Have you ever wondered if a stepparent can truly replace a biological parent? Perhaps this is a challenge you are considering taking on shortly. Or is it something you’ve been living through for a while?
The fact is, as I wrote in my post, Can a Step-Parent Step Up, unlike a first marriage, the union that creates a stepfamily is always the result of a traumatic experience: divorce or death. Unless we understand that, and deal with the raw emotions arising from the event, we’re unlikely to forge the sort of relationships we crave, or achieve the harmony we desire in a second marriage and stepfamily.
Some time ago, I debated this issue with Richard Bacon, General Secretary of the Teachers’ Union Voice, on his show on BBC Radio 5 Live. I found what he had to say quite distressing. He argued against the idea that a stepparent could ever take the place of a true parent. He cited the harmful results that are found among primary-school children living in stepfamilies. When I pointed out that this was almost certainly the result of unresolved hurts following the breakdown of the original family unit, however, we found ourselves in agreement.