You’re ready to introduce your children to “the one”…
The divorce has been over for a while now. You’ve met someone and are ready to introduce “the one” to your children. You’ve even discussed the possibility of moving in together. One big happy family, right? Not so fast! It may be time for the blended family discussion
Did coaching, counseling, or therapy prepare you to take this step? Have you considered your children’s reactions to a stranger coming into your home and replacing their other parent? There are many factors at play here; whose home will you all move into, who has to change schools, will the children move away from the other parent, and how will visitation go?
My ex refused to share custody of our girls, so when I remarried, we created a blended family. We had his boys and my girls. In our case, they were able to form a great bond.
Other questions and issues to resolve are who shares a room or gives up their space? What rules apply for the visiting children vs. the live-in ones? How do you, as a parent, spend quality time with your visiting children?
In my situation, we were fortunate enough to give the boys a room to share on visitation without encroaching on my daughter’s space. I can promise you that there will be adjustments, compromises, and even tears. Communication is key!
Hopefully, you learned how to manage this process in your coaching sessions with me or another Certified Professional. It’s vital to approach the issue of a blended family with your children in an age-appropriate way and to consider their point of view. Secretly, your children may want you to get back together with the other parent. When Ralph (my husband) and I were ready to introduce our children to each other, my oldest and his youngest were very much against it.
The biggest reason second marriages end is because of the children involved. If you both have children, you and your new spouse are now step-parents. You do not have a history with each other’s children. You will need support to know you are committed enough to the relationship to withstand any pushback from your children. We told our four children that we were going to be together forever. Come along, or not. Thirty-four years later, we have one that chose not to come along.
Years ago, I read a book that said it takes seven years to blend a family. It may not take that long, but I know that the more honest and open you are in all your relationships, the more happiness comes back to you.
This a great article to read for more information on blended families. The Only Marriage Advice for Blended Families You’ll Ever Need
By Dr. Sheryl Ziegler