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The Remarried Life


May 7, 2019

Brian Mayer talks about the very common issue of putting your kids before your spouse in a blended family remarriage.  Sometimes this is done very consciously and directly and other times it is done subconsciously and indirectly.  I cannot express any more clearly that we need to place our spouse above our children.  Looking forward to talking about this issue today.  We hope you enjoy today’s message.  For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

Today's Goodies

  • In a blended family it is often easy to put your children first.  After they are your blood and your spouse is not.  Sometimes people do this very intentionally and clearly as I will occasionally hear this in my counseling practice.  Often though it is done unintentionally through the following:
    • Parenting from a place of guilt which often means not being united in parenting decisions with your spouse.
    • Not discussing decisions you make with your ex-spouse about the kids with your current spouse.
    • Not following through on decisions that you have agreed upon with your spouse about the children.
  • Sometimes I will hear one partner state that their spouse will never take a place above the children.  They will use the analogy of a burning building and that if they choice was to save the kids or their spouse, they would save the kids everytime. Usually when they say this they will often talk about how kids can’t fend for themselves and I certainly get that.  But when we dig deeper it is usually an attitude that pervades more than just this unlikely scenario. 
  • If I am honest, I indirectly put the children before my spouse in both my first marriage and second marriage. 
    • In my first marriage, I put doing things between the 4 of us (my spouse and I and the 2 kids) ahead of making a priority the time between the two of us.  I often thought that this is just how life was supposed to work while the kids were younger
    • In my second and current marriage, I would often not be a united front with my spouse regarding the care and parenting of my daughter
  • In my life and maybe your when you do these things, you really do communicate that your spouse is not the priority.  The kids are.  Most parenting and child experts will tell you that this is not healthy for kids
  • Kids need to see united parenting, parents who are affectionate with each other and parents who make time for each other outside of the kids.  Now of course the younger your children are the harder that this will be but here are some strategies for this. 
    • Couch Time - Design a small amount of time while the kids are awake that you say this is our time and that it cannot be interfered with by the children.  It can be done in the open say on the couch if the kids are too young for you to feel comfortable going in another room to talk.  If the kids keep interrupting just keep stating that this your time.  The younger the kids are the more you might need to do this. 
    • Date Night – Schedule regular time outside of the children.  If you are low on money and can’t afford babysitter then plan a date night in your home after the kids go to bed.  Set up a picnic, play cards or a board game or just talk. 
    • Compromise on the Issues – Nothing will say to your spouse more that they are most important than if you are willing to compromise and give a little on issues regarding the children
    • Do What You Say You Will Do – If you say you are going to discipline in a certain way then follow up with what you tell your spouse.  If you want to go outside of what you discussed, then talk it over first with your spouse
    • Be A United Front – Discuss situations before you take actions and be sure to discuss what if scenarios with each other to again make sure you are on the same page. 
  • Remember the children will only be there for a time, but hopefully your spouse will last a lifetime.   

Resources:

  • None Mentioned.

 

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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do.  Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.