Hi, Dr. Laura!
When my husband and I got married, we became a “blended” family. Over the course of our 9 year marriage, here are three issues that we have experienced that we’d like to share with others in similar circumstances:
1. Jealousy between the kids, especially the girls. My stepdaughter lived with her mom and was very jealous because she didn't get the time with her dad that my daughter did. Then my husband adopted my daughter and it went from bad to worse for a while.
2. My son wanted his bio-dad, not his step-dad. He was continually rebellious and disrespectful from the get go. That situation was the cause of most of our arguments. Although my husband did everything he could to be a father to my son (bio-dad dropped out of the picture), my son did not want to accept his filling that role and still doesn't.
3. We have had a lot of drama with ex-spouses and custody battles. Ultimately the kids suffer regardless of the outcome.
My husband and I have tried very hard to make the best of our blending, but sometimes it's just hard...Well, a lot of times it's hard. We try to be the best parents possible and do everything we can to make life better for the kids and our family.
We both agree with your recommendation to wait until kids are grown before getting remarried, but since we hadn't heard your advice until after we had married, we did the absolute best we could.
We love our "bunch" but we have never been and most likely will never be anything like the "Bradys" (except maybe in pictures).