Most of us have done status here after the summer break, evaluating on the vacation with your and maybe our children.
Did we have a good time?
Was the atmosphere pleasant?
Did the family have fun together?
We analyze the vacation and all the situations and conclude that – yes – the beginning of the vacation was certainly good. Great actually! The fusion family members enjoyed themselves, until……..
The all hell broke loose and destroyed the much needed peace and quiet. And challenged all at once everything we had feared would happen. Members of our fusion family could no longer “pretend”. They shouted. They made a scene. It was exactly the situation we had dreaded and now it had happened. We fear the scene had ruined something in our family, perhaps even irreparable. You can probably recognize the situation from your own life. (I can.)
A surprise rebellion from one of the children, a conflict between the role as a fusion mom/father and a child (You’re not my mother/father, so don’t talk to me.)
A heated discussion about how you or your partner handled the situation with the children, one of you doubting the other’s good intentions in relation to the children. (It hurts.)
I want you to stay calm. These conflicts are inevitable, if we as a fusion family grow and develop, they are necessary. They are an essential step toward the feeling of cohesion.
The conflicts are crucial, indeed a really invigorating step in the evolution of your family. Therefore, I challenge you the next time (expect that there will be a next time) to take a moment to let the conflict sink in and stay in the conflict with your head held high. Do not run away or change the subject. It is worth remembering that it is not a permanent condition. The atmosphere will change at some point.
This is a different way for us to think about conflicts, power struggles and loyalty issues that are as explosive minefields to a fusion family. Normally we look at conflict as something we must avoid at any cost.
Instead, try to see conflicts as opportunities for development and as a sign that you now “dare” to be yourself. You do no longer have to “pretend” but now you can dare to demand and make demands on each other.
1st A conflict points out that something must change. Arguments and disagreements come to the surface when a need has not been met, important needs, such as feeling loved and belonging, knowing that you can contribute or knowing what is expected or where the boundaries are.
2nd Expect that there will be fighting in your family along the way. All families of every kind – blended or not – argue, have disagreements, power struggles and difficulties from time to time. In fusion families with conflicting loyalties and the pressure to get it to work this time, these tensions have additional importance in our thoughts and thus providing additional strong emotions. We fear that challenges can be too big to handle – or we pretend that they are not important enough to worry about (because we hope “it” will go away by itself.)
The truth is that the more conflicts we handle, so everyone involved feels seen and heard, we will actually pave the way for a better understanding and deeper relationships.
3rd When conflicts arise, ask yourself two questions before the battle begins. Which needs are not met? Look for who is missing something that seems important to them. It may be that a child needs more structure, attention, or care. Maybe the fusion mom/dad needs clarification of what her/his role is.
You and your partner may need more time together and focus than you have now.
So when the going gets tough, listen to your heart. Try to remember that any dispute handled is a step towards creating a loving and permanent fusion family.
Disagreements and conflicts in your family can make room for your relationships to grow and mature. When you listen to each other with compassion and make changes or adjustments it allows all members of your family to get what they really need.
Fusion families can be loving, permanent families in spite of conflicting loyalties and misunderstanding.
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