I was sad to learn this week of another step couple whose marriage is in serious trouble. And this time, it’s not because of the kids. It’s because the step couple is making poor choices in how they treat one another and the priorities they are choosing within their family.
A stable marriage is a key ingredient to peace and happiness in a stepfamily. The bonding of stepchildren and stepparents is heavily influenced by the marital relationship.
Children in stepfamilies, who have experienced significant loss in their young lives already, desperately need to know that their new family will provide the love and security they seek without the threat of breakup.
Stepmothers Elizabeth Einstein and Linda Albert emphasize the value of nurturing our marriages in Strengthening Your Stepfamily:
“It is critical that you understand the importance of making your couple relationship a priority. If you do not nourish your marriage, you may not stay together. A major reason for divorce among remarried couples is that the wife and husband fail to spend enough time working to build their relationship. With the focus immediately and constantly on the children and their needs, the marriage never has a chance to take root and grow.”
They continue to say, “Even if your marriage does not end, your stepfamily cannot stabilize until your couple relationship does. Until children feel that your marriage relationship is solid, they may remain withdrawn from stepparents, afraid to trust.”
Stepchildren deserve to be raised in a stable home. It is our responsibility as a step couple to make the marriage a priority, focusing the time and attention necessary to strengthen our marital relationship.
How strong is your couple relationship? Does it need some attention?