Remarriage and Stepfamilies
Fairy tales have been unkind to stepmothers. Popular television sit-coms make blended families look like one laugh after another. Somewhere in between is the challenge of establishing warm and deep step relations in a society where most people remarry within three years of being divorced and more than half of all Americans have been or are or will be members of a stepfamily. The romance is between two adults, but often one or both come with children. As you work together to establish equality in your relationship, remember you are creating a new family with everyone called upon to play unfamiliar roles.
Essential things to do:
- Discuss beforehand how your obligations to your children may affect equality in your marriage.
- Let everyone in the new stepfamily get to know each other before you marry.
- Encourage children to express and deal with their feelings but don’t use them as messengers or pawns.
- Make sure you spend time alone together and demonstrate affection often.
- Use shared roles and responsibilities in a stepfamily to build equality in marriage.
- Strive for equality in your relationship even if you remarry “for” your children.
For more information on stepfamilies visit http://www.stepfam.org/faqs/faqs.htm