Tone is important. The mindset behind the words you use, though, is critical—especially in a stepfamily.
Think about what you would like to hear from your partner in moments when things are heated. Now replicate that interaction yourself by taking the lead in using language that elicits a ‘joining’ response as opposed to a defensive one.
Choose wisely and find out what ONE change you can make NOW that’ll have a huge impact …
Many people instinctually say it's the child. Others rebuttal that it's the spouse who takes priority. I say it's neither--especially since it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. One is an intimate partner; the other is a minor in a parent-child relationship.