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As a person who has experienced blended family issues for nearly a decade I would have to utter a resounding NO! I love my husband with all of my heart, but it has been and still is a challenge to put up with all of the dynamics of our blended family. We not only have to deal with the unique (that’s my nice way of putting it) personalities of our respective children’s other parents, but we have to deal with their new spouses as well. In addition to that, we have to deal with trying to maintain a relationship with our own children; trying to integrate both of our children into our household; and oh yeah, at some point we actually have to try to work on building our marriage.

I must admit that I was so naive prior to dating and eventually marrying my husband. I thought that as long as we loved each other everything else would be okay – NOT! Love, life or marriage just does not work that way. The fact of the matter is that it takes a whole lot more than love to make a relationship of any type work.  As a matter of fact, most “traditional” marriages, meaning those who come together to form a union and don’t have kids, end in divorce. This alone should prove that love definitely does not conquer all. So, if it is difficult to make a relationship with just two people invovled work, how do you expect it to get any easier when you involve 6 other people? And, at some point, you might even want to have your own children!!!

Having said that, I am already engrossed in my own blended family, and after 7 years there is a lot more binding my husband and I together than tearing us apart. Although our blended family issues still exist they are not an issue for our marriage any longer. We have finally formed a bond that can not be broken by ex-wives and ex-lives.  Now, every time his ex attacks it only makes us that much closer. But, we went through many ups and way more downs in order for us to get to this point.

I know I must sound like a hypocrite because I had a child entering into my current marriage, but this is why I can offer the best advice for people considering the blended family. I will end by saying the best advice I can give is to: 1) Don’t have children prior to marriage – it complicates things. 2) Don’t marry someone that you can’t see yourself being divorced from! Check out your potential mate prior to marrying him or her. How does he or she deal with conflict or disagreements between you two? What are his or her views on parenting? If they have children, how do they get along with their ex-spouse? You need to ask yourself these questions and many more before seriously dating, marrying or having kids with anyone.

What about you? Would you date or marry someone with children? I want to know. Vote now on the left-hand side of this page.

I promised all of my readers that you will get nothing but open honesty from me regarding my blended family issues. Additionally, you will get my honest feedback about what has worked and what has not. Furthermore, you will get honest content regarding what I believe my issues are/were that may have contributed to some of my blended family issues. This post will be no different – honest!

My ex and I were together for almost 6 years, and at one point we actually had a pretty good relationship. If nothing else, after all of those years and a child, I feel as though we should be able to move past all of the bickering about who did what and why. At this point, I’m all about solutions. We have an 11 year old son who I don’t want to be affected by our mistakes, and I told my ex that today.

Without going into too much detail, today is the first day I decided to be completely open and honest with my ex. Although we don’t have as many heated discussions as we did before regarding our son, we still have them from time to time. But, I feel as if those discussions are/were unproductive. As such, today wasn’t about trying to persuade him to adopt my way of thinking. It was more about attempting to truly understand him and him understand me. Usually, although I’ve learned a little bit of tact over the years, I am ready to rebuttal any and everything he has to say. This time, however, I honestly spoke my piece and actually listened (hoping to understand) to him. What I learned is this – I don’t know why he has made the decisions that he has made in the past, but I do know that I don’t believe that he possessed any malicious intent when making those decisions. I honestly believe that he is pulled in a number of different directions, and he just doesn’t know what to do. Now, while this isn’t acceptable for my son, I sort of understand where he is coming from.  I hope one day that he can gain some clarity regarding his own life – figure out his priorities, learn how to balance his relationships and still work on being a better father and person.

It’s amazing how certain decisions will follow you for the rest of your life! I hope that those after me will learn how important it is to be careful, maybe even strategic, when choosing a mate. Additionally, I hope that those same individuals will think carefully about when to have a child and who to have that child with. Certain decisions can not be undone, and often times you will spend the rest of your life trying to correct those decisions. Like me, for example, me and my ex will forever be connected because we share a child. We MUST learn to communicate effectively, trust each other and continually attempt to provide our child a life that he deserves. A part of that deserving life are parents that get along and will also do what’s in his best interest.

A relationship of any sort takes time and lots of work. But, the blended family needs a lot more so make sure you’re willing to devote that type of energy before entering into this type of family. Ideally, we would all like to think that love conquers all, but this just isn’t true so try not to get caught up in the fairytale of love. Instead, carefully examine your potential mate before deciding to enter into something that will take a lifetime to get out of.

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