How Fun It Is Going To Be To Move Into The Ex’s House, Said No One Ever!
We see it all the time, the stepmom moves into the home that once was home to their significant other and their ex. This is something that can be a big stressor in the blend but one that is not often addressed. To the significant other, this may not seem like a big deal. To the stepparent moving into the home, it can be a huge deal. They feel as if they are moving in on someone else’s turf. They often feel like an intruder or outsider. They don’t feel like they belong. When they look around they see things that the ex had done around the home. They see the home not as their home, but as the home of the ex. I know it may sound crazy to some, but this is a reality to many.
The stepparent moving into the home is not comfortable. Not only does the home share memories of their significant other and their ex, but the habits of their significant other and the stepkids just solidify this is their home. They aren’t the ones that moved into someone else’s home. They aren’t the ones that had to uproot and move because of the blend. However, they may feel like the stepparent has invaded their home.
Trying To Fit
We recently had a guest on our podcast where we talked about this. She stated she felt as if she was trying to fit into her significant other and his kids’ lives, rather than creating a life together! I loved how she put that because it is so true! That describes it perfectly!
My son and I moved into David’s house with his four kids. It was a house he and his ex had built. I really didn’t want to move there, but the house is on family land, so that made things more challenging as we couldn’t just sell his house and buy one together.
The Kids Don’t Like It
When we first moved in, I didn’t start redecorating immediately, but I did bring some of my furniture, so that helped. Well, it helped me. It didn’t help his kids. His kids didn’t like my stuff. They complained about how my stuff was all brown. LOL. They really didn’t like the fact they couldn’t jump on my furniture like they did their “old” couch.
I probably would have started decorating sooner, but there was a lot of instability in our blend. I wasn’t sure if I would be staying, so I didn’t want to invest a lot of time and/or money into something that I may not get to enjoy. I learned that lesson in a past relationship. So, I took things slowly. In hindsight though, it is best I didn’t redecorate sooner than I did because it would have just caused more issues with the stepkids.
After Nachoing, re-engaging, and knowing we were not going to give up on our marriage, I started decorating more. We removed the ugly lighthouse border that covered almost every room of the house and repainted. We finished the upstairs area so David’s kids could move up there and have more space. It started to feel more like my home, but it still took a while to feel like “home”.
I read an article once that stated it takes several years for a house to feel like a home. I thought that was a bit odd, but like the fact it takes a “blend” on average 7 years to “blend”, I get it now. And I greatly believe you might as well make that 7 years for the house to feel like a home if you are moving into a home your significant other shared with their ex.
What Can You Do?
If you are moving into your significant other’s home, or you have moved into your significant other’s home that they shared with their ex, here are some tips to help you and the stepkids with the transition:
- Don’t come in and start a vast remodel straight out of the gate.
- Slowly start changing things.
- Let your significant other tell his kids that he wants to change some things in the home. By leaving it up to him and saying it’s his idea/desire, the stepkids won’t be as opposed to it.
- Work on the master bedroom first. Then the master bathroom, and the office.
- Save the common areas for later and definitely save the stepkids’ rooms for last. In fact, I would strongly suggest you let them keep their room how they want to. If they want to repaint and redecorate, that’s awesome. Let them have a say in it, and it would be best if your significant other was a part of that planning too. Because we all know what we say to the stepkids isn’t what they always hear. So the last thing you want is the stepkid saying, “Stepmom made me paint my room this color and I hate it! She’s always trying to control everything!”
- Like most things in the blend, take it slow.