By Scott Hendrickson, LCPC
 
People say that getting married the second (or third) time is a set-up for failure.  How many times have you been cited the divorce rates for second and third marriages?  My guess is—a lot.  It is true that remarriage is complex and ardently challenging but I don’t believe it has to be another failed marriage.  This blog exists to help the newly forming stepfamily to become
a full-fledged blended family.  I see the term blended family as an ideal to work towards with each other.  Perhaps a more accurate and helpful term is Blending Family. 

There are certain processes—known and unknown, that help a stepfamily blend like a tasty pastry or separate like oil and water.  Obviously the more you know about your developing processes, the more they can be used for blending rather than separating.  For instance how does your past influence how you are responding to your new husband or stepchild?  Are your current insecurities distorting how you see and hear them to the point where you simply feel anxious all the time?

If your past includes a former spouse who was demeaning, it’s likely that you will have a highly tuned awareness to anything that sounds or looks like demeaning.  The first time such an event happens with your current wife you will put up a strong defense against it.  You might be tempted to see her through the same filter that you see your ex through.  That is most certainly going to be a separating process.

If your current spouse had a history of marital affairs or some other relationship destroying behavior, you’re going to be tempted to remain defensive—highly alert to what might be a relapse by this spouse to his past bad behavior.  While I am not advocating for denial or naiveté, I am saying that your past or spouse’s past might be influencing your insecurities to the dark side.  Again this is going to be oil and water not pastry-making.

I think what I am writing about here is awareness.  The more you know what processes are going on the more you can adjust them to the developing, family integrating type or eliminate what are obviously separating processes such as super defensiveness.  The hope is that BFW (Blended Family Workshop) will not only help you become aware of the separating processes going on in your stepfamily but also to know even more those blending processes to develop them further. Check back once or twice a week for more helpful and insightful thoughts and strategies to help your remarriage and your stepfamily connect; to blend in a tasty, desirable, healthy way.