A remarriage with kids is WAY different than a marriage with kids.
Before I dive right into this article, let me provide a tiny bit of background.
My husband and I are quickly approaching our one year anniversary - August 22nd.
This last weekend I attended a bridal shower and bachelorette party for a friend. All of the wedding festivities led me to reflect on my last ten months of marriage, what marriage life is like for me, and what marriage really means.
Marriage is a sacred commitment between two individuals who choose to make a conscious commitment to love each other every day for the rest of their lives.
Every single day I thank God for my husband and my children.
I love my life.
Each day is new and presents new opportunities to experience life as a married couple. Our marriage faces many challenges on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis.
My husband and I both have a child from a previous relationship. He was married before. I was not.
On the day we married, not only did we create a lifelong commitment to one another, but we also created a family – A New Breed Family.
Unlike nuclear families, New Breed Families do not always have the natural bonds that biological families have. When a New Breed Family is formed, it can be challenging, and sometimes difficult, to forge those bonds. Many factors, such as the age of the children, involvement from the other parent, and individual personalities all factor into forming bonding, loving relationships in New Breed Families.
It takes around five to seven years for New Breed Families to develop their own bonds, family traditions, and routines. A New Breed Family is the product of combining two smaller families (typically each parent and their respective child(ren)) together to form one cohesive family unit. That means taking two different styles of parenting, two different sets of routines, two different sets of family traditions, two different manners of relating to one another, and bringing them together into one household.
The creation of a New Breed Family means changes for everyone involved. This includes each of the spouses own biological families, each of the spouse’s ex-partner, and sometimes the ex-partner’s families. As humans, we are naturally resistant to change. The primal ‘fight or flight’ instinct is bound to surface for every person involved. Given the immense number of changes taking place during a relatively short period of time, and the new relationships being forged between every single involved person, there are bound to be some rough transitions.
Family members experiencea variety of emotions as the New Breed Family forms. There are many positive feelings such as happiness, love, and excitement. There are also many sub-positive feelings such as anger, jealously, and fear that can be associated with the creation of a New Breed Family. It is important to acknowledge and address all of those feelings. Couples who take the time to prepare for remarriage with children, by either attending pre-marital workshops through their church or with a marriage counselor, are much more well-equipped and prepared for the bringing together of the two smaller family units.
New Breed Families are still a relatively new phenomenon in modern American culture. No one really knows what the expectations are for creation of a New Breed Family. There is no “normal”. Although, it appears to be universal that New Breed Families will experience a period of transition. The children will benefit immensely when the remarried couple approaches the task of forming their New Breed Family with a well thought out plan that is implemented with a firm, loving hand.
The remarried couple needs to demonstrate to the children involved that they are a team, and that the newly formed marital relationship is primary to the parent – child relationship. By approaching the transitional period in this manner, the children will learn to love and respect the new parent in their lives. The new parent will feel loved and cherished by their spouse as he makes it apparent to his children that his marital relationship is the primary relationship in the newly formed family unit. When the parents in the house are on the same page, and rightfully take their place as the heads of the household, children tend to move through their resistance more quickly and feel more secure because they understand their role in the New Breed Family.
Please know that help is available for New Breed Families who are trying to make their way through the sometimes difficult transitional period of bringing to mini families together to form one solidified family unit. A family counselor is educated in the trials and tribulations that are common during the formation of a New Breed Family.