An extended family is an ordeal and it would take a lot of adjustments. Special care is needed with Stepchildren to prevent crimes, which can make living together a very difficult situation.
Dealing with stepchildren is difficult on its own and if your parents are always on your side, things can get out of hand. I think the reason one parent would side with the children is because the other parent is not present. You may feel responsible for that in some way or you may feel powerless to prevent the other Parent from being absent, such as in a case of death, so you may be overly pleased with the Child or Children. No matter what your reason is, it is still not a reason for you to neglect us.
I belong to an extended family and this was a problem in my home. My husband would side with his children over me. He said it wasn’t true, but I could see that it was and it really caused some trouble between us. At one point I was thinking about getting a divorce because I wasn’t willing to stay in a relationship where the children were in charge. Then the Lord spoke to me and told me to assert myself.
There is an order in which a relationship must go. God must be first, then the husband or wife, and then the children. No child should be ahead of the spouse. If so, there will surely be tension in the marriage.
As I said, the Lord told me to assert myself. I started by defending myself as a wife. In case of disagreement, I prepared myself to focus on what was right. I spoke to my husband calmly and pointed out the areas where he had taken his children’s side over mine. Initially it went well, however this is a process and takes time to undo, especially when a habit has been formed. Therefore, every time he saw him again, he was attracted to him. It didn’t work out all the time, but I didn’t back down because I had God’s word sustaining me.
It is easy to resent children in situations like this, but it is not the right thing to do. I continued to treat them with kindness and respect to maintain a good relationship with them, but I would also let them know and show them that I was in charge because I am an adult.
My husband is a professional truck driver and is often away from home which meant the kids and I were home. At first, they thought that they would not have to do what I asked, but I affirmed myself with them. I mean what I said, if I promise to do something for them, I will. I spoke to them with respect and told them the right thing to do. If they were wrong, he would let them know and above all, he was not afraid of what they would say to his father. They soon got my message about who was in charge and now they are less likely to be overlooked with their father.
My husband has sided with the children over me, but when I talk about it with him it is in private. I don’t want the Children to use it to their advantage. In some cases, children will not like their stepfather and if they know that their father will always be on their side, they will surely use him to hurt the stepfather or stepmother. That is why the discussion must be private.
We must give our Spouse the opportunity to change things with their Children. We should not expect it to happen overnight because there is a link between them. You need time to find a way to deal with them. It shouldn’t be long because that would mean you’re not trying to change things, but if we see little things happening that haven’t happened before, that’s an indication that you’re trying to figure it out. One important thing to look for are these simple little words; let me talk to you first. This indicates that our Spouse cares about us and that he not only agrees with what he wants without asking for our opinion.
This process may take a while, but the main thing is to remember that we are the Spouse and we are ahead of the Children. If we need to assert ourselves, do so because it will improve the relationship a lot.