Blended families, or stepparent families, are becoming more and more common. While the divorce rate for first marriages is high (these statistics depend a lot on age and education level, so the standard 50% isn’t really accurate), it’s even higher for blended families and worse for third marriages. No one goes into a marriage without hope. There are some things that you can do to help make a blended family a healthy family.
Blended families often fail because the stepparent is blindsided by the realities of raising another person’s child and dealing with ex-spouses. They don’t think about the dynamics of blending a family and think they learned lessons from their first marriage. But being in a blended family is a totally different type of marriage and has different problem.
A blended family is very different from a first family. Healthy blended families look to mentors who have created a healthy home for tips and guidance in blending their own family. They don’t go into the marriage thinking it will only have first marriage problems. They anticipate the problems and prepare for them. And they work at their marriage. The marriage has to be a priority and healthy to support the children in the blended environment.
Take the time to invest in your marriage and family. Make your family a priority. It takes a long time for two independent families to blend. Be patient with the process and loving towards you spouse and the children. In an emergency, don’t be afraid to break out the ice cream and make some sundaes. No one stays mad eating a sundae.