DEAR DEIDRE: I DIDN’T realise what hard work blended families can be until I moved in with my girlfriend.

We have five children between us and all they do is bicker and snipe at each other.

Their behaviour is putting a huge strain on our relationship

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Their behaviour is putting a huge strain on our relationship

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I’m 45 and my girlfriend’s 42. We’ve been together for almost two years.

I moved in with her three months ago.

She has daughters aged nine and seven and I have three children, aged between ten and 19.

Their behaviour is putting a huge strain on our relationship.

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Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

My girlfriend decided she’s had enough and asked me to move out. But we still love one another so decided to start again, but with no kids involved.

We talk amicably and hug and kiss but there’s no real intimacy any more. We seem to be more like friends than lovers.

DEIDRE SAYS: Your kids have been through a lot of upheaval. They need time to get to know each other better before they can live together harmoniously.

My support pack Stepfamily Problems? will help.

Don’t give up on your relationship. Take very small steps to reintroduce intimacy at a pace you both feel comfortable with.

You might like to try giving each other massages or holding hands. That way, you can relearn to enjoy being sensual, in a pressure-free environment.

NEXT IN TODAY’S DEAR DEIDRE I found my girlfriend’s pros and cons list for another man

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