Tuesday, August 05, 2008

When Parents Remarry

From TODAY Voices
Tuesday August 5, 2008

By Dr James Dobson

Yesterday, we talked about blended families and the special challenges they typically face. Our focus was on the kids and their difficulties in accepting a step-parent or living with new siblings.

But the more serious problem common among reconstituted families concerns the way the new husband and wife feel about their kids. Each is irrationally committed to his or her own flesh and blood, while they’re merely acquainted with the others.

When fights or insults occur between both sets of kids, they’re almost always partial to the ones whom they brought into this world.

The natural tendency is to let the blended family dissolve into armed camps: Us against them. If kids sense this tension between their parents, they’ll exploit it to gain power over their siblings. Unless there are ways to work out these issues, some terrible battles can occur.

Given these challenges, it’s clear why the probabilities of second and third marriages being successful are considerably lower than the first.

It is possible to blend families successfully and millions have done it, but the task is difficult, and you may need some help in pulling it off.

That’s why I strongly suggest that those planning to remarry seek professional counselling as early as possible. It may be expensive, but another divorce would be even more costly.
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