When I was abroad, I was surrounded by blended families, and I, myself was involved with a divorcee with kids. In the beginning, it was pretty easy, as it was a long-distance relationship – I did not have to get involved with any of the kids’ activities. However, when I made plans to move, I made sure I was mentally and emotionally prepared to meet and spend time with his kids.

None of my friends could relate to what I was going through, and there were a few who asked for my advice on how I managed to blend in with his family. Well, I believe who I am played a huge part. Here’s my experience on how I made it through it all (blending in with his kids and ex)

*I’m no longer with the said man in this blog post, but I do keep in touch with his ex-wife, and very so rarely, with his kids and parents.

First of all, make no mistake that dating a partner with kids from a previous partnership/marriage can be challenging for numerous reasons. The kids are a frequent reminder of your partner’s previous relationship. Okay, so you probably accept this part of your relationship, but perchance, you did not count on his or her ex being part of the package too! Haha – yes. If you’re an insecure person, then this arrangement can be rather threatening, particularly in the early days of the relationship.

This is how I dealt with it – keep in mind that being a good father or mother is having a good parenting relationship with the other parent. Best to accept the fact that there will always be communication between your girlfriend/boyfriend and the ex regarding their kids. For me, it helped a lot that I got along well with this ex. If you want things to go smoothly, you need to swallow your pride.

At times, you will wonder where your partner’s loyalty lies. Now, it may seem as if his or her previous family’s needs always seem to come first (before your needs).

Being a girl that was (still is – sometimes) spoiled, it was quite difficult for me to comprehend this part of the relationship. However, it did not take me very long to understand the loyalty conflicts that he was experiencing. Empathise with his situation, and trust me, it will help strengthen the relationship.

When I met his kids, I didn’t have any expectation. For me, it is best to not have any, so that you do not end up feeling devastated if your partner’s kids do not like or get along with you.

So, the best thing is to let the relationship develop or grow slowly. Avoid expecting the kids to even like you, initially. Although you are older than the kids, you should respect and treat them fairly. Bear in mind that you are not a substitute parent. Be supportive, encourage them, but do not expect to take on a parenting role.

One last advice – never ever say anything bad about your partner’s ex in front of the kids.

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  1. Couldn’t have said it better. I am in such a relationship and it has been very challenging. No one seems to understand your situation and both sides will blame you for everything that doesn’t go their way. Either way, when you’re a man in between two women, you’re ALWAYS WRONG TWICE OVER!

    • As the outsider (initial stage of the relationship), I backed off most of the time, because I didn’t want to make matters worse. Like that saying, something’s gotta give. I hope your situation will be better.