Post # 1
For those of you that have children from previous relationships, how do you balance it all? How do you make it fair? I think I’ve thrown it all away, the relationship, my life, my girls life…I don’t know.
We had a great weekend and got a lot of wedding planning done in the town we’re having the wedding in. Yesterday after we got home, we got in a fight about my daughters. I feel like things are not fair between the girls and the boys, I’ve felt that way for about 6 months, but every time we argue about it, he doesn’t see it that way. I have felt like for the last 6 months I have had to compete with his sons when they’re at our house/with us for his attention. Prior to that, even when the boys were there, he gave me all kinds of attention, but now I have to fight for my space and my time with him. He doesn’t see it that way either, it’s another thing we’ve fought about for the last few months on and off. I have suggested counseling, but he thinks that if we need counseling this early, then it’s not worth it.
Last night we ended up not going to bed together. This morning he seemed really nice at first and then he breached the subject of our fight. He thinks I don’t discipline my daughters, follow-through, etc. They’re out of hand and he doesn’t want to see it get worse in our future. I don’t see it being that bad. I think a lot of it stems from my oldest being really angry at me right now. I don’t know the depth of it, but she’s angry about me getting married and she’s angry about the relationship she has with her dad. I have things I need to work out with her – I need to fix our relationship.
Part of our fight today is that he wants me to rebuild my relationship with his sons, but how can I do that when he and I have things to work out? Why would I work on that relationship before the one with my daughters? We pretty much have left the fight at "if you and I have issues to work out before you’re interested in a relationship with the boys then we need to put a hold on marriage plans, we should have issues worked out by now". I’m really hurt and angry that he won’t work on anything with me, that it’s apparently ALL MY fault. I told him fine, whatever he wanted.
I so feel like throwing in the towel, it’s not worth it to feel like this anymore. Maybe part of it is because the last piece I have tying me to my "old life" is going to be severed this week and I’m a little sad about that (the girls will start at their new school next week), plus I’m really bad with change. I feel like I’ve made all the sacrifices in changing my life and bending over backwards. Even if he doesn’t meet me in the middle, I just want acknowledgement of those sacrifices.
Any advice out there?
Post # 3
How long until you get married? It sounds like there are a lot of tensions– a lot of things to work through before then. I know it is difficult to prioritize relationships, especially when it seems like some relationships are dependent on others. Have you talked about getting pre-marital counseling? A third party might be really helpful in putting these issues into perspective and getting emotionally "organized". They might even suggest some sort of family counseling down the road– something to help the children through the difficult process of becoming part of a new family.
Whatever happens, whatever you decide to do, my prayers are with you.
Post # 4
If I were you, I would insist on couselling to help you guys iron out your relationship and the relationship with your children and his. As for his reasoning that if you need counselling this early there is no reason to continue….. look at Miss Cheese! She and her Fiance have been going through counselling for sometime now. It’s important to remember that if you can get to counselling and resolve these issues now, they won’t be issues in the future.
My fiance and I don’t have children, but regardless of the issue, it’s important to work it out now.
At any rate, good luck, I hope everything works out!
Post # 5
Hey girl..I understand blending families is HARD WORK. I find help by reading alot of books. His Needs Her Needs by Dr. Harley is great!
I also encourage counseling for you two also with a PRO MARRIAGE counselor. You two just have organizational issues to work through. Logical issues.
This can be worked out. But it has to be coming from you two as a unified front, a team. And a team joined in the heart committed to loving ALL CHILDREN and making this family the strongest one ever!
Post # 6
I agree with the above post. If you are going to get through this, you need to appear united to the kids. You need to come up with common expectations for the children and support those with each other. If you can appear united, and have prductive discussions with each other, you can get through it! I also agree with the pre-marital counseling. It helps to have a sounding board. Good luck!
Post # 7
as a daughter’s point of view in this type of situation, i definitely sympathize with you! my mom remarried when i was 8 and it was not easy and we (and i say ‘we’ because when you have kids and you are getting married, its not just about you) had a good relationship with my stepfather prior to the wedding. add a little sister plus other problems that we had never dealt with before and we were in trouble. looking back in retrospect (and this has been agreed on by all of us) we didnt handle the situation the right way and things got worse and worse and im not going to lie, it has seriously affected my sister and me.
the actions you take and the decisions you make now will affect you and your fiance and every single child involved to come in the future, either negatively or positively. im not saying that you need to dump your fiance and be single for the rest of your life but you need to remember that the children are very important in this and you have to take into consideration how this will affect them. can this work? OF COURSE!! you deserve to be happy and if this is the guy that will make you and your children happy then dont give up, like the others said try premarital AND family counseling.
blending/adding family members is very tough but it can be done and i will proudly say that even though we hit a lot of dead ends, we finally got it right. will it take you this long? not if you start now!
i hope youre not offended by what ive said, im not trying to disrespect you or by being younger sound like i know more than you do, im just trying to give you the kids point of view. i believe everyone deserves to be happy and i dont think you should give up without exhausting every option. good luck!
Post # 8
Thanks for the advice, and no, I’m not offended by your point of view mrsmurraytobe. It’s actually good to hear it from someone else’s view that has gone through this.
As an update, we have talked things out and this weekend went really well with all the kids, etc. I started counseling with my daughter. She goes in and talks, then the counselor talks to me, and then we talk together. From the first session, it was more about her starting her new school and the fact that her relationship is really bad with her real dad right now. We made some agreements about her spending time with friends, etc and it really has seemed to change her attitude. She also started the new school this week (they have a summer program for the kids) and she has had a lot of fun, much more fun than she would have had at the babysitters, so that’s made things good too.
I know we still need to work on fair-ness as well as our relationships with the step-children, but he and I seem to be back on the right path again. Thanks for all of your advice.
Post # 9
I think a professional can help mediate this conversation
It sounds like he has thrown in the towel and thrown the ball in your court to pick up the pieces. Not helpful and that’s not being a team player
You BOTH have to work from the bottom up to build this family together. Nobody should feel like they are competing and you should both agree on parenting discipline now that you are combining families
Post # 10
From the experience of having a been a daughter in this situation, its really difficult. My mom got remarried just before I started high school and I had NO relationship with my stepfather before then. I’d only met him once. There were very different rules for his kids than there were for me….no curfew for them, different standards and expectations in terms of grades, dating etc. I agree with the above posters that you both have to present a united front and have the same expectations of all your children. Counselling is, imho, a really good idea…not just for the two of you as a couple but also for each of your children because you want them to be happy and comfortable with this as well. I sincerely hope this all works out for you and your family.