My ex-husband was the youngest of seven kids. He was raised in Iowa. His mom was the oldest of thirteen (I think). In other words, he was from a big family. We got married without meeting each others families and I thought for most of our marriage that if I had met his family first that I wouldn’t have married him. I had nothing in common with most of his family. I got along well with many of them in small groups but when everyone was together, I always felt like an outsider. My ex-husband would not stand up to me when his brothers or parents treated me poorly and there were a few times that I was treated TERRIBLY. I don’t know how many times I would leave family events in tears due to my treatment. It eventually became a big issue for us. The only “vacations” he ever wanted to take was to visit his family in the little town of 750 in Iowa. I was bored and lonely the entire time I was there. His dad was obnoxious and rude and a pig. The TV was on 24/7 so there was never any quiet or music.  Even after 23 years, I never felt like part of the family. I did love a couple of his brothers but since the divorce, I am definitely not family again. I was right in my feelings. Except for my mother in law, I never hear from anyone in the family. She and I were not always close but we got there after lots of bumps.

When I met R I found out that he was the oldest of many children. I don’t remember how many right now but I think there are fifteen of them. Five are full siblings, the others are half. He had a unique isolated childhood. This scared me to death. I was tempted to run immediately when he told me this. I figured the chances of anything going anywhere were nil so I went out with him again. Within a couple of weeks of our meeting, I was at his place and it was his birthday. Four of his siblings called him on a video call. I decided to stay out-of-the-way so they could have their family time. Almost immediately, I was being introduced and was part of the conversation. I was welcomed immediately and felt comfortable with them but I still was nervous about the large family. The next day, the eldest of the girls friended me on FB and I found out that I have a lot in common with her. He and I quit seeing each other as a couple but remained friends. His brother-in-law works for him so I had met him and eventually met his wife. Super nice couple. She is a singer and into aerial dance. This weekend, one of the sisters that I met on-line was in town and we met in person. I immediately felt comfortable with her. She told me how she had a good feeling about me immediately. Tonight, we had a family dinner and by the time I left, she and I were hugging, exchanging numbers and talking about next time she is in town. When I offered to babysit his son so they could have brother- sister time, she insisted that she would want me to join them. I have so much in common with his family and feel so embraced and welcomed by the ones that I have met that his family no longer scares me. I wonder if this was one of the things holding him back. He actually wanted me to stay the night tonight with his sister there. I feel we are dating again but it hasn’t been said. I will continue one day at a time and not rush things. It has only been fifteen months since we met. No one can accuse us of rushing……

I find it interesting that I was terrified of the large family but I guess is depends on the family. W have so many common interests, even in our families. His sister has heard of my sister and her husband (dancers). A few of his sisters are into Aerial dance. My middle kiddo used to do that. I have always been a singer as is my son and a few of the family members are singers one is even touring and has a few CDs out. Maybe the size of his family or any one elses doesn’t matter. I feel I could belong in a family like this though I never belonged in the other one. This was a big aha moment for me this weekend.

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