Marital Problems in Stepfamilies

Statistics show that a third of American residents are a member of a stepfamily, following a dramatic rise in these figures over recent years. There are two main causes of marital problems is stepfamilies, and these are children and ex-partners. That’s not to say that these marriages aren’t strong – in fact, they are often stronger than the traditional marriage because many couples have had to go through a great deal of turmoil with their friends and families to get as far as marriage. However, these marriages are also under more pressure and more scrutiny by others, which can lead to their downfall.

Children can be the cause of marital problems is stepfamilies, as they can find it very difficult to adjust to someone new replacing their biological mother or father. Even if the biological parent is still on the scene in the form of visitations, this can often reinforce the idea that the stepparent should be out of the equation and the biological parent should return to the family unit. Many young kids will find it difficult to adjust at first, but may then go through a few years where they are fine with the stepparent. However, although some will continue to be fine, others may start to feel resentful again as they grow older and the problems can start over.

Ex-partners can also pose a problem, and some may go out of the way to cause marital problems is stepfamilies. The partner that has been brought into the relationship as a stepparent will most likely always harbor at least a tiny feeling of insecurity about the ex-partner being on the scene, but if there are kids involved it is important to let them spend time with their biological parent and allow the parent to visit them. Some ex-partners will abuse this and do their best to make the new partner feel jealous and insecure, which can lead to marital problems is stepfamilies.

Even other member of the family can cause marital problems is stepfamilies. Some family members, such as parent or siblings, may not be happy about the break-up of the original relationship and the formation of the stepfamily, and the pressure of being scrutinized and judged by the rest of the family can put intense pressure on the relationship.

That said, although there are many pressures and hurdles to overcome, some stepfamilies are strong enough to see it through to the bitter end. Many of these issues can sort themselves out over time: the kids grow up and develop a stronger sense of understanding; the ex-partner meets someone else and begins to concentrate on his or her own relationship; and the family get used to the new partner and begin to welcome him or her into the family.



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