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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
queston posted:
Our lives have changed quite a bit over the last few weeks.

We have three kids, age 20, 18, 16, and have been doing foster care for the last few years. We've had indefinite placements (both teenage girls) as well as a number of teens who have been in our home shorter term. We have had a 16-yo girl since March. (We had another teenage girl long term before that.)

Anyway, we took our daughter (the middle child) to college for the first time a few weeks ago. When we returned home, our foster girl ran away. She was eventually found (several days later, 50 miles from here), but was moved to a different foster home.

So we went from having two teenage girls in the household for the last several years, to suddenly having none. As you can imagine, the level of day-to-day chaos, drama, and stress in our home has dropped drastically.

Now it is just my wife and I and our youngest son. It is so much easier to spend husband/wife time. And it is so much easier to be nice to each other with the overall stress level so significantly reduced. Parenting multiple teens is like being in a war zone, often. And niceties can be one of the casualties.

We've had some very productive discussions. One thing I've learned is that a lot of what I assume to be passive-aggressive behavior on my wife's part may in fact be simple thoughtlessness. (Thoughtless behavior, of course, is not ideal, but it's less of a problem than passive-aggressive power plays.) And I think she has learned just how damaging her thoughtlessness can be sometimes.

We've been genuinely enjoying each other's company, and things have even perked up some in the bedroom. I'm cautiously feeling like the light at the end of the tunnel is visible, in terms of the things that have been dragging our marriage down in recent years.
iceechic responded:
Glad to hear that there is a light at the end of the tunnel that can be seen!!!! best of luck!!!!!
tmlmtlrl responded:
This is very nice to hear Question. I hope it continues this way.

It has to be so hard to have foster children. I always wanted to do it, but I don't know how well my heart would handle it anymore. Bless you both.

Ha, I'm all stressed out over my teenage son! I know that's nothing compared to 2 Girls! AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!! Lol

Do you keep in touch with any of the kids? Was this something you both wanted to do? Now that you have this peaceful moment will you continue with the foster program? If so, maybe you two should have a good heart to heart about it while the communication is flowing.

Take care
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.
queston replied to tmlmtlrl's response:
Our youngest is a soph in HS. The foster placements that we took were both a bit older than him--we've agreed from the start that we weren't going to take any foster placement younger than him. We're ready for the onset of the empty nest and wouldn't want to delay that.

We will probably continue to take short-term foster kids, but I think we're done with indefinite placements. It was a great experience and our kids really learned a lot from it (as did we), but I think we're ready to move on from the chaos of being a multiple teenager household.

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