You have survived a painful separation, divorce or death of a loved one, and have managed to find a new loving relationship. Your first instinct can often be to rush into remarriage and a blended family without first laying solid ground. Make sure you give everyone a chance to get used to each other, and used to the idea of marriage.
- Make it clear you will not be put in a position to have to choose sides. Remind your partner and your children you want both sets of people in your life.
- Too many changes at one time can upset your children. Newly blended families will have the highest success rate if the couple waits at least two years or more after a divorce before marriage. Although this may sound like a long time, the more time you give the children to adjust the more accepting everyone will be.
- Make sure to experience the daily routine together before moving in. Spending time together at home and out in public will help build a bond. Although your first instinct is to take them to a theme park or other expensive type of outing, do not just do fun things because it is not a true test of reality. You cannot buy reality.
- Love and affection takes time to develop. Get to know your partners children. Do not rush it. Do not try to force a relationship. Because you give time, energy, love, and affection to your new partner’s kids you may not see the return immediately. Hang in there – it will happen.
- Have the discussion on how you intend to parent together. Make the necessary adjustments to your parenting styles before you remarry. It will make for a smoother transition and your kids will not become angry at your new spouse for making changes.
- Insist on respect. You cannot insist people like each other but you can insist everyone treat one another with respect. This is one of the most important items.
If you give the right support, all children involved should gradually adjust to the reality of an upcoming marriage and being part of a new blended family.