So what are some boundaries to consider discussing before you get married and blend a family? Here are some basic questions to get you started but there are many, many more and it is wise to begin to get a list together.
Will children have their own rooms or will they share?
Who will clean the room?
Are children allowed to play with each other’s things without permission?
If a child visits on weekends, will that child have special exemptions from the everyday household chores of the children who live in the home permanently?
Will the children be allowed to bring their pets from their other family home on visits?
Will the non-biological parent be allowed to discipline the children?
What does discipline look like to you?
What do children’s chores look like to you?
Are you allowed to open each other’s mail?
Are there certain things that are off limits? For example, can children come into your room and get your favorite lipstick, razor, blouse, watch?
How much input, into your new marriage, is allowed to be made by your former spouses?
Is a pet snake an acceptable family pet?
How will holidays be handled?
How much is too much to spend on clothing, video games, Christmas?
You can see how problems can arise quickly and escalate into pitting two camps against each other. Nothing is too petty to discuss at this point. It is no wonder we find Lady Tremaine angry when we meet her. I don’t believe any woman sets out to marry a man with children just to torment them and herself.
Finally, a word of warning, do not put this off or think it’s going to work out on it’s own. It just isn’t. Also beware that if you are compromising your answers to get this marriage started, you will face the consequences later. It is much better to discuss and find out that although you love each other, this will not work, than it is to drag yourself and your family through another divorce.
Finally, if you are already married, it is never too late to sit down calmly, not during a battle, and strategize. You already know what the issues are, now it’s time to lay them on the table and come to reasonable solutions.