- Expect loyalty conflicts. These conflicts are inevitable and normal! Don’t be surprised if they appear soon after remarriage even when they didn’t exist before.
- Pace yourself when it comes to changing or imposing rules where none existed. Everyone needs to learn to trust each other first.
- Try viewing value clashes as different, not right vs. wrong. Imposing one communication style or value can cause resentment or hostility all around. Instead, try to encourage, invite, and integrate different styles of relating to each other and be prepared to make compromises. Open disagreement and discussion are far more favorable than withholding, stonewalling, and resentment.
- Do not expect your new family to feel like it used to feel during the first marriage. Achieving an instant connection is unrealistic. All members of the family are learning about each other which takes time.
- Validate each other’s perspective and demonstrate empathy. Take risks toward showing affection, but don’t push it if it isn’t authentic.
- Carve out time to spend one-on-one time with each family member. Connection fosters cooperation and strengthens collaboration.
- Remember to acknowledge the little things that are going well.
- Ask yourself if you’re still struggling with the loss of your first family, marriage, and/or relationship. Constant anger and bitterness are important signals that you might still be deeply grieving.