In the moving film "Children of Others" by Rebecca Zlotowski, Rachel, played by Virginie Effira, falls in love with Ali, who borrows his features from Roshdy Zem. The latter is the father of a little girl of four and a half, Leila, born of a previous union. As Ali and Rachel's relationship grows stronger, she says of Leila: "It sounds like you're pretending not to understand that I'm getting attached to her. At the end of his day, you are his father and mother. Forever. And I would still be an extra?" In this fiction, the mother-in-law feels affection for her lover's daughter and aspires to hold a place in her life. It is not always the same for the 796,000 French in-laws. On the forums, some admit it: "I have never managed to create links with the sons of my spouse. I have no affection for them." But is it necessary for love to be present between stepparents and stepchildren?
"Even in a so-called traditional family...
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