Late Life Relationships


Rivalry between Stepchildren

There are occasionally times when it is difficult to manage a blended family, and mature adults who have made a commitment to each other find there is a rivalry between stepchildren from previous relationships. They might find their own children acting in ways they never expected, and it can put a strain on their own partnership as they try to cope with these unexpected events. There are almost endless ways that children can act out, and even adult children can create issues for their parents and stepparents.

Rivalry between siblings is often an accepted factor in any family, but it can be much more difficult when a stepparent is involved. They do not have the same authority over a spouse’s child, so their approach to solving the situation is much different. When their own child acts up, they can apply their own brand of discipline to correct the problem. Stepchildren acting out cause them to consult their spouse, and the child might believe they are able to do as they please.

It is difficult enough when children are still living at home to deal with these types of rivalry, but it can be even worse when they are adults. They have their own homes, and leaving a parent is something they can do to punish them for being in a relationship with someone new. It hurts their parent greatly, and it causes their stepparent to feel the strain they are putting on their partner.

Some stepchildren develop rivalries so intense they have caused their parents to split, but they have found their own misery when faced with an unhappy parent. While they might try to reconcile with their own parent, it will never be quite the same for anyone in the family. Their selfishness has create a gap in their parent’s life that will take decades to heal.