I'm 25, my partner is 38, his daughters are 17 and 15 and their mum is 39 and they are all my closest friends. I can already hear some of your assumptions. I've read that look on people’s faces for a while now. This article was not produced to change your opinion, but more to give an insight into how blended families can be a loving environment for all those involved.
Step families. Many of us have grown up in them and many now seek to avoid them in adult life. They're difficult. They can emphasise some of the most complex human emotions and scar many of us for life. I was the person with a bad experience of step families and from a young age, I vowed to never be with someone with children from a previous relationship. I thought those types of families were unfair for all involved. Then I met my partner.
There are a number of relationships from within that make our family (we call it a 'team') work. For starters, I promised myself that I would treat his daughters in the opposite way in which my step parent had treated me. I vowed to respect, love and protect them. As well as this, I was dedicated to unequivocally supporting their mum. Beginning a relationship with my partner also meant beginning a relationship with the three most important women in his life.