One thing that I hear over and over when talking about stepfamilies is people telling me "I wish I had known how (hard, difficult, different, rough, much work it involved) before we had gotten married. I don't think I would have gotten involved." My questions to you is "So how is it working at this moment?"
I am one of those people. I know that when I met my husband, I was so naive and full of good intentions, thinking that "I" was going to be better than the others. I was more willing, more dedicated, more whatever you want to add here. Well, I woke up and smelled the coffee. I am one that would have liked to have known more about marrying someone with children, dealing with the ex-spouse and finding support and understanding. But after being with my husband for 19 years and YES!!! working really hard at our relationship, I don't think I would have changed a single thing. WHY? Because I would not be the person I have become, neither would my husband or our kids.
We learned because of the experiences we lived. We got the help and knowledge to understand why we were going through stages that didn't make sense to us, because we had not lived in a stepfamily as we grew up. We didn't have family members supporting us because they didn't know what made us different from the traditional family. What helped us was that we believed in each other and wanted to make a difference in our lives and in our children's lives. We got books, tapes, conferences, seminars and counselors to get us through the hard times. We also learned to celebrate the good ones too.
I am so glad that we rode with the punches because now my husband's daughter, who will be getting married in May, won't need to worry about how her mom and stepmom will be acting in the same room at the wedding, or who she should have with her to help her choose her wedding dress,or who to turn to when she is feeling anxious. She has two moms (a bio mom and a step mom) to help her and doesn't need to choose because we each have our space in her life. And that, is what I call success in my stepfamily.
So what are you waiting for? Read my January Newsletter (it's free to sign-up- plus you will receive a BONUS report on "The Outsider Syndrom") where I talk about setting goals to help your create harmony and unity in your stepfamily.