Advice on Blended Families needed - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Advice on Blended Families needed

Hi everyone,

I am seeking advice regarding blended families. I know there are multiple websites out there about it. But i would love to hear the perspective from those here who have lived it or are currently living it.
We have not moved in together, but we are in the early stages of discussing it.
Any advice on making it work and minimizing mistakes is welcomed.
Thank you in advance.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

Oh! My kids are 15 (f) and 10 (m). Hers are 14 (f) and 9 (f).
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 09:28 AM
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Advice on Blended Families needed

Poor son. Three sisters. Ughh.

Ok, are you at least engaged? Do to see yourself marrying this woman or do you just want convenient sex and want to save money? Whose house will you move in to? The kids already there might resent having to share. Do any of the kids have to change schools? That might cause resentment. Do you agree on discipline style? Will you only discipline your kids? Will each kid have there own room or only your son.

Tell us what you are thinking. There are many details to think about.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 10:48 AM
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

I'm sorry Houston but I am a bit lost didn't you guys break up because you were not ready?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

Yes, we actually did have a break up but ive learned it had a lot to do with my lack of vulnerability and just being scared, which turned out to be irrarional for the most part. She knew she had some insecurities due to her feeling rejected when i needed more time to think about it too.
But being apart offers a hell of a lot of soul searching.
Anyways, i recognize blended families are hard, but not impissible. I'm probably more curious to see here what works instead of why it will not work.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 04:08 PM
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

Are you on a similar page regarding parenting?
Your biggest hurdle will be the children and their interactions.
The only suggestion I can make is to ensure that the children have and keep respect for each step-parent.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 04:54 PM
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Cool Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

Just be sure that the kids from one parent aren't bonafide dopeheads and that their natural parent isn't naturally supportive and defensive of their habit!

Went through that with my RSXW!

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 05:41 PM
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

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Originally Posted by Houstondad View Post
Yblended families are hard, but not impissible.
You bring up a good point, even if you didn't mean to.

Make sure the home has plenty of bathrooms, because that will help avoid conflict.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 10:40 PM
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

We have a blended family with 5 x teens that pretty much all do 50/50 with their other bio parent. So keeping in mind my kids were similar ages to yours at the time then the below is what we did.

We sought professional guidance before even meeting each others kids. ALL advice was to wait until we were together at least 12 months before introducing anyone.

We waited close to 3 years before moving in together. This is really important if you want things to have the best chance of working out. Do not rush the kids and make sure your relationship is better than excellent as blending families is tenfold harder than a primary relationship. So much to consider and be aligned on, financial, ex's etc.

Before even meeting each other kids we had hours of discussion on all aspects of step parenting. We are both 100% on the same page with the set up, neither of us disciplines the others children, if he has an issue with something one of mine said or did then he comes to me and I sort it out with my child, visa versa.
Many people set themselves and the kids up for failure when they try to parent instead of step parent. Children will kick against it if a step parent tries to discipline them, it creates a really bad vibe and some of these rifts will never be healed.

Step parents are bonus adults, they will never be the same as a bio parent and neither should they (unless the child has lost their bio parent). The thing many don't see is that the role of step parent can actually be a really positive and rewarding role, much like a grand parent. You are there for the child but you can have a relationship without conflict if you do not try and be the parent.

Our kids ALL have their own rooms, we built a new home together to accommodate everyone. We have a huge house, 4 bathrooms, multiple living areas, home theatre etc so there is plenty of room for the kids to have friends over and have privacy.

Everyone in our home has equity when it comes to rights and responsibilities. Respect is non negotiable.

There are 2 major relationship killers when it comes to blended families, money and children. Our financial set up is pretty much water tight as we are a high income/ high asset family and inheritance to our own bio kids is super important to both MrH and I. It is really important that these things are sorted well before considering blending families, it is much harder than many think and should not be entered into lightly.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 11:30 PM
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

Is her children's biological father still active in their lives? If some dude tried to father my kids I'd feed him every single one of his 32 teeth.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 12:56 PM
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

Blended families are very difficult. My husband had two and I have two and we have 100% custody of all four together. Our biggest issue tends to be that he didn't really want any additional children, but thought he loved me enough to deal with them. So far that is not working out so well. His disrespect of my children is shown to his children and then they feel that they can disrespect my children too. Honestly, it has me on the verge of leaving because it really isn't working - no matter how many conversations we have about it.

So please, be on the same page. @MrsHolland's advice is fabulous! If you are all on the same page and everyone can be respectful, blended families can be amongst the best things in life.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 07:51 PM
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

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Blended families are very difficult. My husband had two and I have two and we have 100% custody of all four together. Our biggest issue tends to be that he didn't really want any additional children, but thought he loved me enough to deal with them. So far that is not working out so well. His disrespect of my children is shown to his children and then they feel that they can disrespect my children too. Honestly, it has me on the verge of leaving because it really isn't working - no matter how many conversations we have about it.

So please, be on the same page. @MrsHolland's advice is fabulous! If you are all on the same page and everyone can be respectful, blended families can be amongst the best things in life.
How much time and interaction did your husband and children have before living together?

I would be heartbroken if MrH did not treat my kids well. I never felt like he had to love them but he had to treat them well and with dignity. I spent quite some time before moving in together watching the interactions between him and my kids and was very confident it would work out well. He actually spends quality time with the two younger ones, cooking, watching footy etc.

One thing that I think has worked well for us is that we both reassured our kids from day one that their other bio parent will always be the most important person and that we were there as step parents, not to replace their other bio parents.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 03:16 PM
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

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How much time and interaction did your husband and children have before living together?

I would be heartbroken if MrH did not treat my kids well. I never felt like he had to love them but he had to treat them well and with dignity. I spent quite some time before moving in together watching the interactions between him and my kids and was very confident it would work out well. He actually spends quality time with the two younger ones, cooking, watching footy etc.

One thing that I think has worked well for us is that we both reassured our kids from day one that their other bio parent will always be the most important person and that we were there as step parents, not to replace their other bio parents.
We dated for two years before we moved in together and lived together a year before we got married. So, really quite a bit of time. I just always hoped that things would improve with time. I failed on the "listen to what they are telling you" front.

I love kids. I do treat my stepkids like they are my own and most of the time I don't think mine are any more or less special to me than my stepkids. I do know that not everyone can have that opinion, but I had really hoped that with time, the respect and care would grow. That seems to not be the case. Now I'm just not sure what to do or how to handle it.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 09:41 PM
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

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We dated for two years before we moved in together and lived together a year before we got married. So, really quite a bit of time. I just always hoped that things would improve with time. I failed on the "listen to what they are telling you" front.

I love kids. I do treat my stepkids like they are my own and most of the time I don't think mine are any more or less special to me than my stepkids. I do know that not everyone can have that opinion, but I had really hoped that with time, the respect and care would grow. That seems to not be the case. Now I'm just not sure what to do or how to handle it.
That is a tough place to be. We have a saying in our relationship ..... "you are the most important adult in my life". What this means is that as partners we are the most important people but our own bio kids hold the ultimate top position. I would protect my kids emotional well being and future above and beyond my own or my partners. IOW if my partner were treating my bio kids in a way that was detrimental to them then I would suffer the heartbreak and leave him.


I wish you well and hope that it all gets better.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-27-2016, 11:22 PM
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Re: Advice on Blended Families needed

I have a wonderful blended family. My suggestions,

1. You have to love your new family. I remember my 8 year old going to a restaurant and saying let's not eat here. Why, he said the sign says dishwasher needed, that means no one is doing the dishes now. For the natural mother, she realizes that a lot of things can be tolerated as long as the new person is a good father.

2. Most discipline is administered by the natural parent. Try everyone equally or try to do so.
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