Why? Well, because you found someone special to love in this big scary world. How good is that!
Everyone deserves to find love again.
You were taking a happy leap of faith when you stepped into your stepfamily life. Good for you!
So what’s love got to do with all this?
You know already that your marriage is the foundation of your
stepfamily. Your partnership needs to be strong, of course.
He or she is the reason that you hooked up. Right? So you don’t want to forget your partner in all the confusion of your stepfamily. Here are some thoughts:
Five of the most important thing to remember in your partnership: These are things you know, but do you know how important they are?
Talk, talk, talk. Making time for each other is a huge win. It could be anytime of the day. Early morning before the children get up is a popular time for some couples. You pick. But try to make it a habit.
Listen, listen, listen and hear each other too. Ask again if you aren’t sure you heard right.
Compromise in any way you can.
Don’t assume anything. Ask.
Date night is not over-rated.
Now let’s add five important points for stepfamilies:
Be honest when you make a mistake and upset someone in the family. Work to make it right. Sorry is a valuable word.
Be careful not to criticize your partner’s children. Always speak to each other respectfully and calmly about their children.
Don’t let any problems with the ex-partner take over your energy and time.
Being a stepparent is not always easy. It is not hard so tell the stepparent that you appreciate their efforts. Tell them often.
Trust is the word of the day. It needs to be earned over time.
Remember those lazy days when there was lots of time in a day to focus on each other? Not so in the second and third partnerships where children exist. You will still be getting to know each other while you raise the children in your stepfamily. That means you are a busy family.
Try not to let the discussion of your children’s needs and actions occupy all your valuable time together.
And speaking of getting off focus, it is easy to let the difficulties between a partner and an ex-partner over whelm the relationship. Letting that happen could bind you together in a “cause” that is unhealthy. You have better things to talk about than how someone else is trying to influence your lives.
How about this? Take 10 minutes to discuss a difficult situation and then get on with positive issues together.
Here is something I know for sure!
You have to let the past marriage(s) go. The only thing you need to understand is what your part was that contribute to the downfall of that partnership. The rest is just history. Whatever your part was, that is what you want to change in this new relationship.
I think the past is there to learn from, not to wallow in. Having one foot in the past relationship and one foot in this new one is a disaster waiting to happen!
Love is a verb! It is an action word.
This means not just stating your love to one another, but acting it as well. Actions go a long way of giving each other the confidence in your relationship, especially when you hit troubling times. You intuitively know what love is but the small gestures now take on a larger meaning. The dynamics of a stepfamily are varied, but often there can be divided loyalties that are not typical in a “nuclear family “ and it is important for you to reinforce each other and remind each other that you form the foundation of this new family.
Some of the fun small gestures that I have heard over the years;
- sending a postcard or love note to your partner at your own address.
- a car enthusiast husband who cleans up his car and takes his wife out on a special dinner out with a “Great Gatsby “ flourish - dressed up, rose in hand while opening the wife’s door. Old fashioned but clearly romantic.
- the surprise weekend or even a surprise night out is always welcome. I remember a client who made arrangements to meet her husband at work and take him from work to a special evening out.
- signing the partner up to their special interest events, cooking for example, and agreeing to cover the home front on those nights.
Let your imagination run and enjoy.
So be thoughtful, caring and kind to each other and of course go ahead …. hug hug hug.
Let’s see how high you can jump.
Let love lead! Love has power!
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