Author Topic: Remarrieds w/kids, I would love to hear your stories...  (Read 2439 times)

Melbar

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
Remarrieds w/kids, I would love to hear your stories...
« on: May 05, 2015, 09:47:27 AM »
... and how you have made the whole combining two familes situation work, or at least make it "work-able."

My bf and I have been dating for 6 months now.  We are hitting that point where we are starting to talk seriously about what ifs and 'how would we do this' and to be honest, it's not always an easy conversation.  A little info - we both have one girl and one boy.  The girls are 11 and 10, and the boys are both 8.  Our girls get along quite well, and while the boys get along, they are very different types - his is the athletic, totally obsessed with sports type and mine is more Legos, video games (he does have a lot of energy and likes to play outside, just isn't into quoting football and baseball stats like his kid).

My DH had so much confidence.  We had some factors going into our marriage that could have potentially made things very difficult and pulled us in two different directions, but we were always on the same page, always knew we loved each other enough that it was worth making it work - and we did and were happy.  My bf is so sweet and wonderful, but tends to be more of a worrier and over-thinker.  I am not blind to any challenges that could occur - I just have the attitude that if you don't go into these situations with absolute confidence, you can be easily overtaken by guilt and allow your children's negativity or resistance to overtake you and destroy your relationship with your new spouse. 

That is the trap we must avoid, and I want to know how you've done this successfully.  Much appreciated!

MissinGrizz

  • Member
  • Posts: 98
Re: Remarrieds w/kids, I would love to hear your stories...
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2015, 10:47:57 AM »
Your boys sound like our boys: new husband and I each have a 9th grader. We actually met through them. The thing is, they were arch enemies in elementary school, became friends in middle school (which is when we met and started dating), and now, in 9th grade, are back to arch enemies now that they are brothers. My son is the nerd, his more athletic (but still does video games). I also have a girl, grade 7.

We just passed 10 months of marriage. I'll tell you, it's hard to not side with your own kid, especially when his has two parents for one kid and mine one parent for two. They are too old, in my opinion, for us to try to parent the others' child, but we do expect respect and can ask kids to do chores, etc.  We had a couple of moments where I was scared it wouldn't work, but we're working hard not to let the boys ruin it for us. Knowing in three years they'll be off for college helps. You have a longer haul.

A few things I think are important:
1. Getting them all on board: My husband actually asked for the kids' approval and involved them in the proposal.
2. Living arrangements: We also sold both of our homes and started fresh so no one could call it "their home" and made sure all had their own space.
3. Respect: We expect the kids to be respectful towards the other adult. No "you're not my parent" responses are allowed. We try hard not to step over boundaries, and we never talk down about the missing parents.
4. Time Alone: We are sure they all have one-on-one time with us at different intervals.
5. Dinnertime: We eat together whenever possible so no one can retreat to avoid getting to know each other more.
6. Chores: We try to be equal with expectations, although mine do more as they are there full-time, not half-time.

It's hard to blend, even harder, I think, if you are not getting married. They may not see him as having a say as much if you are just living together. The teen years are hard, so if you can figure it all out now, that'll help.

One more thing: At around your stage (6 months), we started practicing. We went on a couple of trips together where we rented a condo that had a kitchen and separate bedrooms, etc. We also started having one dinner a week together at one home or the other. I never had him stay over until we were engaged with a date for the wedding, but we practiced the family stuff a lot over the year from where you are until we wed. We also made new traditions that we all agreed upon, while trying to respect and keep a few of the old ones.

GOod luck!

« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 10:52:52 AM by MissinGrizz »

Melbar

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
Re: Remarrieds w/kids, I would love to hear your stories...
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2015, 01:24:08 PM »
MissinGrizz, these are great suggestions.  We have touched on both living arrangements and alone time with the parent, and I agree on getting a new house that feels like "ours" and accommodates the expanded size of our family, as well as making sure that his and mine get the individual time with the parent they are used to.  Less resentment, jealousy, insecurity that way for sure.

We also met through our kids, and with everyone being close in age, all of us getting together started pretty early on. So far, my kids really like him and his really like me. We have been lucky in that area.  I would say our biggest issue is his son  complaining about my son.  This is where it's imperative that my bf and I do not allow this kind of thing to divide and conquer.  Even though an 8 year-old may not know the definition of manipulation, I do think they are very capable of it in this way, and I'm sure the "divorce guilt" my bf carries is something his son understands how to tap into.  That's one advantage with my kids - they never played the 'my daddy died so you owe me' card because that was not in any way my fault. Oddly enough, I think they are much more secure in our relationship because of that.   

Anyway, I really like all of the other suggestions, too - all things he and I will have to discuss and come to an agreement on.  I also like the idea of taking a trip together.  But I definitely see us taking it slowly and if it means dating for an extended time that is fine and probably wise.   We would definitely be married to blend.. so there is no rush.  The virtue of patience that finally strikes in your 40's.  :)  Thank you for the feedback and keep on doing a great job!

SimiRed

  • Member
  • Posts: 310
  • Widowed 9-19-09 Joined YWBB 10-2009
Re: Remarrieds w/kids, I would love to hear your stories...
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2015, 02:33:51 PM »

A few things I think are important:
1. Getting them all on board: My husband actually asked for the kids' approval and involved them in the proposal.
2. Living arrangements: We also sold both of our homes and started fresh so no one could call it "their home" and made sure all had their own space.
3. Respect: We expect the kids to be respectful towards the other adult. No "you're not my parent" responses are allowed. We try hard not to step over boundaries, and we never talk down about the missing parents.
4. Time Alone: We are sure they all have one-on-one time with us at different intervals.
5. Dinnertime: We eat together whenever possible so no one can retreat to avoid getting to know each other more.
6. Chores: We try to be equal with expectations, although mine do more as they are there full-time, not half-time.

We also made new traditions that we all agreed upon, while trying to respect and keep a few of the old ones.

All of this!!!  But I strongly suggest #2!  I struggle all the time with "it's his house", I can't move this, or I don't want to move it.  I makes it harder to feel at "home" when you move into "his/her" house.  Their home is set up the way they've always had it, harder to change that way and even harder to move in and get rid of "your" stuff. 

Not sure about not talking about the missing parent.  It hurts so much not being able to talk about someone who is the father of my son, who I spent 20 years married to.  I don't want him ignored or forgotten.  I think it is healthy to talk about the deceased parent, cause they will always be an important part of who they are.

Be careful what you part with when you move, store it first and make decisions on it later.  There is so much that I let go of in a hurry to move in that I regret parting with it, and when done in a hurry, I'm sure I lost some things.
~Tracey~
My wonderful husband Rick of 19 years, 12/11/67 - 9/20/09 Neuroendocrine cancer.
I still miss you everyday, I go forward, but my mind stands still.

MissinGrizz

  • Member
  • Posts: 98
Re: Remarrieds w/kids, I would love to hear your stories...
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2015, 03:24:48 PM »
Quote:
Not sure about not talking about the missing parent.  It hurts so much not being able to talk about someone who is the father of my son, who I spent 20 years married to.  I don't want him ignored or forgotten.  I think it is healthy to talk about the deceased parent, cause they will always be an important part of who they are.

Response:

You misunderstood me....I meant don't talk badly about them. We celebrate my late husband and include him as a member of the family forever. Unsaid don't "talk down"  about them. I include in this my stepson's mom, who is alive and in his life.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 03:26:48 PM by MissinGrizz »

SimiRed

  • Member
  • Posts: 310
  • Widowed 9-19-09 Joined YWBB 10-2009
Re: Remarrieds w/kids, I would love to hear your stories...
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2015, 07:00:26 AM »
@MissinGrizz... You're right!!!  I was reading too fast and probably didn't absorb my coffee yet.

I talk about my late DH to my son, I try to tell him stories about things that were happy moments. :)

~Tracey~
My wonderful husband Rick of 19 years, 12/11/67 - 9/20/09 Neuroendocrine cancer.
I still miss you everyday, I go forward, but my mind stands still.

Melbar

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
Re: Remarrieds w/kids, I would love to hear your stories...
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2015, 12:17:24 PM »
Just adding this, because coincidentally, I came across a story this morning about a new trend where blended families were opting for separate households - either a duplex or two homes located close to each other so they can be together when they want, then go to their respective homes when they want.  I'm kind of shaking my head at this... but maybe these people are onto something, lol?

SimiRed

  • Member
  • Posts: 310
  • Widowed 9-19-09 Joined YWBB 10-2009
Re: Remarrieds w/kids, I would love to hear your stories...
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2015, 08:03:32 AM »
Just adding this, because coincidentally, I came across a story this morning about a new trend where blended families were opting for separate households - either a duplex or two homes located close to each other so they can be together when they want, then go to their respective homes when they want.  I'm kind of shaking my head at this... but maybe these people are onto something, lol?

I could see the benefits... I guess.  BUT, why be together if you are going to still act like marriage isn't important.  Seems like society is going this way, it's easier to get out when nothing goes your way.
~Tracey~
My wonderful husband Rick of 19 years, 12/11/67 - 9/20/09 Neuroendocrine cancer.
I still miss you everyday, I go forward, but my mind stands still.

Melbar

  • Member
  • Posts: 45
Re: Remarrieds w/kids, I would love to hear your stories...
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2015, 10:25:58 AM »
ITA SimiRed.  I think you can go too far in trying to make the kids so comfortable that they don't learn to compromise at all.  There's taking their needs and feelings into consideration, and there's letting them run your life.  I would never do this - it would feel more like an arrangement than a marriage, IMO.