Conflicts for blended families fall in six different categories. If you enter the "state of blended-family-parenthood" without prior discussion, planning and agreement with your spouse-to-be, you will certainly be caught by one or more of these conflicts. And, frankly, even the best planned, discussed, and agreed-upon-in-advance blueprints will meet with some problems such as the six discussed below. It’s the nature of the beast: blended family!
1. Unrealistic expectations of marriage.
Belief that romance will conquer all.
Belief that marriage will "jumpstart" his/her life.
Belief being married will solve all problems, including loneliness.
Belief that life will continue to be like the courtship phase was.
Belief that romance will stay alive in a marriage unaided, or even with lots of help.
2. Unrealistic expectations of a blended family.
Belief that a blended family will be immediately loving: the instant family myth.
Belief that stepchildren will love you.
Belief that the stepchildren will respect and/or obey you.
Belief that a blended family will be like a nuclear family.
Belief that the biological parent, your spouse, will support you in ways that are not happening.
Belief that the biological parent, your spouse, will see your side.
Belief that the biological parent, your spouse, will intuitively know what you want–that he/she can read minds.
Belief that the stepchildren will be fair to you.
Belief that the stepchildren can think like adults.
Belief that the biological parent, your spouse, will want to function as a team.
3. One spouse is not involved in the care of his/her children.
One partner, say dad, seemed very involved with this children while the couple were dating. After marriage, however, Dad seems to forget about the children. Stepmom takes on most of the care. In fact, Dad and the world seem to expect that this will be the case.
One partner, say mom, turns over the care of her boys to stepdad or vice-versa.