Blended and Step Families need to compromise

Compromise is arguably the single most important tool that all couples should take into a remarriage, although it is not high on the list of expectations for many partners intent on blending their families. Often, they are so convinced they have it right this time that they expect a seamless happily – ever- after scenario. They fail to take into consideration that they are not just blending families, they are merging values.

Compromise your values?

Values cannot be merged without compromise. Parenting styles, family expectations from chores to being later for dinner, levels of discipline, whether or not ex-spouses or their parents will be included in blended family gatherings, what your step children will call you, how they will treat you, and you them; these are examples of value-based issues that blended family couples address on a daily basis.

The first step to positive compromise is healthy communication.  Just as it takes two to argue, it takes two to compromise.  Every human being desires to be heard; that their opinion matters.  Practicing active and considerate communication with your spouse leads to compromise.

How to compromise

It is no secret that when couples compromise, their relationship thrives.  The couple who builds an unbreakable bond through mutual respect and consideration is better equipped to withstand the challenges and struggles of step family life, because they have confidence in their relationship. For a blended family, compromise is not just needed, it is essential.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Appreciate that both you and your spouse have been raised differently, and will not always agree on such things as parenting styles, finance situations, or emotional needs.
  • Respect each other’s views and opinions.
  • Forget about pride and the need to be right. Marriage is not a contest and compromise should not be looked upon as weakness, but as one of the strongest tools you have in your remarriage toolbox.
  • Give and take.  You have to always have your spouse’s best interests in mind and at heart.
  • Taking a keen interest in your spouse’s feelings will help you to compromise.  Knowing their values can help to effectively merge yours into theirs.
  • Demonstrate how important your relationship is by working hard to reach mutual understanding.
  • Pay attention to your language and your tone.  How we say things really matters. Remember that your message never gets across if your approach is hostile.
  • Always examine the pros and the cons of the situation before approaching your spouse.  This way, you do not begin your communication with only negative points.

Learning the art of compromise allows the special feelings of closeness that brought you and your blended family partner together in the first place to continue and allows both you and your partner to meet one another’s needs as a couple. Always attempt to compromise in the face of tough situations.  It will be well worth your effort.