How Do I Both Save My New Marriage and Be a Good Parent?

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“My daughter (18) asked to move in with me and her step mom (my second marriage) for a week or two. Instead she moved in indefinitely with all her belongings after arguing with her mom. She is in college but goes out ’til the early AM and has been a little nasty. But in general a good girl. I have to communicate with her mom often to discuss my daughter’s situation. I suspect drug use and alcohol.

“My current wife cannot take all of this, and feels very uncomfortable now at home and with our relationship. I was married 15 years, then met my new wife – we have been married only 20 months. I have to decide now: stand my ground, try to satisfy everyone, or put my daughter out and basically abandon her, or give up my 20 months’ marriage. All this while I’m raising my wife’s 15 year old son like he’s mine. Please advise!!!” ~ Gabriel, Roanoke

Gabriel, your situation is just one example why second marriages can be more difficult than first marriages because as you noted, you’re caught in between your love for your second wife and your child from your first marriage.

First things first. The union between you and your second wife is primary so treat it as such and honor your new wife by protecting her and respecting her concerns. Second, your daughter needs to see a united front of action between you and your first wife…she may need tough love if she is using drugs/alcohol.

I would suggest meeting with your first wife to create a plan of action and then meet with your daughter to set it into motion, remembering that we raise our children to become independent from us as parents. Look to the long-term well-being of everyone involved, not just the quick appeasement of your daughter.

Michele Howe

Michele Howe

Michele is the author of fourteen books for women and has published over 2000 articles, reviews, and curriculum to more than 100 different publications. Her articles and reviews have been published in Good Housekeeping, First For Women, Single Parent Family, Christian Single, and many other publications. Michele’s single parenting titles include Going It Alone and Still Going It Alone. After having undergone six shoulder surgeries, Michele saw the need for a women’s inspirational health-related book co-authored with her orthopedic surgeon titled, Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life’s Challenges with Strength (and Soul), released in 2010 and from which Prescription for Life, their health, medical and surgical informational book is based. One Size Fits All: Making Healthy Choices, Stepping Into a Meaningful Life, a women's health/inspirational devotional by Lighthouse of the Carolinas was released late 2012 and Faith, Friends, and Other Floatation Devices will be published in 2013 by ACTA Publications. Michele's newest release is Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Daily Guide to a Healthy Happy Life, published by Bondfire Books. Read more of Michele's work at and contact Michele at:

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