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I met my new wife shortly after a rocky divorce. My daughters were 3 and 7. The woman whom I would eventually marry was the ideal companion and nurturer with a similar previous divorce with 3 boys, when they were 8 through 14.
We fell in love and slowly started blending our family while trying to navigate the challenges that we would face together. Both our ex's did not play a big role with influencing the children as we assumed the role of providers.
Over time I envisioned unconditional love for all and that would be enough to achieve contentment and peace and joy. However, early on my partner and my daughters couldn't seem to relate very well, and me and her boys related fairly naturally.
Things did improve in many areas of our life including financial and stability. I deeply love my partner more and more as well. I committed to her boys as a father figure successfully I believe. My partner and my children however have never been able to develop any time of relationship.
As an eternal optimist I continue to try and solve the problem with education and discussions but I am being faced with a terrible decision. How can I continue life with my wife with my daughters feeling I married the wicked stepmother? And with the woman I love not being able or willing to be vulnerable enough to win over my girls?
We blended our family gradually for 10 years before we married understanding that things aren't perfect but believing we could get through together.
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