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 Howe is a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, FaithfulReader.com, Retailers + Resources, Foreword Magazine, TeenReads.com, KidReads.com, among many others national and international publications. She has published over 2500 reviews/articles and has been featured on numerous radio shows across the country speaking on topics such as parenting and a diverse range of women's health issues. Her work has been published in MORE, FIRST for Women, Good Housekeeping, Christianity Today, Discipleship Journal, Midwest Living, Parentlife, Fullfill, Christian Single, Single Parent Family, Focus on the Family, PRISM, and Connections. She also does manuscript reviewing for several publishing houses including New Growth Press.

Michele is the author of eighteen books for women. Her first book, "Going It Alone: Meeting the Challenges of Being a Single Mom" (Hendrickson Publishers), provided hope and practical helps for single moms new to parenting solo. She has also authored "Pilgrim Prayers for Single Mothers" (Pilgrim Press) and a third book of helps for single mothers titled, "Successful Single Moms" (Pilgrim Press.) In addition to these resources for single mothers, Michele wrote four separate titles combining real life stories with inspirational prayer retreats. These titles published by (Jossey-Bass) include: "Prayers for Homeschooling Moms," "Prayers to Nourish a Woman's Heart," "Prayers of Comfort and Strength" and "Prayers for New and Expecting Moms."

Her more recent books include a follow-up resource to "Going It Alone" titled, "Still Going It Alone: Mothering with Faith and Finesse Once the Children Have Grown" (Hendrickson Publishers) and "Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life's Challenges with Strength and Soul" co-authored with orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Christopher A. Foetisch (Hendrickson Publishers).

One Size Fits All: Making Meaningful Choices, Stepping Into a Meaningful Life was released in early 2013 by Lighthouse of the Carolinas. Burden Lifters: Every Woman's Every Day Resource Kit for a Healthy, Happy Life was released by Bondfire Books in late 2013 and ACTA Publications released, "Faith, Friends, and Other Floatation Devices" which is a compilation of stories, quotes, and practical lifestyle recommendations for "staying afloat" during life's toughest times. Her newest book, Empty Nest, What's Next? Parenting Adult Children Without Losing Your Mind was published fall of 2015. In the fall of 2016, "Caring for Aging Parents: Lessons in Love, Loss, and Letting Go" was released by Hendrickson Publishers. Summer of 2017, her sequel to Empty Nest, What's Next? will be published, Preparing, Adjusting, and Loving the Empty Nest. Read more of Michele's work at michelehowe.wordpress.com and contact Michele at: michelehowewrites@gmail.com.

For more information, please visit michelehowe.wordpress.com.

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