Marrying someone who already has children can be a blessing, but it can also be a nightmare. It’s a nightmare when you have to deal with an insecure ex. But you know the heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes you have to take the bad with the good. So you want to make the most of it and be careful not to step on anyone’s toes when you become the stepparent.
But hey, you just got married here and you want to make sure you are spending time with your new spouse. Here are some tips for splitting your time between your new spouse and his/her children.
1. Always understand that you won’t always be #1. Yes, when you get married it’s supposed to be about you and your spouse and everything is centered around you. But when you have children, that tends to go out the window. Your spouse has had time to get used to splitting his emotions and sharing his heart. Now you have to understand that you won’t always come first, and really you shouldn’t want to.
This doesn’t mean you should never be #1, but your new spouse does have other people counting on him and sometimes you have to be prepared to step back and wait your turn.
2. Spend time with the child. Set up some one-on-one time, but also enjoy your new spouse with his kids. It might not be the romantic date night you envisioned, but it shouldn’t matter so long as you’re spending time with your new spouse. And he will appreciate your effort in taking the time to make his child feel special and respecting the time he has with his child.
3. Set a date night. Make sure your spouse sees this time as a priority. It’s hard to split your time between kids and a spouse, but it’s important. Get creative. Wait until the kids are in bed if need be. Steal away time during your lunch break. Just make sure you’re finding time to be a couple.
4. Make it clear to your spouse and his children that you want him to spend time with his children too. You’re not in competition here. You can allow them to have one-on-one time with no hurt feelings.
5. Take a walk with your spouse. It’s amazing how much can be hashed out on a walk around the neighborhood.
6. Take a vacation. Plan something for a time when your spouse’s children will be with another parent. Just make it a priority to get away together.
7. Enjoy the little things. A busy life might make it hard to find time together, but stealing away a few moments here and there by cooking a meal together or doing tasks you enjoy doing together around the house can have a real bonding effect – in spite of all of the craziness of a house with children, even when they are not your own.
Starting a marriage off with children from a previous marriage is a balancing act. But establishing a good stable home life is important for everyone involved, especially the children. So be there, but don’t be needy and always understand that your spouse can have room in his heart to love you and his children.
However, if you’re ever getting to the point where you’re feeling neglected, make sure to take your spouse aside (away from the children) and let him know how you’re feeling and suggest doing some of the things listed above to reconnect. He should appreciate your honesty about how you’re feeling and want to accommodate you as best he can.
Marrying a person with children doesn’t have to be a deal breaker as long as you’re willing to work at it, and so is the other person.
I had a great time writing this article. I hope you enjoyed it. I look forward to being in touch with you again. Yours Marc.