Marriage restoration – Blended families can experience problems when spouses, siblings and stepchildren feel jealous of the time other family members spend together or the depth of the relationships. Learn ways of dealing with jealousy between family members in this marriage restoration tips.
When a Spouse is Jealous of a Stepchild
One of the best-kept secrets of blended families is that many married couples do not immediately come to love their stepson or stepdaughter and many experience feelings of jealousy regarding their stepchildren, according to “I Love Him, But Not His Kids,” a March 10, 2007, article for marriage restoration by Emma Cook in The Guardian. Cook explains that stepmothers in particular may feel as though they would be criticized for their feelings of jealousy. Dealing with jealousy is complex, and couples shouldn’t force their partners to develop a relationship with their stepchildren before both parties are ready. “That expectation of immediate love and intimacy is too much, and if you get forced into it, on both sides there’ll be resistance, which will continue to create problems,” Janet Reibstein, a psychology professor specializing in family relationships at Exeter University, told Cook.
Marital Communication Helps Jealousy
Remarried couples need to focus on finding opportunities to communicate and spend time together, even during a stepchild’s visit, according to marriage restoration book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Stepparenting [Alpha Books, 1998] by Ericka Lutz. Whether it is having a quiet cup of coffee together before work or staying up late to share a movie, remarried couples can reduce stress by keeping their relationship strong. Not only does setting aside time for the adults create a more relaxed atmosphere, it models a healthy relationship for the children. Lutz says spouses who feel abandoned when their partner is spending time with a stepchild should include themselves in a few activities to avoid feeling even more left out.
When Siblings are Jealous of Stepchildren
Siblings may feel jealous when a stepsister or stepbrother is the primary focus of attention during visits. Stepchildren may be exempt from the house rules, showered with gifts or seen as removing a father or mother from the family dynamic.
One way to deal with a sibling’s jealousy of a stepsister or stepbrother is to enforce rules with consistency. House rules should be applied evenly to all the children in the home, and a family meeting to go over the rules at the start of a visit should include everyone instead of only the stepchild. Relations among the children will be tougher if the siblings in the home feel as though the stepchild gets a free pass to act up in addition to spending special time with a parent, says licensed professional counselor Susan Wisdom in “Preparing for a Stepchild’s Summer Visit,” an article by Lisa Cohn on a website for marriage restoration.
In marriage mentoring it is also important to be aware of the feelings of other children in the house, such as jealousy over sharing space that is usually theirs alone. If the children have to share a bedroom during visits, try to find a quiet corner, special chair or other place where each child can have alone time or a place to escape. Blocking off a period of time each day for the children to be separated may also help to reduce stress during visitations. Another antidote to jealousy is to plan family activities, dinner together or trips to avoid a spouse feeling left out or siblings feeling abandoned. Instead of lavish gifts for the stepchild, Wisdom says partners should focus on giving loving attention and support to all the children in the home.
It’s normal for remarried couples and their children to face challenges dealing with jealousy, says marriage mentoring expert. The best ways of dealing with jealousy in blended families involve marital communication and carving out time to be together and alone.
Is Bonus Families Right For Your Blended Family
Remarried couples with blended families may be seeking a source of reliable information to help them face the unique situations that crop up among divorced parents and their children. Bonus families offer extensive resources for combining families, parenting step-children and dealing with ex-husbands and ex-wives in love marriage problem.
What is Bonus Families?
Bonus Families is a non-profit organization for marriage restoration that seeks to support divorced parents, step-parents and step-children by providing advice and resources to help keep peaceful relations among combined families. Bonus Families encourages working together for the sake of the children in the blended family and requires a commitment to making a difficult situation more peaceful for everyone.
Bonus Families was created by Jann Blackstone-Ford, a divorce and step-family mediator, and Sharyl Jupe. Jupe is married to Blackstone-Ford’s ex-husband. After years of navigating the difficult waters of divorced parents, a blended family and step-children, Blackstone-Ford and Jupe decided to create Bonus Families to help others in the same situation, in the love marriage problem. The organization’s goal is to offer mediation, conflict management, support and education to people attempting to combine families after a divorce or separation.
Bonusfamily Instead of Blended Families in Love Marriage Problem
A bonusfamily is more than just a fancy name for step-family in love marriage problem, according to Jupe and Blackstone-Ford. The term is symbolic of a partnership among the biological parents and step-parents to work together for the sake of the children involved. The adults in a bonusfamily strive for good communication to help raise healthy children.
It is also an attempt to remove the negative connotations in love marriage problem that are associated with terms like step-family, step-mother, step-father or step-children. “Using the word bonus instead of step is an acknowledgement of the hard work it takes to make a stepfamily successful,” according to the Bonus Families website. “The term bonus also supplies a positive label to a family that lives together and the parent figures who are not married to each other.”