When a Man Has Children Your Age
In some respects, grown children can present an even greater challenge to a stepfamily than young children. New wives are usually surprised that children over the age of eighteen are a force to be reckoned with especially if the children are close to her age. Here are some things to consider:
* Recognize that he has more years playing father to them than being husband to you. You may have to make allowances and give him time, but remember there are limits.
* Competition often occurs between a new love and his children. You may feel like you're competing, but you don't have to.
* If you are close in age to his children, he may treat you like one of the children. This diminishes your authority, and his too!
* Establish clear job descriptions and expected behaviors between your spouse and you. What is the specific job for each of you in your household?
* Discuss and agree on expectations about time spent with you and time spent with his children. Many parents feel guilty about not spending enough time with their children so they feel the need to "catch up" when they are together, often excluding the stepparent.
* You may feel his girls 'come on' to him. What he calls cute may seem too sexual to you. Remember that competition between daughters and stepmothers can be strong.
* Talk about money issues. Allocation of money to the children's wants may come as a big surprise.
* Guard your sense of humor and use it!