The key is to be prepared for anything that may come your way, and also be flexible at the same time.
So read along to get some insights into second marriage problems and how to handle them. The essential tips listed below can help you in navigating your second marriage and children.
Keep expectations in check
You may be a new stepmom or stepdad, but the children may have different ideas. It may take them a while to warm up to you, if at all. At first, they may feel resentful or unsure of how to treat you.
Depending on how the first marriage has ended, as well as their relationship with each of their separated biological parents, you may or may not have the potential for a good relationship.
Just make sure to keep your expectations in check. Don’t come into the marriage thinking that you are some superman or superwoman and that you’ll fix everything, or fill a void, or get along great with the kids.
It may happen, and it may not. Just resolve to be there and try your best, no matter the journey.
Work on both relationships
When you get married, for the children of your spouse, their own family is always a part of the deal—their parents, siblings, etc.
This is especially true if this is a second marriage and children are involved. So from day one, there will be multiple new people in your house.
So, while you’ve probably been anxious to develop a deeper relationship with your new spouse, be aware that you need to foster a relationship with the children as well.
They don’t know you very well yet, so spending lots of quality time is critical. Find out what they like to do—like biking, going to the movies, sports, etc.—and join them in those things. Or, have some one-on-one time getting ice cream.
At the same time, be sure to spend plenty of quality time with your new spouse, as well. Date night is non-negotiable. Try to spend some romantic time with your spouse at least once during the weekend.
Also, make an effort to spend time together as a family unit to combat second marriage challenges! Dinner, yard work, Saturday activities, etc. are all great ideas to bond well as a family and overcome the second marriage problems.
Set up house rules
Getting remarried with children is no easy task. When you are remarrying, the children may feel like they are being thrown into a new situation, and everything is chaotic. They don’t know what to expect, and that can be scary.
Make sure to provide structure and clear expectations from the get-go. Sit down as a family and try to comfort them about the new house rules.
Also, make sure the children offer input into expectations and consequences so that they don’t feel thrust with undesired changes. When you are getting remarried with kids, it is imperative that the kids think that they, too, are an equally important part of the decision making.
Write up all the house rules and post them, and refer to them as needed when you are moving into a second marriage with children involved.
But, also realize that they can be altered if needed. Set a family meeting in a month or so, to revisit the house rules and talk about how things are going.
Communicate, communicate, and communicate
So, how to make a second marriage work?
However, cliched it sounds, communication is the key!
You and your new spouse have to be in sync as much as possible for the second marriage with kids to work, and also for the family to flow right.
That means you must communicate consistently and effectively. If you keep your feelings to yourself, it won’t work, especially in case of a second marriage with a child involved.
So, talk about how to best parent the kids, talk about issues as they come up, and be on the same page with each other. Always have the lines of communication open when it comes to managing your second marriage and children.
Get on good terms with exes
Unfortunately, in second marriages, there will be at least one ex, if not two, to deal with.
And, especially in a second marriage with children involved, the ex will always be an integral part of their lives and, therefore, you and your spouse’s lives.
It is in your best interest and in the best interest of your second marriage and children to be as cooperative as possible. You don’t have to like your ex or your spouse’s ex, but you do need to be on good terms if you can.
Be pleasant, follow the law and arrangements, and be positive to your children about them. Obviously, don’t let them take advantage of you, but your attitude will go a long way.
See a therapist
Even if nothing is “wrong” in your second marriage and children per se, it’s still a good idea to sit down with a therapist as a family, as a couple, and as individuals.
You can always seek help from a counselor or therapist and get a prudent solution on how to tell your child you’re getting remarried or how to help your child accept a second marriage.
Assess where everyone is at, talk freely, and discuss any past issues that need to be resolved, and make goals.
Everyone needs to get on the same page, and a great way to do that is by seeing a professional family counselor.
These are some of the vital tips on second marriage and children for you to consider when your thinking of plunging into a remarriage. Also, if you are already into a marriage where one of you has remarried, these tips on second marriage and children can come to your rescue and help you navigate through the issues if any.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.