Becoming a Step-parent

Earning Trust


Getting into a new relationship after a divorce can be difficult for a single parent, but it can be even more so for the person they have been dating. While they must first earn the trust of the parent, they have to later earn it from the children of the previous relationship before they can make it a permanent commitment. What can be worse is that their original trust with their partner is provisional on being able to deal with the children, and it can be an uphill battle they might feel unable to win.

Parents on their own act like most single people, and earning trust is all part of building a relationship. It becomes much more complex when their children are added to the mix, and they might not quite be ready to trust their new partner. Being a potential stepparent is loaded with land mines when it comes to learning to deal with the children, and the hard won trust of their parent can dissolve in an instant if they make a mistake.

Many single people are unable to cope with the instant loss of trust they may experience if a partner’s child is with them and become injured or upset, and it can create more than just friction between the two. The other parent might accuse them of being neglectful, or they could decide they are unable to be a responsible adult when it comes to making decisions. All of this can spell disaster for the couple continuing their relationship.

The continual need to earn trust is a burden for a stepparent, and it can hit at any time. Even if the couple has been married for a few years, lack of trust between them can suddenly surface after an event where they disagree or a child has been injured. Being able to work past it could take professional help for both of them if the relationship is to continue.