Question for all you blended families!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2004
Question for all you blended families!
Fri, 07-30-2010 - 2:08pm

Hi there -

Well, my long-time boyfriend and I are talking about making some serious decisions at the end of the month regarding our relationship. We've had some big ups and downs lately and LOTS of changes, so we're re-evaluating things and basically deciding whether we're going to move towards marriage or call it quits.

- J. Darling

Singe, Songwriter, Author for Celebr

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 07-30-2010 - 7:03pm

This board gets pretty quiet from Friday afternoon through the weekend, so at least wanted to drop you a quick note so you knew someone was out here in cyberland.

I don't have time right now to elaborate, but wanted to say you have clearly thought this through very well and have presented some great questions.

My quick answer is to ask yourself if you could live the rest of your life with him, exactly the way things are today, if nothing ever changed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2006
Fri, 07-30-2010 - 7:24pm

Hi and welcome to the board.

My first thought is to get or read through, the book The Hard Questions by Susan Piver. It's listed on our board website which can be found here:

I think it's an excellent place to start great conversations. Especially the difficult ones. It discusses everything from how to raise the kids, to spending time with friends. At least go to the store and flip through it. See if it's something useful to you guys. I think it's a wonderful pre-marital book.

My second thought is to get pre-marital counseling. Typically, it's not about making sure your r'ship is 100%, but more it's about learning how to talk to one another, how to make each other feel heard, etc.

With that....let's move onto your topics. I've learned that it's easier to help with actual issues, versus generalities. You wrote, family differences, but I didn't really see where the issue was, or what it was like. Can you be a bit more specific (you don't have to be, it'll just be easier).

Cultural differences - I would say ANY relationship where it involves 2 or more people, they'll always view things differently at one point or another. Regardless of culture. I view things very differently than my hubby. We're both Japanese American. I could say it's because my folks are from Hawaii whereas his are from the mainland. But really, it's just us being us.

However, I have dated men who are hispanic. Most of them have strong emotions (jealousy, hatred, love, anger, etc) and they express it. They are very family oriented. For myself, I like it if I like the family. If I dislike the family, it's really hard to want to belong. And yes, there are days I just want to be alone instead. Most times, we just compromise. If I went to the last 5 family things, to take a day of my own, shouldn't be an issue. He needs to respect my needs too.

Age difference - "Other than a few pop cultural differences, it hasn't been too much of an issue for us." So what's to deal with then? Heck, I was involved with someone 7 years older than me and that was an "age gap". lol. Most times, if you don't care and your families don't care then it wont' matter at all. My aunt's hubby is her mom's age.

Family differences - Since I don't have kids, I can't really comment on if marriage changes the dynamics. Actually, I don't think the marriage much as you all of a sudden living there would. To make things easier, I'd suggest being there a lot (not living together as that's not what you want), but maybe all weekend from breakfast to sleep time. That way you're kinda "rearing" the kids with your DF. And they'll get used to you being in the house a LOT and work out some kinks. Obviously, unless you go over things with a fine tooth comb, you and DF will have to work out the kinks AFTER the marriage. Especially because you prefer not to live together.

i.e. if the kids are in the habit of just walking into DF's master bedroom and flopping on the bed, woudl you care? Would it bother you? Etc. I think that's where the book comes in handy. Where you two discuss house rules, kid rules, r'ship rules, etc.

You may say marriage comes before kids, but does your DF believe that too? If you celebrate accomplishments as a family, is that normal? If not, have you tried including the kids? How'd they react? Etc. I'd say, try to integrate your life now, how you'd like it afterwards and see how it goes. If DF is adamant that he will NOT do something, you have to figure out if that's a dealbreaker or not.

Like I said, it's hard to not have specific issues or things you have in mind. I could go on and on with examples, but overall, you and DF need to discuss then put as much as you can into action prior to the marriage. And both of you need to decide if you can compromise, of if things are a dealbreaker.

I hope that helped some. And made sense.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2004
Sat, 07-31-2010 - 1:51am
Thanks so much for all the input and the feed back! I look forward to checking out that book!

As for me being around the house w/ the kids - I got a little taste of what life was life with them a few years ago - and it was good!

At that time, SO didn't have a place to have the kids overnight and his ex was the custodial parent. So I opened up my one bedroom home to them on his every-other-weekend vistation, as he battled for more custody.

The kids were younger then, but all managed just fine taking over my bedroom. SO

- J. Darling

Singe, Songwriter, Author for Celebr

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2003
Sat, 07-31-2010 - 10:31pm

To answer your final question about looking for a mate and parent?