Marriage is never easy. When you are starting a new marriage, of which each of you have children from a previous relationship, it makes compromising crucial and difficult.
Their kids, my kids, our kids. You want to make it work. You have to make it work, and that means you need to learn to compromise. How do you compromise to make it all work out? Here are three tips on how to compromise in your blended family.
1. Be Prepared to Rethink Expectations
If you have a family that is made up of their kids, your kids, and maybe joint kids (the "our kids"), making rules is difficult. You will have kids who aren't at your house all the time, and some which are. You have to be consistent with the rules. Don't back down on your own kids and push harder on his kids. Expectations must be clear from the get go. You'll have to discuss your expectations with your spouse. They might not see things the same way as you, so be prepared to let go of some ideas.
2. Show Appreciation
We all want to be appreciated. It makes us more willing to compromise in areas we might otherwise disagree with. When it comes to compromising on the parenting of their kids, your kids, and our kids, you want everyone to feel appreciated. You want everyone to know that they are a valued member of the family and their opinions do count.
3. Be Willing to Change
You have to be flexible when you are in a blended family. Everything is going to be a power struggle in the beginning. In order to help that struggle fizzle out, you need to be willing to let go of things and allow change to happen. You also need to practice empathy.
4. Be Proactive
Nip things in the bud sooner rather than later. Don't wait to discuss rule changes when something else in the home changes. It's a good time to re-evaluate as a family. If you or your partner are being withheld from the kids, contact my team to chat about that specific factor of your situation. You don't want to take that lightly.
...It won't happen overnight, but with patience comes change. You will have to revisit rule-changing often as the children age, or as you add your own children to the relationship.
Compromise is always hard. You may end up losing something in order to gain something else. You always have to compromise in a relationship. Compromise is of the utmost importance when you have a blended family. Your spouse's kids are used to life in a certain way; your kids are used to living a certain way. If you have kids together, you will be throwing everyone's life into a tail spin.
That's not to say it's not worth it. If you work hard and compromise, then you should have no problems with anything else having a blended family throws at you. You will be creating the basis of your relationship as a family with compromise. Make compromising a priority in your relationship to create success.