When we enter into a new relationship after a divorce, we are filled with hopes and dreams, and to be honest, fears! No one wants to end up repeating the same mistakes. We wish for the “happy ever after.” We dream of merging our families together into one big, happy household. We long for a meaningful, fulfilling relationship, but how do we make sure that with everyone involved, this marriage will last? How can we trust that we can create that family life that’s joyful and healthy for everyone?
Nothing is more important to parents than the well being of our children. We worry about how our new relationship will affect them. We’ve seen them suffer right along with us, and it breaks our hearts to see them in pain. We need our partner to love our children and parent them in a positive, healthy way. We want to work together as a team, but different people have different parenting beliefs and styles and before you know it, we face serious family problems.
Those problems get even worse when our children don’t share our hopes and dreams for a new family. Some kids even go so far as to sabotage and undermine the new family in the hopes that they can get their old family back again. So it’s easy to see why it’s so hard.
We see our children’s pain and we become protective of them. We love them and want to love our partner’s children too, but it’s hard not to feel differently about our own vs. our partner’s children, especially in the beginning. We also struggle with blending family discipline strategies. In the beginning there are two different families living under one roof with two different sets of rules and this doesn’t always seem fair. These are common issues when couples with children want to merge their lives.
Integrating two families brings enough stress to couples in a second marriage, but we face many other pressures as well. We often have to deal with hostility from our former partners. All too often that hostility results in behaviors designed to disrupt our new marriage. They might even try to turn our kids against us and our new partner. Remember the little girl in the movie “Stepmom” when she said “I’ll hate her if you want me to.” How sad is that!
All of these factors, along with many others, put tons of pressure on our new marriage. It’s no wonder that the divorce rate for second marriages is so much higher. Where do we go for help? Who really understands what we’re dealing with?
We get it at the Center for Relationship Wellness. We’ve been there, and we can relate. We have faced our own struggles with blended family problems. That’s why, as Certified Gottman Couples Therapists, we make it a top priority to bring help to re-married couples and blended families. We want to help your marriage succeed. We want to help your new family form in the healthiest way possible. Through our workshops, retreats and marriage encounters, weekly couple’s counseling or intensive couple’s therapy we have brought help to hundreds of couples struggling with blended family issues and all the other problems that remarried couples face. At the Center for Relationship Wellness, you will learn and practice new tools to deepen your connection and new skills to strengthen your abilities to deal with the unique challenges of remarriage and blending families. Contact us today to get started.