How to deal with your partner's ex and make blended families work

Blended family is simply a family that includes children from a previous marriage of the wife, husband, or both parents.

About 75% of divorcees eventually remarry and most have children from their previous relationships.

CapeTalk/702 Redi Tlhabi explores the complexities of a blended family with creative parenting expert, Nikki Bush:

A picture of a mother, father, two children and a dog is not necessarily an ideal family; in fact it is very rare today

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

According to Bush, blended families have their own challenges but it is important to create a safe environment for the children.

Redi Tlhabi also spoke to Ilze Alberts, Educational Psychologist and Co-author of Easy Answers to Awkward Questions about her experiences with blended families:

Children, money and sex are the biggest problems in relationships

Ilze Alberts, Educational Psychologist and Co-author

To conquer these relationship problems, Alberts says that both partners need to sit down and create a vision for the blended family to work. She says it is advisable to have a vision for 7 generations.

Every decision you make will not only affect this generation but the coming generations as well

Ilze Alberts, Educational Psychologist and Co-author

She spoke about creating visions in 7 areas of life which are:

  • Spiritual vision
  • Financial vision
  • Vocational vision
  • Psychological vision
  • Physical vision
  • Family vision
  • Social vision

Bush says that blended families take time to settle. It can take 2-3 years for things to normalize.

Remember you cannot change the past, but loving your partners children as your own will allow you a peaceful relationship

Nikki Bush - Parenting expert

How to relate to your partners ex:

  • Build a relationship with the mother of your step children
  • Don’t force the children to take sides
  • Don’t bad mouth your partners ex in the presence of your step children
  • Don't try to act like you're the biological parent of your partner's children
  • Don’t dwell on the past
  • If the child is disrespectful, take responsibility and talk to the child. Handle the situation like how you will handle your own children, don’t involve the mother

Listen to the full conversation on The Redi Tlhabi Show:


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