Blending Families – Why Relationship Expert Jen Hurvitz Says Don’t Do It | S2, Ep. 23


Welcome to another episode of the exEXPERTS DIVORCE etc… Podcast where we give you all kinds of information and tips on everything divorce. Why? We’ve lived it, so we get it! We’re T.H. & Jessica. 

Jessica: Welcome everyone to today’s episode of DIVORCE etc…with the exEXPERTS. This is Jessica. I’m alone today. Unfortunately, T.H. can’t be joining us, but we have the best guest today. We are so excited to finally be able to do a podcast with Jennifer Hurvitz. She’s a relationship expert and dating coach and host of the podcast Doing Relationships Right. Jennifer, thank you so much for taking the time today.

Jennifer: Oh my gosh, you have no idea. I’m like, finally I’m here! I’m so excited. You have no idea. Let’s do it.

Jessica: No, we’re so excited! We’re going to be talking about what can sometimes be somewhat of a controversial topic when it comes to dating after divorce. And that is all about blending families and what to do when one or both of you guys has kids, regardless of whatever their ages are, and how you make it work or choose not to make it work. Start us off, Jennifer. You have something that you want to first–

Jennifer: Oh my gosh, I have a little caveat. I’m going to start by saying don’t hate us. Don’t be mad at me. I actually call blended families, shaken families, from my girlfriend, Rebecca Eckler, who wrote seven books. You should have her on your show. She’s amazing. She wrote a book called Blissfully Blended Bullshit. She’s fantastic. She came on my show and she was like, blending families is the most difficult thing you will ever do in your entire life. I want to start by saying kudos, congratulations, mazel tov. Let’s give a big cheer to all those people who can blend successfully, which I can tell you right now, is less than 30% of families.

Jessica: Wow.

Jennifer: 72% of families that are blended end in divorce. I just got the chills. That is a stat that you need to listen to.

Jessica: That’s huge. Wait. Let’s just sit on that for a second

Jennifer: Sit on it. Let’s sit on it.

Jessica: 72% of people that get remarried and try to blend families–

Jennifer: End in divorce.

Jessica: End in divorce.

Jennifer: That is absolute–that is the stat.

Jessica: Kids ruin everything. [Laughs]

Jennifer: Kids are the worse. They suck! People are like, oh my god, who is this girl? But seriously, that’s the reason why I do not blend. I don’t believe in blending. I don’t coach to blend. People are like, what do you mean? What do you mean? Let me just start by saying,

I’m in a five-year relationship, and my kids have never met my boyfriend’s children.

Jessica: And your kids are how old?

Jennifer: When we got divorced, my wasband and I, <the kids> were 9 and 11. And now they’re going to college.

Jessica: And his kids are how old?

Jennifer: His kids are now 14, and one is a freshman in college.

Jessica: And they’ve never met?

Jennifer: They’ve never been in the same room.

Jessica: And so ever since you got divorced, your philosophy from the get-go was I’m never going to blend my families?

Jennifer: You know what, my philosophy from the get-go was I never wanted my kids to be–I knew that for me, it wasn’t going to work. But I had boyfriends who were adamant about me meeting their kids.

Jessica: Well, hold on a minute. You knew for you it wasn’t going to work in the sense that you are not interested in being a stepparent to someone else’s kids?

Jennifer: Well, I just never really thought about it. I thought you had to do it. I thought that you fell in love, you got married, you had to be with the kids, and you had to make it work. But I think this is the thing, you don’t know what you don’t know, right?

Jessica: Oh my god, we say that all the time.

Jennifer: We also nested, right? My wasband and I, we nested. But no one knew what that was 10 years ago. I think if no one tells you that you don’t have to blend, do you just assume that you have to?

Jessica: Well, I think that some people feel if they meet someone, and it’s going to be a significant other, particularly someone that they’re going to marry, many people look at the more traditional model of living together full time. And if you want that, you must blend.

Jennifer: Absolutely. The pressure is there, and also, financial reasons too. So, look, if you have to blend, I’m not telling you not to blend. You can do it, but here’s how. This is why it works.

The reason why it works for people, and this is also another statistic that’s very interesting, the people that make it work, the couples that make it work, are the ones that go into blending knowing that it’s going to be difficult, knowing that it’s not going to be the Brady Bunch, and knowing that it’s going to be a struggle.

The ones that go into it with the, oh, no, no, it’s going to be perfect. It’s going to be the Brady Bunch. We’re all going to get along. We’re going to sing happy–No, those are the people that it fails. You have to go into blending knowing that it’s going to be difficult. You have to be prepared to blend. There are so many things you can do to make blending better.

Jessica: Okay, so at what point for you personally did you establish that blending was not for you?

Jennifer: Okay, do you want the truth?

Jessica: Of course.

Jennifer: I wrote two books, and actually, this story is in my first book, and it was horrific for me. I dated this guy for about six months, and he was insisting on me meeting his daughters. They were 9 and 11.  

Jessica: And at the time, your kids were how old?

Jennifer: A little bit older. A little bit older. But he met my kids. But the kids didn’t meet, thank god. But I met his girls. I fell in love with them, because I have boys, and they fell in love with me.

Jessica: What’s not to love?

Jennifer: Oh gosh, no, I loved them so much. I still get really upset if we’re talking about them. He ended up cheating on me, and I never saw his girls again. I never saw his girls again. To this day, talking about them makes me nauseous, because I get emotional–

Jessica: And they don’t know. It’s like all of a sudden, you were out of their life.

Jennifer: That’s right. And they had a horrible mother who was–it was awful. They just really thought that I was going to be their mom. Because the way that he had set it up was he was looking for a mom for his kids.

Jessica: By the way, can we just sit on that for a second. I mean, what a bad way to go into any relationship or have conversations with your kids. I was talking to someone recently and giving them a little bit of advice with regards to just talking to their kids for the very first time about we’re starting to date. Not me personally, but for them, talk to their kids about the idea that they are now starting to go on dates, but to emphasize to their children, I’m not looking for someone who’s going to be a replacement parent. So, wow, that’s interesting that his perspective was to look for another new mom.

Jennifer: And also, that’s a red flag too.

Jessica: For sure.

Jennifer: If someone’s pushing you to meet their kids really soon, that’s a red flag. But at the time, I didn’t know that. This was years ago when I first got out of my marriage. I was vulnerable. He was taking advantage of that. Now I know better, right? When I coach that way, I’m like, that’s a red flag. I just thought I had to do it. That’s what he wanted. That was the situation. I felt pressure to meet the girls. But when I did, I fell in love with them. To this day–

Jessica: How long did you stay together after you’d met the girls?

Jennifer: We were together for eight months.

Jessica: Okay, so eight months is a long time in a little short life like that.

Jennifer: Oh, I met them within months. We started dating, I met them, and then we were together for like eight months after that. That was it. Yeah, it was bad. It was really, really just quick, fast, bad, the whole thing. That’s when I said to myself I will never do this again. No one’s going to meet my kids unless it’s serious unless I know. My kids didn’t meet my boyfriend now, Jim, and we call him number 13–

Jessica: Why?

Jennifer: Because he’s the 13th guy that I dated.

Jessica: [Laughs]. He must love that.

Jennifer: He actually wore a jersey to my son’s track meet the first time he met him, with a number 13.

Jessica: Oh my god, that’s hilarious. Okay, so they didn’t meet him for how long?

Jennifer: A year. A year in.

Jessica: Okay, I dated someone for five years in between my two marriages. My kids were really little, two and four. His kids were three and five.

Jennifer: Okay, babies.

Jessica: And we also did not allow our kids to meet for a year. Actually, no, no, sorry, he didn’t meet my kids for a year. But it may have been not that long afterward that we allowed our kids to meet. We lived in different cities at the time, so it wasn’t so much of a problem. The problems with the idea of blending came when he ended up moving to New York, and ultimately, not being able to blend. My stance even still today is we 100% broke up because of the kids.

Jennifer: Oh, you mean because of the kids it just didn’t work, the blending itself?

Jessica: The blending didn’t work. The kids did not get along well enough.

Jennifer: It’s hard.

Jessica: We were constantly being forced to choose between each other or our children. Ultimately, I mean, you have to choose your kids.

Jennifer: Of course, you choose your kids.

Jessica: At the end of the day, I was like it’s not going to work. Then it was like, what was left there for us? Nothing. We never should have moved in together. But, look, things happen the way that they’re supposed to. He’s married now, and that’s wonderful. I had gotten married a second time and it didn’t work, but whatever. But blending sucks.

Jennifer: It’s hard.

Jessica: Especially if you don’t get along with the other person’s kids.

Jennifer: Oh, and how about the ex-wife on the other side, and your ex-husband?

Jessica: That wasn’t even my problem. Yeah, no, it was just literally the kids themselves.

Jennifer: It’s hard.

Jessica: Tell us you how you came to this philosophy and how even now, this is your person, and you’re still five years in not allowing the kids to even meet? Forget blending, you could all just go out to dinner together, or go on a trip.

Jennifer: Well, here’s the thing and what I think about it. This is how I always equate it to, and I go back to this and people are like, oh! Do you remember when you used to sleep at your friend’s house when you were little?

Jessica: Yes.

Jennifer: And that feeling of okay, I’m here for one night, and it is okay, but I don’t really know where the bathroom is. I used to count the steps to get there at night because the lights would be off, and you weren’t really sure, and you didn’t really feel comfortable. You couldn’t wait to get home in the morning.

Jessica: Or sometimes you’d have to call in the middle of the night and be like, come and get me.

Jennifer: Of course. But you knew it was one night. You could make it one night.

Jessica: Yes.

Jennifer: Imagine that for an extended period of time.

Jessica: I agree when it comes to if you’re talking about forcing everybody to live together. But I’m saying they could meet during the days.

Jennifer: Oh yeah, no. Well, here’s the thing. They know about his kids. My boys are obsessed with him. They think he’s like a 15-year-old. They love him. His kids, they could take me or leave me. It is what it is. But they live with their mom, and they’re really close with their mom. So there’s no reason. They have nothing in common. His youngest is in middle school. Mine are in college, and about to leave for college, right? But at the time, they were younger. They have nothing–they live 45 minutes away from each other. They don’t go to the same school. They have no similarities–and my kids are like, mom, you know what? It’s great he has kids. It’s fine. Why do I need to meet them? I have friends. They have enough stuff on their plate, enough teenage crap to deal with. Why do I need to–I just felt like I didn’t need to give them more. They don’t have to be nice for what? They have to go meet someone they don’t want to be nice to and don’t even like? Sure, they’d do it for me. Of course, they would. But why? Why?

Jessica: Well, I think from the other side of it, why would be because I think that even if I wasn’t moving in with a person, and we weren’t going to blend in that traditional sense of living together full time, etc., I think that if it’s a significant person in my life, then I don’t know, just conversations with my kids about funny anecdotes or stories that happened with their kids, or just conversations. And also, I’m not there right now, but I feel like, I don’t know, maybe going on a trip together and just all being together for a few days, or there’s a special occasion and everybody, whatever, or there’s a bar mitzvah, or a graduation, or a wedding. 

Jennifer: Well, that would be different. Right, yeah, I mean, here’s the thing. My son graduated from high school. His kids weren’t there. He was there.

Jessica: Right, okay. I mean, listen, but so how is this–

Jennifer: Let’s put it this way. If we got married next year, his kids would be at the wedding, and mine would too, and they’d meet.

Jessica: And you wouldn’t even introduce them before the wedding?

Jennifer: Probably not. They’d be like, hey guys, what’s up? High five! I feel like it’s different if they’re little guys, right? If they were little, and they’re 9 and 12, and they have something in common, or they’re down the street. Mine are 45 minutes away from each other, and they have zero–

Jessica: Although, I found that them being so close in age, and if they’re the same sexes, yes. It was like his son was one year older than my son. His daughter was one year older than my daughter. It was almost like there was competition there. Whereas I almost would think sometimes if you have only boys, and they have only girls, or if it’s the older or the opposite sexes and whatever, then there wouldn’t be some of that, I think, kind of natural competition.

Jennifer: Oh, and let me just say this too. We also have week on and week off. So one week, we’re with our kids and we both have our kids for a full week. When we come together, we are alone together. Does that make sense?

Jessica: Yes, you’re like in the bubble.

Jennifer: Yes. There would never be a time when we would have our kids together. Does that make sense?

Jessica: Of course it does.

Jennifer: To go on a trip, we’d have to flip flop with our exes.

Jessica: Well, you don’t have your kids at the same time?

Jennifer: Oh, no. No, you’re right. Yes, we do. We have our kids at the same time.

Jessica: Yeah, right. Yeah, you could do that.

Jennifer: Yeah, I see what you’re saying.

Jessica: We had talked about when we were moving in together, we were on the same parenting schedule. We had spoken about whether or not we should flip back so that his kids would be there alone and my–

Jennifer: Yes, that would work.

Jessica: Well, I said no, because we will never have any alone time together.

Jennifer: That’s exactly right.

Jessica: And the kids were all too young. I was like, fuck that. That’s not where I am in the stage of this relationship. I want some alone time. I like being in the bubble. 

Jennifer: Well, we talked about that actually for when the kids–so my boys are both going to Syracuse next year. I’ll be sitting here alone. I’ll be alone for a week by myself. He’s like, well, we could do that. We could switchback. When the kids come home from school, two would be in the house at one time, and then two would be in the house next time if they came back. Does that make sense?

Jessica: Yeah.

Jennifer: And I’m like, that would work. I would never be–

Jessica: They would never be together.

Jennifer: They would never be together. Because I don’t want them to come back from school and be like, I have to live with these two people I don’t even know.

Jessica: But then you have to be in the house for a full week with someone else’s kids.

Jennifer: I don’t know. I’m not doing that. No.

Jessica: Here’s the thing that people will hate me for. I mean, listen, it’s a little bit joking, but I don’t really like other people’s kids. I like other people’s kids when they’re my close friends, and I love those kids.

Jennifer: Right, but I love other people’s kids, and it still bothers me. So if that makes you feel better. No one’s going to hate you for that.

Jessica: I don’t want to live with other people’s kids.

Jennifer: No, a lot of people don’t, and guess what? I’ve been on maybe five or six podcasts with the same exact conversation, and every single person I’ve spoken to says the same thing. I don’t like other people’s kids.

Jessica: Oh my god, I’m so glad I’m not alone!

Jennifer: You’re not alone.

Jessica: Oh my god!

Jennifer: You’re not. And I happen to love everyone’s kids. A kid could up to me off the street, and they’re talking to me, and I’m holding them. I still don’t want to blend based on what I know.

Jessica: Right. Right, okay, so get more into your anti-blending stance.

Jennifer: I mean, I’m telling you, it is just a f–am I allowed to swear?

Jessica: Yes.

Jennifer: It’s a fucking shit show. It is a shit show. I mean, there’s nothing–and here’s the thing. It can be done. It can be done. I have girlfriends and I have colleagues that are like, nope, it works, and we make it work. They are working hard. 

Jessica: Yes.

Jennifer: If you know someone that’s blending families, go up to them and give them a hug. Hug them and say, you are–I want to give prizes. I want to give out Lululemon gift cards. I’m telling you, they deserve a prize. It’s hard.

Jessica: But not even just blending, honestly, I feel some people who are stepparents that do not have kids of their own are superstars for wanting to parent other people’s kids. I wouldn’t want to do that.

Jennifer: Oh, see, I would–yeah, but I don’t want to do it now. That’s exactly what–I don’t. So that’s the thing. My boyfriend has a son who’s 14. I don’t want to raise him right now. I’m done raising my kids. People are throwing stuff at the screen right now. They hate me. But seriously, people are like – and this is the best, “if you loved him, you would…” Really? If I loved him, I’d eat broccoli. If you love him, I’ll try something–No, you can’t say that statement, “if you loved him, you would…”

Jessica: An interesting thing about blending, from the other side of it, my second husband, who loves my kids, he literally thinks he birthed them, which is very sweet and endearing, and definitely part of the reason why I had fallen in love with him, and why I was like, this really could work. He legit treats my kids like they’re his own children.

Jennifer: That’s very nice.

Jessica: It is. Except when things would come up, and my kids would want to do X, Y or Z, and I would say yes or no. Then it was like, out of nowhere, he would come in and be like, well, don’t you care about what I think? In my head, I’m thinking, well, not really, because–

Jennifer: You’re not the parent.

Jessica: –they’re not your kids.

Jennifer: You can’t win.

Jessica: So I would say to him, look, you can give your perspective as long as we both understand–we disagreed on this. I remember when we were in marriage counseling, it was something that I had brought up. Because I was like, look, you can give me your opinion on whether or not you approve or disapprove of this sleepover, or this activity, or them doing X, Y or Z, but at the end of the day, if you and I don’t agree, my opinion trumps your opinion.

Jennifer: Yes, of course it does.

Jessica: Just like with your daughter, if you and I don’t agree, your opinion trumps my opinion. I’m their mother.

Jennifer: Why didn’t he get that?

Jessica: He just felt like he wanted to be an equal partner. I’m like, okay, but at the end of the day, someone’s decision has to be the decision that we go with. And so I’m going to say that when it comes to my children, my decision is–now, granted, I probably sound right now like my kids’ dad has no say. No, but it’s like if my kids’ dad was like, yeah, it’s fine. I don’t care. No, it’s totally fine, whatever. If I was disagreeing with their dad about it, it would be a little bit of a different conversation. But I think that my second husband just felt he should have an equal say in what was going on. I was kind of like, I don’t. I’m sorry, I disagree.

Jennifer: I disagree.

Jessica: Someone has to make the decision, and it’s going to be my decision if it’s my kids.

Jennifer: We had that same exact thing. Recently, Zach was doing something at my house. He’s 17, turning 18, and he was doing something that Jim didn’t agree with. And Jim’s like, well, I wouldn’t–No, no, this is my business–

Jessica: Right. Not your kid.

Jennifer: –this is my kid. And he said, well, what does Mark think? That’s my wasband. They’re like really good friends.

Jessica: Oh, that’s so cute.

Jennifer: He’s like, well, what does Mark think? I’m like, Mark probably agrees with you. What do you feel about that? Well, of course he does, because we have the same–I’m like, the two of you against–it’s just like, right? But I’m like, it’s my week. He’s with me.

Jessica: No one’s going to micromanage.

Jennifer: That’s it. I got this. No worries. Sure, Zach can have 45 people over in the backyard. It’s no problem. It’s a party. Everyone’s coming.

Jessica: That’s right. When you are coaching people that are in a relationship, and this is something that they’re considering doing, take us through what that sounds like from your perspective.

Jennifer: Here’s the thing, if someone’s–

Jessica: Don’t do it!

Jennifer: I’m like, well, first of all, if they’re not blending already, I’m like, please for the love of god, do not blend. I try to coach for it. I do. I’m like, let’s be honest. But I lay it out flat and I’m very kind, and I’m not like, don’t blend! But I do give them the stats, and I say, look, it’s going to be hard work. Then I set them up with some tools. There are great tools. First of all, knowing what you’re getting into, that’s your number one defense. Going in with armor covered, with your jousting stick, and ready to go, and I’m coming! Knowing that you’re prepared for this battle is your number one. That’s your tool. Number two, these are some obvious things, but it’s really true. You can’t badmouth the other person, the mom. You can’t badmouth whoever in front of the kids. You just can’t.

Jessica: Of course.

Jennifer: You have to do your parenting plan and your parenting stuff away from the children. Before you walk in the door with those kids sitting in front of you, you have to have conversations about how you’re going to parent and who’s in charge of what, like that stuff that you were just talking about.

Jessica: You’re talking about discipline and stuff?

Jennifer: Yes, prior to getting married. You can’t go in and be like, oh, let’s see how this goes and whatever. 

Jessica: But something that I found to also be very tricky was that with the five year boyfriend, we did not have the same discipline and parenting philosophies. And so it was like, how do you live in a house where these two kids have to abide by these rules, and those two kids don’t?

Jennifer: That is–

Jessica: The kiss of death?

Jennifer: That is exactly why I don’t–I mean, it is virtually impossible, because–what you have to do is you have to lay down the rules, and you have to actually write them down. These are the rules of the house. You put them on the refrigerator. You say, I don’t care what your rules are with mom. I don’t care what your rules are for dad at their house. At our house, these are the five rules, so they see them, and they go for this home. When you set foot out of this house, go for it. But these are our rules. Also, family meals are super important, some kind of family meal. I don’t care if it is breakfast, lunch, or dinner, every day or as often as you possibly can, the entire family unit needs to eat together.

Jessica: Okay, why is that?

Jennifer: Because it shows that you’re a united front, that you’re all together. You’re not picking and choosing. You’re not eating with your kids, and he’s eating with his.  Do you know what I’m saying?

Jessica: Yep.

Jennifer: Yep. And also, the mom or you have to have dinner sometimes and take alone time with his kids. And vice versa, he has to have alone time with your kids, right? So that’s really hard, because who wants to be alone with them. No one wants to be alone with the kids.

Jessica: [Laughs] No comment.

Jennifer: No comment. But you’ve got to try and do that. I mean, I was actually working with someone who would kiss her kids good night, but didn’t want to kiss his good night. She didn’t want to go and say goodnight to his kids. I was like, girl, get up there and say goodnight to his kids. She’s like, no, I’m not doing it. It’s weird for me. I’m like, well, if it’s weird for you, you shouldn’t be doing this.

Jessica: That’s right.

Jennifer: If you can’t be kind to someone else’s children…kind, I’m just saying just give some kindness–

Jessica: Do you feel that people who want to try to blend need to have the philosophy of your treating their children like their your children?

Jennifer: Well, I think I would hope in a perfect world, yes. But let’s be honest, and people are going to hate me, my kids are my breath and my soul, but yes, you have to try to at least accept these kids as if they’re your people. You have to.

Jessica: Would that also mean being able to yell at them and scold them?

Jennifer: See, I don’t know about that. That’s the thing too. I guess if you have them and you’re parenting, you talk about that like you can–

Jessica: But don’t be yelling at my kids!

Jennifer: I don’t know. I would never let–I don’t know. That won’t fly with me.

Jessica: Yeah, that’s tough.

Jennifer: I wouldn’t let anybody yell at my kids.

Jessica: Especially if your kids are home with that person because you’re out, you’re running errands, or you’re at work, whatever.

Jennifer: Yeah, I don’t know. See, you’re giving me the heebie jeebies already. I’m already freaking out thinking about it. I don’t let coaches yell at my kids.

Jessica: Yeah, yeah.

Jennifer: If a baseball coach is going off on my Zach, I’m like, excuse me, sir.

Jessica: It does suck.

Jennifer: Yeah.

Jessica: Yeah. Okay, so you’re just really anti-blending under pretty much any circumstances. But you’re saying that if someone is going to do it, and if they’re dead set on doing it, then at least be prepared in these ways. Know that these are some things that you’re going to have to think about, focus on, and prepare yourself for, if you want to try to have a successful post-divorce co-family blending situation.

Jennifer: Yes, and you have to be positive. You have to be positive. You have to practice what you preach. You can’t go into this situation like, okay, it’s going to suck. You know in your head it’s going to be difficult, but those kids can smell fear.

Jessica: Right, right, that’s true. I also want to add to it, though, when we talk about dating in general, it’s like there comes a point you have to be able to trust your inner gut. You have to be able to trust your instinct. You’re dating this person, and you’re feeling you’re not quite sure, for whatever reason. I’m not saying if it’s after one date that means you should never see them again. But I mean, there comes a point when you’re dating someone where you’re like, you have to just be honest with yourself. It doesn’t matter if you have nobody else on your roster. It’s better to be alone than with someone you’re not really enjoying.

Jennifer: Yes! Say that louder for the people in the back. It’s better to be alone.

Jessica: Right, but to the same token, if you’re dating someone and you’re feeling that things are moving towards either getting engaged or blending, or doing some kind of things, and for whatever reason, your inner gut has hesitations, or you are hesitant about it, you’ve got to listen to yourself. Because if you aren’t 100% both feet in, gung ho, so excited about the idea of blending, and love their kids so much, it’s not going to work.

Jennifer: It’s not going to work. And you know what? It’s really not going to work. The thing about it is that you’re only doing a disservice to those kids.

Jessica: Right, because it’s like you don’t know what kind of fucked up psychological things are going to have later if this person was in my life, and then they were out of my life. Was it my fault? They’re going to start carrying around baggage.

Jennifer: But you can find out because there are books. There are books. There are people you can talk to. I mean, I’ve done research with–like, I’ve spoken to adult children that have gone through blended families.

Jessica: They’re carrying shit around later.

Jennifer: Oh god, yeah. I mean, I have girlfriends who have–look I’m not trying to–people are going to be really upset. It can happen. You can blend. People love their step moms. They’re the best people–

Jessica: Yes, of course. No, I get it.

Jennifer: I’m not trying to like whatever.

Jessica: By the way, a step parent isn’t exactly what you’re talking about with regards to blending, because you’re saying you’ve met his kids and he’s met your kids. What we’re talking about with the definition of blending is having the kids living together, having the kids be involved in each other’s lives.

Jennifer: Right, having the entire situation–

Jessica: You could love the step mom, but that could still be a situation where you’re not necessarily with their kids, or they don’t have kids.

Jennifer: And there are options. You have options. Like I said, you don’t know what you don’t know. I mean, we’ve been together five years, and we’re doing it beautifully. We’re an unblended family unit, and it is working. I hope that it continues to work. You know what, and we like it this way, and it works for us. Would it work for everybody? Probably not. But I really do feel like I put my kids first. I did not want them to be in a situation that would implode. That was it.

Jessica: Okay, fair enough.

Jennifer: I know we have to go. We’ve been talking forever.

Jessica: I know. I mean, listen, we’ve barely scratched the surface. We are going to have to get more into this. For everyone out there who’s listening, definitely, please, we want to hear your feedback and your comments. How do you feel about blending? Have you done it successfully? Have you, like me, tried to do it and it was unsuccessful, and ended up ruining a relationship? We’d love to hear your feedback. And on our website at, if you go, you’ll see Jennifer’s expert page with all of her information and her links and all of her contact stuff, so that you can get in touch with her if you want to work with her with dating and relationship stuff, plus her books, her podcast Doing Relationships Right. Thank you so much for being here.

Goodbye: For everyone out there listening, if you know anyone at all who would benefit from what we talked about today please share this episode and everything exEXPERTS.  Be sure and click to subscribe to the Podcast on iTunes or wherever you listen to your podcasts and please follow us on social media @exEXPERTS Divorce etc… on Instagram and Facebook and YouTube and our website at  Thanks for listening!

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