My husband and I celebrate 18 years of marriage this week! We consider it worth celebrating because in the early years, we weren’t sure we would make it to our next anniversary!
Blending four kids and managing difficult ex-spouses didn’t make for an easy start with our stepfamily.
But today, we feel so blessed to celebrate how far we’ve come in our stepfamily relationships and the love we share as a step couple.
Are we perfect? No! My husband and I still squabble at times and might even disagree about how to handle a situation with one of the kids. But we no longer get defensive when we talk about each other’s children or question the motive behind one another’s actions.
The love we feel for our stepchildren has grown deeply through heart-wrenching experiences we’ve worked through together. I would never want to walk many of those roads again but overcoming challenges cemented our relationships as a stepfamily.
Our kids are now spread across three states, and two countries, but we stay in contact with each one of them almost weekly. It’s hard to get them all together but my husband and I still devote a lot of time to nurturing the relationships in our stepfamily.
Would I change the hard times? No. I’m stronger as a result of them. And that strength will carry me through what lies ahead.
Our challenges are different now. My husband and I travelled 1200 miles this past week-end to make some hard decisions regarding care for his dad. Our parents are aging and we’re facing painful emotions as we care for them in their last season of life.
Our young adult children don’t always make choices we’re proud of or want to support. But as a step couple who has weathered a lot of storms, we will face whatever comes down our path and work through the challenge together.
If you’re struggling on your stepfamily journey, don’t give up. There are better days ahead. Some day your stepchildren will leave home and be out on their own supporting themselves. And life gets easier!
But in the meantime, nurture your marriage so it can stand the tests that come your way. Don’t let your stepfamily challenges smother your love for one another. Your stepcouple marriage is worth celebrating!
If you need some extra hope today, check out this video and lyrics to a great song: The Words I Would Say by Sidewalk Prophets
What will you do this week to nurture your marriage? I’d love to hear about it!
Gayla, thanks for the encouraging post. At times I wonder if my fairly new step family is going to survive. Can you write more about how to work through the disagreements over decisions about our children? Thank you!
Thanks for your comment Bob. Disagreements over the children are common in stepfamilies, unfortunately. I’ll write more on that subject. Hang in there – don’t give up!
Thanks for the post! Very encouraging and so helpful to know that others struggle in stepfamily situations. Makes you realize you’re not alone and especially not crazy! 🙂
Thank you for the comment Jodie! You’re definitely not alone if you’re struggling on your stepfamily journey. Keep the focus and press on. It gets easier in time. Blessings, Gayla