Blending families can be an opportunity for close new bonds to form, but it can also be a complicated landscape of emotion. Each member of the new family brings their own expectations, hopes, and fears to the table, and finding ways to hold space for everyone can be daunting. Traditional labels or roles can seem out-of-place or be downright rejected, while practical shifts in the family unit’s logistics can cause upheaval and distress. Like with any family, there’s no one way to guarantee we form “one big happy family,” but there are many ways to help everyone feel validated, secure, and loved as we each process the shift in our family identity.
Blended families face unique challenges, and sadly, good intentions aren’t always enough. With so many complex relationships involved, all the normal rules for family life change, even how you apply something as simple as the five love languages.