Blended Families In The Blended Family

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Blended families are more commonly known as stepfamilies. In this scenario, the blended family is composed of a couple who was married one year after dating 9 months (each were divorced within 2 years of the current marriage), the mother’s two daughters (4 and a 6 years-old), and the father’s children (an 8 year-old boy and a 12 year-old girl). Recently, the mother’s 4 year-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. A new family structure is already difficult to become accustomed to, but with the added stress of a new medical diagnosis in a child, this family structure becomes increasingly stressed. From a family systems perspective, there are potential impacts on this blended family, including the spousal, stepparent and sibling relationships.…show more content…
In this scenario, with such a fast marriage between divorce times, there is a potential that neither the mother nor the father has had the chance to fully work through what happened in their first marriages. Working through this is the biggest prediction of a future successful marriage, and if one can figure out what didn’t work previously, they can ensure that they will work so that this does not impact their future marriage(s). In essence, this couple may still be in the “honeymoon phase” of their marriage. With this added stress of a seriously ill child, the relationship will dramatically change and the perceptions of one another may also change, as this is most likely the first stressful experience for the couple as spouses. The father will need to become the major supporter for his new wife, and this may be difficult if he is more reserved in sharing his feelings or has a different “love language.” From a multigenerational transmission standpoint, the male partner may come from a more closed boundary family system or from a higher differentiated family system than his wife, and this mismatch between partners could cause even more stress on the relationship and the new family structure. Clearly, having an ill child would put a strain on any spousal or parent relationship, but adding in such a new marriage can make this stress even more

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