Blended Family Challenges: Should a stepdad feel guilty about resenting having to support his step kids?
So, you are in a blended family and having a ton of “blended family challenges.” For example, You have married a woman who had kids with another man. You married her knowing full well that the kids were a part of the package. And you perfectly love those kids as if they are your own. Your blended family is the joy of your life, quite honestly speaking, because you love their mother. But there is a little side of you that feels a little bit of resentment of having to raise and support and provide for another man’s kids, isn”t there? Tell the truth? You have having what is called “blended family challenges.”
Will they appreciate your sacrifices later on? What if he comes back into the picture? Or maybe he is not even out of the picture. They see him regularly enough and god only knows what they are saying about you behind your back, after all you are doing to help them out.
The thing with blended families and having these blended family challenges is that you never know how this thing is going to turn out. Will they bond with the step parent so strongly that he or she almost replaces the biological parent? Or is the relationship forever consumed with anger, resentment and chaos or indifference and apathy?
It all depends on the particular family and its own unique circumstances. A lot of blended families are rather chaotic. Usually, though, it is probably a mistake for step parents to try to replace the biological parent in the child’s esteem. Blood is thicker than water and under most normal circumstances, the children are going to have a strong connection to their own biological parent that would be stronger than the bond they form with the step parent.
This does not have to mean that the step parent becomes resentful. Nor does it make the stepparent a bad person for feeling slightly resentful about the investment of time and money that he or she has to make with rearing these children.
The key is communication and keeping things in perspective. The primary relationship is with your spouse and it is the most important relationship because without it, the connection with the children does not exist any longer. So being open and honest and frank with your new spouse is very important where this matter is concerned.
When you are part of a blended family, lowering your own expectations could serve you well in the long run. Don’t expect too much of the kids; whatever you do. They are just kids. They did not ask for this situation. They did not ask you to come into their lives or to marry their mother or father. And frankly, they probably did not ask for your time or money. So if you are going to give it, give it and if not, don’t. Just be open with your spouse about how you feel and your intentions and your boundaries.
For more on blended family challenges