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Blended Families - Midlife Rough Blendies

This week, we bring you Midlife Rough Blendies.

Have you read part 1? Click below to read:

We have seen that Smooth Blendies require consistent hard work, education, mindset changes and a lot of personal sacrifices. We may also need to reassess our expectations about Smooth Blendies and consider Rough Blendies as a more realistic expectation with blended families.

Many times, the loyalty of the children is to the memory of their father or mother and this requires sensitive and careful handling. The children may interpret welcoming, accepting and connecting with the new person as disloyalty and betrayal to their biological parent.

Another child may have become the de-facto new spouse - and taken the role, space and power position to guard, guide, and protect his mother. He or she deals with the mother like a partner and believes agreement should occur at each point.

Think about it, when a new person comes, you will begin to deal with a power shift and therefore power tussle. That child is going to lose the power position with the parent. This needs to be handled with care, attention, unique conversations, and appreciation. Whatever you do, try not to make promises or trade-offs at this sensitive time, because whatever you promise becomes a big complex challenge and a test of character & credibility of the new person.

Another rough blend is the “our family” flesh and blood, vs the kind & loving stranger. The children will begin to acknowledge your need for companionship, so long as flesh and blood connection remains your preference and number one priority. You will be pushed to always choose “us” above “them”. This is a very tricky balancing act that may end up in chaos. It is better to review this situation carefully with your partner before you address it as a parent.

As things begin to settle over a 3 - 4 year period, you may now realise that the pressures of daily life of the single parent are not changing or going away.

You seem to be under more pressure now and your responsibilities have increased. You got the companionship, your emotional needs are met, but your daily pressure has increased significantly, that is a rough blend.

It is possible to build and model a successful blended family if you are prepared with information, educated on the possible challenges. You will need time, patience, and a schedule that includes all parties without forcing the response time and transition period.

If your children have developed a high-dependence relationship with you and you have not been able to help them mature per age range, it might be good to spend time away from the children. The objective will be to show the child the need for independence and signal the beginning of the transition while avoiding it coinciding with the official introduction of the new partner. You will need extended family support to achieve these drop off events for the children to go do other things away from home and away from you.

If your children are split between you and your ex-spouse and the children meet monthly or periodically, then they will compare notes, assess the strangers, and discuss their inner concerns and secrets and take joint decisions.

You need to find a way to connect and unobtrusively enter into this conversation, at least to know their joint decisions, not to stop it outrightly but to influence the outcome and impact by preparing the parties maturely. Except there is a threat to life and property, keep calm and go with the flow but with prepared reasoning.

Rough blends are beyond the challenges with the children, new partners and extended family, it seats more with your heightened expectations saddled with new unseen challenges of blending.


Can you successfully make the rough blendies - smooth blendies ? - This is another Midlife Encounter.

Let's talk about it.




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