Are you a parent who feels torn between your partner and child?
I don’t think there was ever a parent in a blended family who didn’t at some point feel torn between their partner and child. So, is it possible for a parent to keep both happy and avoid feeling as though they’re in a no-win situation? Here’s a start:
When problems arise between a stepparent and child it’s tempting for the biological parent to jump in and resolve the matter or try to reconcile the relationship between the two. This may be appropriate from time to time initially (as long as they don’t side with their child), but ultimately it’s in a blended family’s best interests for the stepparent and child to work through their differences together. It’s the same with conflict between siblings; children must be taught peacemaking skills and have the opportunity to sort their differences out.
Now back to stepparents and stepchildren. If you’re a biological parent, listen to each person and encourage them to work through their differences. In the long run, they too don’t want to become dependent on you to sort their issues out.
A note to stepparents: Your partner’s maternal or paternal commitment to their biological children in no way detracts from their commitment to you as their life long companion in love. Offer your views but support your partner as a parent to their children to help them not feel torn.
To find out more about feeling torn, see Session 4, page 4 of the Blending Lives Program.
Many people spend years hoping that one day things will get better but don’t do anything to make it happen. When you are proactive about making some positive changes, you’ll start to see progress. But you must make the RIGHT changes. For information that will guide and equip you with the RIGHT skills and strategies to transform your family life, check out the Blending Lives Program; it’s got the answers you need.
Adele Cornish BSW
Blended Family Advisor