Recently I tried a very green (almost radioactive in colour) smoothie. In my head I told myself it was going to be horrid, I mean how could anything that green be nice? Well, I have to eat/drink my words because it was delicious. So things can be deceptive, that’s what I am trying to say. Sometimes different ingredients come together and the result isn’t always what we expected.
So how does this relate to blended families? Well each member is their own person, with their own feelings and thoughts about what has happened, or going to happen, or indeed is happening now.
For new partners coming together, it may not only be your own emotions to deal with, but also the children’s emotions too (if there are any). Then there’s the other family members including those attached to your previous partner, and now those attached to your current partner. You may feel like your decision is being criticised or challenged, even undermined. It may feel like everyone has an opinion on what is right for you and your immediate family.
It may be helpful to take a step back and remember that there were other times in the past when you have not seen eye-to-eye with your family, or that the children did argue in a not dissimilar fashion than they do now. By doing this you will hopefully see that not everything that may be challenging you at the moment is about the new blended relationship.
The biggest and most important thing to do is talk. Encourage your family to say how they are feeling, if this may seem too difficult to start with, why not buy a notebook and call it the communication book. This is where any member of the family can write down how they are feeling or what they are struggling with, without the direct contact which can be too much initially.
The communication book is explained to every member of the immediate family. It is placed somewhere in the house, where it is easy to get hold of and not lost. Then, if someone is struggling with something, they write it down in the book with the date and what or who it is that they need to communicate this to.
You may decide to have a set of different books, one for issues and feelings that the whole family need to be aware of and one for each child or for You and your partner. When any member of the family has written in the book they will leave it in a place that you have agreed, to show there is a communication in there. The other person then reads it and writes their response. After a while, as the trust builds, you as a family will be able to start to communicate more openly and without it feeling to difficult.
If you are finding that you are struggling in your blended family, why not take advantage of my free 20 minute introductory session to see if I am the right counsellor for you. Or having made the decision to contact me, you may prefer a full 50 minute session.
Why not contact me and lets look at the ingredients to your blended family.
I am based in West Sussex and for ease, my private practice has off-road parking.
Just like an enjoyable smoothie – it’s what you put in with your family as to what you can get out – the combinations are endless… in a good way!