In 1969, The Brady Bunch became the first sitcom in television history to depict what was then a new trend in America: a blended family. Mike and Carol Brady, who both had three children from previous relationships, strived hard each week to – as the theme song said – “somehow form a family.” Most of the problems they faced were humorous and easy to resolve in 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, things are rarely that simple in real life. For most couples, rebuilding a family is closer to Gil and Brenda Stuart than to Mike and Carol Brady. Gil and Brenda entered into marriage with each other hoping they’d left the troubles of their first marriages behind. But just days after their honeymoon, wounds from the past bubbled into the present.
They went for a walk through their neighborhood and wound up lost. Gil thought they were going one direction, and Brenda thought they were going another. They got separated and lost sight of each other. By the time they got home, they were so angry they nearly lost sight of their new marriage as well.
That scenario is common. Old wounds derail new families. Couples step into the future before they’ve adequately settled their past. And they drift.
To get your new family on solid footing, focus on your marriage. As much as possible, pull in the same direction. Make life about “us” and “ours” instead of “me” and “mine.”