Blended families, more commonly known as stepfamilies, are a growing segment of the family structure in the United States. According to a study conducted by Prepare/Enrich, 50% of weddings currently involve at least one partner who has been previously married. Of this 50%, a sizeable majority (60%) involves children.
The challenges faced by these couples provide increased integration difficulties as the interactions with former spouses, in terms of both relational baggage and co-parenting requirements, endure. This is also compounded as stepchildren and parents must acclimate to each other in terms of parenting styles, personalities, and stepsibling harmony.
Each of these challenges can wreak havoc on the newly birthed family and its ultimate ability to survive and more importantly thrive. No statistic can be more telling of the proclivity for the marital breakdown and divorce of blended families than this: The failure rate of first time marriages is approximately 50%; for second marriages it is 60-75%.
It is unwise for any couple to enter into a marital and familial relationship without first knowing the issues that they must confront as well as take the necessary and often practical steps to overcome them. If the blended family hopes to succeed then all parties must be actively involved and working towards the common goal of familial harmony.
With this in mind, The Center for Family & Crisis Counseling is here to help by providing support and assistance in working through these challenges.