Another unique barrier involves the ghost of marriage past.
Individuals can be haunted by the negative experiences of previous relationships and not even recognize how it is impacting the new marriage. No single challenge is more predictive of stepfamily success than the ability of the couple to parent as a team.
Too many relationships are formed on the rebound when both persons lack godly discernment about their fit with a new person.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to know them thoroughly. Even if everything feels right, dramatic psychological and emotional shifts often take place for children, parents, and stepparents right after the wedding.
Then one day not long after my divorce, I was talking to another former dad like myself about the fact that divorced fathers are, for the most part, treated like stray dogs by America’s family courts, and during our discussion I mentioned Focus on the Family and their founder and leader Dr. It was then that I learned something I had no idea of: i.e. Dobson was not at all on the side of divorced fathers, but rather had chosen to side with single moms and to teach them that dads are not really, all that, necessary.
Expect to have different opinions and to disagree on parenting decisions. If you aren’t willing to risk losing your child to the other home, for example, don’t make the commitment of marriage.
Seriously consider your children’s losses before deciding to remarry. Don’t force children to make choices (an "emotional tug-of-war"), and examine the binds they feel.
If waiting until your children leave home before you remarry is not an option, work to be sensitive to your child’s loss issues. Give them your permission to love and respect new people in the other home and let them warm up to your new spouse in their own time. Don’t expect your partner (new spouse) to feel the same about your children as you do.
It’s a good fantasy, but stepparents won’t experience or care for your children to the same degree as you do.
This is not to say that stepparents and stepchildren can’t have close bonds, they can. When looking at your daughter, you will see a sixteen-year-old who brought you mud pies when they were four and showered you with hugs each night after work.