Creative Commons/hellojenuine

Creative Commons/hellojenuine

Live, Love, Blend:
Honey, We Need to Talk
3 Topics You MUST Address With Your Partner

What do you do when you need to talk to your spouse about touchy subjects? Do you tackle it straight on, beat around the bush, avoid it altogether?

Like it or not, January is a perfect time to tackle important conversations with your spouse. Make sure your marriage is on the right track for the year because if not, these 3 subjects can tear it apart.



Financial stress is often listed as the number one factor leading to divorce. The amount of your income really has nothing to do with it. Much more important is whether you and your spouse are on the same page when it comes to spending, reducing debt, and how to handle unexpected expenses.

For example, my husband and I realized last week that we do not agree on how to handle our children’s college expenses. He thinks parents should pay for everything so that the student is not burdened with any financial stress. I believe (and quote Dave Ramsey often in this) that students who help pay for their schooling will be more focused and are more likely to be successful. Why is this a difficult discussion? Because his oldest son is in college and needs money. Dad says, “We’ve got to find a way to pay.” I say, “Isn’t it about time junior gets a job?”. Not an easy discussion! I’m happy to report we were able to navigate this conversation without a fight, and come up with a compromise we can all live with.

Keep in mind also, especially in blended families, that as circumstances change these money conversations will need to be revisited. In our case some of the exes are more actively involved than others, so with some of our children we pay all expenses, for others we share them. Don’t fool yourself into thinking one financial plan fits all. I know it’s complicated, but you and your spouse can stay afloat if you work together. And if you think money is a challenging conversation…. let’s move on to sex!

Read more: Single Mom Slice of Life: Dear Son, Welcome To Job 1.. Here’s Why It Matters


Portrait of young man kissing his pretty young  woman on forehead - outdoor

Why would sex be tough to discuss? Everybody wants it, right?! We’re married. What’s the problem?

I’m not going to give specific examples because my husband would kill me. But many married couples would agree, it’s not like in the movies. Keeping your sex life exciting and satisfying takes effort from both husband and wife. Have you struggled with any of these issues?

– Finding time for intimacy

– Husband and wife have differing sex drives

– Baggage from past marriages lurking under the covers

– Physical problems preventing satisfying sex

– Afraid to ask for what you want

– There were certain things your ex actually did better

– Clingy kids getting in the way

– Self conscious of your body as you get older

Just because you’ve been married before doesn’t mean you’re an expert at handling difficulties in the bedroom; this is a whole new ballgame. But if you want it to get better, and you do for the sake of your marriage, you’ve got to talk about it. Don’t wait for your spouse to figure it out. Tell them. Show them. Do it for them if you have to!

A healthy sex life and financial freedom are vital for keeping your marriage thriving, but we’re not finished yet. One more tough subject for blended families that must be tackled before it drives you apart – Discipline.

Read more: 10 From GEM: Valentine’s Day Edition: Sexy Cuisine In Under 30 Minutes



Sure, we are all one family now, but child/parent loyalty runs deep and discipline problems can quickly escalate into marriage problems. My number one rule when it comes to discipline in our house: Be a United Front!

Kids in blended families learn very quickly how to play parents against one another. Whether it’s mom versus dad or step-mom versus dad, they know that parents divided are a lot easier to manipulate than team-parents.

4 things you must do when it comes to discipline – whether it’s your own kids or your steps:

– Discuss discipline with your spouse before issuing punishment

– If you and your spouse disagree, take it to another room to figure it out

– Make sure that both you and your spouse are capable of following through with any punishments issued

– Do not let one parent always be “the bad guy”

For example, this weekend I asked my step-daughter to change clothes before we left the house. She refused. Daddy tried to bargain with her and told her she could wear the shorts she had on, if she’d just change shirts. Since I had already told her she could not wear shorts I took my husband into the other room to explain that by allowing her to wear them, he was essentially telling her it was okay to ignore my instructions. Once we were on the same page, she could not manipulate our united front. She changed clothes without further argument.

Read more: Smack In The Middle: Why My Parenting Has To Change…And Me With It


Believe me, it’s not always that easy. I consider these little victories warm ups for the really big battles. As long as my husband and I are on the same team, I know we will be victorious. How about you?

What topic has been most challenging for your marriage? How do you deal with it?

andi parker

Andi Parker is a sweet but stubborn wife, and a motivated, multitasking mom of five. Kids include two “originals”, boys ages 13 & 9, and three “steps”, boys ages 18 & 14, and a 7-year-old girl. Andi works as a TV Producer for a Christian TV Network and freelances as a Traffic Reporter for an NBC affiliate. Her heart is set on sharing victories and life experiences in order to encourage and inspire other blended family working moms… or any gal who’s ever had to juggle a man, a job, kids, friends, chores, etc. Andi blogs at