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What Marrying a Single Parent involves

Despite marriage becoming old fashioned and undesirable to some there are still those who believe in love, romance, commitment and that all important piece of paper that tells their partner that they at least started off with the best of intentions. With a third of marriages ending in divorceand many of those that do not end in divorcegoing wrong in other ways even though the two people stay together it is very important we do everything we can to make sure that we choose the right partner.
Whichever partner we pick there are going to be things about them and their situation we love and others that are negative, that is life, but we can at least ensure that we maximise the positive things and minimise the negative ones. Marrying a single parent has it's own issues and whether they will disturb us or please us will depend very much on our own backgrounds, personalities, lifestyles and whether or not we have children too. The age of the partner's children will matter, as will how much time they spend with them and how well they get on.
Being a parent to a child is a huge responsibility so the first thing we have to take in, whether we like it or not, is that our partner will be sharing their time and their feelings with their children as well as us. We are the person they have fallen in love with and decided to married, the person they want to be with because they selected us from the millions of people in the World who were seeking a partner. Their children are people they are committed to because of the past and emotional ties that are already there and were there before they met us. Trying to interfere in that in any way is unfair to our partner and unfair to their children too. If we cannot accept that our partner has a responsibility to take care of their children then we should walk away and find someone with no children at all.
But getting married to a person who has children can be a wonderful thing. These children can make you into a wonderful familygiving you a fantastic and loving familyhome. Even if they do not live with you all of the time having them phone, visit, meet up, write, staying in touch with your new spouse, will mean that they enrich your spouse's life, this then means that your spouse is happier and puts more into the relationship with you. A happy partner is going to make you happy. A partner who feels guilty or unloved is not. Your partner will have a much more rounded life and a much better emotional outlook if you are one of the people in their life rather than the only one. This does not mean that they have to want to see their children all of the time or that they would want to ever neglect one for the other. The role they have in your life is very different to the role they have with their kids. If you ever get jealous always remember they chose you. They fell in love with you. Their kids may have lots of faults they hate but they are their parent and that is why they love them.
Have you looked after children before? Have you had your own? If you have never had children this whole thing may be fun when you do it part time but a massive shock to the system when it is all day long every day. The novelty may well wear off.
If your new spouse is having problems with their children then you can strengthen your own relationship with them by helping them, either by supporting them and just listening to how they feel and understanding and acknowledging it, or actively helping. But always remember that even though you are now becoming a stepmother or stepfather they are in charge, they were there way before you were and they have a stronger tie. You must never try to replace their ex, the one that is deceased or whom they are divorced from. Encourage these children to continue to stay in touch with the other parent and never say a bad word about them, even if this means biting your tongue and sometimes hiding things, as otherwise it just sounds like bitterness, jealousy and being children, even if you are right.
If you like children you can have a wonderful life by marrying someone with children. If you do not then is it such a wise idea?
Do you love this person so much that you can overcome that? Look at the different problems that can arise because of this.
Will there be issues about housing and the kids actually living with you? Will it affect your money situation? Will you be expected to go to work to help pay for them or spend a lot of time looking after them? Will it mean it is harder to get time with your partner and you are nearly always all together in a familyunit? Give all of this much careful thought because if you cannot bear to share your partner or go to work or go without things then this is probably not the situation for you. Now think about the way your partner raises their kids. Are they someone who goes in for discipline or are they very lenient? Will they be fair to the children when they misbehave? Because if you see them raising their children in a way you do not agree with it is not your place to say, even though you are their husband or wife, and they will resent it if you interfere. If you are or will become very attached to the children you may find this very difficult to cope with.
Do any of the children have any major issues? Are they flunking their exams? Taking drugs? Got a prison record? Pregnant? Can you honestly cope with such things and even if you can do you want to?
I would suggest that unless you have known all of them for a long time and know what it is like to live with them as a unit it would be best to put the idea of getting married on hold and maybe try living together first to make sure you like the whole package. That way if it does not work out it is much easier to walk away.
You must also think of the children. If they are young they will suffer if they have potential new mothers and fathers coming and going from their life, so to make a commitment to their parent and then change your mind is going to hurt them too. The least you can do for the children is show them about love, trust, reliability and consideration, even if you leave their lives one day. Children that come from a broken home do suffer for it and do need to learn about stability so that they can grow up and become decent, mature human beings without chips on their shoulder. They learn by example and if they see adults treating each other badly they will grow up to do the same.
One last thing that some people do not think of. Does your new wife or husband to be really love you or are they seeking someone to help them raise their children? If they truly love you and would want to marry you anyway, great. But if they are desperately looking for someone to babysit or help pay the bills then think twice, this would not be a happy marriage. Many marraiges with a lot less to contend with go wrong and unless the two people truly love each other and are compatible it does not stand a chance of being really happy and lasting. These children could make or break the marriageand were there before you, is this a good or bad thing?


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