The Brady Bunch made it look easy, but are blended families really as straight forward as we’d like to believe…
For many couples with children from previous relationships, creating a blended family presents the ultimate challenge. Right from the beginning of the process, those attempting to combine their existing families will inevitably face resistance because the harsh reality is, nobody really wants a blended family. Despite this, many families find a way to do it successfully. So do blended families really work and what’s the secret to making sure that nobody gets left behind?
Sharing her story on 9Honey, Victoria Bright says that she definitely underestimated just how challenging blending two families could be. “One thing my partner and I stupidly assumed was that, due to the kids all being of similar age, they would eventually bond and maybe, just maybe, end up being friends,” she wrote. “But five years down the track, that doesn’t look like it will ever happen…the kids wouldn’t have naturally been friends if their parents hadn’t split up, so forcing them to be friends was never going to work.” Victoria acknowledged that she had struggled to connect with her stepchildren as they blamed her for their parent’s divorce, despite her repeated attempts to assure them that the decision had nothing to do with her. “I could tell, just by looking at them, that they didn’t want to believe me,” she said.
A Common Struggle
It seems that Victoria is not alone, and many couples spend years attempting to blend their families successfully. Patricia Papernow, a psychologist and author, told The Washington Post that its all about adjusting expectations. “We talk about blended families and have a vision of becoming one, but that’s not reality,” she said. “If you act as if becoming ‘blended’ is the goal, you can set yourself up for feeling like you’re failing.”
We have so much admiration for couples that manage to sustain a healthy relationship and manage the challenges of a blended family, and if you’re struggling just remember that if the Kardashian/Jenners can do it, you can too!
Do you have any tips for a happy blended family? Share them in the comments below.
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