When you consider a potential spouse you need to consider his current family, including any adults who become your stepchildren after marriage. You might need some clarification of the expectations your stepchildren have for you. One of the most important things you can do before getting married is to try to openly communicate about expectations with your future adult stepchildren. You do not want communication issues to cause resentment, which can cause problems in your marriage.
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Open the lines of communication from day one. Take enough time with your future spouseto build up a relationship with his adult child. Ask the adult child to spend time with you doing an activity that you both like so you have an opportunity to talk and bond.
Understand that your adult stepchild does not typically want someone to take the role of her mom. While an adult child is typically not going to see you as a new mom, she might consider you a good friend if you learn to get along with her. You do not want to push the adult child to call you mom or to do mother-daughter activities with you such as getting together on Mother's Day.
Respect the boundaries your adult stepchild creates. You should give your adult stepchild the privacy that he asks for. When your adult stepchild lives at home, don't enter his room without permission.
Talk to your spouse if problems arise. Stepchildren can gang up against a stepmother and make the spouse think that the stepmother is in the wrong. Show your spouse that you are uncomfortable with the treatment you receive.
Give your husband the right to make parenting decisions that you do not always agree with. He has a relationship with his adult children that you do not have. For instance, if he supports his adult children financially, let him decide when to cut them off.
Tips and warnings
- You and your spouse should work together and give a united front to avoid having the adult children exploit a weakness in your relationship.
- You do not want to wait for your adult stepchildren to open the lines of communication. You should show your adult stepchildren that you are the bigger person and that you want a relationship with them. Your adult stepchildren may be timid and they might not know how to respond to having you in their life.
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