Photo: A Cinderella play.
Stepfamily-life, for some kids, is a difficult life. While many step-parents are wonderful, not all are.
Here are two truths:
1) It is uncomfortable for children to be raised by someone other than their biological parents.
2) Second, it is okay to wish that your bio-parents still loved each other. That will never be wrong.
While you may have to accept the fact of having a stepfamily, it is not wrong to wish that your biological family
were together, as they ought to be.
The fairy-tale ‘Cinderella’ is centuries-old (written long before Disney).
A man’s wife dies and he marries a second woman who turns out to be abusive, expecting her new husband to love her daughters more than he loves his own daughter, nicknamed ‘Cinderella’ by her step sisters,
('Cinderella roughly means: a servant girl who tends the fireplace.)
And her father is weak, since he allowed his second wife to treat his bio-daughter so poorly.
If this is you as a step-child, you have a right to feel like you have a hole in your heart. Each small child should be able to run into mom and dad’s bedroom, snuggle in between them, and be the middle of a kissy-sandwich as my wife and I did with each of our kids when they were little.
I’m so sorry if you don’t have this kind of family. I can’t engineer the family you live in, but perhaps I can console you with the fact that you will someday be a legal adult and can then create a life for yourself that is safe and rewarding. And you can create a good family for the children you create, if you follow the correct path.
My parents had a life-long marriage, but I have directly seen several step-families that were disasters for the children.
A woman I know well, became a stepchild as an adult, yet it was still difficult for her and her siblings.
Her father married another woman who was awful.
Evil people make everyone unhappy, and her step-kids had as little to do with her as possible.
The stepmother has died of old age, I don’t know that anyone misses her.
I once worked for a man who had children by a previous marriage, and he married a woman, who also had children by a previous marriage. In order to make her happy, he had to push his own, older children out of his life and accept her previous children as his own.
He also robbed my wages to keep his household funded. So many wrongs from two people.
And step-fathers can be very rigid or too touchy, a common complaint I’ve read about.
But some stepdads are great and invest themselves heavily in the lives of all the kids in the house.
And some stepmothers try really hard to do right and be kind.
If you are a step-child, and your step-parent tries hard to be kind, you need to cooperate with the family structure as well as you can.
If your step-parent is genuinely kind, as many are? Good. I really am glad for you.
But still, you don’t have to feel guilty for wishing your bio-parents could have had a good marriage.
A parental divorce is a type of death. The death of someone or something we love… will always change us.
Then we have to learn to live, and love, and laugh when our lives have been hurtful.
Eric J. Rose