Remarriage and blending a family is hard. I’m serious. Starting out, you are treading on land never explored in your life and it’s scary!
“What am I doing?!” You may say to yourself or better yet “I don’t know what I’m doing”…
Communication is important in any relationship but one thing I’ve noticed in remarriage is the comparison to your first spouse. And if you find yourself comparing communication between your two spouses, you are not alone!
There are times when I’ll find myself thinking about the differences in conversations between my first husband and my second and what worked, what didn’t, and what I miss. Let me give you a couple examples…
After 20 years of being together, it was easy for my first husband to spot an ounce of sarcasm either in a text message or my voice. In my new marriage my husband takes things very literally and might think I’m serious about something when I’m not. This miscommunication can be very frustrating, especially when hurt feelings happen and it was not intentional.
Is this where the saying “I’m still training my husband” comes from? Haha!
Another difficulty that can happen is when you reallllly want or need to share something important with your new spouse and you are unsure how they will react (especially when it’s about the kids/stepkids). I knew exactly how my first husband would react to just about everything. However, in a new marriage, this is a new husband, new temperament, and new life! This can lead to feelings of “I miss my old life” and “this is really hard”. Hang in there, you’re still learning about one another!
In remarriage, especially when blending children, you may enter conversations that are what I call “unnatural”. Unnatural because you’ve just joined a “new parenting team” and are no longer the original (mom and dad). You might have comments about each other’s children that are tough and make it hard to even speak to each other!
Remaining calm and kind while communicating about each other’s children is a task that should be on a TV show such as “Fear Factor”. It’s that hard. Its a conversation I hate having and yet is necessary in a blended home.
So far, in my new marriage I’ve learned (after 3 years) I cannot be as blunt, honest, or direct with my second husband. Hard lesson to learn. I’m still working on it. Communicating in my second marriage has been made more complex because of the blending of families, children, personalities, just to name a few…
One of the hardest communication comparisons I’ve ran into has been the different styles.
One husband was a talker, the other not as much. One husband is deep, the other not as much. One husband had a tough shell, the other not at all. One husband wants lots of details, the other wanted none. One husband wanted to talk about the kids all the time, the other wants to talk about us. One husband could argue all day, the other wants it over immediately. One husband could easily overcome a harsh comment, the other can not.
Just take a look at these 3 pictures. Do you see you and your husbands style of communication in these images?
There is even a difference in the proximity of closeness when I spoke to my first husband than with my second. My first husband and I sat more like the first couple and my second husband and I are more like the third couple who are touching.
Communication is so important and definitely can make or break a relationship. Learning how to talk to your new spouse takes awhile…and even a few arguments and hard feelings…before you get to a place where you feel you understand each other.
One of the greatest things about remarriage is the fresh start!
I know in my first marriage we were young and had a “buddy” relationship right from the start…20 years later and we never grew out of that. We spoke to each other like siblings do and the level of respect was not very high. It became almost too comfortable to say things that weren’t flattering and I’m sure those around us thought “I can’t believe they speak to each other like that”. We just got used to it and it became the “normal”. I’m sure many people can sadly relate to this.
Well, I’ve grown up, I have a fresh start in a new marriage, and I sure do appreciate the level of maturity and respect for one another that I now have. Yay for a fresh start! Older and wiser! We do our best to not raise our voices when angry, try to be as respectful as possible, tell one another how much we love each other and value our marriage, and most of all try to communicate in a positive way in front of all our children. We are still a work in progress!
Have you struggled to learn your new spouses communication style? Do you find your new marriage harder to communicate because of the blending?
*all images from google