Tuesday, May 18, 2010

What do kids really think of remarriages?

Remarriage: Children Usually Not as Happy about Remarriage as Adults


No matter what the age through adulthood, children make room for extended families. The toughest obstacle for children in the sense of loss, and how well they have processed the loss. While remarriage may be an exciting time for the adults, children don’t share in the enthusiasm. Most parents are sensitive to the child’s needs but perplexed by the response. Here’s why…

Younger children tend to blend easier and respond better to new marriages. Only children welcome having new step siblings if warmly welcomed. Adolescents go through a variety of stages, to being resistant, rejecting, or ignoring warmth from new stepparents. However, remember, adolescents can be challenging, and vie for independence without remarriage issues. They do, however, seem more welcoming to step siblings. Also, adolescents who are closer to leaving home tend to be more open to the stepparent.

Keep reading on d360

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ex Is TOO Involved.....Help?

What Can I Do to Stop My Husband's Ex-Wife from Coming Between Me and His Son?


Dear Lisa:

My husband has two children from a previous marriage. We now have custody of one of them, his son. His son and I are extremely close, and his ex-wife hates this. She will do anything to stop this, including lie to her children about me. I feel so alone at times because I feel that his ex runs the show. My husband gives in to her every whim because he doesn’t want to cause friction. On the one hand, I can see where he is coming from. However, when she is interfering with my personal life, I wish he would stick up for me more. That hurts me the most. She will call and say the stupidest things because she knows she can get to me. She leaves nasty, vile messages on my cell phone. I just can’t ignore it anymore when she is berating me and putting me down in front of my stepson.

I have such a great relationship with my stepson, and I am scared of her coming between us. He is young and very impressionable. We try to limit their conversations, because we feel she only makes things harder for him. She is trying to use that in a custody case now (She is trying to change our custody arrangement). Usually his conversations with her end with him crying. I feel like I am at the end of my rope, and I don’t know what to do anymore.

Keep reading here on d360

Monday, May 10, 2010

What? Really? No Chores For Kids?

Each time my husband’s daughter comes to visit, it’s a fight. We live in another state and she stays with us for months at a time during her school vacations. With Spring Break coming up I’m anticipating yet another problem. For example, during her last visit I asked her clean her bathroom.Her father overheard me and chastised me for asking her to do chores when she’s visiting. He’s very protective of her and likes her to relax when she is with us. But, we can’t assign chores to those who live with us and not to those who live here part of the time.That doesn’t seem fair. What do you think?

Well you can, but we predict your family will break into factions—your side against his side—and, if that is the case, be prepared for the possibility of another divorce.It’s rare once family members take sides that the stepfamily stays in tact.

Non-custodial parents are often afraid if things are too tough around the house, their child will not want to return.We aren’t trying to paint the ultimate picture of doom.You can save it, but it’s going to take some backtracking and sincere dedication to the commitment your husband and you have made. This is when many say, “Of course, we are committed to each other. We got married!” But, that commitment often wanes when mom or dad thinks their child is being singled out or picked on.

The key word in your husband’s exclamation is visiting. Non-custodial parents are often afraid if things are too tough around the house, their child will not want to return. So, to ensure his daughter will want to come back, your husband likes her to feel like it’s a vacation when she comes to see him.It’s not uncommon in situations like this that parents start trying to bribe their kids with puppies or new bikes or the newest version of Rock Band in the hopes that the new stuff will keep them coming back. In his defense, he’s trying his best, but what he’s doing creates problems on many different fronts. First, his relationship with his daughter can stay stuck in the “visiting” mode and not progress to the deep father/daughter relationship we are sure both would like. Second, the obvious favoritism can cause animosity between your husband and the other children in the home, and between siblings as well. The other kids will reject her because they perceive that Dad likes her best, and they will reject him for the same reason. So by acting as you describe your husband is actually sabotaging his relationship with everyone—including his daughter--by openly favoring her. Best thing you can do at this point is get on the same page with Dad. Establish rules and treat all like family, and dad might look into counseling to help him conquer his insecurities associated with being a non-custodial parent.

Source: BonusFamilies.com

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Getting Remarried?

Whether it's your first marriage and you are marrying someone who is divorced with children, or trying to balance warring divorced parents while planning your own wedding, there are lots of questions that come up when organizing a blended family wedding.
If you have a link to suggest, email it to info@thestepfamilylife.com.


The Knot.Com
This was my personal favorite website when I planned my wedding. Typing "second wedding" in the search engine got more than 100 links. They also have some great Q&A responses for brides and grooms trying to iron out how to involve both biological parents and stepparents in weddings - including seating arrangements, recognition, etc.

Keep reading here

Monday, May 3, 2010


My Detachment Story
by Morgan Miles

For the last three years, she would cry and have anxiety when my husband picked her up. When I entered his life and her life, she was super excited to come and visit. She would hop happily from car to car. We never did anything real special, but I did the normal stuff I would do with my godchild and other children I had been around like the children’s museum, the mall, circus, etc.

When I think back to those times, five years ago, so much has changed. It turns out not every bio-mother is excited when a stepmom comes into the picture. It turns out that Parental Alienation Syndrome is alive and thriving in divorced families. And it turns out that I am not as perfect of a stepmom as I thought.

I swooped in on my angel wings; I was going to fix everything. My husband and his ex-wife would figure out that being friends would be so much better for their daughter. I would attend all the school meetings and doctor’s appointments because they would all want my opinion, because I am the stepmom. I would attend all the visitation pick-ups and drop-offs because my stepdaughter would want to see me. And most of all I would control the environment here at our house and help my husband raise his daughter while she was here for visitation. I would make everything better.

Does any of that sound familiar?

Unfortunately, my good intentions turned out to be the worst situation for my husband and his daughter. And eventually, everything I was doing that I thought would make things better, made it worse little by little until everything fell apart. I have had to reconstruct a relationship with my husband. I am still working on a relationship with my step-daughter. And I now have my own daughter to think about as well.

I had an attachment to my step-daughter and her mother that was completely irrational and unhealthy. I believed if I tried as hard as her biological mother, my step-daughter would love and respect me just the same. It was not until the bottom fell out of my relationships with the people I loved and I realized that you cannot reason with an irrational person, that none of my intentions were good.

I had to detach. I had to come to the realization that my detachment need are because of something I have thought about or done and not someone else. I had to find the inner strength to overcome my attachment to attain a better perspective on our step-life situation.

I have learned many painful lessons: My husband and my step-daughter do not need me. They had a great relationship before I came along and will continue to have one regardless of whether or not I am here. I am not my step-daughter’s mother, nor can I be a replacement for her mother. My step-daughter does not need another mother, she needs another friend. I cannot fix anything related to my husband’s previous marriage. It is just that, HIS previous marriage. And finally, there is nothing I can do or say to make my husband be a dad, or his ex-wife a mother. They chose to procreate, it was their decision to have a baby and get married, what on earth made me think this was my responsibility.

What have I gained from these realizations?

Peace. It does not sound like much, but it is everything. I could continue to have panic attacks over visitation, whether my house was clean enough, whether I had enough food, if my step-daughter was going to cry at the pick-up or drop-off. I could continue to compete with my husband’s ex-wife and buy better clothing for my family, continue to purchase newer and more expensive vehicles, show up to school meetings and court dates with more paperwork I had spent hours on just so I could hear a teacher, or a judge, or a doctor say, “You are not her mother.” And breakdown in the car time after time.

Instead, I found peace. I detached from the drama of an ex-wife, the discipline problems of a child that is not mine, planning activity after activity when it was not appreciated and most of all trying to be someone else’s mom. I am now at peace with myself.

I am not perfect, far from it. But I do love my family. I do love my life. I don’t need to be living someone else’s life; I need to be living my own. I have let life pass me by for the past 2 years, consumed with hate, hurt and betrayal. All of which, was my fault and I could have prevented by detaching myself.

There is no love loss between me and my step-daughter, in fact there is an ease of communication now. I am no longer the enemy, I am the friend. My husband, he doesn’t know all of what I have gone through, but he understands where I am with myself and he recognizes the peace between me and his daughter. My own daughter, she benefits from a mother who is no longer anxious, stressed and compulsive about her house, clothing and appearance.

Detachment is not about punishment. Detachment is not about a love loss between you and your husband or his kids. Detachment is personal. It is taking back control of your own life. Detachment is finding a way to make positive changes and impacts in your family and your own life.

Source: SecondWivesCafe.com