My question is about being the third wife and how to improve family relationships.
As the third wife, even after ten years of marriage, I feel like the outsider. My husband had three children with his first wife, who unexpectedly died too young. As a widower with three children, he may have married his second wife out of loneliness, but his now adult children remain close to their first stepmother — to the extent that she might just as well be their mother. I can’t seem to break through into the family circle. When we get together for holidays, birthdays and graduations, it seems as though there are three people in my marriage.
Even though I know my husband favors me, his children favor her. Any suggestions?
–GB, Seattle, WA
- During that time, teach your step grandchildren how to muck out a stall, plant carrots, bake cupcakes, scramble eggs, wash a car, ride a bike, play chess or checkers, pingpong or croquet, draw or watercolor. You get the picture.
- During these times have each child keep an album of photos, drawings, and well-wishing messages that they can return to the next time they visit. A memory book.
- Display their artwork and be sure to have photos of each grandchild visible and laid out in frames around your home. It will make them feel welcome.
- Keep file cards of each child’s likes, dislikes, and allergies. If one child doesn’t like hot dogs, don’t serve them; when a child is allergic to peanuts, don’t even have a jar of peanut butter in the fridge.
- Find activities you can do together and have craft supplies and games in a bin that they can access easily filled with such items as: play dough, construction paper, watercolors and brushes, crayons, children’s scissors, puzzles, board games, cards.
- Take out books from your public library ahead of time, so you’ll always have stories to read aloud to them, and eventually they’ll read to you.
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Accepting A Compliment