All In The Family

My husband and I have an unusual relationship with his ex-wife (Jo Mama) and her husband (Happy Banker). We like them. No, really. We don’t just pretend to for the sake of the children.

For instance, we’ll all go to the movie together. All ten of us. Or whenever it’s someone’s birthday (not just the kids, but the adults too), we celebrate at one or the other’s house, complete with cake and presents.

We got married a month apart, and we went to the same place on our honeymoon. (Not together, that’s just wrong.)

Last Friday, Nature Boy, my two boys and I were at the high school football game, not to watch football (heaven forbid), but to watch my stepson play in the marching band. We always leave after halftime is over, because who cares about football? Well, my sons do, that’s who. So, they stayed and watched the rest of the game with Jo Mama and Happy Banker. I had absolutely no reservations about leaving the boys with them. (More like, “See ya!”)

And after my own divorce, my ex-husband SportsDad and I remain very amicable. We do what’s best for our children, and what’s best for our sanity. There’s no room for fighting. We’ve got two sons to raise, and in that task we are a team.

I could go on and on with the examples, but the point is, we’re a family. A big, happy, functionally dysfunctional family. And it proves that divorce doesn’t always have to include custody battles, fighting over alimony, and animosity between exes. I know that in some cases it’s inevitable, but we got really lucky.

Thankfully, I learned this behavior from my own parents, who divorced when I was 11. There was never any animosity between them (at least none that I saw). Once they both remarried (a month apart, I might add), they eventually became friends with the new spouses. In fact, my mother and former stepmother actually had a business together for a while. My half-sister Ashley LOVED my mother, and my mom treated her like a princess, even though she was the daughter of my father and his “new wife”.

Even when my father divorced my first stepmother (FlyMom), and later remarried my current stepmother (Honeybee), everyone still loved FlyMom and kept her in their lives. My oldest son spent a week with her and Ashely in Atlanta, going to space camp and just having an awesome time in general.

I’m so fortunate that things have worked out this way, from the time I was a child to the present. Never was this more apparent than at the wedding of Nature Boy and me. Celebrating with us that day were all of our children, our parents, step-parents (old and new), step-siblings and half-siblings. Β And of course Jo Mama and Happy Banker were there, even with some of HER family, whom I’ve come to love as well. And everyone got along swimmingly. My enormous family.

My mom summed it up best when she said,Β “Honey, we don’t subtract people from this family. We just keep adding.”




  1. Posted September 15, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Wow. You’re lucky to have such a loving family.
    Almost enough to make me want to divorce…

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 16, 2009 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Yes, I am VERY lucky! But don’t you go an get a divorce! That part was awful, for sure.

  2. Posted September 16, 2009 at 4:28 am | Permalink

    That’s a beautiful way to have a family. I’ve seen the mess divorce can cause, and it’s not pretty.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 16, 2009 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      I know, it’s so sad and devastating for everyone. I know that it’s unavoidable in certain circumstances, when one or both partners are focused on hating each other. 😦

  3. Nature Boy
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Wonderful story honey!! I’m proud of you!!

    Love A&F

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 16, 2009 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Awww, thanks babe πŸ™‚ That’s the best compliment and comment I could get. πŸ™‚ A&F

  4. Posted September 16, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    That’s so nice Suzy! Its wonderful to have a big family that take care of each other so well πŸ™‚

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 16, 2009 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Thanks, Inna! We are definitely very fortunate!

  5. Posted September 16, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    That’s awesome! It’s hard enough to keep the peace with the people who share your blood, much less the ones you don’t have to be with; and to be friends on top of that…. that’s the gravy. =)

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 16, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Mmmmmmmmmm, gravy. πŸ˜‰

  6. Honeybee
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Hope lots of people read this and get the idea that hate doesn’t have to be part of it. You’ve done another important post, funny one!

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 16, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Honeybee! You’re an integral part of making this big’ ol family what it is!

  7. Posted September 16, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    That’s an awesome way to be. Seriously, you should give seminars.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 16, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      HA! Now THAT would be funny. My seminars would consist of whopping people upside the head. Especially those deadbeat dad types. They’d get SPECIAL treatment.

  8. Grammy
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Very good job. As I have told you, love is the answer to everything.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 17, 2009 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Awww, thanks Mommy!

  9. Posted September 17, 2009 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    That is amazing that you all genuinely get along so well. My husband’s parents are pretty good at faking it, but my parents loathe each other to the point of ridiculousness (my one- and two-year-old are more mature!).

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 17, 2009 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      That’s sad. But I understand that for some people, there are things you just can’t get over. But in my mind I think, “Why waste the energy on hating someone?”

  10. Posted September 17, 2009 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Holy cow, what a novel concept; Amicable divorces!!!

    Didn’t think it existed.

    Good for you.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 17, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      It’s like Bigfoot. Hard to find, but it’s there. πŸ˜‰

  11. Posted September 18, 2009 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    Amazing. I NEVER hear stuff like this. You really SHOULD do seminars. Or have your own reality TV show. (Or combine the two. Hello, Jon & Kate?!)

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 18, 2009 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      A reality show would probably be pretty damn boring. Of course I could probably ham it up a bit for the cameras. πŸ˜‰

  12. Posted September 18, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    That’s fantastic that you can have that kind of relationship. My parents stayed pretty civil too.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 21, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Awesome! And you’re so very well-adjusted, right? πŸ˜‰

  13. Posted September 19, 2009 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    That’s wonderful that you can all get along so well. My sister’s husband has a relationship like that with his ex-wife, which makes me so happy for their family. Just good for everyone all the way around.

    • justmeandthevoices
      Posted September 21, 2009 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Yes, it is so great for everyone involved! I’m glad your sister’s husband is in the same situation!

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