If you've only just tuned into this blog, this post will make a lot more sense if you read part 1, 2, 3 & 4 of this series before going on to read this part (5).
Step 9 - TAKE SECONDARY PART TO (your partner)
Taking secondary part to anyone isn’t a particularly popular suggestion in this area of 'it's all about me'; all the same it is a very important one. Whilst I would not for one moment advocate that any one partner always take a secondary part, good relationships are built on a 'give and take' foundation. Sometimes you give, sometimes you take.
* When they are overwhelmed or they feel exhausted (perhaps because of everything that's going on in your lives as a result of the step journey) and/or when they are in need of a good rest. At that time it wold be an excellent idea to encourage them to take an afternoon nap, a bubble bath, to spend time with a mate, play a game of tennis or do whatever it may be that helps them relax and tune out for a while. It's really important that at such a time you let them know that you understand. Be sure to give them your 'okay' so they can chill without feeling guilty.
* When they need to escape the step-situation for a while. If that happens, don’t be offended. Their need to escape is about them, not about you! Whether they get the chance to fulfill this need (or not) could well be the making or breaking of your relationship. At such a juncture it would be a great idea for your partner to take a weekend away with a friend, to spend some nurturing time at their parent’s house or perhaps to enjoy some time-out at a health farm…yes, whilst you stay behind and 'hold the fort'. I know this is not a popular suggestion as its execution rarely is easy and may not feel fair to you. All the same I'd like to encourage you to help your partner take all the time-out they so desperately need. Even if this presents a variety of difficulties in the short term, it may be your insurance policy for the future.
Step 10 - SPEAK IN FAVOUR OF (your partner)
Speaking ‘in favour of’ means:
* Telling others how terrific your partner is.
* Letting your children know that your partner is to be treated with respect.
* To affirm them rather than to criticise; to honour, encourage and support them in any way you can.
* To frequently let them that they are the most important person in your life.
as well as some helpful hints that will get you closer to the happiness and contentment that you and your family deserve.
My very best wishes for your stepfamily journey,
Copyright © 2006, all rights reserved
Sonja Ridden is a counsellor, psychotherapist and relationship coach.
She is the author of “Help, I’m a Stepmother” and is a popular trainer and speaker.
For further information, please visit Sonja’s website at: www.Sonjaridden.com
or contact her at: Sonja@sonjaridden.com
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