As we all know, finding time for our husbands or wives can be a hard thing to do these days with not just the factors that our families play but with the economy, job losses, layoffs and just the everyday stress that is playing a role in our daily lives. During these hectic times, couples need to find their strength in each other. Unfortunately, if we don’t actually sit down and set our minds on this subject, it can become lost between a husband and wife.
In the perspective of the blended family, this can also be an issue. Finding strength and the ability to bond together when only one person is the bio parent in the home is perhaps the most difficult and important to acknowledge. If couples talk more openly about their individual feelings with their partners, instead of shutting down when issues arise, things can often times run much smoother (i.e., house rules, disciplines, expected behaviors, duties, time spent together, just mom and dad, etc.). If these examples exist in your blended family, here are some ideas:
1. Recognize that couples need to work out roles.
2. Talk to each other and with the children about house rules, responsibilities and respect for each other.
3. Discuss with your partner your expectations of the time he/she spends with you.
4. Allow and encourage time that is needed for the noncustodial parent to spend with alone with his/her children.
I am all about encouraging blended families to allow one-on-one time with each other. For example, my husband and I try to have “date night” once or twice a month. If it is our weekend with my step-daughter, then we take them over to grandma’s house for a few hours. We don’t skimp on that. My husband works 2 jobs so it is hard to get that time together and it also teaches our children the importance of “dad and mom” time.
Now, here is the controversial subject that I have heard all kinds of remarks about:
I also encourage my husband to have one-on-one time with his daughter. Of course, I always want to be with my step-daughter when we have her but I realize that I have to step back, in a sense, at times, and allow them some alone time together. I recognize that my husband has been a father a lot longer to Sasha than he has been a husband to me; just as I have been a mother a lot longer to my boys than I have been a wife to him. I also encourage my husband to allow me to have a little one-on-one time with my little boy. Sometimes, I just want to spend time alone with just him. There are also times when our son spends time with Daddy and Sasha (my step-daughter) and I spend our alone time. I have three (3) biological sons, two of which are 20 and 21 and don’t have much time to spend with mama anymore (only girlfriends – yikes!). I LOVE having my girl time with her. I understand that some people will think “why would you separate yourself like that.” Well, my answer is simple. Why shouldn’t I? Doing this strengthens not just my bond with my husband, but individually with our children, as well.
Couple strength is about respecting and dealing with each other and whatever comes along with it. Having these understandings with your partner is extremely important. To me, there is no sense of family without couple strength.
Peace and Blessings,