The Third Wheel: Adding a Stepparent to the Co-Parenting Mix by Trisha Ladogna
The post-divorce, co-parenting relationship is unique. Unlike most business or personal relationships, it is one that a person can’t simply dismiss or walk away from. It’s not optional, and how well or poorly it functions has a significant impact on everyone involved—children, parents and stepparents.
When one or even two new stepparents enter the mix, what was once a co-parenting relationship might quickly become a co-parenting entourage. The addition of new people brings with it additional viewpoints and opinions which then require additional discussion or negotiation and may increase the opportunity for misunderstandings.
In short, incorporating a new partner into an existing co-parenting relationship is never a neutral undertaking. Whether the co-parents have settled into an agreeable arrangement or are constantly at each other’s throats, the addition of a stepparent has the potential to significantly change the current stepfamily landscape.
Stepparents everywhere know there is little joy in trying to find a place in the hearts of children who already have two parents. This is never more profoundly felt than when a stepparent first enters a co-parenting relationship that exists between their partner and his or her ex. …To read the rest of this article, log in to your account and download the July 2015 issue OR check out “A Stepmom’s Guide to Co-Parenting.”
WHAT READERS THINK ABOUT THIS ARTICLE:
“This is a very good primer on the evolution of co-parenting and parallel parenting relationships once mom or dad or both introduce new romantic partners into the mix. I highly recommend that all stepmoms read this article because it will help to set expectations in many situations. I love her quote that these situations take years, not weeks or months, to settle in and mature. Very sage advice.” —StepMom Magazine Subscriber