Wedding Advice if one or both people have kids
When you are marrying someone new and one or both of you have children, there are bound to be some aches and pains along the way. Even if everyone gets along, it can be difficult for your kids to see you enter into a new marriage and have new siblings. Ideally, you can sit down with your kids and talk about how they’re handling things before your big wedding day. In the worst case scenario, your children will have a meltdown right before you walk down the aisle.
Here are some things you can do prevent a meltdown, or manage the drama if it happens.
- Take Preventative Steps: Instead of having an intervention for the “what if’s,” take the preventative steps to have the children feel included and reassured. Children often do not have the words to describe the complexity of their emotions. Your new marriage may be threatening to their bond with you, so the more reassured they feel in the relationship the less likely it is that distressing emotions will arise the day of the wedding. For example, take the little ones out on a date alone, and have a ceremony between you and your children. Don’t just marry the man of your dreams, make a commitment to your children as well. The more they feel security in their relationship with you, the more comfortable they will feel with you showing love for someone else.
- Take a Few Moments and Give Reassurance: Even though you may want your wedding to be perfect, your kids must still come first. The wedding can be very confusing for your children, and if they don’t have the right words then tears are bound to spring up. If emotions do arise moments before the wedding starts, take a few moments to reassure your child, give them comfort, and acknowledge the difficulty of the situation for them. Offer a hug, and have family on standby to continue to comfort them during the wedding.
- Bring them Along: If all else fails, bring your children down the aisle with you. Sometimes children won’t calm down unless they are attached to mom at the hip. Keeping them away from you may only make matters worse, heightening their emotions and escalating the drama. Avoid expecting that picture perfect wedding that you see in magazines, and expect a family perfect wedding instead.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653