Marriage Missions International

Adjusting to Remarriage When Adult Children are Involved

Photo credit: jazzijava / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: jazzijava / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Marriage in itself is difficult to adjust to, let alone a remarriage where you bring with you additional “family” from your past marriage. You don’t want to, and you didn’t intend to, but it happens.

After the honeymoon period starts to fade in the background, “regular life” starts to take place and you begin to see differences here and there that you hadn’t noticed in the same way before. Eventually those differences, along with quirks and habits, and yes, even children from a previous marriage begin to make themselves known, and demand your attention.

That’s when the work of being remarried begins. That’s when you decide if you will find ways to blend your lives together to make it work. Many couples begin their marriage by fighting about these things, and their children, and never get beyond that stage until it and they, finally works a wedge between them (and sometimes permanently).

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can determine that you will work through your many differences and will find ways to blend your lives and families together, no matter what! But it will take determination, perseverance, prayer, self-examination, a call to maturity, and sometimes every ounce of strength that you have available for that particular season of your life, to make that happen.

“Stepfamily, secondary family, blended family, combined family, extended family, expanded family, nontraditional family —whatever you call it, it is work. And exactly how you work at it can be one of the most important determining factors of whether your marriage will become what you desire” (Drs Les and Leslie Parrott, from the book “Saving Your Second Marriage Before it Starts”).

Are you up for the challenge? We pray you are. And if you don’t think you are, we hope you will pray until you finally are. With Christ all things are possible.

If you are reading this after you have entered into your remarriage relationship, the vow you made on your wedding day demands that you do everything you can to “love, honor, and cherish” each other for the rest of your lives. What is past is past. But today is a new day to persevere through whatever challenges you may encounter to make your marriage a good one.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 5:4, “When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow.” You made a vow, now fulfill it. Do what it takes to make your marriage work.

It goes on to say in Ecclesiastes 5:5-7, “It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, ‘My vow was a mistake.’ Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.”

Pray, stand, and follow God’s leading in making your marriage the best it can be. And then you will stand in awe of God. We’ve seen and heard true testimonies of that happening repeatedly.

But it won’t be easy, as you’re already finding out. And when you add children from a previous marriage into the marriage mix —even when they are adult children (and you thought they would be “low maintenance”, only to find out the opposite), the work ahead of you is even more complicated. It’s been said about words to an old song:

“Love and marriage may go together like a horse and carriage, but love and remarriage aren’t as neatly complementary. The carriage may be so crowded that the horse has trouble pulling it” (Susan Kelley).

So how do you make this work? How do you “blend” your family together? You do it by persistence. You keep looking, working, praying, and finding ways to make it work. You “never give up” as Winston Churchill is so famous for saying.

As Albert Ellis said about marriage and the “art of love”, it “is largely the art of persistence.” You keep persevering and persisting, that whatever problem arises, you will, by the grace and wisdom you obtain from the Lord, get through it, around it, over it, beyond it, or whatever, to make your marriage and family life together the best it can be.

We pray that this web site will help you with that mission and that the articles, links, and suggested resources will also help you.

So, to assist you with one aspect of your “blending mission” we are providing a link below that will take you to an article posted on another web site that may help you with your adult step-children. Please click onto the link provided to read it:


The above article was written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.


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11 Responses to “Adjusting to Remarriage When Adult Children are Involved”
  1. Jahanara says:

    (INDIA)  It is for my mom. She is 32 years old. She know all the housework and she cooks very well and this is my decision for her that she gets a better life partner who can look after her for the rest of her life.

  2. Mac says:

    (US)  As Albert Ellis said about marriage and the “art of love”, it “is largely the art of persistence.” You keep persevering and persisting, that whatever problem arises, you will, by the grace and wisdom you obtain from the Lord, get through it, around it, over it, beyond it, or whatever, to make your marriage and family life together the best it can be.”

    …”Art of Love”. I really like that, as I would like to add, “…a picture is never finshed” “…a picture with a thousand words” …in what I take from this is how “we” strive to persisting. Have you ever been in a disagreement and say, “…I could have handled it better?” Well, take it a step further… “she’ll never forgive me for saying that!” Well, if you’re up to speed in what I’m pointing out, you definitely know that once you throw the paint on the brush, you better’d think again about putting it on the canvas, because once it’s there, it’s there. Persistance is not crumbling up the canvas and starting over, it’s learning to paint right!

  3. T says:

    (USA) Help. My new marriage is 2 months old. 1 week after our marriage, we received my husband’s daughter’s wedding invitation in the mail. The invitation was written, “Mr and Mrs… husband and ex-wife (who kept the last name after the divorce). Multiple attempts have been made to discuss the issue w/ her. At first she hung up on my husband. Then she wouldn’t return calls. Only after I sent her an email directly to her did she call back. The discussion was very rude and abrupt w/ only a “sorry for the confusion” from her.

    I don’t know what to do. My husband is just hoping this will go away after her wedding. IT WON’T. I have tried encouraging him to go visit her to talk directly w/ her, and he hasn’t. I feel like I am the only one fighting for these relationships. I also don’t know to what extent the ex-wife was involved in all of this. She is not remarried and hasn’t dated anyone since the divorce. What do I do? Do I go to the wedding or take my own children away on a vacation? I have considered an annulment of the marriage. I don’t know that I would have agreed to marry him if I knew what a mess the situation really was. I love him dearly and want to work this out, but he has done nothing to resolve any of this. Help! Devastated

    • Linda from United States says:

      I too am married to a man with adult children. It does take prayer to get through the problems and issues that arise in a union. If you’re willing to feel hurt and cry often welcome to marriage with a man with adult children. Love can be true but it takes true love for God to hang in there. My spiritual advice is in all things seek God first.

      My flesh says run for your life in order to live happy. The choice becomes to become happy, or to be committed and unhappy for life because adult children don’t disappear. Only if the husband is committed to the wife and not his grown kids can the marriage work. He can only do one correctly! Pray he choses you whom God gave as his wife.

  4. Patsy says:

    (UNITED STATES) I got married and my husband’s grown kids loved him and me. Then he got copd and needed o2 and one daughter in particular, refused to agree to it and she and I founght because my husband needed o2 to live. As a result she has nothing and I mean nothing to do with him or me, no Christmas gifts for him, no Fathers Day gifts, a total ignore of him. She told him that he is welcome at family gatherings but that I am not.

    Their mom divorced 20 years now, calls him several times a day and tells him I am no good. I worked two jobs, now quit one, but I work at his business and I do all the yard word and I clean the house and I pay most of the bills. I am 67 years old and my co workers tell me his kids in their 40s and his ex wife were here before me and that they are the most important ones –not me. We got into it at work because I said me and him are married now and his kids are grown with kids of their own and married themselves with kids, so life should go on. I think I should leave. What do you think???

  5. Lupe from United States says:

    Dear Sister in the Lord, I have been a woman under much abuse in my marriage for over 15 years. I love and admire my husband in other good qualities in His life. I have forgiven much, and continue to forgive, since I myself need My Lord JESUS’s forgiveness. I do not and never will condone any kind of abuse. But I want to share part of my testimony with you. Because I have suffered a lot, GOD in His mercy, has drawn me close to Him in a special way. He has comforted me and loved me in so many ways, only those that have lived in my shoes would understand that kind of love and comfort.

    But at the same time GOD has spiritually spanked me and corrected in my wrong thinking and theology. When we are in abusive marriages or bad marriages for that matter, Satan comes and tempts us to violate our 1 flesh marriage vows and covenant that we have with our 1st spouse, especially if our spouse is unkind and unbelieving. Jesus taught us that except for fornication, we cannot put away or divorce our spouse. When we study the original meaning of the word fornication in Greek, we understand that it’s fornication between two unmarried people. SO what was our Lord teaching us? The Bible teaches us that whoever puts away their spouse or divorces their spouses to marry another, which is adultery, since they are still considered married to their 1st one flesh covenant spouse.

    The Bible teaches whoever marries the divorced commits adultery with them. So the innocent party cannot remarry either. Why? Because of covenant vows that represent the church espoused to their 1 husband who is Christ. That is why the Bible always teaches that marriage is a mystery compared to Christ and the church. Fornication as JESUS taught would fall under remarriages that are not one flesh original covenant vows that are considered adultery to their original spouses or fornication with a person who is not considered their spouse under GOD’s commands. Second marriages are considered adultery in GOD’s eyes according to scripture. You would say how is that possible, if you become a Christian after a second marriage and don’t know better. The word of GOD corrects our sins, and if we’re truly Christians, we will repent.

    Herod, who killed and murdered the greatest prophet of all according to JESUS, John the Baptist, was in a second adulterious marriage. John told Herod to repent of this second adulterious marriage. He never condoned it. In order for Herod and His adulterious wife to repent, they had to separate and live celibate or Holy unmarried for the rest of their lives, or Herodias Herod’s adulterious wife had to repent and return through forgiveness to her first husband. Herod had to return to His first wife, if He had one, through forgiveness and repentance or like I said, live holy unmarried. Fornication would under these such second remarriages or homosexual forbidden marriages, or in Jewish custom, there was a year of courting, and if the husband found His wife to be unclean or not pure, or fornicating, HE could put her away.

    Joseph, and Mary were an example of this. Joseph being a just man, wanted to put her away privately. Joseph was not aware at the time, that Mary was conceived of the Holy Ghost. So Joseph could put Mary away before their 1 flesh covenant vows were consummated through ceremony and intercourse. The disciples understood JESUS teaching, so they replied to our Lord, If this is so with the man and His wife, it’s better to not marry. Why? Because even if our spouse committed adultery it doesn’t give us the right to remarry and commit adultery, as well. We have to live celibate Holy and unmarried, or forgive our spouse and reconcile after much prayer and forgiveness.

    If you are in such marriages, I encourage you to carefully study the scripture and this topic with much prayer, fasting, reading of GOD’s word, to find yourselves approved rightly dividing the word of truth not being ashamed. Ask the Holy Ghost to guide you into all truth. My theology was so wrong, and because of abuse, I looked forward to my husband maybe committing adultery on me so I could move on and remarry what I thought would be a better spouse. I was soooooo wrong. I repented and GOD forgave me, but GOD has taught me to persevere, forgive 70 times 70, turn the cheek, love and fast for my husband. I do believe the Bible gives permission to separate if the situation is unhealthy and necessary, but never for lust or adultery. We ought to remain unmarried or reconcile to our spouse when possible.

    GOD bless you. Please pray about your current marriages. Though we have our carnal nature that desires to sin, as repented born again converted believers we aught to live Holy, not taking the grace of GOD as a form of liberality as the Bible teaches, not trample over the blood of JESUS. Eternity is forever to get this wrong. Fornicators and adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of GOD. Love you in the love of our beloved Savior YESHUA, Lord JESUS! Narrow is the way and very few find it, may we be found worthy of Him on that day! Blessings.

  6. Alisa from United States says:

    I have been married to my husband for almost 2 yrs, my daughter is 16 now. He has verbally abused us in these past yrs and he’s not living with us anymore. My daughter never wants him to show his face again. If he gets help how can I get my daughter to realize that people can change if they try???

  7. D from United States says:

    I have a blended family, but the children are no long children. They’re in their late twenties and early thirties! Both of her children were raised by her as a single parent, but they have no respect for her, they both treat my wife horribly. The problem I have is that my wife continues to give… with no return in site. When I mean give, I’m referring to money. The problem I have with this, is I’m stuck with the financial struggles and stresses of paying my own bills.

    I don’t know what to do, but I’m ready to divorce her. When we were married, they lived on their own and worked jobs. Neither holds a job now, I make a fair income and now I have over 1000 per month in student loans and 1580 in rental for her daughter… I cannot continue to do this, but my wife insists on helping her, giving her as little as 200 dollar each time she needs money. The daughter said she is using this for school, but I have my doubts. When I question my wife or the daughter, she said she’ll kill herself and this tears at the heart of my wife for the fear one day she’ll take this action. I believe she uses it to get what she wants from my wife which in turn effect me!

    I would love for her to stop and call he bluff, but she won’t! I just want to plan to retire and the clock is ticking and I just want to be prepare to survive once I decide to stop working. Please advise what options I can take.

  8. Holly from United States says:

    I am remarried to a wonderful husband, my second marriage. He and I get along perfectly. My daughter has moved in and has thrown a wrench into our relationship. She expects me to choose her over my husband. Where I feel like I should because she’s my daughter I also don’t want to because I love my husband very much. She is 24 and very outspoken and headstrong. I need some advice before I go crazy!

  9. LaVerne from United States says:

    I am happily married for the first time to a wonderful man who was a widower, who I know loves me very much, he is 74 and I am 73. We have been married for 21/2 years. He has 2 adult children and I have 4, and I always put him first in everything that I do. He puts me first unless there is something that involves his children. He will be celebrating his 75th birthday in June and he informed me that his daughter and son will be planning the celebration.

    I think his children should have contacted me to see if I had already made plans or to see if I would like to be involved in the planning prior to discussing it with him. I would have not allowed my children to do this. Also there is an enormous wedding portrait (daughter) hanging in the living room of our house where I would like to hang our wedding portrait and he says he will take it down in time. Meanwhile I have suggested other places where he might put it (no more space in living area). Am I wrong? when I try to discuss these things with him he becomes very upset and stops talking. Yet he says I am first in his life.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Jerry from United States says:

    My wife and I get along well until her kids get involved. I keep a distance from my own children and only get involved if asked. I don’t allow my kids come to our house for extended stays. She loves her kids and grandkids to visit for as long as they like. Sometimes they come for weeks. I’m a very private person and we live in a small house and I get very annoyed by all the chaos. She spends hours on the phone with her daughters everyday. I’m getting to the end of my tolerance.

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