Questions To Ask Before Blending Your Family
According to the Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys at least 66% of second marriages fail. The reasons?
1. People don’t deal with and heal personal issues that played a role in the demise of their first marriage before remarrying.
2. The pressure of raising step children causes more conflict than the marriage can handle.
If families plan ahead for conflict, adversity and ferret out what their “expectations” are before they enter the marriage, they will be well on their way to a successful blending. However, is that enough?
Conflict and adversity are common in most families, especially blended families. Although you can not anticipate everything that could go wrong, you can definitely set ground rules that will help you to navigate the issues as they arise. It is important for each family member to share in an environment promoting healthy communication about goals and expectations for the new blended family.
The amazing thing about healthy communication is that it is organic in nature, what you think you feel at the beginning of the journey may not be what you feel in six months, let alone in ten years. Keep the channels of communication open and consistent.
It is important to create a common ground and be supportive of the concerns of each member of the family. Below are six questions you as a couple should consider in setting the ground rules for your new blended family.
1. What are the house rules and how can you combine what is important to both of you?
2. How will you enforce the rules that will be well suited to both parenting styles?
3. Can you set up a regular time to sit down and discuss, with healthy boundaries, any disagreements that come up? Use this time to not only discuss present conflicts, but any conflict you think may arise in the future.
4. What things can you do as a family that will help the bonding process? Although the relationships may be strong between the biological parent and their children, it is key to encourage relationships with the step-parent and the step-children. These bonds will not happen automatically, they need to be intentional and nurtured. Time enjoying each others company is very important.
5. What can you do as a couple to keep those romantic embers burning? The love you feel for each other is the foundation of your new blended family. If that love isn’t tended to, your marriage and family will suffer.
6. What can you do to make sure everyone’s emotional needs are taken care of? Make the emotional needs of every member of the family a priority. Take care of yourself as an individual and each other.