To my husband

We agreed that you would discipline your daughters and I would discipline my daughters. How dare you cross the line and discipline my daughter. I have kept my mouth shut about your daughter for the past year and a half. It was very difficult for me but I did it. I did it because I love and respect you. You have a very different parenting style than I do so I had to learn to keep my mouth shut. How betrayed I feel that you crossed the line and set boundaries for my daughter. You hurt me to my core. I thought you respected me and our relationship enough to honor our agreement. What am I to do now. You have never disciplined your own daughter, perhaps because you are afraid that she will not love you. But, you set a rule for my daughter. She is trying to make the right decision and just wants to be loved by a father. You were her father figure and you shattered her world. I am very angry and hurt and don’t know how to get through this. You have separated our blended family and I don’t think it can be mended.

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~ by Stepfamily Letter Project on July 17, 2009.

2 Responses to “To my husband”

  1. It doesn’t sound like you have ever had a blended family but rather two families co-existing in parallel.

  2. Hello, and thank you for writing this. Unfortunately, a lot of blended families face this casualty–and really, there’s no other word for it, b/c if you live like the above scenario, death is the only ending.

    When you have a blended family, all matters are delicate, but none so much, I believe, as trying to treat everyone equally and the same. You two are married. You two live in the same home. You two raise children in that home because of your marriage. If you had biological children together, THEN you would only have the right to co-parent? No offense, but that leads to a marriage and stepfamily casuality. You HAVE to CO-parent at ALL times, and this includes discipline. You BOTH discipline and you BOTH back eachother up 100%. Otherwise, the children WILL divide you and divide themselves as siblings. Plus, the ex’s will interefere in your marriage even more.

    It shouldn’t matter if some kids are full-time, some are part-time, and even if some only visit once or twice a year. They ALL have to be disciplined by BOTH parents in the home on the same level. Now, of course, this excludes age-related discipline and what works on one child won’t necessarily work on another, but the two of you should ALWAYS show a united front so you are not able to be divided within your own home and family.

    It is ideal that you and your partner come up with a parenting style that fits you both, even if you’re having to meet in the middle with almost every issue, BEFORE blending your family, but this has to be done, no matter where you’re at in the Stepfamily Road.

    My advice to all Blended Families is for the PARENTS (ie: PARTNERS/MARRIED COUPLE/STEP-PARENTS–notice a trend here? Can’t get away from being a united front with all of those labels!) to buy and read TOGETHER the book, “The Shelby’s Need Help!: A Choose-Your-Own Solutions Guidebook for Parents” (Paperback)
    by Dr. Ken West. Here’s the link to it: http://www.amazon.com/Shelbys-Need-Help-Choose-Your-Own-Solutions/dp/1886230161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1249487827&sr=8-1

    I also HIGHLY recommend that all Stepmoms buy the book, “The Enlightened Stepmother: Revolutionizing the Role” (Paperback)
    by Perdita K. Norwood & Teri Wingender. This book is the whole reason our support group exists. It is proven to uplift your spirits as a Stepmom and give you TRUE support and guidance on how to handle the tough situations of Stepmotherhood, including Discipline and how to ALWAYS having a UNITED FRONT.

    A very helpful and VERY NECESSARY tool of Stepfamilies is the House Rules List. This expresses in writing what the rules are exactly for all of the children (and the adults in there, too, if you really want to make the kids respect it :) to follow while under your roof. Join our group and check out the thread, “House Rules” on our discussion board to learn more. Also, read the “House Rules” chapter in the Enlightened Stepmother book! :) My family sat down at the family meeting table with a huge blue poster board and we cut out pictures, colored, and decorated while I read the rules outloud. We discussed them TOGETHER as a family, and it brought up a lot of fun stories, ironically, along the way. We also did the Stepfamily Crossword Puzzle (which can be found in our links) and had even more fun while doing the what-would-have-been-boring Rules! :) After we all pasted the rules and decorated it, we each signed it proudly and hung it up for all to see (and refer back to whenever needed.) It’s a very proud piece of artwork in our home. And the kids are WAY more comfortable and less confused, now that we really spent time and focused on what the rules are under OUR house, even if they are different than at their mother’s. We ALL felt much more at ease afterwards. :)

    I also recommend taking a Co-Parenting class/workshop, reading other parenting books together, and marriage counseling (find a therapist through the National Stepfamily Association or other Stepfamily Organizations.) I also recommend you joining our group for added support and comfort and friends. We also provide a Stepmom Library, Crisis IMing, Email contact, a 24/7 Private Online Discussion Board ONLY for Stepmoms, Music, Videos, TONS of links to resources for stepfamilies, etc. We currently have over 380 members in just over 3 months! We are here for YOU! WELCOME HOME, FELLOW STEPMOMS!!!

    Well, I hope this helped, and I am very sorry that you guys are having problems. Once you start learning how to focus on a United Front and you BOTH discipline ALL kids and Support One Another/Back One Another Up 100%, you’ll do fabulously! Just keep on keepin’ on, and keep that head up! :) BIG HUGE HUGS!!!

    ES

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