Imagine growing up having a certain view of how families should look like — one dad, one mom and the kids. And then you grow up, start dating and fall in love with a man who has kids and an ex-wife. Yikes! One word — complicated! Do you pursue the relationship (which is a new concept altogether) or do you find yourself a man who comes with “less baggage”? In most instances and especially if you are reading this and are in a blended family, love always seems to win. You know it’s going to be hard but when you feel as though you have met your soulmate, you convince yourself that the hardships are all worth it. However, I don’t mean to burst your bubble but blended families are not as easy as movies make them look. They take years of hard work, tears and unconditional love. Here are 10 things no one tells you about being in a blended family, both good and bad:
You will have a much more difficult time putting your marriage first
The dynamics of a blended family are much more complicated as compared to that of a normal one. There’s the issue of the lingering ex-spouse and the constant feeling of having to overcompensate and being a parent to kids who may not even want you there. All these issues can take a toll on your marriage especially when you feel as though you have to focus on everyone and everything else apart from you and your partner. However, even though the odds might seem as if they are against married couples in blended families, there is still hope.
READ HERE some tips on how to make a blended family marriage work.
You will have a hard time not comparing this life to the life you had before
If you have kids of your own or were married before getting into a blended family, you probably will transition easily into the new family dynamics. However, if you were single with no kids, you will feel as though you have been thrown in a war zone with no guns. The hard times will, especially, have you comparing how easy your life was before blending your families. You will sometimes even catch yourself wishing you were still single so that you could do things your own way.
You will be jealous of the ex
The fact that your new spouse and his ex’s DNA blended and formed little humans is a connection that surpasses every level of certifiable crazy. And this will make you jealous even when there’s nothing to be jealous of. You will occasionally see her, especially if there are kids involved. In short, she is a reality you have to accept and live with. So pull up your big girl pants and look at the bigger picture.
You WILL feel like a second-class citizen
Your partner has a pre-existing lifetime commitment to parent their children, which means there will be times when it’s necessary to attend special events for the children side-by-side with the ex or to meet one on one with the ex to conference about the kids. This can leave you feeling like a permanent backup singer to the real star: the ex. Be sure to regularly take time with your partner to stay connected and have your chance to feel like the star that you are!
You will learn to tolerate the intolerable
Dealing with step kids is hard. Sometimes, and especially when they don’t accept you, they can knowingly make your life miserable. It is during this time that your patience and understanding will be tested. You will have to restrain yourself a bit harder in times of disrespect and rebellion. Yes, you will love your step kids, but you didn’t have the opportunity to bond since birth to balance out the negative feelings. So, good luck with that!
Blending equals plenty of ups and downs, but the longer the people involved are able to combine, the smoother and more satisfying the results. It simply takes time to get to know what makes each person tick and to try different strategies to address problems and perfect the way you orchestrate your household. Nothing worth having comes without effort, so you can’t give up!