Blending Families: Why We Didn't Do It The Brady Bunch Way

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By Debbi Lewis, Featured Columnist - October 08, 2013

brady bunch.jpgI have been divorced for quite a few years.  I've been through the gauntlet of internet dating.   For anyone who has done internet dating you know how easy it is to get burned out.  I found that for every six months engaging in it; I needed to take a break from it for about six months as well.

Three years ago just when I was ready to take down my profile from one of the sites, a gentleman and I started conversing.  It was our love of running and having kids the same age that drew us together initially.

Like me, he had been divorced for about 7 years and we both had full custody of our children with Ex's just on the fringe of our lives.  We were also pleasantly surprised that we lived within 2 miles of each other.  We started dating regularly and it didn't take long before we fell head over heels in love with each other. 

I love Grand Dude with all my heart and spirit.  Of course it was just a matter of time before friends, family and my daughter started asking if there were wedding plans.  Although we have never talked about marriage and blending our families we have discussed our relationship direction since we are deeply committed to each other.

Our reality is that he has two boys and I have a daughter; all three age wise are within 2 years of each other.   The kids are also in different school districts.  Due to their age of being in middle school and then onto high school it is very important to us for our kids to stay in their respective school districts.   They are all connected with good friends and thriving in their schools and associated sports.

We made the decision that it would not do us or the kids good to do a “Brady Bunch” and throw everyone into one house and one school district.  For both of us, the well-being of our kids comes before our relationship.  We both strongly feel that if we put our relationship ahead of parental responsibility that would be selfish and ultimately kill our relationship.

When we first had this conversation we were looking at seven years of living in separate households; which seemed like an awfully long time.  As of today we are gaining on 3 ½ years, our relationship continues to deepen and all of our children are thriving.  Today we know this is absolutely the right decision for us all.

I think what has surprised each of us is how quickly the time has flown by and how well the kids get along.  We typically take vacations together which gives all of us just enough time with each other that we are all grateful to retreat to our own houses when our plane touches down.  Although we all have a fabulous time; Grand Dude and I see that the mixing of boys and girl houses together would not be good for the long term.

I will share that our time together is magical because of our living conditions.   We chat daily on the phone to stay engaged and I believe we text more than all of our teenagers combined.  It can be difficult for each of us from time to time as we would love to be cuddling in the same bed together each evening; but it is not meant to be at the present time. 

We are okay with that; since it further deepens our bond to know that our time together will be here in no time.

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