Hope, that is, on the part of the “new” adult couple; because for the children of a newly blended family, stepparents create loyalty issues for the children – regardless of the children’s ages. As discussed in this article:
- Liking or loving a new stepmom creates perceived loyalty issues: the child may feel s/he is being disloyal to mom, yet loyal to dad
- Hating the new stepmom is the opposite: the child feels loyal to mom, yet disloyal to dad. (The same, yet opposite, is true for new stepfathers)
The child is trapped in a “loyalty bind” at seemingly every turn. Depending on the child’s age and level of maturity, the degree of stress caused by these loyalty issues will differ, as will the child’s ability to manage the situation without having to “choose” one parent over the other.
At Tampa Friendly Divorce, we have found one thing is certain: the more supportive mom and dad are about the child developing a good relationship with their ex’s new partner, the easier the transition will be for the child.