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An extended family is quite an ordeal and many adjustments would need to be made. Special care toward the Stepchildren is needed to prevent offenses, which can make living together a very difficult situation.
Dealing with Stepchildren is hard all by itself and if their parent always takes their side things can really get out of hand. I believe the reason why a parent would take the Children side is because the other Parent is not around. He could feel responsible for that in some way or he might feel that he was powerless in preventing the absence of the other Parent such as in a case of death, so he might overly indulge the Child or Children. No matter what his reason is, it is still not a reason for him to neglect us.
I am in an extended family and this was a problem in my home. My Husband would take his Children side over me. He said that it was not true but I could see that it was and it really caused some problems between us. I was at one point thinking about getting a divorce because I was not willing to stay in a relationship where Children were in charge. Then the Lord spoke to me and said to assert myself.
There is an order by which a relationship should go. God should be first then the Husband or Wife and then the Children. No Child should come ahead of the spouse. If he is then it will sure to be tension in the marriage.
As I said, the Lord told me to assert myself. I began by standing up for myself as a Wife. I prepared myself in the event of a disagreement my focusing on what was right. I talked to my Husband calmly and pointed out areas where he had taken his kids side over mine. Initially it went well however, this is a process and it takes time to undo especially when a habit has formed. Therefore, every time I would see it happening again I would bring it to his attention. It did not go well every time but I did not back down because I had the word of God upholding me.
It is easy to become resentful towards the Children in situations like this but it is not the right thing to do. I continued to treat them nice and with respect in order to maintain a good relationship with them but I also would let them know and show them that I was in charge because I am an Adult.
My Husband is a professional truck driver and often time he is away from home, which meant that the Children and I were home along. In the beginning, they thought that they would not have to do what I asked but I asserted myself with them. I would mean what I said, if I promise to do something for them, I would do it. I talked to them with respect and told them the right thing. If they were wrong, I would let them know it and above all else, I did not fear them or what they would say to their father. They soon got my message as to who was in charge and now they are less likely to go over my head to their father.
My Husband has taken his Children side over me but when I discuss it with him it is in private. I do not want the Children to use it to their advantage. In some cases, the Children will not like their Stepparent and if they know their Parent would always take their side, they will certainly use it to hurt the Stepparent. This is why the discussion should be private.
We should give our Spouse a chance to change things with his Children. We should not expect it to happen overnight because there is a bond between them. He needs time to figure out a way to deal with them. It should not be a long time because that would mean he is not trying to change things but if we see little things happening that has not happened before then that is an indication that he is trying to work it out. One important thing that we should look for is these simple little words; let me talk to (you) first. That indicates that we matter to our Spouse and he is not just going along with what they want without asking our opinion.
This process might take a while but the main thing is to remember that we are the Spouse and we come ahead of the Children. If we need to assert ourselves then do it because it will make the relationship a whole lot better.
write by Elmer