The issue of inclusion or exclusion is a possible problem in a stepfamily. The way and manner you handle the relationship will put a child, wife or husband in any of these positions. There is usually a problem of belonging; whether or not you are a member of the family.
There is a lady whose parents had issues and eventually got separated. The father remarried and had three more children with his second wife. The step mother was known to treat her own children fairly relative to the step daughter. The lady was made to do most of the work in the house. And she was held responsible for almost every wrong doing in the house. These practices continued for a long time until the lady gradually formed the strong opinion of being a maid and not a member of the family. This degenerated to having low self-esteem which developed to hatred towards her step brothers and step sister.
The father noticed her withdrawal from the family and he attempted to find out why but she didn’t have the boldness to say what the problem was. The father also tried to find out from his wife who covered it up with excuses. However, a neighbour of theirs who lived next door and had noticed how the lady was being treated felt this was not right. She, therefore, summed up the courage to approach the father and asked; why such treatment? In amazement, the father wondered what could have gone wrong. Further investigation of the situation made him realised that his daughter was being badly treated to the point where she was no longer sure of her self-worth. More pressure from the dad made her open up saying she was an outcast and not a member of the family. Shocked at the way the daughter responded with the profuse tears rolling down her cheeks, he decided to take her out of the family to a sibling’s place and provided proper care and attention for her. Meanwhile, this had its toll on the relationship of the couple and their children.
The problem of belonging could also be of the wife, if the man has kids already while the marriage happens to be the woman’s first marriage. It is also possible, where a woman who has two or three children decides to get married to a guy who is getting married for the first time. The point is, the person in question going through this ordeal could be the child, wife or husband. How it is managed is what determines if the person would feel a sense of inclusion or exclusion.
OUTCOMES OF FEELING EXCLUDED
1.Hatred towards the other members of the family.
2.The induced hatred can lead to further plots to harm them.
3.Negative impact on self-esteem.
4.Reduces the person’s chances of succeeding in life.
5.Possibility of recycling such negative trends when s/he also gets married.
The points below are little wisdom nuggets you need to guarantee inclusion of the person concerned into the family.
NUGGETS OF WISDOM
1.Accept the person genuinely. This will help the person feel belonged with a sense of inclusion into the family. When this is achieved, the negative possible consequences stated above will be reduced to the barest minimum
2.Admit that you have extra work to do. The person’s view to life, depending on the age might not be similar to yours. You need to resolve in your mind that this is an added task for you to accomplish, knowing that the poor management of the situation would have greater consequences on the family than the effort needed for the management.
3.Re-consider. If you are about to become part of the stepfamilies and you feel this would be too much for you to handle, I will strongly advise that you step back because it is not a question of IF but WHEN this development will come up. It is better not be mention as part of the statistic of further breakage. This problem of belonging has the tendency of tearing the person in question apart. The divided parts also have their toll on the parties involved. Some of the negative effects could be hatred, strife,revengeful attitude and disunity. It is therefore absolutely necessary to maintain sensitivity, care and genuine love towards the person. If you are able to do this, you will increase the chances of experiencing successful stepfamilies.
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