I talk a lot about the divorce rate and how our purpose at Awesome Marriage is to not only lower that rate but also help people have great marriages that they cherish. The divorce rate in the United States is currently over 50 percent. Since we are focusing on blended families in June, let’s look at the divorce statistics for blended families. These will blow you away. The divorce rate for second marriages, when only one partner has children, is over 65 percent. When both partners have children, the rate rises to 70 percent.*
Most of the couples that I talk to as they enter a second marriage have high hopes that it will be better than the first. They believe they have learned valuable lessons from the first—and honestly, many of them have. The problem comes from one simple fact: The difference between a first marriage and a blended family is huge. Couples discover that the things that worked in their first marriage probably will not work here and the things they learned and will try to change will probably not work either. A blended family is different, and most people are not aware of that difference until they are up to their necks in blended family issues and conflicts. A husband and wife bring baggage into a marriage, but in a blended family there are also kids who have been through a divorce or the death of a parent, and they bring their baggage too. To blend a healthy family takes a long time. It may take years, and that does not seem to fit well with our current fast-paced culture.
Our focus on blended families this month has two main purposes: first, to help create an awareness of the differences blended families face; second, to offer help and resources as couples and their children enter into this arrangement. One of the ways we want to help is through a mentoring program: We are pairing mentor couples who have been successful in blending a family with couples in blended families who are struggling. If you want to be a mentor couple for us or would like to have a mentor couple, please let us know. There are links below to get in touch with us.
The bottom line is that blended families are tough, but with help and support and hard work, they can be extremely rewarding. God has an incredible plan for each and every family, blended or not.