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Books about relationships, partner has children

RL1989's picture

Hi all

I recently tried to look for books on being in a relationship with someone with children. I have none of my own.

All I could find was a 30 minute read which proved of no use at all, is anyone able to recommend any books etc that might be of any help? Sorry it's a bit open ended, all suggestions appreciated. 

Best wishes


Evil4's picture

In my opinion as a veteran SM of 27 years, no such book exists. For some strange reason, so many SMs recommend Step Monster by Wedneday Martin. Did jack shit to help me. There is no book that can prepare you for the imminent nightmare. I have the PTSD diagnosis to show for it. I tried obtaining books and probably read hundreds of them on blended families, personality disorders, every self-help book you can think of, but none of it prepared me for an extreme case of Mini-Wife Syndrome and a pretty bad case of Disneyland Dad Syndrome. I think that being with a man who already has kids presents all kinds of dynamics and disorders that just haven't really been studied enough. It's very difficult to find a therapist who is properly educated and trained in counselling a person dealing with a step-family. 

Run fast and run far. 

CLove's picture

If you read through blogs and archives, learn the names of all the different personality disorders (ADD, ADHD, ODD, BPD, etc) , then search for books based on all the different disorders, THEN apply that knowledge to the context of step families, I think THEN you will have what you need.

For example, I have a Narcissistic Disordered SD24 Feral Forger. She has also been diagnosed as sociopathic, with a whiff of mini-wifism. The mother has been self-diagnosed with bi polar disorder and head trauma disorder...

So, knowing what these are has enabled me to emotionaly deal with things better.

Cover1W's picture

This site, along with 'Stepmonster' helped me define what was going on. That's the first step. How you and others see you is important and so you don't fall into doing the everything/care about everything trap.

Then you can start addressing the specific problems you and your household deal with. That's what is great about this site. Analysis and person feedback from others who have been there and done it. There's no book in existence for this.

Once you know your situation, as CLove put it, then you can read up on personality issues or things like Parental Alienation in general.

CajunMom's picture

StepMonster as many have recommended. Within the book is one chapter that is very talking about the mother/child bond. Very interesting and brings somewhat of an understanding as to how the bio moms have such influence over their children.

Dr. Amy J.L. Baker is well versed in Parental Alienation and toxic stepworlds. Here's the blurb from her website: Dr. Baker is a nationally recognized expert in parental alienation, and parent-child relationships, especially children of divorce, and emotional abuse of children. She has a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Teachers College of Columbia University. She is the author or co-author of 9 books and over 120 academic articles on topics related to children's well-being.

Other books, like Divorce Poison and Understanding the Borderline Mother can give insight into more complicated issues with kids/BMs.

And of course, this site has multiple stories along with great suggestions by members. 

Good luck. If you are just entering the Step world, best to educate yourself as much as possible before getting in too deep.

Rags's picture

consequences for violation of the standards of behavior and standards of performance established in the blended marital home.

Kids are not the priority. Ever. The spouses and their marriage are the unequivocal priority. Kids, minor kids only, are the top adult responsibility.

Two very different things.

Adult kids... are neither the priority nor the responsibility of the married partners. Kidults/Skidults.. are adults and behave accordingly or... they are shunned and should stay shunned.

The behavioral and performance standards apply to any children in the home/marriage whether they are "yours, mine, or ours".

If one or  the other of the SOs tries to weasle out of enforcing the standards, the quality mate should find a more worthy mate.

Keep it simple.

Notthedoormat's picture

To happy steplife are in a book because circumstances vary so much.  I think communicating and understanding and supporting with your SO are the keys here.

Kids are #1 responsibility,  but your relationship has to be #1 priority.  You have to keep time set aside for your SO that's sacred and can't be imposed upon unless there's a true emergency,  as in life or death.  And kids need to know they are important,  but not the main focus. 

I feel like not putting relationships in their proper order can cause chaos and then you have everyone trying to fill that "#1" spot and not everyone can be number 1, nor should they be.  People who know where they stand will fall in line, eventually. 

An example...years and years ago I dated a guy with a daughter the same age as my daughter.  He had her on a pedestal.  Her mom insisted on being on the pedestal too. I wasn't going to complete,  so I ended the relationship.  It was a wise decision on my part because the guy wasn't ready to really move on from his 1st failed family and I wasn't in a position to try to repair him or play therapist.

I also recommend individual therapy and maybe couples therapy to help navigate situations.