The Blended Family
The American Blended Family
Often times we think of marriage, we think of starting a family and living happily ever after. Today’s society compared to when I was growing up is a little different. The divorce rate is higher now than it was twenty five years ago with a divorce rate of 45-50%. Over half of people that divorce remarry after about five years and the new family becomes a blended family. Blended families are defined as “any marriage in which at least one of the spouses becomes a stepparent, regardless of the age of the children” (Becnels’ definition). Of course with anything there are pros and cons with blended families which present unique opportunities for family growth. Some of the “cons” of a blended family are jealousy, lack of trust, selfishness, cooperation and lack of communication. When any of these items are issues in a blended situation it mostly dims light on the husband and wife. There are also “pros” to being in a blended family when typically dealing with the “cons” effectively strengthens the families’ closeness. These consist of good cooperation, the pursuit of good communication, unselfish actions from everyone involved and consistently building trust. All can be effective but the extra challenges require extra effort to make a strong family. Family life is full of many challenges, but there are extra challenges for blended families. This is one of the reasons the divorce rate for remarried couples is higher than for first- time marriages. People don’t realize the issues that come with a blended family. There are major adjustments that have to take place in a blended family. Traditional families where both biological parents and kids are in the same household are great, but I believe it takes someone special in order to be able to sustain in a blended family and I believe that what makes a blended family strong. There are three major challenges that will be focused on throughout this paper and they are: The Blended Marriage, The Blended Household and The Parents blending together to make the family successful. The Blended Family Marriage in a Blended Family
Communication is the key factor in making a marriage work that involves a blended family. Today’s divorce rates are actually higher amongst remarried people verses first time marriages that do not involve a blended family. You have to be willing to work closely with your partner because all the added stress that is added within blended families. Within a blended marriage, you have to always remember to make time for your current partner. If there is a scenario that only one spouse is bringing children into the picture, that spouse that is the biological parent has to understand how difficult this will be for the spouse with no kids. Your partner needs to be more understanding to the fact that you are adjusting to these major changes in this new lifestyle. Both partners should identify each others strengths that would be useful to help make this relationship work. The following challenges that expected to come within this blended relationship will be focused around finances, cleanliness of the house, how to work out holiday schedules, and everyday responsibilities that revolve around raising children. Partners must be able to compromise in a sensible manner on how these challenges will be handled. The ability to negotiate sensibly makes a big difference. Study carefully how you and your spouse will solve problems together. Once a blended family is formed, you should cultivate your ability to work creatively and patiently and be supportive. Having a traditional family is great but there is an advantage to having a successful blended family. Especially for the children; if one biological parent has not remarried, the child gets to have a loving and supportive couple in...
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