Mini-Wife Syndrome A Guide for Stepmoms: Red Flags, Root Causes and Remedies by Brenda Snyder, LCSW
I have yet to meet a stepmother whose sense of identity has been unscathed by self-doubt and private, scary musings like: “Am I crazy?” or “Maybe I am evil!” The intensity of emotions previously not experienced by them leads to frantic searches for someone—anyone—who can validate her feelings as being reasonable and expected.
Yet, one of the most difficult insights a stepmother can have is to notice that she feels envious or even resentful of her stepdaughter’s place in her husband’s life.
Often initially discarded and swatted away as baseless, a stepmother’s experience of negative feelings such as these can actually be the result of poor boundaries within the stepfamily.
In some circles, it has specifically become known as Mini-Wife Syndrome. This stepfamily dynamic has specific traits, precursors and remedies all its own. My hope is that this article serves as a guide for stepmoms who are, or may one day find themselves, dealing with similar emotions and complications. Read on to explore the signs and root causes associated with it.
I’ve also offered up tips for remedying the situation, drawing from my experience as a practicing therapist who specializes in topics of special concern to stepfamilies. …To read the rest of this article, log in to your account and download the August 2017 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.