Q&A with Paula Hall of Relate about being a step-parent: please post your questions here- ANSWERS BACK

(54 Posts)
KateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 17-May-12 10:56:11

This week we're inviting you to put your questions about step-families to Paula Hall from Relate. Paula is the author of Relate's How to Have a Healthy Divorce and Help Your Children Cope with Your Divorce, and has extensive experience working as a relationship psychotherapist with couples in second relationships.

Whether you're in the early stages of a new relationship, or struggling to combine two families with quite different ways of doing things, forming a new family can be a real challenge.  Relate can offer support to help family members settle into new roles - if you'd like to know more, this video explains how family counselling works. 

In the meantime, Paula's very happy to answer any of your questions - from when to introduce a new partner, to dealing with loyalty issues and helping children adjust - so do post them here before the end of Monday 21st May, and we'll post her answers up the week commencing 28th May.

If you read or posted on the thread, we'd be really grateful if you'd tell us what you think by filling out this very quick survey.

Thanks

MNHQ

AmberLeaf Wed 30-May-12 00:30:55

XEDing erm....it appears that you are having an affair with a married man. (That began when his wife was 5 months pregnant!)

Think you are in need of a reality check love.

brightonlights Wed 30-May-12 06:42:59

I guess as I said in my question (which didn't get asked, grumble grumble) I wanted the magic answer... Which of course set me up for disappointment smile

CC2B Wed 30-May-12 19:00:52

Well my message did get a response, which was useful to some extent. However, the edited version of my message that Paula seemed to get didn't set the context well. I think the advice that EOW and a night a week is about right for a 3 year old will have been interpreted incorrectly as the situation is actually that they are only here from Sat morning - Sun evening and for 1 1/2 hours on a Thursday night. Two nights a month with the NRP doesn't seem right for even a three year old, never mind a seven year old. Shame about the editing...

Peegee1 Thu 05-Jul-12 10:16:18

I met my HB almost 18 years ago he was married and had 2 small children. I was 22 he was 30 and in an unhappy marriage of 13 years. I don't feel great about our beginnings but if it hadn't been me it would have been someone else, we fell in love and are still very much in love. We spent our every weekend with his children, I looked after them mainly as we were setting up business which took up many hours. Although we had many holidays and times together his ex-wife clearly bitter (and still is) but never really said much often used the son as her pawn. Often we were unable to pick him up "because he didnt want to come with us" In hindsight I would have insisted as the father and son relationship is very detatched now. Our own children came along, my weekends were busy with 4 children and I often had HB two over holiday periods while mum worked. The business was sucessful and we paid for the children to go to private school, and still pay maintenance, step children were never encouraged by mum to be close, no cards, birthday presents for siblings etc, our relationship has always been one way, give give give which is fine if your getting something out f it. All we wanted was to be happy. They are 19 and 22 now we generally see them at birthdays and christmas, Im always polite when I see them but the dissapointment and bitterness I feel seems to be increasing. My HB has just paid for his daughter to stay on at uni to finish her dissertation until September (most students come home to do), she just takes the mickey constantly, books holidays and cant pay! I cant tell my husband, he can't buy his childrens affection. It has become very waring over the years, caused lots of arguments, who am I, unless you can put up and shut up, step parenting is not a good thing. For all the time love and energy I have given up, I feel nothing but bitterness and hurt and a husband who will never and should never give up on his children. I feel the ex has won her battle in her quiet little way. I feel depleated, If only I had my life over again .....

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