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Ep. 17 – Blending Families

My husband, Jeff, joins me today to talk about our experience blending our families!

It was not always easy, but I wanted to share with you our story as a positive example of how things can be if you go into it with the right mindset.


Hey, my friends. How are you? Well, a little bit of a twist today. I have my husband with me, Jeff Wilson, and I thought it would be fun for me to have him talk to you about, um, marriage, about remarriage and about blending families and all that good stuff. So let’s get started. What if I told you that your divorce could end up being one of the best things that could happen to you?

I’m Doreen, Yaa, marital, and family, lawyer, and certified life coach. I’ve been coaching and consulting women for over 26 years. I’ve seen it all. Now. I’m sharing my expertise and my own personal experiences to help you turn a difficult time into your amazing. All right. So Jeff, I don’t know. you’re like, what are we gonna talk about today?

And I didn’t really wanna script this out. I just thought we could just talk to listeners. Okay. And, you know, tell them a little bit about yourself. Well, I’m, uh, 62 years old. I’m originally from Maryland. You’re that old? I am. I grew up in Puerto Rico for seven years and been here for ever since, since I was 17 years old.

And. We’ve been married now for 12 years. Just, uh, celebrated our 12th anniversary. Yeah. Congratulations November 21st. Yes. Love you very much. Love you too. All right. Um, so I don’t know. So I was thinking, you know, we always talk about our kids and maybe we can talk today about blending families. Like, okay.

If you can go back to when we first met and maybe. Tell us some of the challenges, the good things, the not so good things. Well, I don’t remember any of the challenges. Thank you. That’s not true. but, uh, I do remember being very, very excited about, uh, blending our families together. Uh, my son Spencer was, uh, extremely excited about getting sisters and having a, a great mother figure as you have become.

thank you. And of course, uh, I was just as excited about having daughters. Boy, did I not know um, and, uh, and of course, uh, falling in love with you very quickly and getting married very quickly was very exciting to me as well. Yeah. You know, so not that we would recommend this for everyone, but we met each other on July 3rd and we got married November 21st.

So if you can do the math, it was a quick marriage. Um, I think we both just knew and I recommend it for everybody. , you know, when you know, you know yeah. So 12 years later, but if we go back in time, I was trying to figure out how old were the kids back then? Cuz that was 12 years ago, right? Yes. So let’s see, Spencer was seven, right?

So we would’ve had, um, six, seven. um, eight, nine, yeah, eight and nine. Yeah. Yeah. Cuz all the kids are pretty close in ages and you know, I’m really good friends as I’ve told, um, my listeners before with my ex Sam, um, you know, so when we divorced of course divorce is never easy. Um, but we made a real concerted effort to place the children as the priority and to put whatever feeling.

That we had towards each other bad feelings aside. So I think we did a pretty good job at that, but you came from a completely different situation. Huh? I did. And before I get into that, I do wanna say that I become great friends with Sam as well. And it’s, it’s been a, definitely a team effort in raising four kids.

Um, my background is a little different, you know, I was raised by just my mom and. No, uh, no brothers, no sisters. And I’ve always longed for that, uh, family feeling, uh, that people have when they have brothers and sisters and mothers and fathers that, uh, family unit. So, uh, when we met and realized there was a great family there, I was pretty excited about it.

No, but I was, uh, and, and so was I, but what I was really trying to focus in a little bit is that your divorce? Oh, cause. You know, you, I think I was divorced for a couple years before we got married. Right. But yes. And, uh, and you were about the same? Yeah, I was divorced for a couple of years and, uh, our, our marriage was not, uh, a very good one.

Uh, it wasn’t, uh, good for the, for Spencer and it wasn’t good for us and it wasn’t secondly good for me. So, uh, when I was divorced, it was definitely, uh, a great thing. Um, And, uh, unfortunately, uh, I don’t have the relationship with, uh, Spencer’s mother, as you do with, uh, the girl’s father. Yeah. We, we went through a lot of challenges, you know, it wasn’t always, uh, rainbows.

And, and what did they say? Rainbows and butterflies and butterflies and all, all those things. I mean, first of all, we got married very quickly. And when I think back at that, I. I think the kids must have thought we were completely insane. I think everybody did. right. Yeah. So we get married. The only ones that didn’t really think we were crazy were our moms.

Well, I know my, my mom fell in love with you quicker than I did. And, uh, she’s always very supportive. I don’t know about your mom, but, uh, you know, no, but I think that they, I was, I was really shocked that they seemed to give. Their blessing. Yes. But anyhow, so we, we got married and let’s talk about blending families.

Okay. Let’s focus in on that. So you come into this household with three girls, mm-hmm as an only child, you’re an only child, right? With Spencer. Who’s an only child. Well, from a relationship that ended in divorce and was not a, co-parent a good co-parenting relationship. Correct. And, and I tell people that I walked into a swimming pool of estrogen and, uh, with three girls and a couple of female dogs and, and right.

And you, and, and we walked in, it was Spencer and I, and we had Cabo the, uh, male dog. We had, uh, a lot of testosterone. So, uh, walking into what we walked into was, uh, quite, quite the culture shock, but, uh, I think not having a great relationship and a marriage. uh, I knew from the get go that, uh, uh, things were gonna be different with you.

And I wasn’t certainly going to hold. Uh, you responsible or accountable for anything anybody else did? So I went in there with a clean slate and an open mind and a loving mind and realized that how much I loved you. And, uh, and the girls were made it a lot easier as well. So let’s talk about some of the challenges.

Okay. Okay. So does anything come to mind as far as blending? Well, uh, the one thing that came to my mind is, uh, your relationship with Sam was, uh, a pretty good relationship. And you were trying to see my relationship with Spencer’s mom in the same light. And I was trying to make it clear to you that it wasn’t going to be that way.

And I didn’t wanna give up on that, you know, do you remember? I actually had her over, I think. Halloween or something. Yeah. But you had her over for dinner. I had her over for dinner and I, you know, so blending families, you know, we all come in D. Uh, with different experiences. So we come as individuals with different experiences and then we have different types of breakups.

So I think, you know, my, my big advice is when you are gonna blend families, you have to go in with an open mind and understand that it’s going to be challenging. right. I mean, it just is you’re, you know, you’re now having stepsisters and stepbrothers and exes to deal with. you can get through it. Now, one of the things that I think really helped with us too, is that you are, let’s see if I can think of the right word.

I’m, I’m the word that comes to mind is spiritual, but you’re a martial artist, right? Which right. I think shares and compliments a lot of my life coaching skills. Am I right? Yes, it does. You know, not only being a sense. But also, uh, having all the years of sales training and positive self awareness and, and definitely self-help, uh, over the years has gotten me not only through the tough marriage that I went through, but also, uh, it was easier to bond and get along with you because you were the same way.

Right. You know, and that’s why I really think like mental health and, and. Always striving to learn about yourself and your emotions and be able to see your visions and your goals. You know, it’s, it’s what I live and it’s what you live and we try our best and we’re not perfect. No. Okay. I, I mean, I have bad days and good days, just like everybody else.

As a matter of fact, as I’m recording this right now, you know, I was telling you earlier that I’m feeling kind of down it’s, uh, the holidays and I don’t have a big extended family. My children, my girls are with their dad and. You know, it’s depressing like around this time of year during Thanksgiving, it’s something that I’m working on, but I have to tell you that it.

A lot different than it was obviously when I had an intact family with Sam. Right. Because he had a big, huge family. True. Um, so we both share a small family, meaning your mom is it’s your mom, your dad, and you don’t have any siblings. And then mm-hmm, I have a small family as well. So, you know, but blending of families is, um, you know, I’m trying to think, like if I was to give or ask you.

Um, some advice that you could give to li listeners. I think my first thing that I wanna tell people is that you never know when you’re gonna fall in love. Like you just don’t know. you know, you and I met and we got married so quickly, but who, you know, we, we didn’t know. And our, our story is a little interesting how we met.

I’m not gonna bore the listeners with the details, but, um, let’s just say we weren’t planning on it. No, we weren’t it. We met each other at the mall having lunch. And, uh, we just happened to, there was a lot of physical chemistry. I think that, uh, you know, and you’re certainly shy. So you never come. I am very shy.

You didn’t come up to me at all. so I don’t know. Um, Any advice that you can give to the listeners, um, from a male’s perspective, you know, coming into a new family, you know, what, what would you want to tell them? Well, I, I think that you hit it right on the, uh, head, when you said to constantly be, uh, working on yourself, uh, improving on your emotions, your, your, your mind body and your spirit stay physically healthy, mentally healthy, and, uh, any kind of.

Uh, challenges that come your way, you’ll be better equipped to handle. Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. You know, I talk a lot about like buffering and different concepts like that, but, uh, you know, trying to have a clear mind is, is key in everything. Um, you know, but we went through. Patches too, you know, meaning our marriage of course, but cuz marriage is up and down.

It’s good days and bad days and you know, try to stick it out if you can. That would be one of my, um, advice to people is to, to really talk, you know, try to talk and just be honest with each other and be upfront. Um, and, and a lot of the things that we do together are the self-improvement. You don’t have to do the self-improvement and the, uh, The, uh, the, the learning about mind, body, and spirit and, and self-improvement by yourself.

If you do it with your spouse or with your significant other, uh, it definitely helps cuz then you grow together. Yeah. We like to share books. Yep. Um, so we do a lot of reading and we do share books. Although I’ll be honest with you. I do like my quiet time too. My alone time, you know, that’s been challenging cuz I consider you.

Mmm. can I use the word needy? absolutely. You’re a little on the needier side. I am a needy. Well, you know, that’s part of being an only child, I think. Yeah. When, you know, um, I was needy from, I guess from the time I was born because we all are, were born. Right? Yeah. But I think it’s important that, you know, You grow as an, uh, couple, but you also grow as an individual.

Absolutely. And that you’re right. If you can share certain common interests that like, uh, something so valuable is mental health and self-awareness and growth, self growth, you know, that that’s a beautiful thing to share, but if your significant other isn’t into that, that’s okay. Well, I think it’s also important that you give each other space and allow each other to, uh, to have their time with their friends and, uh, a little bit of alone time.

Yep. I thrive on my alone time. Yes you do. I do. I do. It’s when I do my best work. And, but today I wasn’t planning on this episode. I was planning I on an episode about earning money about alimony and earning money. And I’m gonna save that for, uh, next time. But, um, I guess you couldn’t get rid of me. So you decided to throw a microphone in front of me, right.

And I just said, let’s go talk to the public. Let’s go. Um, but I’m trying to think of anything else, any other advice that we can give to listeners about blending family? Do I can tell you one thing to think about as well, or another thing to think about kids will grow up and they do leave. They, they come home for certain holidays and you’ll visit them at college.

You know that old saying, and, and I won’t get it right. But you know, you gotta nurture yourselves, meaning husband and wife or the relationship because the kids will go and your whole relationship is, is, has to have the foundation to be strong enough to. You know, to wanna be together afterwards, if that makes sense.

Right. You know, after when all the busyness kind of stops right. With the kids. Yeah. I mean, if your relationship is solely based on kids and taking care of the kids, when, when they do leave, what do you left with? Exactly. You know, and I do think it’s important to find out a little bit more and be self aware about the, uh, opposite sex.

I think if you find out a little bit more about women and how they tick and how they think, uh, I think that’s kind of a, a healthy way to, uh, to go into a relationship as well, understanding each other. Yeah. Characteristics and things like this. So I don’t know. Um, I just think that. Marriage in and of itself, you know, first of all, you, you all know that I’m, I don’t see divorce as unnecessary failure.

Um, and I think it’s important that I share that if I haven’t in the past, because just because you’re getting divorced or you are divorced, doesn’t mean that your marriage was a total failure. , I mean, you might have children together. You probably build a home together. You probably had some really good memories.

And so, you know, these people that come out of a marriage, uh, through a divorce and they’re just so angry and they’re so much hurt there and they just want to do everything to basically punish the other person. You forget that you love that person at one point, you know, and just because you’re moving on to a different life, a different chapter doesn’t mean that you can’t hopefully get to a point where you’re not gonna have all that hurt and resentment and be able to be at peace with what the marriage was.

You know. Okay. So obviously you’re not talking about my ex well, I’ve, we’ve tried, we’ve tried and, and sometimes it’s best just to put it down and move forward and go on. That’s the thing you gotta, you know, you gotta know. And that’s why I was adamant to try and, and know we have, well, we have, you know, we, we created this incredible young man.

Uh, my son is a, is amazing. And, uh, if there’s one thing that we can look at out of the marriage, that was, uh, positive was definitely our, my boy. Exactly. Exactly. He is a sweetie pie. Isn’t he? Yes. Isn’t he and I love the girls just as much. Well, that’s a wrap, as they say, no, let’s let people get on their day.

Listen, if you guys have anything that you want us to talk about, or if you have any questions for Jeff or for me, you can reach me by email it’s D ya. So it’s D Y a F F a at life balance, And that’s it. Thank you for having me. You’re very, very welcome. All right guys, have an amazing week. And remember, yes, you can have an amazing life where proof of it after divorce and until next time, have an amazing rest of the day.

And remember, yes, you can. Bye everybody. Thanks so much for listening for tips, updates, and expert advice. Be sure to visit your amazing And remember my friends. Yes, you can have an amazing life after divorce. See you there. Views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by YFA family law group or your divorce law center, their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, or representatives.

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