The Downside of Second Marriages: 3 Observations on Stepchildren
by Ray Gregoire (Mr. Boomerina)
Unlike the book “I’m OK – You’re OK,” in real life the reality is “I’m Screwed Up – You’re Screwed Up” and so are your kids. That’s just the way it is, although very few of us will readily admit it. We all come with our own baggage and preconceived ideas of how things should be, especially when it comes to stepchildren.
If you were under 25 when you got married the first time, you slowly, almost invisibly, developed your ideas concerning marriage, child rearing and finances. Your first spouse was part of that process, so he or she agreed with you more often than not; and if your spouse disagreed with you, he or she at least understood your point of view.
Remarriage after 50
Now, at 50 plus, you are a widow or widower or you are recently divorced. You and your future husband or wife have preconceived, and often unchangeable, notions of how the world should be. However, the wild card in your relationship will be your relationship with the children from your partner’s previous marriage.
In my opinion, stepchildren are the greatest danger to any second marriage.
Why Men Remarry
What motivates men to get married for a second or third time is quite different than it is for women.
For men it is sex, sex and companionship, or sex and shared interests. Get the point? For women it is security, security and a home, security and assistance with their children, which is quite different from what men want.
Keep your eyes wide open before you take the leap again. Not only should you pay attention to your potential spouse, but you should read the attitude of his or her children, because in the long run this will play a huge role in the success or failure of your marriage.
Observation #1: Stepkids
- Daughters seem to have more problems getting along with new stepparents than sons do. With sons, it’s all about the money. Boys worry more about the new stepparent getting their inheritance.
Observation #2: Divorce
- If one of you is divorced, the children, regardless of age, still dream of mom and dad getting back together again.
Observation #3: Parenting
- You will never be as good as their real dad or mom was.
Unfortunately, it is very common for children (who are at an age that they should be independent) to be dependent on mom or dad for financial help.
These are observations I’ve made in my second marriage and I’ve seen similar issues develop in my friends’ second and third marriages. If you are at the point where you are considering remarriage, you should analyze your potential spouse’s attitude about his or her children’s financial and emotional dependency.
I’m sure several of you have different opinions. Please leave a comment to express your views.
More Articles for Baby Boomer Women Over 40:
Resources: Photos courtesy of prshots.com.
- Main Photo: Fashion shots from Jacamo and Dorthy Perkins.
- Your Kids: Children's fashion photo from Sainsburys.
What do you think of this article by my husband? Do you agree or disagree? Leave a message at the bottom of the page.