Remarriage can help heal the scars of divorce – however, 60% of second marriages fail. We do not say this to discourage you from pursuing a new relationship, but to help you avoid some pitfalls going forward. One huge reason second marriages fail is an inability to successfully blend a family that was originally formed in a previous relationship. Help your stepfamily reach success with blended family counseling.
Creating Your Own Unique Family Dynamic
The key to any family or partnership is communication. Poor communication will chip away at any relationship, as you probably already know from your prior relationship. You and your partner will work on communicating with one another what your goals are to mutually raise your children and keep your relationship strong.
In addition, you must accept from day one that this new family dynamic will take time to form, and can not be forced. If you have attempted to build a bond that has so far been rough, your can help you work through how to develop your family dynamic. There will be problems that have no solution – such as how your ex-spouse prefers to raise your children – and that is ok. You will learn how to manage these inevitable conflicts with compassion and understanding.
Learn to Parent Together, Not Separately
The kinds of issues you run into as parents of children you didn’t have a hand in making (or adopting) will be different, but you will need to learn to parent together. Many couples who come into second marriages are used to parenting their children in a certain way. Are you a strict no-nonsense parent? Are you a permissive parent if your child has a good reason for why they want to do something? Are you used to making all the decisions concerning your child?
Your counselor will help you identify your parenting styles and help you come to a consensus on how to parent your blended family. Some significant areas they might address are:
- Boundaries between you and your children
- Disciplining the children
- Respect, towards you, your partner, and your children
- Problem-solving and compromising
- Parenting as your children go through different stages of life
Stay Connected to Your Partner
Most of all, you must learn how to remain connected to your partner throughout the ups and downs of regular life. No relationship is without its own set of challenges. A counselor can help you identify your shared goals as a family. You will learn how to be supportive of each other to stay unified. You will practice patience and understanding, as well as how to consider something from your partner’s perspective. Committing to overcoming the obstacles in your life together will help you build a strong foundation. This foundation will be critical for all other aspects of your stepfamily’s success.
Blended family counseling need not be something to seek out when your family is already in crisis. You can choose to go to counseling to help smooth your stepfamilies’ transition into a new family dynamic. Accept that this process will take time and effort from both of you. You will learn to properly communicate your needs and goals with your partner so the two of you are on the same page. Learning to parent together will help you set a strong foundation for your family. Most of all, you must be able to stay connected to your partner throughout this process.
Family Strategies Counseling & Mediation is a family-focused therapy office located in Homewood, IL. We specialize in a holistic method of family support. Our services include child-focused play therapy, couples and marital counseling, and divorce support therapy. Take a look at our staff page, and contact us at (708) 798-5433 or info@Family-Strategy for information to book online or in person.