Remarriage and Step Children – I Love Mine More Than Yours
So you don’t love your step children as much as your biological children? Welcome to the club, and neither does anyone else. The problem is that until now, no one has been honest enough to talk about it. Did you know that your lack of awareness has the potential of sabotaging your new marriage quickly. What happens to the intimacy between you and your spouse when you begin sweeping issues under the rug, rather than being lovingly honest? Here is the shocker, loving your biological children more than your step children is not wrong. It is normal. What you are about to read will clear up this issue and free you to be a wonderful step parent.
Blending families is fun, but so is walking on hot coals. OK, maybe not that bad. But you must agree it is a difficult venture. All kidding aside, it can be successful and fulfilling, but you must be honest about some of the major issues you will face, especially your interaction with your step children.
It is always true that theirs are from hell while yours are from heaven. But in the step family world you must act as if it isn’t so. At the same time you must pretend their little angels are as loved by you as your own. Sound familiar? What I have just described is the formula for disaster. Why? Because it is not the truth.
If you think you are going to love your step children the same as your biological, then think again. Let’s get it in the open right now, as politically incorrect as it sounds, you will not love them the same. Yes, I said it. Your eyes are not deceiving you. There it is. Finally, the facts are out. Have you ever heard anyone admit to that? Now that we are on the subject, let me add to it and say it is OK that you do not love them the same.
Secretly I hear your sigh of relief. While you know what I am saying is true, you never knew it was OK. Some of you were feeling guilty for these feelings. Others have been reacting in unacceptable ways but didn’t know why.
Here is why this knowledge is so important: You may be treating your step children differently and not aware of it. By the way, I promise your spouse notices. You will find yourself a little stricter or less patient with your step kids. Remember, these feelings are not wrong or abnormal. What is unacceptable is to treat them differently. Talking about a riff, this will cause it.
Example: Not long ago I was counseling with a lady who was all but ready to leave her new husband of one year. Her explanation was that he was mean to her son. He would talk sweet to his own daughter but in rough tones with her son. He seemed intolerant of him. She was in-your-face honest with her new husband and told him she didn’t like what she saw.
What was important was for her husband to understand he may not love his step son as much as his daughter, but he cannot treat them differently. He must be acutely aware of his actions and at times get a report card from his wife. He did apologize to his wife and admitted he could now see what she pointed out, though he wasn’t sure why he was acting this way. Knowledge is a wonderful thing. By way of this honest discussion, the light came on and he understood. He was able to correct it and they are doing great. Was he now able to love them the same? No! But he was able to treat them the same.
The benefit of this knowledge is that it will provide an alarm when you find yourself treating your step children differently. Also, release from the guilt of honest feelings.
20 years of pastoring, counseling married couples, and working with individuals to reach their potential, has been the direction of Jim Cunningham’s life. Add to that experience years of public speaking to religious groups, family seminars, teen organizations, and even business groups, and you have compiled enough experience to speak on this subject plus much more.
A formal education in psychology and education is in place, but pales to life education. This incredibly diverse background brings to the table an experience that is in no way theoretical, but both practical and real. Jim Cunningham has watched and experienced the difficulties life brings, especially to families. He has rebounded in his own life. Put all this together and be warned – His snappy, humorous, educated, passionate, lived out, and sometimes sarcastic wisdom will offend you, move you, humor you, but most of all it will direct you to what he calls LIVING FOR KEEPS.
Published author and in demand speaker. 30 years working with people. A true people person. Some people just have that knack.