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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for opinions. Do you think it is better for two divorced people with children to date and have a relationship without marriage to avoid the blended family, or is it better for them to marry and show the kids it can work?
 

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Both my husband and I were previously married. I brought a child into our marriage and he did not. We have a beautiful marriage and made children ourselves. I would of accepted any of his children with open arms if he had any.
 

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I'm with Liam on this.

Having raised a handful of children and being an imperfect mom from the word go, I can tell you that no matter what choices you make, your children will all take different lessons from them.

I remarried. Their dad did not. My marriage lasted over ten years and then ended in divorce. I again remarried, though they were all grown and on their own by this time.

Their dad's relationship lasted seven, then he moved on to another woman and was with her for six years, and is now with someone else, too.

One of our daughters is in a happy live-in relationship that is likely to become marriage one day. They've been together for nearly 4 years. They're supportive of each other and affectionate. They're compatible, rarely argue, and when they do it is resolved pretty quickly.

One of our daughters is in a marriage with a man who has threatened to kill her and she will not leave him. She has transformed from a sensible young woman into a brittle, fragile one who lashes out at other family members when they challenge her choices in any way, including her choice to cover her body with tattoos because her husband has a fetish for the Suicide Girls.

And one has two children and cannot sustain a relationship. She is FINALLY moving out on her own for the first time. She has been living at her dad's for several years even when not going to school. She's an attentive, engaged mom but is self-absorbed and is likely bipolar. She also has PTSD from serving time in Iraq. Fortunately, she's getting treatment and seems to be responding well, but she's way behind the curve educationally, professionally, and in her personal life when compared to her peers.

How much of this was because of our relationship choices? How much of it was due to their dad's severe and chronic alcoholism? How much of it was due to other influences? One of them was sexually assaulted by a neighbor when she was a pre-teen (the one who is most likely bipolar).

Because of this, I believe that we might as well live our lives as we see fit. We do our best to guide our kids, but they ultimately interpret the lessons we teach in the way that they believe works best for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the opinions. Thanks, Kathy for the personal experiences. I agree. We make all kinds of choices that may affect our children and the decisions they make in life. I have heard several "experts" lately say that divorced people should date only after divorce until children are grown. I wondered what real people thought. :)
 

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I think that getting married and stop concerning about blending the family. This would show the children that it is valid to get married again and that this can work out. It is a fact that troubles can arise when the children get to live at the same house, but this situation is not heavy enough to consider not to getting married just because what could happen. There are very much happpy matrimonies with children from former marriages from both of them, where children live together without much trouble.
 

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I have wondered about this as well. I know a couple that dated for years and waited for the kids to be out of the house before they eventually married. But it was years of dating. I don't know which is better. My boyfriend has never married and never had kids, so maybe dating long term is good for us. My kids' dad is married and has a baby on the way, so my kids will get the 'family unit' with him.
 

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I think if it feels right, why not get married? If I had a child from a previous relationship, I definitely would and would want to show them what a happy, healthy relationship looks like (especially if they've been through a divorce once before!).

My boyfriend has a son from his previous marriage. And when I meet him, I definitely will welcome him with open arms.

Also fully agree with Kathy, children will take what they will of their experiences. My parents divorced when I was 12 and when my brother was 9. I follow more of my father's values, while my brother follows more of my mother's values.
 

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Whatever you decide, make sure your financials are fully disclosed BEFORE marriage to someone with support payments. My husband's kids live accross the country and he rarely sees them, so there's no real blending to do with my own kids; but he wasn't upfront about the amount of $ he pays in child support, and I wish now, that I'd known what I was getting into. Right now, the $ is our biggest problem. The kids themselves, not so much.
 

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It is not something I would rush into and as Hicks said the odds of divorce are higher in second marriages than first. That is a lot of potential turmoil for any children involved.

I have seen so many blended families go wrong because people do not understand boundaries. Unless a child has been fully abandoned by one of it's bio parents then step parents need to back off and not actually parent a child that is not theirs. This creates big issues in blended families and resentments can set in from all sides.

Personally I would seek marriage guidance counselling before embarking on a blended family, the idea may seem romantic but the reality is often a nightmare.
 

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The majority of first marriages fail.

Subsequent marriages, especially with kids involved, fail at an even higher rate.

Why risk it?

It's a losing proposition with no benefits.
 

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The divorce rate for second marriages with children involved is about 70%. This is because children complicate everything.
First off, you have no way of knowing that this marriage will work out any better than the one with your ex. Did you go into that marriage expecting it to fail? Hardly.
From what I have read, the biggest problems that eventually break up the new marriage are the husband's children. There is apparently a dynamic that the husband's children feel that they are higher in the family pecking order than the new wife and her children. And te husband generally reinforces this by putting his children above the wife and her children.

One thing couple forget to consider when then remarry with his/her’s children is that the parents are getting married, not the children. Children generally do not like their step parent. They often also do not bond well to their step-siblings. They are drug into the situation not really wanting to do this. They have already had their family of origin fall apart. Why would they expect anything more from this marriage to a stranger that their parent has brought into their lives?
I realize that some step families work. But most don’t.

I married a man with primary custody of 2 children D10 and S12 in 2000. The two step kids ganged up on my son (S10) and made his life miserable for years. Today, they are all in there 20’s and they all care about each other and the step kids would defend my son to the death. But it was a hard road getting here.


My step children did not want their father to remarry. They wanted ther parents back together. But they were too afraid at the time to come out and say it. Instead they acted excited publically and scemed to ruin our marriage.

My son did not want the marriage to go through either. He kept his dislike for his step father secret until after the marriage... in retrospect he was right.

My step children also made my life miserable. They admit now that their goal was to get their dad to realize that I’m a ***** and divorce me. They tried to get me arrested by making false physical abuse charges against me to school counselors. They told awful stories about me and even my son to their mother and her side of the family. Their mother encouraged them in this. She even coached them in what to say. This is the woman who abandoned them and would not call for 6 months to check on her children. But she enjoyed the game of proving that they loved her better.

Remember that while you might be marrying her, you are also brining her ex and your ex into the equation.

Today my step children admit that they love me. Their friends say that they tell everyone about me, brag about me, etc. They now realize that I am the only parent they ever had that has stood by them. Yep their father did not either… I’m divorced from him now.

But the road getting here was 12 years long and it has taken its toll on every one. To be honest, if I had a chance to change things I would not marry him again. I would not have been the step parent to his children.

Date, go slowly. Date for 3-5 years and get the children very used to each other and to your gf. Do not disrupt the lives of all these children with a situation that could end very badly for everyone. Do a lot of reading about how to step-parent. Talk to a lot of step parents. Learn from their experience.
 

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The divorce rate for second marriages with children involved is about 70%. This is because children complicate everything.
First off, you have no way of knowing that this marriage will work out any better than the one with your ex. Did you go into that marriage expecting it to fail? Hardly.
From what I have read, the biggest problems that eventually break up the new marriage are the husband's children. There is apparently a dynamic that the husband's children feel that they are higher in the family pecking order than the new wife and her children. And te husband generally reinforces this by putting his children above the wife and her children.

One thing couple forget to consider when then remarry with his/her’s children is that the parents are getting married, not the children. Children generally do not like their step parent. They often also do not bond well to their step-siblings. They are drug into the situation not really wanting to do this. They have already had their family of origin fall apart. Why would they expect anything more from this marriage to a stranger that their parent has brought into their lives?
I realize that some step families work. But most don’t.

I married a man with primary custody of 2 children D10 and S12 in 2000. The two step kids ganged up on my son (S10) and made his life miserable for years. Today, they are all in there 20’s and they all care about each other and the step kids would defend my son to the death. But it was a hard road getting here.


My step children did not want their father to remarry. They wanted ther parents back together. But they were too afraid at the time to come out and say it. Instead they acted excited publically and scemed to ruin our marriage.

My son did not want the marriage to go through either. He kept his dislike for his step father secret until after the marriage... in retrospect he was right.

My step children also made my life miserable. They admit now that their goal was to get their dad to realize that I’m a ***** and divorce me. They tried to get me arrested by making false physical abuse charges against me to school counselors. They told awful stories about me and even my son to their mother and her side of the family. Their mother encouraged them in this. She even coached them in what to say. This is the woman who abandoned them and would not call for 6 months to check on her children. But she enjoyed the game of proving that they loved her better.

Remember that while you might be marrying her, you are also brining her ex and your ex into the equation.

Today my step children admit that they love me. Their friends say that they tell everyone about me, brag about me, etc. They now realize that I am the only parent they ever had that has stood by them. Yep their father did not either… I’m divorced from him now.

But the road getting here was 12 years long and it has taken its toll on every one. To be honest, if I had a chance to change things I would not marry him again. I would not have been the step parent to his children.

Date, go slowly. Date for 3-5 years and get the children very used to each other and to your gf. Do not disrupt the lives of all these children with a situation that could end very badly for everyone. Do a lot of reading about how to step-parent. Talk to a lot of step parents. Learn from their experience.
What a thoughtfully written and insightful post! I admire your honesty on the topic and I'm sorry you had to go through those hard times, but you seem to have become stronger for having lived it!

I doubt my stepchildren will ever love me (or even like me) because we hardly see them, due to distance. Plus, they too, are coached by their mother. I dread the obligatory yearly visit!
 
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