Marriages take a lot of work, even when it starts with only two people who then have children together. When the situation involves children that were born before the relationship started, things can get out-of-hand quickly. Add in children that are the concept of the marriage and there is no doubt major problems are going to arise. You and your spouse need to understand and agree there may be a need for counseling at some point. This therapy needs to include all the children. This may mean setting up different groups and having family sessions too. Consider setting up the following groups.

Parents Only

Raising someone else's children is not easy, especially when you do not have the kids around all the time. However, you need to be able to be honest with yourself about how you feel about your spouse's children. A marriage and family counselor can help you identify what it is that bothers you, and then explain it to your spouse. You can then learn how to let go of any negative feelings and learn to appreciate the children for the wonderful young people they are.

Parents and Children from Previous Marriages

Whether you have physical custody of your children or not, there will be times when they are included in your current family dynamics. They are going to have feelings about the situation that need to be explored. Initially, each parent should go to a few sessions with their own children. This will allow everyone a chance to express what he or she is feeling within a group they are already familiar and comfortable with. After a few sessions, have the other parent join in. This allows everyone to express feelings, including anger and fear, in a controlled setting.

Children of the Marriage

Your own children may become upset at you giving attention to children who do not live with you all the time. They need to have some place to talk about how they feel. It can be hard to listen to their concerns and not have an "Oh, but that is not how I feel, you shouldn't think that," kind of reply.

Having a therapist there keeps everyone honest and thinking. Every person in the family has the right to express what they think or feel without having to worry that it will be pushed aside as unimportant. Once you have all had a few sessions of marriage and family therapy, you will learn ways to have family meetings that will take care of most problems. Of course, you can always visit the therapist if things get out of hand again, it is the best way to keep the marriage, and the family, together. To learn more about marriage and family therapy, contact a business like Joy Miller & Associates - Counseling & Wellness Center