Stepfamily Life – Inside the April 2016 Issue

Stepfamily Life
Inside the April 2016 Issue

The Truth About Stepfamily Life: The Path to Peace Begins With Acceptance by Brenda Snyder LCSW

My job, as a writer and a stepmom coach, allows me to wear a few different hats. Most of the time I get to be an upbeat, cheerleadery type who encourages and assures clients that, “This is really hard, but you can do it!”

When we get down to work, I put on my coaching hat to help stepmoms and couples develop a new game plan. (Ya gotta have a strong defense!) The hat I find hardest to wear, however, is probably the most effective. It’s the one I wear when I challenge stepmoms to face unpleasant truths and then give them unpopular advice.

Injustice is a primary source of anger for all of humanity and not just humans who find themselves living in a stepfamily situation. And life, within a stepfamily, is anything but fair. My story, I have learned over the years, is not terribly unusual: I met my husband about two years after his divorce and fell in love with the somewhat scattered and overwhelmed man he was then.

He valiantly spent copious amounts of energy being a single, custodial dad to his four children. There was a ready role for me, even when we were dating, as he was grateful for an extra set of hands (and another licensed driver) to help out with his very busy grade- school-aged kids.

Back then, his ex-wife was living large with the guy for whom she left my husband. He was 15 years and a few million dollars her senior. They lived about an hour away, seemed to be on vacation a lot and her BMW’s sporadic presence in the driveway didn’t jiggle my radar much, as I didn’t really care who was helping out.

I was more interested in getting everyone where they needed to be, so that I could actually spend time with my fabulous new boyfriend. It would have been nice if she had made an effort to take all four of the kids at once, I’d think to myself, because at least then we could have had some semblance of a romantic evening.

But no matter. Love would conquer all. …To read the rest of this article log in to your account and download the April 2016 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.


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