Raising Children in Blended Families

As a continuation of yesterday’s post, we also wanted to point out this book’s very insightful portion on blended families:

Raising Children in Blended Families 2

The healthy bonding of the relationship between stepdaughter and stepmother was most likely delayed because of the biological mother’s unwillingness to accept the stepmother’s involvement in the stepchildren’s lives.

“A biological parent who is unwilling to accept the new spouse of her or her ex initiates a lifestyle of divided loyalties for their children.  Youngsters caught between biological parents and stepparents are expected to be compliant — to fall in line with the values held, good or bad, by the parent who is most “powerful” in their lives.”

As always, my question is this:  why would any parent want to put their child through that?

I’ve been stepparent to my husband’s children over 31 years.  I’ve always felt I had a good relationship with the girls …. who are now grown women.  I am not their parent.  They already have two of those and certainly don’t need another one.   I feel I am their friend — or I would be, if their mother allowed it.  Thirty-one years, and she still cannot accept me as part of her children’s lives?  Of course, this is the same person who has done everything in her power — and continues to this day to do everything in her power — to keep her children from having a relationship with their own father.  So I suppose her behavior toward me is no surprise.

I follow a lot of blogs here written by people going through the same things I went through oh so many years ago.  In our particular case, we know why our alienating parent behaves the way she does.  It’s a personal tragedy that I won’t go in to at this point.  Knowing the reason behind her behavior doesn’t make it any easier to accept, although it does offer us some solace in knowing the reason why.

To every parent fighting to be part of their child’s life, and every stepparent dealing with their husband or wife’s bitter ex, I would say:  fight the best fight you can.  Do everything you can to combat the harm being done to the children by their other parent.  Do it for the children, because the only other parent they have does not love and care enough about those children to put their own feelings of hate and anger aside for the child’s well being.

Do everything that you possibly can ….. but in the end, if it isn’t enough, go ahead and live your life, knowing you did the best you could.

If anyone would like to read further on this subject, I would highly recommend “Raising Children in Blended Families” by Maxine Marolini.

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