Please Help Step Parent Dynamics
Hi! I'm recently marriage (second marriage) to a lovely woman and I love her very, very much.
My wife is 43, formerly divorced, and never wanted children (she maintains it was more about having babies and small kids that turned her off).
I have two daughters -- oldest is 24 (my daughter and wife adore one another) and youngest is 13 (she, too, seems to adore my wife).
We discussed, in the beginning, that I am a evoted father and I relocated back to Wisconsin post-divorce to be with my daughter.
We are currently going through a rough process of gaining shared placement of my youngest daughter.
Wife is super, super supportive.
However, my wife clearly becomes stressed when my younger daughter stays at our house.
My daughter is VERY nice, respectful, engages my wife in conversation, NEVER argues or presents a negative attitude toward my wife.
I can sense and feel the tension from my wife and, unfortunately, I feel overly anxious because of the dynamic.
On a couple of occasions, my wife stated that she was "thrown into" being a step, although she and I both AGREE that my wife is not the "stepmom," per se, but rather my daughters' dad's wife.
My wife stated that just the fact that my daughter is in the house causes her stress.
She also mentioned, on a couple of occasions, how she doesn't like young people.
Marriage counseling is definitely in order, but during the interim, I am concerned about the dynamic and am afraid my the seeds of divorce are being sowed.
Please Help! I really need help.
This tension that you feel will only perpetuate itself. find out what exactly causes your wife stress. This belief is her belief that comes from habitual thoughts and thoughts can be changed. Perhaps ask her - when you two are alone, to list some postive aspects about your daughter. You list postive aspects you find in your wife - to make it less threatening to her.
You seen to be stuck in a tricky situation. I am curious to know that if your current wife was vocal about having kids or if she is uncomfortable around kids, did she categorically hint at her discomfort around your daughters? If that is true, you can't really blame your wife for not being comfortable with your daughter. However, if it the other way around then you need to sit down with your wife and discuss about the situationa and make her understand your situation. Draw attention to the fact that there is a child involved so there should not be hurtful sentiments. Eventually, therapy should help you.