Challenges of a blended family.

What do you see as some of the most impactful challenges involved in a blended family coming together under one roof? What areas would you seek to address in counseling a couple thinking about remarrying to form a blended family?

What do you see as some of the most impactful challenges involved in a blended family coming together under one roof?

Deal implores couples who are considering marriage with a blended family construct to take the time to wait and weight the challenges that they will face, not just as individuals, but as a blended family.[1] Deal iterated that using wisdom in the decision-making process fosters an understanding of creating a blended family with eternity in mind and not just as a stop-gap measure.[2] Christian couples who are considering blending their families or adding an individual into the family matrix who was not there at the birth of the children must bring every decision under the direction of God.[3]

Not only should couples consider the wisdom of their actions, but they should also both become actively engaged in educating themselves about the challenges of “familyness” and “coupleness” bring to the blended family and the emotional and psychological obstacles that occur when blending a couple attempts to blend a family.[4] Formulating and articulating a personal, relational, dating, family, and new partner silhouette creates an environment that eliminates the challenge of dating a partner who does not have a healthy sense of self, a strong relationship with the Lord, and understanding the impact of family of origin and its impact on the person’s knowledge of how to parent.[5] Deal proposes that the dating process determines how well a family blends in the future. Deal identifies several yellow and red light cautions that impact blended families.[6] Just a few of the yellow and relight cautions are listed below.

Dating Is Inconsistent With Actual Blended Family Living. A person who is quietly dating but is not prepared for a blended family experience is not ready for the rigors of a blended family.

A Quick Turnaround. A person who is looking for a relationship to heal past hurts is not prepared for a blended family.

Pressured to Marry and Willing to Accommodate. The impact of “church family” on the couple to create a new family result in a disaster for the couple who are not prepared for “blendedness.”

Caution: Character Issues. An individual with personality deficits tears apart relationships

A Difficult or Unbelieving Ex-Spouse. This scenario is one that the blended family will live with for a long period.  You are marrying a person and all of their life experiences as well as family experiences.

Someone Who Can’t on Occasion Sit in the Backseat. A person who must remain in control of all situation and who must be the “center of attention” leaves no room for joint decision making or collaborative discussions.  All members of the blended family will experience isolation and a sense on non-importance in this relationship.

Extreme Differences in Parenting. The inability to come to a consensus on how to parent will disintegrate and or prevent the blending of two families into a cohesive group where both parents are speaking the same thing. [7]

What areas would you seek to address in counseling a couple thinking about remarrying to form a blended family?

After completing The SYMBIS Assessment with the pair, and addressing their strengths and weaknesses, the areas of significant weakness that will derail the marriage will be addressed. The Dynamics sections will facilitate many of the yellow and red light cautions mentioned above.[8] Following the questioning style and protocol of SYMBIS will foster an understanding of the red and yellow cautions involved with remarrying. Also, exclusively utilizing the “Remarriage & Blending A Family” resource that addresses all of the areas above will heighten the awareness of the pitfalls of remarrying for the wrong reasons.[9]  Finally, utilizing the Biblical guide to direct the couple toward the importance of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their remarriage decision is crucial to the success of their marriage.[10]

Notes

  • [1] Ron L. Deal, Dating and the Single Parent (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2012), 4.
  • [2] Ibid., 8.
  • [3] Ibid., 13.
  • [4] Ibid., 20,
  • [5] Ibid., Chapters 2 and 3.
  • [6] Ibid., 161-182.
  • [7] Ibid., 182
  • [8] Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PRE-MARRIAGE MINISTRY. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.
  • [9] Ibid., REMARRIAGE & BLENDING A FAMILY.
  • [10] Ibid., SYMBIS Biblical Guide.

Bibliography

  1. Deal, Ron L. Dating and the Single Parent. Grand Rapids: Bethany House Publishers, 2012, Google Books.
  2. Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. REMARRIAGE & BLENDING A FAMILY. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.
  3. Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PRE-MARRIAGE MINISTRY. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.
  4. Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. BIBLICAL GUIDE: Integrating Scripture into every page of the report. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.

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