Jealousy: It’s a word that conjures up negative images of a bad attitude and spiteful behavior. However, if we’re really honest with ourselves, most would confess to having felt jealousy towards a person.
Here’s an illustration to highlight how jealousy works:
Two neighbors were bitter rivals. They lived right next to each other and would spend each day keeping track of each other’s business. If one got something new, he would show it off and smile in triumph at his rival.
One night an angel appeared to one of the neighbors in a dream and said, “I will give you anything you ask, but whatever you receive, your neighbor will receive twice as much. Would you be rich? You can be very rich, but he will be twice as wealthy. Do you wish to live a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. What is your desire?”
The man frowned, thought for a moment, and then said, “Here is my request: Strike me blind in one eye!”
Hope it made you smile!
In a blended family jealously often rears its head between those in a step relationship.
Stepparents feel jealous of the relationship between their partner and his or her children. Stepchildren can feel jealous of the time and attention their parent shows the ‘intruder’ (step parent or step siblings) in their family.
So what is jealously and is it possible to overcome?
The fear that something belonging to you will be taken away is the root of jealousy. Typically you might feel you’re losing out on time, attention or resources the biological parent (yes the person stuck in the middle) is giving to someone else but belongs to you.
Stepparents: evaluate your attitude. Do you have an over active sense of entitlement; a belief that you rightfully deserve all of your partner’s attention? It’s good for parents to have time alone with their children. Use this time to your own advantage perhaps to catch up with friends or do something for yourself but also find an activity you can all enjoy together. Where possible arrange access so you can enjoy some ‘child free’ time as well.
Rest secure in the knowledge that your relationship with your partner is special and significant in its own right; it’s not something that can be replaced or substituted by the one they have with their children. The children in your blended family will always be a significant part of your life so work on developing a good attitude towards them.
Blended Family Advisor
p.s. If you’re a biological parent who would like to overcome feeling ‘stuck in the middle’ check out Session 4, page 4 of the Blending Lives Program. If you’re a stepparent wanting to develop a good relationship with a difficult stepchild go to page 11.
p.p.s. If you don’t have a copy of my program yet, please click here