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Stop Being Stuck: You Can Change the Dynamic in Your Stepcouple

ChangeIf you always do what you did, you’ll always get what you got.

Southern expression-unknown

There’s no place where this is more evident than in stepcoupling. If you’re doing the same crummy things over and over, feeling the same bad feelings, you’re stuck with what you got.

As our President Elect says, IT’S TIME FOR CHANGE.

Facing life in a new stepcouple is a perfect opportunity for self awareness and change. You have a fresh chance to move forward from the past, take responsibility for who you are and what you want to develop in your new stepfamily. In stepcoupling, you’re given a chance to grow up and change – a chance to build new relationships with your spouse, your stepchildren, your own children and even your ex-spouse.

Seize the opportunity!

If you find that your fights only lead to anger, blaming and resentment, take a look at yourself and experiment with a new view and approach. With the love and support from your partner, learn to talk calmly and openly …which maybe you’ve never done before. You goal should be to be heard, understood and supported to change your relationship with small “baby steps”. Take heart in any positive exchanges in your stepcouple, because where those are, there are more to come. Don’t get discouraged with slips into past patterns as they occur. It happens.

Some areas for improvement and change might be:

  • Blaming each other for their aggravating children
  • Fighting with ex-spouses and getting no where
  • Making promises and not keeping them
  • Making threats to leave if the other person doesn’t change and do what you want
  • Being irrational and over reactive in disciplining stepchildren
  • Not being able to listen calmly to your partner and hear what they say
  • Etc, etc, etc.

Don’t wait and hope for others to change. The change starts with YOU.

What do you want to change and what will you do to make it happen?

Susan Wisdom, LPC

November 2008

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