Remarriage can be the best time of your life. You have to wonder whether the bliss can last in the face of intrusive exes, stepchildren acting-out, and a confused spouse. You probably had a sketchy vision of what your marriage would look like, only to find out that the reality of simultaneously starting a marriage and forming a stepfamily is much more complex than you ever imagined.
The glue that binds the family together is the couple, without which there naturally wouldn’t be a family. A healthy, close, loving couple relationship determines the wellness and success of not only the marriage, but of the whole family. The following 5 tips will help you plan, develop, and implement a blue print for an even deeper connection with your spouse.
- Strengthen your marriage by scheduling 15-45 minutes, per day, of uninterrupted couple time, during which to share, consult, and discuss concerns about your marriage, children, and anything else. This habit will help you nurture the connection between the two of you in a very meaningful way.
- Balance co-parenting with your ex and your present spouse. Include your spouse in the parental plan openly only if your former spouse can tolerate it. Otherwise, discuss the parental plan with your spouse privately. Be attentive and considerate of her/his input.
- Redefine your unrealistic expectations of your stepfamily. Clarifying your verbal and non-verbal expectations with your spouse will help you understand what you do and do not agree upon. Setting realistic, mutual, obtainable goals will help your family develop trust, cohesiveness, and increased emotional intimacy.
- Assess whether you completed your emotional divorce. Whenever there is a loss—not only due to a death—we humans need to grieve it. Even if you initiated the end of your previous relationship, you still experienced a loss, as something that was there is no longer there.
- Create and implement a vision of your happy stepfamily. Visualization is a powerful tool to help you obtain your desired goals. Write down precisely what you wish your marriage and your family to be like. Describe how it looks, smells, sounds, and feels like. Determine what actions you need to take in order to make it happen.