A Stepfather's Advice

Aug 11 08:27 2009 Paul Thurman Print This Article

A good stepfather must always put the interests of his stepchildren above his own.  Read this article to discover how I painfully learned this lesson.

Six years ago I divorced my first wife,Guest Posting moved to the UK, and married my second wife. At the time her sons were three and four. After only a short time I loved them as my own. In fact I allowed a part of me to believe that's is what they were. I began to chase this fantastical belief with great passion and focus spurred on by my wife's approval and their acceptance. It seemed so perfect. My dreams and plans continued to soar year after year. Then one day, three years after my arrival, I became brave enough to share my thoughts and feelings with the boys. I even told them that I'd be honoured if they'd call me Dad. My heart was filled with pride and joy when they initially embraced the idea (in fact one even literally cheered).

Two days later I was gutted! When the boys returned from a visit with their paternal father wound up and distraught over a conversation they had with him. After speaking with him, both felt that I'd made a force play and put them in a position that I had no right to. What could I do but watch all my preconceptions burst into flames and wonder about what role I'd have in the lives of the boys. I felt furious at their father for causing them to rise against me. I blamed him for stealing them from me for months.

Looking back at this scenario years later I can still feel the desolation I felt back then, but I can also look back with more understanding and wisdom. I didn't realise it at the time, but I was really being selfish. I convinced myself I was doing the best thing for the boys when in reality it would've been the best thing for me. You see, when I divorced my first wife, she went against everything we agreed on and took full custody of my three children. So, when I arrived in the UK I arrived with a huge hole in my heart. I missed my children so very much and I saw the potential of the boys filling that void. Without thinking about it, I'd foisted my need off onto the boys and persuaded myself I was doing them a service. And I stayed in that fantasy for three years until that fateful day when they set me straight.

Walking into a family and becoming a stepfather is a huge task. It must be done with a great amount of humility and the understanding that you're there as an extension to the children's family rather than a replacement (except in cases where the paternal father has done a runner of course). And believe me, it never ceases to be a balancing act. A stepfather must support the healthy growth of his children whilst being oh so careful not to undermine what they have going with their paternal father. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time trying to make things balance out than developing a deep relationship with the boys. Though this may or may not genuinely be the case, the bottom line is that's what the boys need in order to function and grow so that's what I'll do for as long as they need it. Though I'll always be a bit jealous of the stepfathers that get the title of "Dad" from the willing hearts of their stepchildren, I have finally found a peace with just being "Paul" to mine.

To any of you men who read this who are either stepfathers or about to become so, please consider this advice. Take the entire process slow and before you attempt to make any moves forward in your relationships with your stepchildren search your heart and ask yourself, "Is this move forward the very best for the children?" If you get the slightest niggles it might not be, then stop. If you truly love your stepchildren make sure you're putting their needs and not your own first.

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About Article Author

Paul Thurman
Paul Thurman

Paul is an aeclectic wizard with over 25 years of practical magick experience.  His passions in life are writing, teaching, healing, and counseling.  He holds qualifications in energy work and hypnotherapy.

To find out more about Paul and his magickal works visit http://www.wizardandwitch.com

To make and appointment with Paul for a magickal Tarot consultation visit http://www.tarotminutes.com

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