Does the stress of being a step-parent push you to the edge of total frustration? Do you worry about the issues that your new partner is having with your biological children? Is it possible to really build a healthy blended family? While blending families can be challenging, it is not impossible for it to work! In fact, blended families are really more common than you would think in today’s society. Regardless of the arrangement of children, ex’s, and step parents, everyone involved has to deal with difficult challenges. If your wife or husband is complaining that their new spouse seems to love the biological children more than their new spouse or the step-kids, you are not alone. After 26 years Marriage Means Moore is proof that with some of the right tools, you too can keep harmony in your home and relationships.
The Family Structure Has Changed for A Lot of Relationships Today
You see just like technology is quickly advancing, so are relationships and marriage in particular. A lot of couples who remarry are now finding themselves blending two sets of families from their former relationships. Whether it is one person or both who have children from different relationships, the love you both have for each other will be challenged. While there are still some great young couples headed for wedded bliss, the reality is there are a lot more couples divorced who are finding love again as well!
8 Common Problems Blended Families Face
- Child support problems
- Court custody and visitation fights
- Divided parenting roles with new spouses ex
- Loving the spouse but not their children
- Major problems with what goes on at the ex’s house
- Tough step-sibling relationships
- Trouble merging household rules and responsibilities
- Value differences between merging households
According to research, about 75 percent of the 1.2 million Americans who divorce each year eventually remarry.” Most have children and they find that stepfamily life is more complex than they ever imagined
8 Real Solutions for Blended Families
- Take It Slow – Lay a strong foundation for your blended family. Don’t expect your kids to immediately adjust to this new chapter of your lives. Experts note that it may take anywhere between two and five years for a stepfamily to really establish itself.
- Develop a list of Family Rules – Everyone appreciates knowing what’s expected in any new situation, so creating and communicating new “Family Rules” will help all of kids in your blended families adjust.
- Set Realistic Expectations – Not everyone in a blended family always gets along. This may be due not only to the introduction of new rules, but also to the additional relationships—the stepparent-stepchild relationship and the stepsibling relationships—your kids have to contend with. Disagreements and miscommunications may come about as each member tests his or her place in the new family unit.
- Never Talk About the EX – Always speak of other parents with respect, no one wants to hear their parent being bashed.
- Set Short-Term Goals – Now that you know where you stand, establish some short-term family goals that you can work toward together. You may want to save for a night out at the movies, attending a sporting event or taking a short vacation. This is a great way to include the kids and learn together. By creating at least one short-term goal, everyone quickly gets to see the results of working together.
- Create a Budget – Blending families also means blending your values, and your money. While you have a unique set of challenges to work through, you also have a tremendous opportunity to learn with each other, teach your children financial responsibility and reap the rewards.
- Be Sympathetic – Your stepchild or children did not choose this. They don’t want their parents to be apart or worse, for one parent to be gone or deceased. They may see you as the problem. They may want you to disappear.
- Get support – Talk to friends, family, or Marriage Means Moore. You may be able to talk to your partner about this challenge, but he or she may feel divided loyalties and may not be entirely able to see your side. Talk to other stepparents.
Having a blended family is not always going to be smooth sailing, but neither is LIFE! Even in traditional families, spouses argue, kids misbehave and siblings fight. However, when you understand the potential issues facing blended families, you can better prepare both adults and children for their new roles and how to deal with situations that may arise. That makes it easier for everyone to transition into this new chapter of life, building a strong and healthy new blended family. Fight for Your Marriage!