A High View of Blending Family Life
When there are kids in the home, it’s often critical for you as a couple to take a long-term view of family life. Yes, in the short term, you’ll probably be sacrificing many of your wants and desires—and sometimes even your needs—so you can meet the needs of your children. But it’s important to keep the end in mind; in most cases, one day your kids will be grown and moving on, and then you’ll have greater freedom to make more personal choices as a couple.
There are lots of variables, especially if you’re a blending family. One of you may have a highly needy child at home; the other might not. One of you may strongly feel that every need your child has should supersede your spouse’s or your own needs, while the other might not. Both of you may have severely needy kids who will require a lot of you and your marriage.
How will you maintain a healthy marriage with these kinds of pressures and sacrifices? Although you must always keep your marriage relationship the top priority, self-sacrifice is often imperative during this season of family life, so it’s important to plan for these challenges. Talk about all this openly and honestly now so you’ll avoid surprises later.
In reality, in a blending-family situation, so much of your success will come down to the attitude you have toward facing and overcoming the issues that arise, including meeting each other’s needs. “I think that good will is huge,” Linda says. “Rick and I desire to bless each other, and we want to fulfill each other’s needs. Sometimes those include the needs of each other’s children—and grandchildren!”
“We don’t measure or keep score to see who’s done more,” Rick says. “We just serve.”
“Because I see so much integrity and character in Rick, I really encourage his interaction with my sons,” Linda says. “His example is important; he’s a great role model for them. And he doesn’t have to be ‘the dad’ to make a difference. He just draws them into his world and shows them how to be men of integrity. As he mentors them, he meets my need to see my sons have a good example in their lives.”
Blending a family needs a long-term view. You’re in it for the long haul. If you keep a good attitude, remain flexible, and serve unselfishly, you’ll be flying high.
How do you cope with the challenges of blending a family? I’d love to know!
Adapted from The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Lifetime of Love & Happiness. Copyright © 2014, all rights reserved.
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