How can I maintain a healthy relationship with my parent if I'm at odds with my step-parent?
Last Updated: 11/03/2020 at 9:58am
Tim Van Rheenen, M.A., LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
I will work to help you get unstuck. Together we will apply methodologies that work to find freedom from trauma, sexually addictive behaviors, and relational problems.
Top Rated Answers
Try to avoid putting the parent in a position where they have to side either with you or the step-parent. Battles for exclusive loyalty rarely turn out well. Instead, try to resolve your issues with the step-parent directly with them using direct, neutral communication. If this doesn't work, let your parent know where things stand and what you've done to try to fix it. A healthy relationship requires investment from both sides, so your parent should help you try to reach an understanding with the step-parent too.
I have had many step-parents in my life. My mother has been married 3 times after my father. There were times I fought with my step-dad a lot but my mother and I remained very close. I think the main reason we were able to retain this relationship is through honest and open communication. It was hard to start at first but I knew in my heart that she wanted the same thing. Sometime we forget that our parent is in a tough position as well. Keep in mind that its also hard for our parent to be in the middle. That does not mean they love us less, it means they might understand us less. By keeping an open communication avenue, I was able to help her understand my point of view. I find that writing is also helpful because when I am heated, I tend to spew out things that are very hurtful and quite ridiculous. By writing, I give myself time to cool off and I am able to word things more clear and less hurtful. I hope that can help!
When I had problems with my stepdad a couple of years ago, it was difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with my mum. When I felt the need to talk to her about why I wasn't too comfortable with my stepdads actions or about topics I didn't want him to listen in on, I usually asked her out to eat a small bistro around the corner or just closed the living room door and talked to her. It is scary and awkward and I never wanted her to feel that he was a bad man or she should leave him. Speak your mind, but don't torpedo the relationship if you don't need to.
The best way to maintain a healthy relationship with parents is to just speak up. The much you communicate, the better the relation will be.
Maybe you guys can have a family meeting to get everything out in the open and see if there's a chance to resolve your family's issues
You can't control your step-parent, you can only control you. Be responsible for your actions regardless of the step-parents actions. Talk to your parent about how you feel, what your willing to do to help mend and maintain THAT relationship, and what you will need from them.
Spend quality time alone with just your parent. Go do something fun or just go to dinner! It doesn't have to be anything big, but let them know that you value your relationship and still want quality time, just the two of you.
Make sure there's communication between you and your parent so that they know how you feel. They should respect that and do what they can to make sure you feel safe and loved. The step-parent doesn't have to be a part of your relationship at all.
There needs to be mutual respect and understanding. Sometimes the healthiest thing to do is to remove yourself from a toxic relationship. I suggest you set simple boundaries, and if those boundaries are crossed, either talk it out or cut him off.
By being as respectful to the step-parent as you can, in doing so even if the problems persist you are showing your parent that you are trying to knowledge and respect the person they want to continue a life with. You can also try to include them in activities you do with parent, which will allow you to bond with your parent and show inclusion on your behalf to both as a couple. Then perhaps you can also talk to your parent alone and do things just the two of you to also maintain that relationship and strengthen it.
Communication is the key to all relationships. Its important to communicate and know how your parents feel as much as your parents should know how do u feel.
try to understand their situation as well. talk to them, spend some time with them. make them feel welcome in your life. be nice to them so they can be nice to you as well. the fact you're trying to make amends is a pretty big deal in itself and I appreciate you for that. you'd make an amazing son/daughter. find things which intrigue you both. you can bond over those hobbies. if you two are angry with each other, try talking it out rather than engaging in a fight. the way you treat people matters a lot, because they'd probably treat you the same way. hope you find this a bit helpful. have a good day!
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