I also like to post my readers’ questions every now and then just to give you insight regarding everyone else’s blended family issues. I am truly not alone! Blended families are now more common than so called “traditional” families, and we experience many, many issues. Check out my reader’s issue and let me know what you think.
This is a GREAT article…
I am having a HUGE issue in my new marriage… My wife has been taking a more and more aggressive tact with my kids (7-year old twins, she has an 11-year old daughter).. It’s leading to major weekly conflict as it has gotten to the point where she only interacts with them in a disciplinary manner and not even a caring matter.It has gotten to the point this week where I said I don’t thin I can be with someone who cant at least be civil to my children and have asked her NUMEROUS times now to let me discipline my kids since her method is so harsh. We did see some of this before we married but It seems to be getting worse.Her idea of “fixing” the problem is to simply stop having the contact level we do now as a blended family. So when we have the kids, I do my thing with my kids and she does her thing with her daughter. In my view this is nothing more than AVOIDING the issue rather than trying to address it.
Any thoughts??? HELP
First off, thanks so much for reading my blog as well as taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate that because it is one of the primary reasons that I write on my blog.
Now on to your question…I completely understand your current situation because I was in a similar situation at the beginning of my marriage. I think often times we as parents are too consumed with our feelings that we forget to think about the children that exist within the blended family. When I married my husband, we had two boys (mine and his), both the same age and equipped with their own set of issues; mainly due to divorce and our new family. Because I spent the majority of time with the boys, I thought I just needed to get them under control. I didn’t care how they felt. I just wanted them to do as I said so that my house wasn’t a complete zoo, all of the time. In doing so, however, I will admitt that I made the problem worse. I had to realize that the world these children had known had completely changed. As such, there was going to be an adjustment period. So, I, as the adult, had to put my own feelings aside to try and help MY children through this. Simply put, I had to be more understanding and sympathetic to my children’s feelings and needs. In addition to that, my husband and I were having the same issues. What helped us to get through it was (I know you’ve heard this before) COMMUNICATION. Through my husband’s eyes I was only interacting with his son in a disciplinary manner. But, to me, there was always an issue that needed discipline, and I couldn’t just let his son do whatever he wanted to because he was hurting. I didn’t want to only interact with him in this manner. And, it didn’t help that he (my husband) was always attacking (that’s the way I felt) me when it came to the issue.
Usually, there is a deeper issue that causes these types of issues to manifest within the blended family. Many times it’s our insecurities that cause us to avoid looking at the entire picture. We are always quick to assume that the other parent isn’t being fair due to a non-biological connection. It’s that innate, protective instinct that we have as parents. It not only takes time for blended family children to trust us as adults, but it takes an equal amount of time for us to trust each other, especially when it comes to our respective children.
Having said that, I would encourage you to speak to your wife about her feelings before you give up. By that same token, make sure you convey your feelings as well. Once you’ve figured out the core issues, try creating that co-parenting policy that I talked about in the post. Remember, that you must create a household that works cohesively, from this point on. You are husband and wife, and although you had your respective children with other people, these are your children together. And, those children will need and depend on all of their parents to raise them. You must work together to solve issues of discipline.
I hope that I’ve helped in some way. Be sure to check back in with me to let me know how things are going. Hang in there. Believe it or not, it can get better.