Building Stepfamily Intimacy: Three Ways A Blended Family Bonds

When I first married in to my blended family in 2001, I thought the transition would be fast for the children, time for my partner and I not an issue, and loving everyone in my family was supposed to happen naturally.  Was I ever wrong!

Learn the stages of blended families!  One of the best known experts are the Vishers, who have many good books.   One of their most famous is How To Win As A Stepfamily, by John and Emily Visher. Here is also a simple one page guide to being in a successful step-family: http://www.samaritanhouston.org/assets/pdf/resources/building-a-successful-stepfamily.pdf

The first way to build intimacy with your blended family is to make time to adapt.  Let kids come to you.  Get to know them one-on-one.  Make sure to be kind to yourself, soothe yourself, plus be kind to children, and see what happens.  Let them get to know you on their terms.  Remember the children have experienced a loss from the way their former family was for them.

Secondly, give time for your primary relationship.  The stepfamily won’t do well in the future if you don’t pay attention to your relationship.   How can you set time aside to build marriage intimacy?  Try setting dates and times for your special moments on a regular basis.

Third, build a healthy marriage, and build your bond with children, by showing love for others, even when there’s tension in the family, which is very normal with stepfamilies.  Try not to over do it, or under do it, but listen to what works for others.   See if you can give what is needed, even if that means time alone for your partner, your children, or your self.  Thoughtful gifts can be good icebreakers, as can helping another out with a chore they don’t like to do.   Be creative in how you love yourself and how you love your stepfamily.  Your intimacy with your partner, and with your stepfamily, can grow in fun, unexpected ways.  As a stepparent, I find these tools and others to be effective when practiced consistently.

 

 

Jim Bowen MA LPC has been assisting individuals and couples since 1992, with offices in Boulder and Denver. Contact Jim with email or call him at 303-534-8717. Why not call for a free consultation?