Remarriage Adjustments With Adult Children

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. It’s then that you begin to see differences 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.

The Work Begins

The work of being remarried begins when differences come to the surface. 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. They 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 to find ways to blend your lives and families together. But it will take determination, perseverance, prayer, self-examination, a call to maturity, and sometimes all the strength you have to make it 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”)

The Challenge

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.

Your wedding vows demand that you do everything you can to “love, honor, and cherish” each other for the rest of your lives. That, which is past is past. 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.

Step Children Add Complications

It won’t be easy, as you’re already finding out. When you add children from a previous marriage into the marriage mix —even adult children, 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. And most importantly, 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.

Your Blending Mission

So, to assist you with one aspect of your “blending mission” we are providing links below that will take you to articles posted that may help you with your adult step-children. Please prayerfully glean through the information given. See what will work for you, adapting as God leads. I encourage you to read:

SECOND HALF STEP-FAMILIES: ADULT STEP CHILDREN

LATER IN LIFE PARENTING: Misconceptions of Inheriting Adults

DEALING WITH AN OLDER STEPSON

CHALLENGES OF ADULT STEPCHILDREN STRESS MARRIAGE

This article is written by Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International.

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Filed under: Remarriage

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Comments

27 responses to “Remarriage Adjustments With Adult Children

  1. For me, time and Scriptures are the things that work best. My own 2nd marriage after I was in my 60’s was most difficult for the first few years because of my new husband’s grown children’s abusive treatment towards me. My new husband joined in on occasion because of his so-called “love” for them. Actually, my husband turned out not to be so nice in the beginning towards me… making faces behind my back, etc. But in time, we prayed together and talked about Jesus -it worked. My husband is kinder and has become nice.

    1. I’m curious what you’re referring to when you mention abuse? I too, have 2 step sons, who I feel are abusive towards me, but curious if it’s anything compared to what I’m going through. Each of their wives as well are “in on it” too…at least I feel like it’s that way.

  2. I’m a 56 year old second wife. I have two adult sons, ages 24 & 26. My husband has three adult children, ages 28, 25, and 24. My husband and I dated in high school and reconnected after my previous husband died of cancer. The problem isn’t really with the adult children. It’s with his ex wife. They were divorced for 10 years before we got married. The ex wife is very controlling, and as it turns out, my husband is also very controlling with his grown children. It seems they thrive on calling and texting each other about “misdeeds” of their kids.

    She and I were friendly at one time, until she started trying to drive a wedge between my husband and me. Also, she told me about times she’s made trouble for my husband and former girlfriends and ran them off. She thought it was so funny. Needless to say, I started seeing what type of person she really is. I’m sick and tired of not being about to go anywhere, or even watch a tv show with my husband without the ex texting or calling. Their kids even resent the two of them. My husband insists he must answer her calls because it “might be about one of the kids”. I may be crazy, but I’m really getting angry about this whole thing.

    I know for a fact, based on her history, that the ex is doing this to cause problems. She’s said things to indicate she’s jealous that my husband and I have a history that happened before she came along. On top of all of this, she’s married and has a child with the man she cheated on my husband with. Can someone help me understand what is going on?

  3. I’ve been married close to a year. My husband has two grown daughters ages are late 20’s and early 30’s. I’m a Christian woman and I’m doing the best I can in being a step mom to these grown daughters. From the time my husband and I started to date and after we been married his daughters were always asking for money. They never hardly call their dad unless they’re in need. My husband one of the daughters he was going to send some money to them for Mother’s Day what I thought was unappropriated because their not his wife and all I got for Mother’s Day was two roses. We have read Ephesians 5:33. Does this apply to grown children, as well?

    I have no problem if his children need money to tie them over to the next month for their rent etc. etc. My concern is if he was going to give them money without asking me and I’m his wife now? If I’m wrong I stand for correcting. Please let me know if I’m wrong. Thank you!

    1. Anne, you are going through something that A LOT of step parents are going through –the step children taking advantage of their parent, putting the step parent in a very uncomfortable situation. Also, there’s the problem of the step children getting more attention (whether financially, and/or physically) than the spouse who married into this ready-set family. I need to say that the problem you brought out here (I’m sure there are more) is problematic, to say the least. It can chip away at the bond of your marriage. We’ve seen many, many marriages eventually go down because of these types of situations. I would hate that to happen to you and your husband. You both seem like you are good-hearted people. You just need some extra guidance as far as how to handle these types of situations so you approach it as a marital team. You have to know that they will keep coming up again and again and again. That’s why you need an extra dose of help. It’s better to work on this now, than to try to do so when things pile and pile up in it’s destructiveness.

      I highly encourage you to reach out to a marriage-friendly counselor. If you don’t know one, we know a great one named Jeff Parziale. We’ve referred several people to him and they can’t say enough good about how much he helped them to get on the same page as a couple. You can reach him by going to: http://instepministries.com. You will see contact info on his web site. Please talk to Jeff (and perhaps even his wife). You seriously need to get past this bump in the road, which can/will turn into a mountain eventually to the point where you won’t be able to see the wonderful person you married. All you will see is a situation that seems hopeless to keep enduring. Please do this, whether or not your husband will. It might be best to contact Jeff first, and then see how he advises you to proceed in talking to your husband. This is just my humble opinion. I pray the Lord ministers to you and your marriage situation.

  4. I am getting married after my first marriage lasted 33 years. My first marriage was not the worst, but there was no love like a married couple. After our kids got married, we got divorced. Now I am getting married to a wonderful man whom I love dearly. My kids are not too accepting of this and I am heartbroken that they’re hurting. I tried to explain I was not happy the last 15 years of their dad’s and my marriage, but now I am very happy. They feel it is too soon.

    I haven’t spoken to them too much since I’ve told them, trying to give them some space. I’m not sure what to do now, as we just plan on going to a judge. No wedding. Am I right to let them be and let them just have time to adjust to this? I would be devasted if they weren’t in my life. They are my life, but I also want to be happy.

  5. My husband married me and told me after 5 years of marriage he had a grown daughter. He gave me two weeks notice then I met her. She has now been in our lives for a year and she is 42 years old and clings like glue. She calls 2-3 times a day and texts him all day. She writes him poems like she is his lover. It’s changed him as the husband I knew. It’s difficult for me to deal with. When I say something it causes arguments and when I don’t it makes me sick.

    To add to the picture he has 5 adult sisters all older he clings to. I’m a 6th class citizen in my marriage. I truly would not have signed up for this if I knew it would turn out like this in the beginning. I feel alone and heartbroken. What should I do? I pray everyday and I pray for him for God to order his steps. I’m trying to pray and persevere. I love him and I want my husband back.

  6. My husband and I are into our second marriage. We both have adult children. At what age do you NOT consider them your step children?