When you say “I do” and choose to become one, you are beginning a process of blending. Whether you have never been married before, or you’re uniting two existing families with different habits, preferences, and customs, you are committing to now becoming one.

Though Jay and I both had similar upbringings, our homes were still very different. In our home, we either screamed or didn’t talk at all. Jay’s family talked through everything. I had chores and responsibilities, I don’t think Jay did his own laundry until he left for college.

When we first married, we experienced struggles over money, parenting styles, fighting fair and how to fold laundry. Getting on the same page in some of these areas is still a challenge after 33 years, and if you’re bringing children into your marriage, it’s going to take time.

Parents getting on the same page is the first step. Family meetings and setting clear household rules will help the kids make the transition smoothly. Focus on keeping communication open as a family, and deal with issues as they come.