In all honesty, being a step-parent is a Herculean task. It comes with a lot of ups and downs and if care is not taken, it can cause a huge strain on your marriage. Marriages on their own require a whole lot of hard work, not to talk of adding the stress of having step-children. Some might never accept you and would stop at almost nothing to make life hard for you. However, with these tips highlighted below, you can still make your marriage work when step-children are involved.
If you want to enjoy your marriage with step-children involved, you need to set boundaries as quickly as possible. You should let the children be aware of what is acceptable with you and what is not. It goes in both ways, as you should equally respect their own boundaries, especially if they are teenagers. No issue should be seen as too big or too little for boundaries to be set. It would breed respect and become an important aspect of your daily lives.
Grow Thick Skin
To have a successful blended family, you need to develop a thick skin while being sensitive to emotions as well. You need to take out time to put all your insecurities aside, because having step-children isn’t going to be an easy ride for both of you. You will get compared a lot, you might get picked on, and the children might hate you or even say hurtful things about you. You need to take this unnecessary stress out without letting it put a strain on your marriage. In most cases, it all works out in the end.
Allow the Parent to Discipline
It is important to note that you should take a step back and let the parent do the disciplining. You can not decide to discipline them, especially in the early stages of your marriage. They need to know you to a certain extent and be comfortable enough to trust you. They definitely would not listen to you because you are their new parent. Start the process slowly by becoming actively involved in laying down rumors, however never punish them when the rules are broken. This would prevent the children from seeing you as the bad guy.
Never Let Your Spouse Choose Sides
When step-children are involved, never put your spouse in the position of choosing between you and the children. This is terrible for not just the kids, but for your marriage as a whole. In situations where you are having a discussion where a decision has to be made, you could use code languages that only you and your partner would understand. You could also discuss the issue later, but never give your spouse an ultimatum.
Finally, remember making your marriage work is just as important as raising children. They would not live with you forever, so make great memories with them while you can. It takes a lot of patience and maturity, but with your partner by your side, it can be a walk in the park.