Stepparent Drama That’s All Too Common

June 25, 2020  |  
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role of stepparent

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There may be no family dynamic out there as unnatural and awkward as the stepparent/stepchild one. Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s wonderful that people who are divorced or widowed manage to go on and find someone they love enough to marry, when they’ve already gone through the whole marriage thing before. But ultimately, we just don’t really have any manual for how the stepfamily relationship works. The biological parent/child relationship is clear. Everyone knows their roles. Everyone knows the expectations. Maybe not everybody fulfills those roles and expectations all of the time, but even then, it’s usually somewhat clear who did what wrong. There are centuries of built-in guidelines for that relationship. That’s just not so for the stepparent one. I mean, if you think about the history of divorce and the fact that it didn’t exist for a very long time, and then, even when it did, many people didn’t feel comfortable divorcing for decades, the stepparent wasn’t introduced into the dialogue until quite recently. So, naturally, that relationship is often a mess. If a stepparent comes into the picture when a child is very young and essentially raises that child, things are clearer. That’s basically the real parent, then. But when you have those scenarios in which a stepparent comes into the picture later, this drama can come up.

Don’t sh*t talk my real parent

There can be that preciousness around the biological partner that isn’t there. Whether it’s due to divorce or death, if one of your biological parents isn’t present, you are not okay with your stepparent ever saying a word against them. Even if it’s the exact same criticism you make of that very parent, all of the time.

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