Let me preface this post with this: Matt and I are happily married. We are not splitting up or getting a divorce. That being said, let me explain the title of this post.
When I made the choice to get remarried and blend our families I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I was ready to tackle the issues as they came but I soon found out just how unprepared I was.
I was expecting the obvious differences between Matt and I to be our biggest battles. Such topics as: Matt prefers to eat homemade food, I prefer to eat out. Or the fact that Matt leans more towards natural remedies and I head straight to antibiotics. Or I like rap music and Matt hates it. I could go on and on but I really thought that these issues would be front and center.
Annnnddddd….We have never argued about any of these issues. Ha!
What is our biggest issue?
I cannot even count the number of arguments, sleepless nights, contentious home time, ruined evenings out, horrible family outings, tears, feelings of hopelessness, have all occurred because of each other’s children.
My patience has been worn so thin since becoming a stepmom that I’ve been pushed to repeat the title of this post! …Something I am not proud of.
I have had countless conversations with other step parents who have all echoed the same sentiments so I want to tell you, you’re not alone in this!
In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever spoken to anyone in a blended family (except maybe Matt. He’s rare) that hasn’t thought or repeated the title of this post. The topic is that rampant in blended families.
I belong to several online stepfamily support groups and I cannot tell you how jam-packed these sites are with story after story of “there is no hope in my marriage because of my stepson” or “I have lost all respect for my new wife because of the way she lets her children talk to me”.
So what’s the deal? Why do stepchildren push blended families apart? I can give you my top 3 personal reasons–yours may be different:
1. You cannot discipline a stepchild the same. If you have shared custody then you’re really dealing with two sets of rules and that adds to the frustration, I’m sure. In my situation (being the only home) I still struggle with carrying out the same consequences to all of our children. <stressful on the marriage because the imbalance causes contention and resentment>
2. You cannot react to a stepchild the same way you would with your own child. Chances are you have probably uttered the words “if he/she were my kid I would have said or done….”. <this creates stress between hubby and wife because you typically have to hold in your frustration and in the end feel like your life would be easier without dealing with these issues. Or, you feel like your spouse won’t/can’t correct the issue so why bother>
3. This one is what I feel pushes remarriage to the edge of the “Big D” word: you will get so angry or frustrated at your stepchild that you do not want to be close with your spouse. Even though it has nothing to do with your spouse, you just don’t want to be near them when you’re mad at their child. This is the “get away from me, I need space” comment your spouse gave you…remember that one? Ha! <this creates a huge divide, it’s hard to overcome, and very hard to get back to those loving feelings>.
But what makes you stay?
What makes me stay?
I know in my situation I want the happy ending and I never want to be without the love I have found. I have to remind myself that this season in life will be over soon and I might actually miss this stressful time with the children (did I say that?!). I have to look past today and see that even though this might be stressful, and at times ugly, this is worth it. These children are worth it and we can do this!
The choice we made to get married and stay married is important. And most of all..
Our family is worth it❤️