“Hey, did you see Dad’s new girlfriend? Wow, what does he see in her?”

Posted by Donna Arp Weitzman • December 01, 2015

When Stepchildren Don’t Play Nice

Looking for love again “later” in life brings another level of complications to the relationship. The stepchildren. Just beware: repeated stomping on your toes produces giant blisters. Whoever coined the term, “stepchildren” must have been bleeding profusely from the wounds inflicted by the little Darlings.

The first thing to determine as you are eyeballing your Prince, dreaming of the Princess crown, is what strategy his kids are scheming in regards to you. Detour? Delay? Denial? Or the most noble game of all . . . Derail?

Here are insights to keep in mind when difficult stepchildren are in the picture:

  1. Ah, you think, but ours could be a later-in-life fairy tale. “There will be no problems,” you’ve already assured each other. “Our children are grown.” However, grown children (though possessing scattered gray hairs and facial wrinkles) do not ensure familial bliss. In fact, the mind games played at this level can be more honed and devious.
  2. If you have any Victoria’s Secret stash, better that it stays in a locked closet with the lavender-scented shelf liner.
  3. Wear armor around the house. I suggest baggy clothes, showing no hint of cleavage unless yours happen to flop. Shaking and flopping are both good and desirable stepmother assets.
  4. Your cooking will never be up to par. Nor should you expect them to share the guarded “family” recipes.
  5. No one, regardless of her celebrated attributes, can come close to their Sainted Mother. Don’t even try. Think of yourself as the Mother of the Groom at every family event. Regardless of the nature of the feast, you are expected to sit a lot, smile a lot, and shake your head up and down a lot.

Dating or marrying a man with older children can come with unexpected complications. A sense of humor, some sweatpants, and a practiced smiled and nod need to be part of your repertoire. It’s wrong to expect instant acceptance from stepchildren, but be patience and continue your search for balanced and budding relationship.

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