FOR THE MEN!
Dearest Wife: It’s Your Stepdad Husband—Can We Talk?
by Christina Roach, LMHC, NCC, DCC
I’m a little lost here, as to where I fit in. As the man of the house, I feel an obligation to contribute. But, regardless of what I do, I’m in the wrong.
I can’t just stand by and let your kids walk all over you.
Yet, when I say something about it, you tell me I’m being too hard on them and then jump to their defense. What do you think that tells your kids? All they hear is that they don’t have to listen to anything I say.
It’s you and them against me. I’m the bad guy.
I never get a thank you when I buy one of your kids something, and they don’t’ seem to notice that I go out of my way to attend their sporting events. All I’m trying to do is help in the ways I know how, but it’s not working.
I’m the third wheel in this family and no one seems to care. Everyone talks about the plight of stepmothers, but what about us stepdads?
I need your help.
Your Husband (aka Their Stepdad)
While individual circumstances vary, any one of the stepdads who find themselves in my office could have written the above narrative.
With attention most often placed on the women and children in the stepfamily dynamic, the men filling the shoes of stepdads get lost in the shuffle. They’re left to figure things out for themselves and, in doing so, often find that some of their actions (ones they thought were OK) come back later to haunt them.
To understand what I mean, let’s look at two different—yet common—stepdad scenarios. …To read the rest of this article offering support for stepdads, log in to your account and download the June 2016 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.