Everyone knows someone who is or has been married 2-3 times before and when a new relationship is formed and children from tiers of one or both sides come together, it can be bloody hard work.

Are their role expectations? One of my marriages, I was expected to play “Wife”. He play breadwinner, I bare children and stay in the kitchen and the bedroom, everywhere else, I didn’t have a say. I was young and naïve and it didn’t take long for me to learn to stand up for myself. A great lesson learnt.

I admit that I didn’t think to learn my new partners “Parenting Style”. I mean who does? Who thinks of these things when they fall in love! All I was hoping was that he liked my kids….. and he did and they liked him. I just didn’t know how he was going to treat them once we got off cloud nine and normal set in.

I didn’t consider things like: eating styles and food choices (a child with Autism and  eating, well that’s another story) ha, his table manners (elbows off the table); household cleaning and expectations (my last husband always threaten to hire a maid if I hadn’t vacuumed for a month), generally my house was spotless and he comes from a family of hoaders, can someone work that one out for me? lol….

How do they handle teenage daughters, when they turn into aliens and morph back into your daughter years down the track. This can get tricky if the daughters Dad is not happy with the way the new hubby is handling moody daughter syndrome.

The toughest issue for me was the dislike of my husbands of my sons. Is it a male domination thing? Is this just an automatic testosterone reaction? All three husbands loved my alien daughter, yet, each one only had time for their own son and left the other out. (They also played by different rules for each son). My sons are adults now and the playing field seems to have levelled out and the boys tend to speak their minds freely.

I can’t explain how difficult that time was and how deeply saddened I felt for each son. The feeling of isolation and disappointment. The look that says, “What’s wrong with me Mum? Why doesn’t he like me?” Each son experienced this from both ends, either leaving with their Dad or watching their brother leave with their Dad. It was painful and we got through it.

There is a downside in that one of my sons, currently, has decided not to pursue and/or marry a women with children. It is his decision. This may change.

I am not against marriage, I just don’t want to do it again myself. And that’s OK.

These are my experiences and my reflections of a journey I feel blessed to have had and hope that these little notes will inspire some insight for others.

Statistics NZ states that one in three marriages are in a 2nd or 3rd marriage and that the general marriage rate for 2016 was 10.9 per 1000 mean estimated population over 16 years old. On the flip side, the divorce rate was 8.7 per 1000 mean estimated population of existing marriages.  http://www.stats.govt.nz


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