Steps on the path to becoming a single family
It takes time, sometimes a long time, and often unrealistic expectations to create a new family. The biggest mistake is to assume that everyone will love each other from the very beginning.
“Such an installation can only lead to great disappointment, warns Dr. Wisher. Getting used to the new family is a slow process. There are several stages through which family members emotionally pass through before they can tackle each other and work together in a new family that will become one. ”
Usually the adaptation is as follows:
STAGE OF DREAMS. It seems to you that you will be a sort of Brady Bunch, that everything will go easy and simple. You are happy that your children will have a new dad, brothers and sisters.
STAGE PSEVODOASSIMILATION. You try to do everything the way you dreamed, but it turns out not at all what you expected. Fantasies can not stand the collision with reality.
THE STAGE OF THE ASSESSMENT OF THE REAL POSITION OF THINGS. You understand that not everything is put together as it should and something needs to be done. You suddenly become annoyed when your stepdaughter sits in the car in the front seat next to her father, instead of sitting in the back. Tension in relationships increases, and sometimes translates into violent scenes.
STAGE OF MOBILIZATION. At this stage, family members begin to emerge from the inhibited state and express that they are not satisfied. Wait for heated debate.
STAGE OF ACTION. Parents begin to define household responsibilities, together they decide how to meet the complex interplay of the needs of all members of a new family.
STAGE OF CREATING CONTACTS. There is a deepening relationship between step-parents and step-children.
RESOLUTION STAGE. Now you all know each other well; established new rules, and all comply with them. You have become a close-knit family.
One family takes four years to complete the adaptation cycle, notes Dr. Wisher. Others need five years to do this. And some people fail, and the only solution is a divorce.
For Jean Saunders, the marriage was a success, although at first it was difficult for her with her husband’s children. “My guys were already teenagers, and his children were not even ten, she recalls. I was frightened by the prospect of raising young children again, and they were so noisy. At first, I tried only to smile and tolerate their bad behavior, but gradually I began to make comments to them like my own children. This was a turning point.
Five or six years passed before I got used to his children; it was then that true family feelings appeared. On the other hand, my children adopted a stepfather relatively easily. True, at first there was a short period when my children were worried about whether their attachment to their stepfather meant betrayal of their father. But we talked a lot about it, and gradually they realized that it was possible to love both with a calm soul. ”