People go to a second marriage when they feel that the first marriage does not fit them anymore. This is more commonly seen in modern society than in the past and is not a big issue if you have no children. But there are many things to be considered when the couple has to live with stepchildren.
So, it is very important to discuss second marriages with stepchildren for all the men and women who are going to marry for the second time and who are already married for the second time and living with the stepchildren. Therefore, this article is all about the second marriage and stepchildren.
Are second marriages with stepchildren successful? We can’t directly say that they are successful or unsuccessful because it has both pros and cons. It is your responsibility to overcome the challenges of the second marriage life with much understanding about both the partner and the stepchildren. This will help you overcome many challenges that occur due to stepchildren by developing a solid relationship with them.
Accordingly, in this article, I have covered how second marriages with stepchildren flow, the pros and cons of a second marriage, how you can develop a strong relationship with stepchildren, and; finally, I have provided some tips to succeed in your second marriage.
Let’s get started!
Second marriages with stepchildren
The divorce of parents highly influences the mentality of children. It is an unexpected thing for them. The stress increases when they get to know that they have to live with the new partner of father or mother as stepchildren.
Therefore, it is natural that they will create problems to release their stress, anger and sadness. Sometimes, many conflicts within blended families arise due to the behaviours of stepchildren.
But as parents, you should think more profound than your children because they will try to create conflicts through;
1. The behaviours and comments
Some children do not like to accept their parent’s remarriage. They get upset and resentful about it. So, purposely, they will do various things to upset their parents with their new partner.
They may fear losing the love of their biological parents because of this new person, and they would try to make conflicts between them constantly. So, it would be additional pressure for the new married life.
2. Children are given more freedom
When a parent goes to the second marriage, they will hand over more power and freedom to their children than the power they have due to the breakdown of their original family.
The guilty consciousness of the parent is the major cause of this. So, they may become permissive in front of the leading behaviours of children.
It will highly damage the new family life as the new spouse may not be ready to accept all the unacceptable behaviours of stepchildren.
3. Children cope with emotions by acting out
It will create problems when the children act out in the remarriage of their parents, although it is not a problem to behave in any way they want within their real family.
Especially within a remarriage, their biological parents cannot set back together. Until they understand this, children might show their stress by acting out. That can be identified as an unhealthy way of coping with stress.
Therefore, parents should understand children’s feelings and guide them to practise coping skills to control their emotions.
Accordingly, there might be some issues within blended families when living with stepchildren. But it does not mean that it is impossible to live happily within the second marriage with stepchildren.
Pros and Cons of second marriages with stepchildren
It is not a secret that there are both pros and cons in second marriages with stepchildren because it is a new setting for both children and the parents. So, let’s discuss the pros and cons in detail.
Pros of second marriages with stepchildren
1. Creating a better financial environment
When there is a single parent, he/she has to do more than one job to settle all the financial needs like rent, food, clothing, children’s education etc. So, when they get married for the second time, they have a financial supporter, and life will become easier.
When both parents of a remarried family are doing jobs, they have two incomes for the family, and if one parent receives enough income to handle all the financial needs, the other one can stay at home and look after the home affairs.
2. Lead to more happiness
There are remarried families that live a very happy life. That is because, when the parents live happily, it overflows towards the children also. When the parents release their stress and anxiety, children too feel good and safe.
Then they will interact with you and receive the complete happiness that a family needs. Also, it will create a good environment for children to enter into good marital relationships.
3. Improving the problem-solving skills
The children of families where the parents have been entered into a second marriage have better problem-solving skills and more real-life experiences.
They become very flexible so that it will be easy for them to adapt to various situations and people.
4. Receive personalised support from more family members
It is comforting for anyone to feel that there are people who love them in their families.
When parents become responsible caregivers, the children of those blended families will be more confident in front of any challenge as they know that there are people on their side.
Also, they can have new playmates and a new set of grandparents by creating an extensive network of support. So, they will learn to share love more and more.
5. Receiving honest answers
Stepchildren always talk honestly with their parents by expressing disliking issues of your parenting styles.
So, if you get it in a good way, you can correct your mistakes and lead a happy family life with your new family members.
Although some stepchildren and stepparents might have worse qualities, you can overcome any challenge when you dearly accept the honest feedback you receive from them.
6. Children receive a broader view of the world.
Families are different from one another. When children share their family experiences, they will sometimes be confused, shocked or maybe sad if they find something absent in your family that is present in another family.
But the children of a family where parents have remarried are different. They have more experience of the world than the others have.
So, they become broad-minded when looking at anything around them.
7. Teach resilience
This is an important factor because we all must know how to recover ourselves from a stressful situation.
So, the new family will be a better teacher on this. Even they will learn to be optimistic in front of very challenging situations by living with family members with different qualities.
Likewise, there are many pros of second marriages. Further,
- It will provide a better role model.
- Encouraging self-resilience and independence.
- Feels more safe and secure with a lot of family members.
- It will be a pleasure to see the parents live again happily.
Cons of going for a second marriage with stepchildren
So, now let’s focus on the cons of this with more details.
1. Face bitter sibling rivalries
The competition among sibling rivalries could be a bitter experience for non-biological siblings. They will quickly go to fights than in an original family environment.
So, it is better to make them understand the situation and adapt accordingly by encouraging them to compete with their own goals.
If you act wisely, you will be able to prevent these types of problems.
2. Struggling to share the parents
There are more children in a blended family than a nuclear family. So, if the biological children feel that they lose the love and attention of their biological parents, they will naturally struggle for their love and attention.
And also, it will create jealousy and anger within them. So, your patience is very important here to overcome this challenge because it relates to emotions.
3. Creating moments of identity confusion
When a parent, especially a mother, enters into a second marriage, there is a possibility of changing the last name.
But the biological children will not get the same chance, and many children do not like it. So, it will make children feel as if they are abandoned.
4. Children will have mixed feelings about their stepparents
Some parents want their children to call their stepparent’s mommy or daddy like their biological parents. But many children do not like it as they do not feel the same towards them as if they feel towards their biological parents.
And some children call their stepparent by their first name by showing their dislike for them. So, it will create problems within the family.
5. Experiencing more legal disputes
There will be more legal issues around parents and children when parents marry for the second time. For example, one parent receives the house at the divorce, and the other wants it to change when entering the second marriage.
And there will be a financial burden on the shoulders of one biological parent, especially over the father. If that parent does not pay it on time, the other parent may go to court.
So, it will affect their children also. So, you can avoid involving children in these matters to prevent them from being embarrassed.
6. Leading to financial difficulties
When you go to a second marriage, if both of you have children, the new family will be larger than the previous one. Therefore, the financial needs will increase with the increase of the family members.
Also, if you don’t receive any help from the biological parents of your children, then the burden goes higher. So, if the parents do not receive enough income to settle all of them, they will face many financial problems.
7. Comparing spouses
Most of the remarried couples compare their previous spouses with the new ones. So, it will create conflicts, anger, arguments and disappointment within them.
Also, it will give the feeling for the other that they are still living in the previous family world.
Judgmental attitudes are not good for the second marriage. Although they try to hide it, it will appear quickly when any mistake happens.
Further, there will be cons like;
- Meal-time difficulties.
- Children will lose interest in sports and hobbies.
- The children may want their parents to resettle, and they may want to set back in their original family.
- Difficulty to share the goods with siblings they do not know well.
- There will be different parenting styles and family rules within the new parents.
How can you develop a strong relationship with stepchildren?
The relationship between the stepchildren and the stepparents play a significant role in the success of a second marriage.
So, here we discuss the way of building a solid relationship between these two parties. Let’s see how second marriages with stepchildren can be encouraged through this.
1. Recognising and respecting the differences in personality styles
The differences between personality styles are a major cause of the rise of conflicts within a family. It happens in high intensity within blended families because they do not have enough time to adjust to the new situation.
Especially if other family members are introverts and you are an extrovert, these conflicts will increase. Therefore, it is important to understand that any personality style is not good or bad, only different.
So, if you can respect and recognise different personality types, it will be easy for you to deal with your stepchildren by creating a good relationship with them.
2. Being sensitive to various changes that the children experience
It will be a piece of difficult news for children to hear that their parents are going to a second marriage because they know that they will never get a chance to reunite their previous family after this.
The emotions like anger, sadness, and disappointment created by their parents’ divorce will increase with this. So, it will limit their interaction with the stepparent.
Therefore, you should deal with stepchildren with patience by giving them the chance to release the stress.
3. Keep in mind that the adults are responsible for the relationship.
It is in your hand to create a close relationship with the stepchildren through responsible behaviours as an adult.
In the beginning, it will be stressful for you but, you can have help from your spouse, friends, and family and also it will be effective to have the assistance of a mental health professional.
4. Engage in activities together
Here, you should look for an activity that will positively influence your relationship to share a common interest at least once or twice a week.
According to the child’s age and interests, you can select an activity like; engaging in a sport, reading a book that both of you like, etc.
If you choose an activity that you and the child appeal to, it will set up the environment for a positive relationship between you two.
5. Establish house rules by you and your spouse
You should not accept all the bad activities of your stepchildren for the sake of creating a strong relationship with them.
You also have to impose rules to avoid bad behaviour, disrespectful language, etc., with consistent expectations.
Then, when children fail to meet expectations, you should give clear and better guidance to create a healthy relationship between you two.
6. Discuss your problem with the spouse
It is the responsibility of the spouse to help to build up a good relationship between his/her children and their stepparent.
It does not give the idea that he needs to support one side or choose one side from you and your stepchildren.
As the biological parent is well-known about the children, you can have good guidance from the spouse.
Tips for a successful second marriage
People enter into a second marriage after the breakdown of the first marriage to lead a happy life. But there will be more challenges for them within the new family and children.
Therefore, it is very important to consider the success of second marriages with stepchildren.
So, here I will provide some tips to lead a successful life with your second marriage.
1. Appreciate, tolerate and respect each other
Everyone likes to be appreciated and respected. Especially within a family, everyone should respect each other to have happiness within the family.
If you appreciate the good works of the family members, for sure they will respect you in return. And your tolerance is a must to correct the faults of the children as well as the spouse.
Therefore, appreciation, tolerance and respect are three essentials for the success of your second marriage.
2. Practising to be vulnerable in slight steps
Here, you should create confidence within your partner by being open. You can begin it with small matters like; schedules and meals.
Then you can gradually go to big matters like; financial management and disciplining children.
3. Interacting with your partner and stepchildren
Here, when you need something, you may ask for it most dearly from your spouse. It will release the stress of responsibilities, and they will love to be with you.
When you engage in an activity that can share common interests with the partner and the stepchildren, it will be a big step to build a strong relationship with the family members.
Then they will feel safe and secure around the family. So, interaction with family members is very important for the success of married life.
4. Share expectations through effective communication by avoiding misunderstandings
In the beginning, you may feel excited and embarrassed to talk about the expectations with the new family members.
But you should take a risk and expose your expectations to them. When sharing each other’s expectations, everyone will be able to understand each other.
It is very important in a second marriage as all are new to each other.
5. Prepare for family conflicts
The conflicts within a family are inevitable. But you have to tolerate everything for the sake of the existence of the family.
As all are new to the family, it is not a secret that you may face many challenges leading to many conflicts. But you should be capable enough to resolve the problems without escalating them to big conflicts.
Divorce should not be used as a remedy to resolve your little problems, especially in the second marriage.
6. Embracing your role as a stepparent
As a stepparent, you should play the caregiving role for the stepchildren as your children.
There, you may not only be the disciplinarian but also should be their psychologist, friend and supporter.
You can have the help of your spouse in this to learn new strategies of caregiving.
Final thoughts about second marriages with stepchildren
We have discussed; second marriages with stepchildren with more details through this article. I think this article will effectively work out for all the parents who have entered into a second marriage and who are expecting to enter into a second marriage as I have discussed all the related information like; how second marriages with stepchildren flows, pros and cons of a second marriage, how can you develop a strong relationship with stepchildren and finally, I have provided some tips to succeed your second marriage life.
Marriage is cited as the second birth of a person. But many people break down in their first married life. Then, most of them go to the second marriage in modern society. However, there are both pros and cons of a second marriage when there are children for the couples.
Accordingly, encouraging self-resilience and independence, feeling more safe and secure with a lot of family members, it will be a pleasure to see the parents live again happily etc are some of the pros and meal-time difficulties, children will loss of interest in sports and hobbies, the children may want their parents to resettle are cons of a second marriage.
But you can build up a strong relationship with your stepchildren through; recognising and respecting the differences in personality styles, being sensitive to various changes that the children experience etc.
So, as adults, it is your responsibility to create a favourable family background for the children under your security.
Thank you for reading. Stay tuned with BestFamilyLife for more good content.