Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dear Abby Gets Letter From Prejudiced Stepmom

In today's Dear Abby column, the first letter was from "REPULSED IN PENNSYLVANIA"...

I am happily married to a great man. I have a young daughter from a previous marriage, and my husband has two teenagers, a boy and girl, from a prior marriage. Like many blended families, we have our struggles, but one is becoming increasingly difficult to deal with.
I don't know how to put this tastefully, but I'll state it this way: My stepchildren are "too close," if you know what I mean.
Many people commenting at Yahoo News are misreading the headline and column and thinking this is about her daughter and her husband's son, who are stepsiblings. But it is actually about her husband's son and daughter, who, if neither is adopted, are biological siblings.

"Teenagers" can mean they are 19 and 18. It could  also mean they are 13 and  14. Or it could mean one is 19 and the other is 13.

And what does "too close" mean? Read on...

They flirt, constantly touch each other and playfully tease each other.
Oh, no! Siblings who are actually affectionate instead of hostile! What is the world coming to?!?
(A few people have even mistaken them for a couple.)
So what? I have gone places with my mother and people have mistaken us for a couple even without any touching or flirting.
My husband doesn't seem to notice this unhealthy behavior.
Assuming they are four years in age or less apart, there is nothing unhealthy about their behavior. Even if they were having sex, that doesn't make it unhealthy.
How can I get through to my husband or deal with this?
As many other people ask, including Dear Abby, didn't she notice this before she married their father? Did she think she was going to change them once she because their stepmother? Why should her husband even try to stop them from being affectionate? If this woman pushes the issue, she's going to find herself out of another marriage.

Their affection may go no further than what she sees. Or, they could be deeply in love or engaging in recreational sex. Whatever the case, as long as this is a mutually affectionate relationship instead of one abusing the other, what try to interfere? There is no good reason.

I wonder if her stepchildren spent a significant part of their childhood apart as a result of the end of his prior marriage? If so, then it could be Genetic Sexual Attraction. But even if they were raised together, it is possible the Westermarck Effect isn't strongly present with them. Or they could just be close and not having sex.

Whatever the case, this woman is not going to accomplish anything good by trying to change them. She should read this.

Many of the comments mistaking this for a stepsibling situation recount stepsibling relationships that involved sex, some of which involved marriages between stebsiblings. Unfortunately, there are plenty of comments hostile to consanguinamory, too.
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  1. I agree with you. Let them be together. I would be very happy if my own children were close like that.

  2. Oh my gawd siblings not fighting then they must be fu&&ing there is no middle ground or options

  3. As long as they're happy, there's nothing wrong with their relationship. If they really are in it, and she tries to (or actually does) split them apart, they are going to hate/resent her for the rest of her life (and she'll deserve it).


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