You are on cloud 9 because the man that you’ve been dating for quite some time now has just popped the question, and you said yes! Being that this may be the second time around for either you or your partner or both, deciding on a date, location, the perfect dress and the guest list are only a few of your first steps. Below are some tips on what you should do right after you say yes to the man of your dreams.
Schedule an appointment with a stepfamily counselor
Falling in love is the easy part. What you and your fiance need to learn is how to stay that way. No matter how much in love you are, if you don’t adequately prepare for the second time around, your marriage and family will likely fail. A stepfamily counselor will help you work on things like co-parenting plans, communication, couple strength and more. And trust me, you’ll need some guidance as a stepfamily marriage comes equipped with different challenges than a first marriage. Discuss these things AHEAD of time and give your marriage a better chance at survival.
Discuss your parenting styles
Because one or both of you are entering into the marriage with kids, it is crucial that you talk about parenting styles, including discipline. For example, one of you might be completely opposed to the kids eating in their rooms, but the other might not have a problem with it. How will you resolve such issues before being confronted with them? It is much easier to discuss these things before they happen as opposed to doing so in the heat of the moment.
Talk about finances
Every couple should discuss finances before saying I do, but it is especially important for the remarried coupled with children. Why? Because outside obligations will undoubtedly affect your household. Will you keep your finances separate or join forces? How will you handle it when an ex-spouse requests something extra outside of child support?
Tell the kids
Sit down with the kids and explain to them what’s going on. Express how much you want them to be part of the wedding festivities and the newly formed family. Explain ahead of time that there will be some changes. For example, stepmom or stepdad will be moving in with us after the wedding. You’ll also want to sit down with your respective children individually to explain what the marriage will mean for them.
Hire a wedding planner!!!
Clearly you already have so much to do and think about before you even get to the wedding planning stage. As such, I cannot stress enough how much hiring a wedding planner will help. Trust me, while you’re worrying about the complicated guest list, how your kids and/or his kids will behave, whether or not you should invite the ex…your wedding planner will be concentrating on the intimate details of YOUR day! She will minimize the stress so you are actually able to enjoy your timeless affair.
Overall, you are entering into what can be a very exciting and rewarding time in your lives if handled properly. Remember a remarriage is not like a first marriage and discussing the unique challenges that remarried couples face, ahead of time, will give your marriage the best chance at succeeding.