Vince Gill & Amy Grant On Blending Their Families

Grammy Award-winning couple Vince Gill and Amy Grant risked more than their reputations to be together. The musical couple – who are parents to 10-year-old daughter Corrina – opened up to AARP about their journey to become a couple and blending their families (Vince’s daughter Jenny was 17; and Amy’s three children, Matthew, Millie and Sarah, ranged in age from 12 to 7 when they first got together).

On Amy’s children saying “I hate you” to Vince when they first blended the families: “All those things had been said, so when it finally turned to tolerance, respect, and, best-case scenario, love — oh, that was quite a journey,” says Amy. “It’s like a broken bone that grows stronger if it heals properly.”

On Corrina’s birth in 2001: “[She’s] the glue of this whole family,” Vince says. “She bonded all of us in a blood way that really did connect us.”

On their struggle to be together: “We were both married, and though we were crazy about each other, we thought, ‘Well that’s not our life.’ It was hard. The kids, the popularity of our lives, a lot of tongues waggin’. The hard truth was that we never thought for a minute that we would end up together.”

On having a baby in her 40s: “Having that baby at 40 really shot my stomach, and I was just having a good cry about it. Vince came in, and I was drooling and snot was coming out, and I said, ‘Women get invisible.’ And he said, ‘I love you, and you’re more beautiful now than you were when I first met you. I can’t wait to see what you look like with a head full of gray hair.’ And he meant it.”

Continue reading the interview with Vince and Amy at AARP

Filed under: Amy Grant,Vince Gill

Photo credit: AARP

  • Anonymous

    Amy Grant and Vince Gill on the cover of AARP?? Holy Moly I must be getting old!!

  • Grace

    I really appreciate their honesty when it comes to blending their families. It’s so refreshing, especially after reading Sara Evan’s articles where she claims “There are no arguments in our home. Everyone gets along great.”

  • Gloria

    Congratulations to Vince Gill and Amy Grant on successfully creating a blended family of “…tolerance, respect, and, best-case scenario, love”. “Quite a journey,” according to Amy.

    For other parents and grandparents, step and biological, allow me to add my input.

    Typical multi-home stepfamilies are like intact biological families in many ways. But, they differ structurally, developmentally and dynamically in many ways too.

    Stepfamilies who aren’t aware of these differences risk using biological family norms and expectations to guide their day-to-day lives. That’s like trying to play baseball with soccer equipment and basketball rules–guaranteed to create confusion, conflict and stress.

    Learning to live well in a new family takes time. Everyone has a lot to learn, including how to cope in a new environment. One of the first things you’ll want to do is to recognize some of the myths of stepfamilies. For example:

    Myth #1: “I love you, and I must love your kids.”
    Reality: “I love you and will patiently work at respecting your kids. They and I may never love each other. If we do, it will feel different than biological parent-child love, and that’s okay.

    Myth #2: “Your or my ex-mate is not part of our family!”
    Reality: “As long as your biological children from your previous marriage live, their other biological parent, and their new mate(s), if any, will emotionally, financially, legally and genetically influence all of your lives. Ignoring or discounting the needs and feelings of these other adults will stress everyone for years.

    Myth #3: “We’re just like a regular biological family.”
    Reality: Not really. Your new extended family and the linking of stepfamily co-parenting homes add up to loads of relatives with many major losses to mourn, and many conflicting values and customs to resolve. You are, however, normal–a normal multi-home stepfamily.

    Myth #4: “Your or my kids will never come between us.”
    Reality: Stepfamily adults’ inability to resolve clashes over one or more step-kids, including related money issues, is the most quoted reason for a stepfamily divorce. Underneath this usually lie your own unhealed wounds.

    Myth #5: “Stepparenting is pretty much like biological parenting, without the childbirth.”
    Reality: While stepparents’ primary goals are about the same as those of biological parents, the emotional, legal and social environments of average stepparents differ in numerous ways. This usually leads to confusion, frustration, and stress, until all the stepfamily adults agree clearly on what each other’s key responsibilities are.

    Myth #6: “Your and/or my biological kids(s) will always live with us.”
    Reality: In about thirty percent of U.S. stepfamilies, one or more minor biological kids move into the home of their other biological parent at some point. The resulting emotional and financial shock waves can be extremely challenging. The key is to build realistic expectations for your new stepfamily homes, roles and relationships. If you don’t, ongoing frustrations and disappointments can end up harming your marriage. Learning together what’s normal in average stepfamilies–early on–can help considerably.

    Here are a few more ideas on how to keep your new family on the right track:
    1. Adopt an open learner’s mind to new ways of doing things.
    2. Award yourself patience, permission to mess up and learn, and strokes for the smallest triumphs.
    3. Expect some people to misunderstand and to criticize your new values, goals, and plans–or you. Realize they probably are stuck in a biological family mode of thinking. That’s their issue.
    4. Keep your emotional knees flexed, hold hands, and enjoy the adventure and challenge together. It’s worth it!

    Your relatives and friends might mistakenly expect your new household and kin to feel and act like a biological family. They also may not approve of either the prior divorce(s) or the remarriage. Yet, when well run by confidant stepfamily adult teams (not simply couples), this modern version of an ancient family form can provide the warmth, comfort, inspiration, support, security–and often (not always) the love–that adults and kids long for.

    What’s your biggest challenge as a stepparent? How are you dealing with it?

    Gloria Lintermans, Author, THE SECRETS TO STEPFAMILY SUCCESS: Revolutionary Tools to Create a Blended Family of Support and Repect (Llumina Press).

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