Ex-partners, your children, step children or conflicting parenting styles are causing conflict between you and your spouse.
You feel emotionally drained by the challenges of being in a blended/step family.
You sometimes doubt if your relationship will succeed.
A recent Pew Research Center poll revealed that an estimated 42% of American adults have at least one blended family relationship (i.e. step or half sibling, step parent, stepchild).
Remarriage, especially when children from the previous relationship(s) are involved, can be a land mine for conflict.
Some common challenges found in step families:
Your children or stepchildren may harbor pain and hostility towards you or your new partner, or their new siblings.
You and your partner may be driven apart by disagreements in how you should parent the children, schedule routines, and allocate financial resources.
You may have unresolved issues from your last relationship that can trigger emotional pain and distrust of your new partner.
Counseling for blended families can help you and your partner work as a team.
Although you may feel helpless to change your family situation for the better, therapy can provide you and your partner with a safe place to overcome the issues that are causing you discomfort and disconnection.
Blended family counseling gives you the opportunity to make space and time for your relationship. It also demonstrates to each other that, while in the midst of chaos and conflict, working through your family issues is a priority.
But, you still may have questions or concerns about blended families therapy...
I’m worried that if we engage in therapy that we’ll discover that we have irreconcilable differences.
This is a valid concern, and we cannot say with certainty that your fear is without merit. However, even if you were to discover that your differences are too large to resolve, you’d find that out eventually, whether you attend therapy or not.
That said, therapy helps many couples discover how similar their needs, desires and relationship goals are. We serve as a guide as you develop new, stronger agreements, goals and strategies.
If you do not address your differences, it can lead to further disconnection Your issues are unlikely to go away on their own. Left unexpressed, emotions can become bottled up and/or eventually vented aggressively.
In the event that you do discover you can’t and/or shouldn’t reconcile your differences, we can help you part ways compassionately.
Counseling can help you maintain respect, dignity and good will toward each other so you can protect yourselves and your children from the negativity that often comes with divorce.
I’m afraid that you’ll take my partner’s side, and that I’ll feel even more frustrated and alienated than I already do.
We can assure you no sides will be taken; however we will provide active, honest feedback and guidance to both you and your partner. We believe in fairness, respect and balance, and will work to help you and your partner achieve those things both in my office and in your relationship overall.