I’m reading here. Glad that this made a difference.
      FYI: The prefix STEP actually means “to care for a bereaving and grieving orphan child” http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=step-
      Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Hello Cosmic Twin!

    We are tied together by a cosmic thread because I have the same book! Life Is A Verb is so fabulous and how lucky that you got to meet the author!

    How true that we love unlovable people. My own daughter was once upon a time unlovable but it was important for me to keep a door open. My stepson went through his unlovable phase and I remember telling him that I chose to love him and that sometimes he made that choice very difficult.

    It’s freeing to do this as we are no longer trapped by the limiting definitions we place on love.

    xo
    Peggy

    ***
    Peggy Nolan
    http://thestepmomstoolbox.com

    • I should never be surprised Peggy at how parallel our lives are. Sometimes, our own children can make it so hard to love them. I reminded my son that I was trying really hard to love him even he tried really hard to make it nearly impossible.

      Now that he has kids of his own, I think he has a better idea of what we are parents were going through.

      XO

  • Thank you for your inspiring message. I have someone in my life that I need to love that is very difficult to love. Because of your post I am going to call her.

    • Joanne. WOW. I am humbly honored that this post has inspired you to call this person. It is difficult and yes challenging. I also think that if we do this with the thought of what am I releasing in the process, it might make this process a little smoother. I’d love to hear how it went for you if you are willing to share.
      Thanks for your feedback and comments.

  • Hi Claudette,

    Coming here from the UBC chain. I think there was another lady writing on stepmoms too and I had visited her from the chain too. Anyway, nice writing and you are helping a lot of people in relationships.

    Raspal

    • Yes Raspal. She’s a good friend of mine, Peggy Nolan. We call ourselves the Cosmic Twin because our lives are so similar. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  • Debra Westbrook says:

    Your words are flowing in such beauty and grace. They are like a river that you are flowing along with in peace, gentleness and integrity. It seems that the lessons you learned during the hard times has birthed something great in you. I loved this post.

    • Debra, what a very poetic and lovely what of sharing a comment. You definitely love words and use them well. I try to share stories that will inspire and motivate others to live a life with purpose and meaning. Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts with me here.

  • I often wonder if actually unlovable people react as a way to attract attention. Maybe they need more love than an average set of people. No?

    • Richa, you may be right that people who act in unlovable ways may be those that need more loving. It’s not easy and yet probably more essential than we may realize. Love has so much power to change and heal our world and yet so difficult to give at times, especially if we, ourselves are lacking in our own love “bank account.” Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments here.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Tags

    building relationships, complicated ex-wife, emotions, freedom, good in others, Life is a Verb, love unlovable people, Patti Digh, shortcomings

    About the Author

    CLAUDETTE CHENEVERT, aka The Stepmom Coach, works with women as they struggle to create a cohesive family life. As a speaker, author and stepfamily professional, Claudette mentors and guides stepmothers through the process of establishing a harmonious and thriving home life for their families. Her newest title, “The Stepmom’s Book of Boundaries,” is now available on Amazon.com and elsewhere. Learn about her coaching practice and self-study program for stepmoms at StepmomCoach.com.

    StepmomCoach

    The original content you just enjoyed is copyright protected by The Stepmom Coach—aka Claudette Chenevert—who proudly offers information, tips, products and other resources for building better relationships “one STEP at a time” via 1:1 coaching, self-guided coursework and more. Suitability is to be determined by individual users based on their own concerns and circumstances, as The Stepmom Coach does not endorse and is not liable for opinions expressed by third parties (i.e., advertisers, affiliates, audience members, clients).


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  • I was a stepmom and it was hard. Very hard, at first. And then I just started to drop the word “step” because and it all fell into place.

    • Janie, for most stepmoms, it’s a real struggle to try to “fit in” and be a family, so much past history, interference from others, telling us what we should be and do as a stepparent. Changing our perspective on our role makes a huge difference. That’s what I’m reading here. Glad that this made a difference.
      FYI: The prefix STEP actually means “to care for a bereaving and grieving orphan child” http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=step-
      Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Hello Cosmic Twin!

    We are tied together by a cosmic thread because I have the same book! Life Is A Verb is so fabulous and how lucky that you got to meet the author!

    How true that we love unlovable people. My own daughter was once upon a time unlovable but it was important for me to keep a door open. My stepson went through his unlovable phase and I remember telling him that I chose to love him and that sometimes he made that choice very difficult.

    It’s freeing to do this as we are no longer trapped by the limiting definitions we place on love.

    xo
    Peggy

    ***
    Peggy Nolan
    http://thestepmomstoolbox.com

    • I should never be surprised Peggy at how parallel our lives are. Sometimes, our own children can make it so hard to love them. I reminded my son that I was trying really hard to love him even he tried really hard to make it nearly impossible.

      Now that he has kids of his own, I think he has a better idea of what we are parents were going through.

      XO

  • Thank you for your inspiring message. I have someone in my life that I need to love that is very difficult to love. Because of your post I am going to call her.

    • Joanne. WOW. I am humbly honored that this post has inspired you to call this person. It is difficult and yes challenging. I also think that if we do this with the thought of what am I releasing in the process, it might make this process a little smoother. I’d love to hear how it went for you if you are willing to share.
      Thanks for your feedback and comments.

  • Hi Claudette,

    Coming here from the UBC chain. I think there was another lady writing on stepmoms too and I had visited her from the chain too. Anyway, nice writing and you are helping a lot of people in relationships.

    Raspal

    • Yes Raspal. She’s a good friend of mine, Peggy Nolan. We call ourselves the Cosmic Twin because our lives are so similar. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  • Debra Westbrook says:

    Your words are flowing in such beauty and grace. They are like a river that you are flowing along with in peace, gentleness and integrity. It seems that the lessons you learned during the hard times has birthed something great in you. I loved this post.

    • Debra, what a very poetic and lovely what of sharing a comment. You definitely love words and use them well. I try to share stories that will inspire and motivate others to live a life with purpose and meaning. Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts with me here.

  • I often wonder if actually unlovable people react as a way to attract attention. Maybe they need more love than an average set of people. No?

    • Richa, you may be right that people who act in unlovable ways may be those that need more loving. It’s not easy and yet probably more essential than we may realize. Love has so much power to change and heal our world and yet so difficult to give at times, especially if we, ourselves are lacking in our own love “bank account.” Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments here.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
  • I was a stepmom and it was hard. Very hard, at first. And then I just started to drop the word “step” because and it all fell into place.

    • Janie, for most stepmoms, it’s a real struggle to try to “fit in” and be a family, so much past history, interference from others, telling us what we should be and do as a stepparent. Changing our perspective on our role makes a huge difference. That’s what I’m reading here. Glad that this made a difference.
      FYI: The prefix STEP actually means “to care for a bereaving and grieving orphan child” http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=step-
      Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Hello Cosmic Twin!

    We are tied together by a cosmic thread because I have the same book! Life Is A Verb is so fabulous and how lucky that you got to meet the author!

    How true that we love unlovable people. My own daughter was once upon a time unlovable but it was important for me to keep a door open. My stepson went through his unlovable phase and I remember telling him that I chose to love him and that sometimes he made that choice very difficult.

    It’s freeing to do this as we are no longer trapped by the limiting definitions we place on love.

    xo
    Peggy

    ***
    Peggy Nolan
    http://thestepmomstoolbox.com

    • I should never be surprised Peggy at how parallel our lives are. Sometimes, our own children can make it so hard to love them. I reminded my son that I was trying really hard to love him even he tried really hard to make it nearly impossible.

      Now that he has kids of his own, I think he has a better idea of what we are parents were going through.

      XO

  • Thank you for your inspiring message. I have someone in my life that I need to love that is very difficult to love. Because of your post I am going to call her.

    • Joanne. WOW. I am humbly honored that this post has inspired you to call this person. It is difficult and yes challenging. I also think that if we do this with the thought of what am I releasing in the process, it might make this process a little smoother. I’d love to hear how it went for you if you are willing to share.
      Thanks for your feedback and comments.

  • Hi Claudette,

    Coming here from the UBC chain. I think there was another lady writing on stepmoms too and I had visited her from the chain too. Anyway, nice writing and you are helping a lot of people in relationships.

    Raspal

    • Yes Raspal. She’s a good friend of mine, Peggy Nolan. We call ourselves the Cosmic Twin because our lives are so similar. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  • Debra Westbrook says:

    Your words are flowing in such beauty and grace. They are like a river that you are flowing along with in peace, gentleness and integrity. It seems that the lessons you learned during the hard times has birthed something great in you. I loved this post.

    • Debra, what a very poetic and lovely what of sharing a comment. You definitely love words and use them well. I try to share stories that will inspire and motivate others to live a life with purpose and meaning. Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts with me here.

  • I often wonder if actually unlovable people react as a way to attract attention. Maybe they need more love than an average set of people. No?

    • Richa, you may be right that people who act in unlovable ways may be those that need more loving. It’s not easy and yet probably more essential than we may realize. Love has so much power to change and heal our world and yet so difficult to give at times, especially if we, ourselves are lacking in our own love “bank account.” Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments here.

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

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