Over-Stepping As a Step-Parent

over-steppingImage courtesy of mattkendrick.com

As I begin writing this column, I find it ironic how little I’ve written about conflicts in my home between my wife, my boys, and me over our blended family.  My wife “inherited” my two boys and my two dogs when she agreed to marry me. Having not had kids, she never expected to be a step-mom, let alone to two boys living at home full-time.

Oddly enough, I never expected to marry again and certainly if I did, I only expected to marry a divorced mother.  So, my wife and I defied our respective assumptions, expectations, and even dating history when we got together.  To be clear, up front, I lucked out and got the better of this deal, without a doubt.  Since my wife rarely reads my columns, this is only written because it’s the truth and something of which I am proud.

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A Jew In Church

My wife is Christian; I’m Jewish. Since we were not going to have children together, this wasn’t much of an issue since this was a second marriage for both of us.  We did have the Christmas tree problem but resolved that amicably, by at first going to her parent’s house to celebrate Christmas with them.  When my wife got sick and we couldn’t make it that year, I relented and we brought the Christmas tree into our home.

Now we’re celebrating both Christmas and Hannukah in our home and, more recently, I’ve even attended her church (Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, California). Imagine that, a Jew in church.

This issue, of religion in the home is a touchy one for most couples getting married, especially as they plan on having and raising children. It’s not a simple question nor is there a simple answer.  I believe it’s extremely important for a couple to discuss this, in depth, before they marry or have children if they believe and practice different faiths. read more

Faith — It’s Everywhere If You Look

This past Easter I was skiing with my younger son.  As my middle-aged body gets sore from several hours on the slopes, I tend to indulge in the jacuzzi to ease some the aches I’ve earned each day.???  On this past Easter Sunday, I ended up sharing the communal jacuzzi at the condo complex with members of a family who shared some personal stories.  For me, they were inspirational.

I met Bob (names all changed) who was single 30+ years after divorcing the mother of Sharon and Mark, the other two adults in the jacuzzi.  Bob had been their stepfather for seven years, yet remained actively involved in their lives long after he and their mother divorced.  Sharon felt so close to him that when she got married she invited both her biological father and Bob to walk her down the aisle. This irritated her biological father who had evidently not been much of a father during the years before and after Bob was in Sharon’s life.

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Just A Guy, His Wife, and The KIDS

So, herewith Part Three of my blogs about the “Big Three” subjects most couples argue about.  We’ve done money and sex; now “the kids.”  I will declare, at the onset, that this issue is usually more combustible in blended families, though it certainly is present in nuclear ones as well.

For us, we had to deal with me having raised my kids alone for several years and my second wife having not had kids or any meaningful (especially living with them) experience with kids.  But, she’s got an opinion and has never been bashful about expressing it (anymore than me). read more

In-Laws, Second Marriages, and Baggage

I believe all clichés are generally true.  How else could something become a cliché in the first place?   Not surprisingly, then, all the clichés about second marriages are true.  Indeed, comedy careers have been built around jokes about a second set of in-laws, second husbands or wives, and blended families. For good reason: in-law jokes, and family relationship humor can be hysterical–sometimes.

In a second marriage, couples want to believe that they’ve learned something from the first one and they’re going to take all that hard-earned experience and apply it, making the second marriage work beautifully.  Hmmm, is that why there’s a higher incidence of divorce in second marriages and an even higher divorce rate in third and fourth marriages?  It is sad, but true. read more

Momlogic Webcast 1

In this video from the Momlogic Webcast Bruce and the guys talk about how they discipline their kids and in the age of blended families, how they feel about others having a disciplinary role.  Spanking or Not? Take away favorite things? How much does your style reflect the style you were raised with?

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