In today’s society, nuclear families are no longer the norm. Chances are, you or someone you know is a part of a blended family. Whether that means a re-marriage through divorce, or the death of a spouse, forming new family connections can be a tricky thing to do. Couples counselling, or marriage therapy is a fantastic way of preparing your relationship for the transitory time ahead.
Marriage therapy isn’t just for married couples. Those in relationships, or even divorced couples can engage in couples counselling to help them navigate potentially rocky roads between themselves and their families. Marriage therapy is especially important when there are children involved. Ensuring that children receive the support and attention they need can be difficult, but through counselling you will have the tools you need.
Transition in Relationships
Any kind of transition period during a relationship is bound to cause friction, and tension. Add children, a potential move, and maybe even a wedding and you need all the extra support you can get! Relationships that include children from earlier relationships need to take extra care when ensuring the physical and emotional needs of everyone involved are being met.
How Couples Counselling Helps Blended Families
Up until now, you have been parenting your children in a specific way. All of a sudden, you have a partner who may have their own opinions on how you go about parenting your children. An Ottawa couples therapist can help guide your conversations on parenting in a constructive, and productive way. Through conversation you will arrive at a parenting and disciplinary philosophy that takes into account both of your opinions. This way, when the time comes to co-parent your blended family, you’re ready.
In addition to helping you navigate the rocky road of co-parenting, couples therapy can also help blended families through their relationships with all of the other characters in the story. For example, former spouses, in-laws, grandparents, etc. These people are all going to be a part of your life going forward. Knowing how to set boundaries in a respectful and constructive way while still ensuring your children have a relationship with these important figures is crucial in the success of your blended family.
Being a Step-Parent
While family counselling may be a good idea for your family, couples counselling can help you and your partner establish stepparent protocols. One of the trickier aspects of parenting a blended family, is establishing where your role fits into the larger picture. With more seats at the Thanksgiving dinner table, it helps to have an outside perspective. Start by letting go of traditional gender and parenting roles, and really taking stock of where you as a stepparent can enrich the lives of all of the children in the relationship. For one woman’s perspective on being a stepmom, see this article.
To schedule an appointment with Capital Choice Counselling Ottawa, or to learn more about couples counselling for blended families contact us at 613-425-4257, or email us through our website here.