Who Comes First in a Blended Family?

Whose needs come first, your children's needs or your partner's needs?

This is a very common question couples in a step family grapple with.  If you have children of your own, it is very important to make them your top priority after they have suffered the loss of a parent through death, divorce or separation.  They need plenty of time to grieve and adjust to their loss before placing them in a blended family environment. 

 

When you remarry or start living with a new partner, the needs of your partner and your couple relationship must be considered in conjunction with your children’s needs.  After all, if you don’t have a secure relationship, you can’t achieve a stable step family environment for children.  This only sets them up to suffer another loss.

 

When you are 100% committed to your couple relationship it makes it easier for children to adapt

If I were to say you must put your ‘couple relationship’ or ‘your children’ first, then someone must inevitably come second.  However, if couples make each other’s needs a priority, it paves the way for them to work together towards meeting the children’s needs as a unified couple. 

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If stepparents feel their needs are met within your relationship, they are more likely to want to make an effort with their stepchildren. If on the other hand, they feel they're always taking a back seat and their own needs are being overlooked, you'll find resentment will creep into your relationship.

 

Ironically, even though it's not a child's fault that their parent prioritizes their needs, it's very normal for a stepparent to start to feel resentful or jealously towards a stepchild because the child's needs are taking precedence over their own (the stepparent's). 

 

In your couple relationship, make each other’s needs a top priority by discussing all important decisions affecting your family

Take each other’s thoughts and feelings into consideration when making choices, to ensure you are acting with your partner’s interests in mind.  Children’s needs still remain a top priority for both you and your partner to address together.   Of course this is much easier said than done.  The thing is, every blended family goes through tough times.  Some survive.  Many don’t.  What makes the difference?

Each couple is faced with 3 choices during the difficult times.  They either:

1. Give up, move out and on to another relationship which unfortunately has just as much chance of failing
2. Continue doing what they’ve always done, knowing it doesn’t work
3. Choose not just to survive but thrive by using some positive strategies

 

Want to make your relationships thrive?

Assess what your current priorities are, strengthen your relationship and develop effective communication techniques…

Warmest wishes

Adele Cornish

p.s. You’ve got nothing to lose and lots of effective strategies and solutions to gain! Click Here and discover how I can help you.