“Being a step father can be one of the most demanding
and hardest experiences a man can have.”
Traditionally it is the step mum who is meant to be ‘wicked’ but nowadays
it's often the stepfather who can have an even tougher time adjusting
to his new and blended family. Avoiding being labelled as someone bad by
resentful children or teenagers who see the new partner as competition
for Mum’s attention and caring can be something of a minefield.
While stepparents of either sex can tend to be hesitant, reluctant to get involved and even aloof, stepfathers are more likely than stepmothers to fight with teenage children.
Teens of both sexes are likely to be used to only having to relate to the parent they live with, most of the time, so when Mum gets together with a new boyfriend and he tries to support her in setting boundaries and discipline and meeting out the punishments, the sparks can really fly and hurtful things often get said.
Step dads are more likely than biological fathers to see their step children as badly behaved and/or hyperactive, even if this is not their Mum’s experience at all.
Being a step father can be one of the most demanding and hardest
experiences a man can have. 1st: the children will nearly always love
their real Dad; that you can't change. 2nd: to start with you are an
outsider, even with the little ones you will need to gain their trust
for a good relationship to develop. You will often need to stop
yourself saying what first comes into your head and think clearly and
calmly about the repercussions of what you say. And be assured, they
will listen to your arguments, read your body language and pick up
stuff telepathically as well.
When you are just dating and you don’t see that much of the children
the potential problems are not so in your face. Once you decide you’re
going to live together, whether you get married or not, you need to
give all the people concerned time to adjust to new living situation,
and some will take more time than others. You’ll need to face the
situation with grace and patience and realise that some children may
do everything in their power to split you and your new partner up.
Here you have to be clearly the grown-up and never resort to childish
tactics or ways of arguing and fighting. Avoiding two against one
confrontation and taking sides can be quite an issue and looking for
win/win solutions is likely to take a lot of patience and intelligence
on your part.