Married couples everywhere understand the adjustments husbands and wives have to make in order to co-exist. He has to learn proper bathroom etiquette. She has to learn not to walk between the recliner and the TV during football season. These are normal person to person struggles as we get used to having another human being occupying our space.
But recently I was made aware of a blended family issue I had never given much thought, even though I now realize it is a source of stress in our household. What about all these kids that are suddenly sharing our life?! Whether they live in your home part-time or full-time, boundaries will need to be put in place to ensure that everyone knows how to respect each others personal space.
For example, when I was a single mom, my boys would hang out in my bedroom whenever they wanted. As long as I was dressed I kept the door open and they were welcome to go in and out as they pleased. Now that we have a man in the house those rules have changed. My husband was raised with the understanding that kids did not go in their parents’ bedroom, especially if the parents weren’t present. He likes to keep the door closed, and requires all the kids to knock before they enter our room. Neither of our approaches is right or wrong; we just differ and we all have to make adjustments.
It’s funny how these sort of little differences can lead into big stress factors. At first I didn’t understand why he would get bent out of shape if one of the kids borrowed his phone charger. Now that I understand the real issue was that an item was taken from our bedroom without permission I’m less likely to jump to the defense of the borrower. I’m able to agree with my husband and instruct that child to ask before borrowing anything. We can be a united front.
Blending a family is an ever-changing, ever-growing process. Personal space issues, as well as any others can be successfully dealt with if you and your spouse will do these 3 things…
– COMMUNICATE: That means talking AND listening.
– RESPECT: Each others needs, wants, and idiocincrasies.
– GROW: Realize the process is gradual for every member of the family and the blending process will be different for each.
Do you have any stories of personal space struggles? Please share so we can laugh and cry together!