Remarriage can surprise adult children because men often don't include their children in their personal affairs and dating lives. A new wife can seem like a midlife crisis instead of a positive addition to the family. New wives should spend one on one time with adult children to address openly how they're feeling about the marriage. She should be honest about her emotions towards their father and explain what she figures her new role will detail.
For adult children, the new wife can come as a shock. It may take time to adjust to the idea of remarriage. There are many factors that can complicate the relationship between the new wife and the adult children, such as age, money, physical appearance and location. While new wives shouldn't apologize for their love or marriage, they should address the family's concerns upfront to reduce the amount of jealousy and tension. By recognizing the motivation and feelings from both sides, it can clear the air for the new relationships to bloom.
Elephant in the Room
Daddy's Little Girls
Adult daughters may feel threatened by their father's new wife because they feel that their support is no longer needed. This may cause a rift between parent and child and brew jealousy towards the new wife. To address this issue, fathers should talk to their daughters about the differences in both relationships and explain that their bond doesn't have to change because of a new marriage.
When older parents remarry, their adult children may become concerned with the financial agreement between spouses. They may also resent the new wife because of her role and accessibility to family finances. To resolve these concerns, all parties meet to discuss the details of the will, vacation homes and any other monies to be shared among the family. If the arrangements seem fair and equal, the new wife won't seem like an opportunist, but rather a companion.
Men are more likely to marry younger in their second marriages. The age difference may raise concerns with their adult children. If a new wife is in the same age range as her stepdaughters, this may spark competition and resentment. The husband can help ease tension by distinguishing roles and not trying to force the concept of a stepmother on his children. They can attempt to be respectful acquaintances, if not friends.