Q: I come from a blended family and am now thinking about getting married to my long-term boyfriend. My biggest fear is finding myself in a situation like my parents (I.E. having children, getting divorced, and having to face start my life over again). I don’t want to stop from living, but how do I get over my fears?

A: In my books you may have noticed the presence of blended families. I, like you, have faced the same realities that come with the modern American family. We live in a culture in which happiness is one of our most valued assets (and rightly so). However, along with the quest for happiness comes the fallout of failed relationships, hurt feelings, and secrets. After facing the darkness, how do we move on?

A running theme in my books is the fact that we must constantly move forward. We can’t look to the past and use it to shirk from the future. We all have fears and baggage and we should learn from not only our family’s mistakes, but from our own as well.

What can we learn from a failed marriage? Many things, but first and most importantly is the Need to compromise.  We must learn to put others needs in front of our own. I’m not implying that we need to be doormats, but I am saying we must consider others feelings before we take action. Will your choice hurt the person you love? Will your secret come back to haunt you? Is it better to face the truth?

After compromise comes the need to Never resent the person you love. People make mistakes (and so do the characters in Winter Swans, Montana Mustangs, and The Nymph’s Labyrinth).  Lastly, we Must learn to truly forgive not only our loved ones, but ourselves as well. If you can learn to forgive (you don’t have to forget) those who have caused you pain, you will find it much easier to live your life and love with a heart not weighted by the troubles of your past.

Wishing you the best of luck with your upcoming engagement (I hope)!

~ Danica Winters, author of the Nymph Series

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