LK: How do you handle the “his, hers, mine and ours” type problems?
Leman: If you’re like most couples, they do not handle these very successfully. Let’s face it: We tend to be pretty hedonistic creatures. We tend to think of ourselves more than we think of other people.
I always ask people, “Why do you stop at stop signs?” They always say, “Because it’s the law, and I don’t want to get a ticket.” Now those are two good reasons, but the best reason to stop is so you don’t hurt someone else.
If you weren’t able to get together and solve things when you were married, how do you expect to do these things after the separation, the divorce and the remarriage? It’s very difficult. Always start with what’s best for my child, the children, and then secondarily, “What’s best for us?”
The kids didn’t ask to be in a blended family so you need to be very cognizant of them. One thing that really helps is to involve each of the kids in some of these decisions. Sit around the dinner table and say, “Honey, what do you think we should do? How do you think we should handle this? What would make you feel best? What’s the most comfortable thing for you to do?”
Linda Kazares, of Divorcettes.com, recently spoke with Dr. Kevin Leman, an expert in blended families.
Dr. Leman, author of Have a New Kid by Friday and The Birth Order Book, discusses the challenges of blending families from different marriages. It isn’t easy, but there are actions you can take to help blend a family.