Are you experiencing a love you never imagined you’d experience again? However, it’s difficult to be joyful when your children ruin your romance. Are they being self-centered? Certainly not. When a parent gets involved with a new partner later in life, it can be very disruptive, according to a study of “adult stepfamilies.”
The line of descent shifts! When a parent brings in a new member, even adult children who are married and have children of their own, a deep—almost primal—sense of self is challenged. It raises existential concerns.
Fear of being abandoned
A typical reaction is “Even if no one else is there, I always assumed my mother/father would be there for me. But what about now…?” A child can be concerned that they are no longer a priority. While you know your children will always have a particular place in your heart, they may be wondering if they still have that safety net.
Favoritism and loyalty
Drop-by visits, cherished family holiday traditions, and time with grandchildren are all going to require some adjustment. Your children were not requesting a change. They now have to rethink something as fundamental as “family.” Even if they had to choose between their spouse and their family of origin on some issues, they may be unsure where they fit in with your new commitments.
Regrettably, concerns about inheritance can put a damper on whatever happiness your children might feel for you. There’s a hint of human nature there. (Are step-siblings entitled to a portion of the family home?) Your children, on the other hand, may be concerned about your financial stability. What happens if it doesn’t pan out? Is a person who was only in your life for a brief time entitled to half of your savings? What does that mean for you?
In terms of financial security, your money is yours. However, if you have assets that have collected over many decades, it’s a good idea to get paperwork in place that guarantees those assets are secured and dispersed as you intend.
• Roles and expectations must be rebalanced as you all seek to maintain the original family’s links while also making way for new connections.
• Make it a point to remove yourself from your spouse and spend time with your children.
• Inquire about important customs to them and make an effort to preserve them.
• Mention your own emotional path in coming to terms with their chosen spouses. You may explain how you realized their natural need for everyday company affected their availability and amount of participation with you, but not their love for you.
Is your family interfering with your relationship? Please give us a call. We can assist in reviving the sunny days. 855.456.7972
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