5. Reach agreement together with your spouse about the house rules. Some of these decisions might come through private conversations with your wife; however, family meetings are a great idea. The more that you can involve the children and allow them to have a voice, the more likely it is that they will be in agreement with whatever is decided.
6. Always be loving and respectful to your stepchildren’s mother. Children really do want to see their parents in happy and healthy relationships. Whatever the reason that the natural parents are not together, it may have been a hard ending and children need to see a loving and healthy marriage.
7. Nurture your marriage. Don’t let the stresses of step family life get in the way of your relationship with each other.
Find ways to have dates, spend time alone and build on the positives in the relationship. Talk a lot with your wife about the small successes and steps in the right direction, even more than you talk about the problems.
Living in a step family … and succeeding in meeting and figuring out solutions to the complexities, can be very rewarding. You and your wife can look back on these times with mixed feelings and memories but be grateful that you survived with the strength of your love and ability to figure out the best ways to work together.
We welcome your comments, questions and ideas. Please share them with us.