Although we talk about the stepmom role a lot, stepdads don’t get the same kind of attention. As we celebrate fathers this week-end, I want to offer some support to help those in the stepdad role. I ran across an excellent article by Susan Swanson, PhD, LCSW with The Stepfamily Center. I think you’ll find it encouraging and helpful:
6 Don’ts of Being a Stepdad
Men who marry women with children take on a role that not many could possibly be prepared for. While you most likely come into this with all good intentions to be the man of the household, you might wonder why you feel left out and why your stepchildren and wife are often upset with you or siding against you. This is very hurtful and perplexing for many stepdads.
When I talk with stepdads, I generally find men who want to have some role in the lives of their stepchildren. They want a male role in the household, but, like all of us, those roles are based on either what we imagine the father role in a family should be or what we had growing up. When we take those ideas with us into a marriage where children already exist, stepdads are often left confused and hurt.
If you are a stepfather, here are some things that may help you to know and understand: