Stepfamily Pre- Marriage QUIZ

Are you considering a marriage that will form a stepfamily? If so, here is a quiz that might help you determine if there are areas of concern.

If you are the one with kids, and your fiancé has no children, reword the question placing the word you instead of fiancé. (Example: question 2- “How often do YOU have difficulty setting boundaries with your kids?”) 

1. How often are you concerned that you and your fiancé have differing core values, priorities or character?

  Never Occasionally Frequently Always

2. How often does your fiancé have difficulty setting boundaries or allowing consequences for bad behavior with his/her kids?

 Never Occasionally Frequently Always

3. How often does your fiancé make decisions regarding his/her kids out of guilt, fear or shame?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

4. How often does your fiancé’s former spouse have a strong influence over his/her life, decisions, time and availability?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

5. How often does your fiancé ignore or make excuses for his/her children’s disrespectfulness or rudeness toward you?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

6. How often do you find yourself apprehensive, isolated or retreating when your fiancé’s children are around?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

7. How often do his/her kids imply that they wish their parent would not remarry?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

8. How often do you or your fiancé have a negative encounter with the former spouse?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

9. When you express stepfamily concerns with your fiancé, how often does he/she dismiss or minimize your comments?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

10. How often do you feel angry or frustrated about your fiancé’s financial obligations to his/her children and former spouse?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

11. How often do you ignore potential problems, or keep issues to yourself, in an effort to keep the peace?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

12. How often does your fiancé refuse to address the issues that you know are a problem in your stepfamily?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

13. How often are you afraid that this marriage will end in divorce?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

14. How often are you concerned that this marriage will negatively affect your own biological children?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

15. How often does your fiancé speak negatively about his/her former spouse?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

16. How often does your fiancé blame the former spouse exclusively for his/her divorce, without any insight into his/her own shortcomings?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

17. How often does your fiancé speak of the former spouse in a manner that implies he/she still misses her/him?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

18. How often do you find yourself living in the “shadow,” or in competition with your fiancé’s former spouse?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

19. How often does your fiancé blame you or others rather than take personal responsibility for his/her own poor choices?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

20. How often do you discover your fiancé being disloyal or dishonest?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

21. How often does your fiancé hide or minimize his/her financial details from you?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

22. How often does your fiancé share that he/she thinks counseling is for others and he/she is unwilling to attend?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

23. How often do your future in-laws portray or imply that they wish their son/daughter would not remarry?

Never Occasionally Frequently Always

If you answered “Always” to 3 or more questions my suggestion is that you take a step back and truly evaluate this relationship. Read more literature on stepfamilies and attend a conference on the subject BEFORE you get married. In the meantime ask yourself:

• “Am I moving forward because I’m afraid to be alone?”

• “Do I dislike the single life so much that I’m minimizing serious issues?”

• “Why am I ignoring red flags?”

• “Have I truly considered how this marriage will affect my kids, his/her kids, and our future?”

• “Why am I afraid to put this marriage on hold?”

Copyright © Laura Petherbridge. All rights reserved Laura Petherbridge is an international author and speaker who serves couples and single adults with topics on relationships, stepfamilies, divorce prevention, and divorce recovery. She is the author of When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, and a featured expert on the DivorceCare DVD series. Her newest book The Smart Stepmom, is co-authored with Ron Deal.

Laura’s website is www.TheSmartStepmom.com