How to talk to your husband about his children

How Do I Talk To My Husband About His Children?


I am asked this question so frequently. Usually, it comes at times when step-mothers are at their wits end and have been experiencing a variety of emotions you never expected. For example,  resentment, guilt, frustration, anger and even hatred.


I suspect that children struggle more with their father remarrying than their mother. It is a concern of loyalty and fear of loss in their relationship with their father. According to the longitudinal studies conducted by sociologist Constance Ahrons on stepfamilies- stepmothers experience the most hardships. More than 50% of the stepchildren reported being happy that mom remarried, less than 30% reported to Ahron that they were happy their father remarried. Dr. Wednesday Martin’s study revealed that regardless of the event resulting in the ending of the previous marriage, the stepmother was almost always identified as the point of contention and anger.

So, the question begs to have an expanded perspective in order to approach your husband about the children. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about what you are trying to communicate to your husband about his children:


Is your question about parenting or taking sides?

What are you really wanting to ask your husband? Is it about the plan for divvying up the parental roles when the kids are around? Or is it about whose side is he going to choose when the rules are being enforced and whether he’s going to stick to his guns about the consequences?

Are you asking your husband to support you or are you asking for clarification about how the two of you are going to work as a united parental unit?

Does the source of your concern come from wanting to feel supported by your husband when the children are expressing their feelings of rejection and retribution towards you? Or are your questions more about gaining clarity on what to expect when the children do XYZ and how the two of you will address the concern?

Gaining clarity on the source of your questions and concerns before approaching your husband with them will help guide you through your discussion with him successfully. It is important to acknowledge that both of your situations are emotionally charged and you both come from two entirely different perspectives- with him likely feeling caught in the middle and you feeling like you are trying to gain some clarity on the role you have in the family dynamics.

If you are looking for help navigating the waters of step-parenting I am here to help. Purpose, Heart, Vitality. Click here to begin our journey together.

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