This is third installment to read part 2 click here.
From Cinderella’s perspective we get the story that she was made to do all the chores and her only friends were mice. This is pretty much the perspective overall of stepchildren worldwide. While the biological daughters were getting their hair done, poor Cinderella was slaving for this family.
When a couple gets married for the first time, boundaries aren’t really an issue. They are established together and little by little as life unfolds, they discover things about themselves and about each other and boundaries are set and discussed. So it is no wonder that we believe that the same process of the first marriage is exactly how you would begin a second marriage.
Not so at all. A second marriage comes with a whole cast of characters that you didn’t have in a first marriage. A second marriage often has children already in place, it also has ex-spouses, ex-in-laws, friends who are friends with your ex, and well, you get the picture. It is a serious misconception that you come into this marriage as a man and a woman getting ready to begin a life together. You come in as two camps trying to make a life together. It is a much harder proposition to make several people happy, rather than just please two people in love.
Boundaries must be set before the wedding. This is one of the pitfalls I see to second marriages. The boundaries are necessary or there will be a lot of presumptions, miscommunications, hurt feelings, and battles. Think about it. If you live in a house, it has clear land boundaries. Let’s say you have great neighbors. You guys BBQ out in the back yard, if you forget to take the trash out to the curb on trash day, if he notices, he halls it out there for you, you guys like each other. One day your neighbor buys a new RV. Only it doesn’t fit in his carport, but if he removes your fence, he can park it in your yard because you have plenty of room! He neither asks you nor considers that you’d mind at all. He simply does it. You arrive home from work, your dog has run away, because the fence is down, and there is this big RV in your yard. Your neighbor looks shocked! How could you be mad? After all, he’s taken your trash out for years. Suddenly you have problems.
There is a saying that says: Good fences make good neighbors. This applies to second marriages. You are bringing two families together there must be boundaries or there will be battles. Those battles can increase and become a war in no time.
Next week, we’ll discuss what boundaries should be set and some serious questions that need some answers.