Dear Mr. Dad: I recently got remarried and really want to make this relationship with my new husband a success. One of the things I love about him is that he’s a great father. I really like his kids (6 and 10), but ever since we got married, they treat me horribly. They’re rude, refuse to do what I ask, and constantly run to their dad to tell him how horrible I am. He tends to take their side. This is causing more disagreements between me and my husband. I’m worried that our marriage is doomed. What can I do to save it?
A: You’d be surprised at how common this is. First marriages are complicated enough, but trying to blend two families with different routines and traditions is even harder. Add in a few kids, and the number of potential problems approaches infinity (mathematically impossible, but you know what I mean). Blending families is often harder on the children than on the adults—you‘ve got some control over how things go, but they don’t even have a vote.