Challenges of Blended and Step Remarried Families

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The “blending” of a re-marriage means that the old norms, rules, and ways of gaining acceptance are now null and void. Blended and step family members generally do not realise this at the outset, wanting to re-create the biological family of origin (the children’s desire), or the first marriage (the spouses’ unconscious wish).

They cannot. In remarriages, there are at least three types of “emotional baggage” that members carry into the new situation, complicating the dynamics. These are unresolved issues from:

  • The families of origin of the spouses (to do with their parents and siblings),
  • The first marriage
  • The process of separation, divorce or death and the period between marriages (Carter and McGoldrick, 2005).

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