Should I go through with my plans to remarry even though my intended spouse's children are against the marriage? As a matter of fact, they seem to hate me.
Entering a second marriage that involves "blending" a family is never easy. Research confirms this fact indicating that 60 to 73 percent of remarriages involving children end in divorce. And if the kids are openly hostile and opposed to the marriage, it stands to reason that you can expect an even rougher ride than the average couple in your situation.
So should you go through with it? We can't answer that question for you. Without more detailed knowledge about your past relationship, your future spouse, the children, the background of your relationship, and the circumstances of how you're planning to set up your new household, we simply aren't in a position to make definitive statements concerning your chances of success. But we can tell you this much: blended families present parenting challenges that must be navigated with extreme care. An unsuspecting stepparent may be suddenly confronted with a whole set of long-standing alliances and power struggles.
If you do decide to move forward with your plans, bear in mind that you're going to have to work extra-hard to overcome the barriers and develop positive bonds with your new stepchildren. It won't be easy, but it's part of the challenge of building a successful blended family. It will mean taking a sincere interest in the kids and spending lots of one-on-one time with each of them. In particular, you'll want to take special care to praise them at every opportunity instead of simply punishing them when they misbehave. In other words, make an intentional effort to "catch them being good."
Because of the unique challenges involved, we recommend that those who are planning to remarry and "reconstitute" a family should seek professional counseling well before the wedding. Couples who attempt to "go it alone" may be setting themselves up for frustration and failure. Expectations, roles, and parenting styles should be clarified and openly discussed with the help of an experienced marriage-and-family therapist. Call our Counseling department for a list of qualified professionals practicing in your local area. Our staff counselors would also be more than happy to discuss your concerns with you over the phone.
Family and Home Network
Parenting In Blended Families