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ASK ALMA: Do I marry the children, too?

By Alma Gill

Dear Alma,

I’m getting married in two months and the mother of his children is giving me hell. One day she says the kids (ages 6 and 12) can be in the wedding and the next day she says no. His son who’s six is our ring bearer and his daughter who’s 12 is a junior bride’s maid. Our relationship has become very strained because of her unwilling to get along with me. I have spent the last year planning our dream wedding and now I don’t think it’s a good idea for his children to participate. How do I tell my fiancé I don’t want his children in our wedding?

Name withheld

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Dear Name withheld,

You don’t. When you marry him, you’re marrying his children, too. They should be a part of the ceremony. He’s entering this relationship with what some would refer to as baggage. Make up your mind if you’re really ready to take this trip. It ain’t gonna be a vacation, let me just put that right on out there. You’re marrying a man who hasn’t attained respectable closure with the mother of his children. That should be on his to-do list, not yours. And don’t dismiss the children because he hasn’t handled his business. If he doesn’t, it’s easy to see, an abundance of childish challenges to come.

It’s time for the three of you “grown folks” to sit down at the table, rationally discuss and agree to make the children your first priority. It doesn’t matter how you feel or how she feels because this ain’t about feelings. It’s about positive parenting and orchestrating the best example of teaching children they are loved, valued and precious treasures in your life. Blending families isn’t new and it isn’t easy. It takes prayer, hard work and a strong last nerve, LOL. Get ready to suck it up. If you love him, you’ve got to love his kids like you birthed ‘em.

Give in to the battle between you and his ex. You’re wearing the white gown; throw in the white towel. Let her know calmly and respectfully, the kids are welcome to be in the wedding, which will take place with or without her blessing. Tell her you’re willing to go to the wall for your soon-to-be husband and their kids. Your wedding day is important, but the blending of these two families takes precedence. The best wedding gift you can give your fiancé, stepbridemama, is making sure his children are a part of that special day.


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Alma Gill’s newsroom experience spans more than 25 years, including various roles at USA Today, Newsday and the Washington Post. Email questions to: Follow her on Facebook at “Ask Alma” and twitter @almaaskalma.

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