Dear Stepparent, Your Partner Will Never Heal From Their Past If You Keep Rubbing Their Nose In It

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I understand the confusion and frustration you feel sometimes just trying to wrap your head around the choices your partner made in the past.

I understand the mixture of pity and repulsion you feel for your partner sometimes when you are confronted with the consequences of those choices.

I understand the sadness and shame you feel sometimes when you think about the reality of what you married into and begin to question your own choices.

And I know how easy it is to blame, hurt, or punish your partner when you are suffering because of their choices.


Your partner already knows they messed up.

Your partner already knows their past is not something to be proud of.

Your partner already knows this isn’t the marriage and family you dreamed of.

Your partner already knows innocent people are paying the consequences of their decisions.


(And by the way, they also know there is nothing they can do to change or fix it.)

Stepparent, I can promise the pain you carry sometimes doesn’t even compare to the pain your partner has been carrying since before you were even in the picture.

Anxiety. Embarrassment. Despair. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Confusion. Panic. Insecurity. Grief. Disgust. Bewilderment. Regret. Powerlessness.


Yes, your partner made some wrong choices, but NO ONE deserves to spend the rest of their lives being reminded of their past mistakes.

Reality check: Being hurt because of your partner’s past does not justify intentionally hurting your partner.

Wake up call: constantly rubbing your partner’s nose in their past is not just hurtful, it’s emotional abuse.

So, you have two choices here:

A. Be the spouse who helps to heal your partner’s heart and mind.


B. Be another spouse who helps to destroy it.

The choice is yours.”

Husband and wife sit on dock and hug each other while looking out at the trees and grass field.
Courtesy of Joaquin Corbalan (via Canva)

This story was submitted to Love What Matters  by Rachel Dunne, the Spiritual Stepmom. You can follow her journey on  Instagram and her website. Submit your own story hereand be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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