We also kept our promise to move slowly.
Neither of us wanted our relationship to add more trauma or drama into the girls’ lives. Both of us have experienced more than our fair share of childhood traumas and understood how damaging it can be. We wanted to be careful to ensure that Sam, Alex and Frankie had the best shot at remembering their youth fondly and starting life on their own terms, not carrying lingering resentments.
Easing Johnny into their lives and creating a sense of family was difficult at first. Change, even when done respectfully, is difficult. However, with our new superpowers of love, honesty and communication, we developed strategies to ensure the girls felt valued, their feelings validated and respected.
After about a year we agreed the time was right to move into the same home. Johnny’s divorce agreement allowed him to move back into his house and we decided this would become our home. Adrianne, the girls, a truckload of belongings, and three dogs—one of them a Saint Bernard—moved in. That first night, the Saint Bernard took down the mailbox and the girls had a gaggle of friends over. Chaos ensued.
Johnny, a man used to a quiet and organized home, found himself in the maelstrom of living with three teenage girls.
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