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The Remarried Life


Mar 31, 2020

Brian Mayer talks about the art of being grateful in spite of our circumstances.  It is a concept that has become a cliché.  But the reason that it is often cited as beneficial is that there are so many benefits if you practice it regularly in the life of your blended family experience.  Today we will talk about the benefits of being grateful in spite of some difficulty circumstances in a blended family and remarriage.  We hope you enjoy today’s message.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

Today's Goodies

  • Let’s face it.  When you have been divorced, are now in another family situation with all kinds of what feels like competing interests it can be difficult for any member of the family to be thankful for what they have. 
  • The reason that blended family situations exist is because something previously ended rather unhappily.  As a result this can often set us all up to focus so much more on the negative in our lives. 
  • I am sure you have experienced a great deal of this in your life as you see the stepkids not being appreciative of your efforts at time.  And in fact they may have never shown any outward appreciation at all. 
  • Then you in turn begin to become upset and sometimes very bitter toward the stepkids when they do not show appreciation or gratitude. 
  • So what is gratitude anyway?  Gratitude is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” 
  • You might be thinking well the first part I can do but how can I do the second part of it the kindness is not coming back to me.  This is so tough for sure and requires you to begin to break the cycle to some degree in that you might be doing the act of returning kindness when to be honest you don’t feel like much is being done for you or to you. 
  • It is so much harder to do this for a child because children will often not warm up to this type of change as fast as an adult would.  Sometimes kids will never warm up to this and this is when as difficult as it is you must focus on what they might say about you when they are 30 or 40 years old. 
  • Hopefully decades down the road you will hear things like, “yeah we were all in a tough spot, but man did my stepmom show me all kinds of gratitude even though I probably didn’t deserve it much for the way I was speaking and acting.” 
  • So what are the benefits of gratitude?  Let’s talk about some:
    • Gratitude improves your own physical health.  There are lots of studies that show that people who practice regular gratitude are healthier and exercise more.  Not sure which comes first the general feeling better or the gratitude. 
    • Gratitude improves mental and emotional health.  Again there is lots of research that talk about how much more dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins are released when we show appreciation toward others. 
    • Gratitude reduces anger.  We all know that anger left unchecked can boil over into an inferno. 
    • Gratitude will improve your self confidence and self esteem.  When we get caught in a place of comparison to others it can surely deflate our confidence.  It is easy to do this in a blended family experience when we start looking at others who have the biological family experience still intact. 
    • Gratitude helps us focus on our future dreams, goals and visions for ourself individually and our families.  When we are caught in a cycle of being unhappy and ungrateful for what we do have, we can focus so much of this that we lose sight of what is ahead of us.  This is unfortunately where depression happens in our lives if we are not careful. 
  • As you may have noticed, I did not mention any of the effects it might have on others.  Now usually the benefits that others get from our gratitude are generally positive.  But I don’t want us to focus on these because it is possible we may not see it.
  • There are so many benefits to us individually for showing gratitude to others, that I want you to focus on knowing how good it is for your health and wellbeing and to not focus or worry about what it is doing for others.  There is a quiet confidence in focusing in this way as well. 
  • Work on practice gratitude for the things you see that are good in your stepfamily and make sure to verbalize it starting today! 

Resources:

  • None Mentioned

Thanks For Listening!

  • With so many things that take time in our lives, I am more grateful than you know that you took time to listen to this podcast episode. 
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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.