Life in a blended family is not for the faint at heart. Chances are you came out of a broken relationship. That means you are bringing some big expectations into your new relationship. Maybe you’ve told yourself, “I will never let that happen to me again!” or “I did it that way last time, so this time, things are going to be different.” If your like me, I came into my blended family knowing everything I wanted and everything I didn’t want. My spouse also came in with her own set of expectations, which posed a bit of a problem. was, so did my spouse. So it wasn’t very long before we started to bump heads. I had my way about things and she had hers. The issue was never lack of communication, as we have always been able to sit and have long conversations. The issue was that we didn’t know what we needed to discuss when it came to merging our two families together. We were reactive when the issues came up versus being proactive and preparing prior to bringing the families together.
What we have learned over the years is to seek out knowledge and information from the right sources. Whenever you can, it’s better to talk about things and situations before they happen. This is not always easy, as some things you will have to deal with on the fly. However, learning as much as you can, early on, about the diverse dynamics of the blended family will only help you be better prepared for when the unexpected comes knocking.
We are also better prepared when we understand the other person’s expectations. Many of us like to assume we know what the other person wants or expects, which always causes problems. It’s simple…ask questions. If you’re going to succeed together, you need to fully understand each other’s wants and needs. Talk it out.
If you and your spouse have never sat down and talked about what the vision for your new family looks like, do it today. It’s that important. You wouldn’t get in a boat and just start heading out to sea without a plan would you? One thing is for sure, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Your family will not succeed if you don’t have a plan that you are both on board with.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Set a time and place for your meeting
- Make sure you both are well rested
- Prepare notes and questions before hand
- Pray before you start
“We make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NLT