Stepmoms and Forgiveness: How and Why to Give It—Even If It’s Not Earned! by Brenda Snyder, LCSW
A stepmother’s relationships are complicated. And it can be difficult to maintain your identity—the very personality traits that make you who you are (a superwoman committed to the love of your life and his kids)—as you navigate the rocky terrain of joining a family that formed well before you came on the scene.
As a result, many stepmoms find themselves stuck in an unfamiliar pattern of hurt, anger and maybe even bad behavior—all because we can’t seem to let go of the hurts so prevalent to the stepmom experience.
While you may have sailed through middle school, high school and college amidst Mean Girls and a sorority full of unsisterly sisters without ever holding a grudge, as you attempt to make sense of the messy alliances in your stepfamily, it’s not unusual to feel as if anger is seeping from your very pores.
You might catch yourself refusing eye contact with a stepdaughter who failed to ask even once how your mother is faring in chemotherapy. Or maybe you’re so mad over the meddling of your husband’s ex that you purposefully plan some- thing un-cancellable when she decides to switch weekends so the kids can spend time with Uncle Eddie, who’s on leave from Afghanistan.
What it really comes down to, if we want to like who we see in the mirror, is that we must forgive those who wrong us—even if we think they don’t deserve it. It’s often the furthest thing from our list of desires to think benevolently toward She Who Wronged Me and the Man I Love.
The reason forgiveness is so unthinkable, however, is that most people have a misconception of what it actually means to forgive.
OR … Get the entire 2016 Collection of Back Issues & SAVE 50% off the original cover price!