Getting divorced is a stressful event and should not be exacerbated by the complications of a rebound marriage.
This is especially true if both parents have children of their own. It’s best to wait at least 2 years before trying to merge 2 families together. Once you do decide to blend 2 families, you should keep the following in mind if you want this marriage to be a success:
- Don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. Children take time to connect with their parents’ new spouses. Remember, they no longer have 24/7 access to one of their parents and are not necessarily in the market for a new mum or dad. Give them time to adjust to the new family and in the long run, you’ll stand a better chance of enjoying a healthy relationship with your new children.
- Respect is non-negotiable. The children may not like you, but they must respect you. You have undertaken to be their caregiver and they must appreciate this.
- Find natural ways for the entire family to connect. Going out on outings is fun, but it does not reflect true day to day living.
- Never give in to ultimatums from children. You will lose control faster than you can say divorce and that will only be the start of your problems. You and your spouse are the bosses and that must be made clear from the get-go.
- Agree on parenting styles before you get married. Bringing in your management style after the marriage is a recipe for disaster. You will get resistance from the children and your new spouse. Find a system that you both agree on and that you are both prepared to stick to.
- You and your spouse need to be sure that you truly love each other. Any chinks in the armour will be noticed and exploited by the children. You probably don’t have their buy in to this blended family so make sure your love for each other (and the children) is rock solid.
Blended families can work, however they take more work. Make sure that you know what you are getting into and then work with your spouse to ensure that everyone is happy and healthy