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If it doesn’t work out then it isn’t just the two people dating that are involved. Singles often feel the pressure from their partners to “love” their children as a prerequisite for the relationship.
And then there is the question of “what is my role” with the children and how that does that evolve or grow over time, depending of course on the status of the relationship.
So often people say to me, when they have come for counselling after having been married or living together for a length of time, “If we’d only known some of this before, it would have saved us so much heartache and conflict.” This is precisely what we want to do – to take a preventative approach to relationship and family building that takes into account the unique challenges that most stepfamilies and blended families encounter, even shortly after beginning their lives together.
This is truly the most preventative form or approach imaginable.
Jeannette contends that as soon as you begin to think about dating again, it is not too soon to learn about what this will mean for your kids, for a potential new partner and most importantly what this will mean for you.
It is the knowledge and awareness of what it takes, emotionally, psychologically, physically and mentally, to prepare for life in a new blended family, that really gives people the advantage they need. That is why we are determined and passionate about reaching people with this information, support and guidance while they are in the pre-commitment stage of their relationship.
Just knowing what lies ahead, what to expect, what is normal, what the developmental stages of forming a blended family look like, give couples a sense of preparedness and control that they otherwise would not have had. And what they tell us is that between 70-80% of second marriages with children don’t survive, resulting in second and sometimes third broken families in some cases. It is another form of Premarital Counselling but is more comprehensive and aims at preparing folks for the unique dynamics and issues they can expect to encounter in a new stepfamily or blended family.
* Is the tension and conflict taking its toll on your relationships * Are you becoming worried about your children and their well-being?
* Are you constantly arguing with your partner about the kids, discipline and parenting in general?
A lot of questions, to which there are no hard and fast answers to.