Your Spouse Must Build a Strong Foundation
by childless stepparent
When you marry someone with children from a previous marriage, you enter into relationships that you have no control over. The dynamics between your husband and his former wife and children have nothing to do with you. You cannot change these relationships, you cannot even manage them. That’s up to your husband.
It is his responsibility to create healthy boundaries with his former wife. It is his responsibility to set expectations with his children. It is his responsibility to require that you be treated with respect.
If this strong foundation has not been put in place by your spouse, you will suffer. Most likely, you will step in and try to manage things. Your spouse will feel caught in the middle, your stepchildren will resent you, and you will end up feeling powerless. Because in the end, these are not your relationships to manage.
The relationship you can manage is the one with your spouse. Talk with him. Listen to him. Help him figure out how to set healthy boundaries with his former wife. Support him in his role as dad so he can communicate clear expectations to his children.
Then step back, breathe, and let go.
Manifesto #1 | I am a childless stepparent. My stepchild has two involved parents. I don’t need to take on a parenting role.
Manifesto #5 | Whatever dynamic exists between my husband and his former wife does not involve me. They must work together for their child’s benefit.