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Things a potential SM and DH/BF should discuss PRIOR to marriage?

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM
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**NOTE:  This post was written in Mar 2013.**

A lot of times, I think that people don't discuss parenting styles or house rules or expectations prior to living together or getting married and then find conflict.

I read a lot of books and even went to a counselor specilizing in blended families before (now) DH and I got married.  But as a childless adult woman, there were a lot of things I never even thought to discuss with DH ahead of time.  I think that had we discussed things before they came up, we could've avoided some blow ups and a lot of frustration.

But even with reading the books and going to the counseling, it seemed like we were/are always dealing with issues as they arise rather than proactively discussing how we want to handle things.

So...for discussion, what kinds of things would you encourage a couple with kids/steps to discuss prior to living together/marrying?

Off the top of my head, I think about stuff like:

-What are your house rules?

-How are they enforced? (or are they?)

-What are your expectations of me as a SM when it comes to the kids?

There are so many potential questions to ask and discuss.  

What kinds of things do you wish you would've asked or discussed and worked out?

by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:11 AM
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Replies (1-10):
raerae725
by Silver Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:17 AM
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What will happen if custody of any of the kids changes?

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Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:21 AM



Quoting raerae725:

What will happen if custody of any of the kids changes?


By that do you mean what if you end up with your steps more than when you started out? Or less?  Or both?

Can you elaborate at all?

raerae725
by Silver Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Both. We have always been 50/50 no changes. I just see it a lot here. Seems like teens end up changing back and forth on primary house. Then SM complains about rules that didn't apply when she first married Dh.

My phone hates me and keeps shutting off mid post.


Quoting Birdseed:




Quoting raerae725:

What will happen if custody of any of the kids changes?





By that do you mean what if you end up with your steps more than when you started out? Or less?  Or both?

Can you elaborate at all?

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
leegirl_jm
by Platinum Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:35 AM
2 moms liked this

DH and I went to premarital counselling for over a year, we spent about 30 minutes total discussing a step matter, our approach was we are a team even in that even if I was in the background. I suspect because we intended to have children together we discussed expectations, parenting values, beliefs, discipline, finances.

I think couples without stepchildren also fail to discuss the critical issues which results in the future the step situation.

You won't ever be able to discuss everything but you should know enough about the character of your spouse to know how they will handle challenges.

Wife, Mother and Career Woman living in Jamaica

progressandjoy
by Silver Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM
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We talked in length about what would happen once DH and I were married (we only lived together for a few months prior).

 

Some examples -

 

What would you do if SS, for whatever reason, decided he disliked me? What if he started to disrespect me?

What is your style of discipline (do you spank) and what do you discipline? Who should handle the discipline?

How do you feel about having other children? Will you be able to treat them all the same? Love them the same?

Are you over your ex? Do you realize that I’m not your ex, I don’t want to be compared to your ex, and our relationship has nothing to do with you ex?

 

DH made it clear from the beginning that he wanted me to be the ‘mom of our home’. No, SS doesn’t have to call me mom. No, I don’t have to pretend I’m mom or sign forms saying I’m mom. However, I knew DH wanted someone that was more than happy to watch over SS, be involved with SS’s interests, and basically treat SS like they would their own children.

twinklebites
by Bronze Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM
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I am super interested in peoples responses, I'm  not a SM but I am dating someone with grown kids and I have twins 6 y/o I am learning as I go but joined this group partly so I could get advice or other viewpoints I realize with SO having grown children I am some what in the minority here as it seems most women are dealing with younger children. We are not discussing moving in or marriage at this point but I do want to be remarried again and this guy has some potential for that. This is what I have learned or am learning so far

-SO is an over sharer he tells me things that are simply none of my business and while something are harmless there are a few things that I dislike I am still trying to find a balance with him of his over sharing.

- We have discussed what his role with my children is but it is ever changing are things come up.

CodeBlue
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:49 AM

Although this question doesn't come up as often (at least on this forum), I still have seen the "I want kids and he doesn't" post.  That is crazy to me - that people would get married without being on the same page about it.

DF and I are having an ongoing discussion about it...How will more kids affect the skids? Can we afford them? We would need a larger house - where would we move? Do I want to stay at home with them? Can we afford to let me stay at home with them? If I do work, who will watch them when DF is at work (he is gone three weeks at a time)? Tons of questions just on that subject alone.  That's a big one.

DF and I are really on the same page as far as parenting (discipline, rewards, encouragement, communication, etc) goes...Still, I'm interested in reading this thread, because I know that I don't know everything. I'm hoping for some conversation starters. 

Edit: I just thought of one thing that I'm not quite sure of where DF stands. I am a HUGE believer in education. My children will go to college - at least for a year. When SD 16 was failing DF told her that if she continued to get F's she would be pulled out of high school and go to Job Corp. Not sure that I agree with that. So, there's another big one. I definitely want us to be on the same page about education. 

faerie75
by Platinum Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:52 AM
1 mom liked this

 finances.

Polkadotted
by Gold Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:04 PM
This is a big one with or without kids. But with various combinations possible it is extremely important in these situations.

Quoting faerie75:

 finances.

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Pero2
by on Mar. 4, 2013 at 12:07 PM
2 moms liked this

To be quite honest, I think a discussion with SM should be step 2. Step one is the BPs discussing what they wish the SPs' involvement to be. No point making promises to your new wife/husband if that comes along with years of war!

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