I recently read the book “Blend: The Secret to Co-Parenting and Creating a Balanced Family” by Mashonda Tifrere.
Not familiar with Mashonda Tifrere?
Mashonda was married to rapper Swizz Beatz. They welcomed one son. They were married for 6 years. Towards the end of the marriage, Swizz Beatz began dating singer, Alicia Keys. Alicia Keys was labeled a homewrecker. Swizz Beatz divorced Mashonda, and quickly married Alicia Keys. Mashonda was left bitter, angry, depressed and single. Mashonda and Swizz Beatz could not get along. They were both angry, frustrated and co-parenting was a dysfunctional mess. Their son suffered and it showed. Mashonda decided to end her pity party. She sought wise counsel and 6 years later she turned her life around. Ultimately, turning all of their lives around.
Through therapy and time, Mashonda realized it was best to work with her ex husband instead of working against him.
She met face to face with Alicia Keys and they both got everything off of their chests.
Mashonda and Alicia became friends.
Swizz Beatz and Mashonda became friends.
THEY ALL BECAME FRIENDS.
They became family.
They matured and let everything go for the sake of the children.
They checked their egos.
The children are the focus.
Happy Parents, Happy Children.
After I read the book, my husband and I had a discussion about it.
We have surfed the waves of marriage separation.
Marriage reconciliation vs. marriage dissolution.
Marriage is hard.
Separation is hard.
Divorce is hard.
Life is hard.
My husband and I casually sat down and we each painted the picture of what we thought post divorce would look like.
My Husband: If we divorced. No friendship. No family dynamic. Cordial relationship is acceptable. Discuss kids only. You live your life separately. I live my life separately. Don’t look at me. Don’t think about me. Rah. Rah. Rah.
Me: If we divorced. We focus on the children. Strive for friendship and healthy communication. Respect new spouses and possibly new kids. Welcome a blended family dynamic. We all become family. “Have you ever read the “Blend” book by Mashonda?
My Husband: That’s absurd. If we could be a family, then we might as well had stayed married. We can co parent without being besties. The dynamic between Mashonda and Swizz Beatz is not realistic. Mashonda never remarried. That’s the only reason it works. The minute she remarries, that dynamic will go down the drain. Are we here to appease children? How many people do you know that have that divorced family dynamic. None.
I totally disagreed with my husbands’ logic.
Although, I may know all of two friends who have lived this family dynamic; it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a vast majority out there who live this way.
It may not happen over night.
It most definitely can happen!
Families can blend and coexist in love.
It takes mature individuals who receive extensive therapy and mediation, heal themselves, remove egos and bitterness and focus on love and the well being of their children.
It involves hard work and effort.
“It took two years into our blending to make it happen, but when we did it was like turning the light on,” Tifrere says. “We realized we could minimize the impact on our children by reducing the conflict we had with one another. There were never any big blowouts. There were times when we didn’t fully agree, but we were all comfortable just letting it go.”
Alicia Keys chimes in:
“We did it!” “Mashonda and Swizz and I worked and prayed together and allowed the space for everyone to be heard. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of.”
Children who witness love from their divorced parents and from their new step-parents in a blended family situation is rewarding.
I’m not saying that this will happen in every situation due to personalities and past hurt.
Every situation is different.
But to strive towards this dynamic would bring peace to all parties.
Not just the children, but the adults as well.
Spending holidays together.
Having dinner together from time to time.
Family meetings when there is an issue.
Am I crazy for believing in this?
Do you agree with my husbands view?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.