Wednesday, April 25, 2012

How To Support Your Partner In Their Stepparenting Role - Part 4

**TAKE SECONDARY PART TO (your partner)

Taking secondary part to anyone isn’t a particularly popular suggestion in this age of selfishness; all the same, it is a very important one. Whilst I would not for one moment advocate that any one partner always take secondary part, good relationships are built on a give and take mentality. Sometimes you give, sometimes you take…as long as it isn’t always the same person doing all the giving or all the taking - as we live in an imperfect world - that’s simply the way it needs to be. 

Helpful times to take secondary part to your partner are:

* When they are overwhelmed and exhausted by everything going on in their lives and they need a good rest. This might mean taking an afternoon nap, a bubble bath, having a drink with a mate, playing a game of tennis or whatever it may be that helps them relax and tune out for a while. When that happens, let them know that you understand and 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!...and whether they are able to fulfil this need could be the making or breaking of your relationship. Perhaps they could spend a weekend away with a friend, have some nurturing time at their parent’s house or enjoy some time out at a health farm…whilst you
are left holding the baby (not to mention holding the fort and at the same time keeping up with all your other chores). I know it’s not easy and may not even be fair, but I would encourage you - all the same - to enable them to take the time out they need. Even if this is difficult for you, it usually pays off in the end.

**SPEAK IN FAVOUR OF (your partner)

This is possibly one of the most important things you can do for your partner – to speak in favour of them! Nothing is quite as rewarding as having a friend tell you how much your partner appreciates you, how wonderful they think you are, what a terrific husband/wife, what a great stepparent, how much you mean to them. In a world that constantly judges us, speaking in favour of your partner is a gift you can give that doesn’t cost a cent and yet will ensure their pleasure, happiness, loyalty, commitment and love.

Speaking ‘in favour of’ means:

* Telling others how terrific your partner is.

* Telling your children how much your partner means to you.

* Never criticising your partner - either in front of others or behind their back. Never running them down, judging them or calling them names, either behind their back or to their face.

* Always speaking of them and to them using positive language.

* Letting them and the world know that they are the most important person in your life.

Mother Theresa said about encouragement: 

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless”.

As I conclude this series, I’d like to present you with two quotes that I feel encapsulate everything I’ve attempted to say:

Remember to be gentle with yourself and others.
We are all children of chance, and none can say why some
fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the
August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your
differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their
choices in life no more easily made. And give. Give in any
way you can, of whatever you possess. To give is to love.
To withhold is to wither. Care less for your harvest than
for how it is shared, and your life will have meaning
and your heart will have peace.

If there is light in the soul,
There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world.

Finally, I’d like to express my hope that this series has provided you with food for thought, a great topic of conversation to have over and again with your partner as well as some helpful hints that will get you closer to the happiness and contentment you and your family deserve.

My very best wishes for your stepfamily journey, Sonja

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