All hell broke loose and destroyed the vacation in the stepfamily

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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VACATION TIME! What If You Don’t Like Your Stepkids?

It’s vacation time, but what do you do, if you do not like your partner’s children?

The summer vacation is approaching and you feel the unrest and resistance grow. You are uneasy about spending the summer vacation with your partner’s children.

Fact is that you do not like them and would rather not spend your vacation time with them.

You are in love with your boyfriend/girlfriend, but do not feel any affection towards his/her kids.

Fact is that children are part of the package in many cases. They are not a conscious option, but they are part of the package, which means that there are other rules that apply here.

Do not expect miracles in terms of mutual feelings, you and your fusion kids “should” have towards each other. Understand and accept that it will take time and effort to get the relationship with the children to work, so it will be bearable for you all.

You should expect this to be a long process. But be ready to show willingness to take responsibility and care of the children, even though there is no “great love” between you.

You can choose to view the upcoming summer vacation as a source for your personal development. You can practice expanding your limits.

Charlotte Egemar Kaaber

Let it be your goal to spend the summer without an eternal inner resistance to the kids. Anger and irritation are like drinking poison and expecting the other die. I think it’s worth remembering that it would just drain your energy.

I would recommend that you try to be introspective in order to find the real source from which your irritation stems.

• Does your boyfriend/girlfriend demand respect from the children also in regards to their behavior towards you and does he/she back you up properly?
• Are you jealous? Do the children take too much time/room? Do you feel neglected?
• Are you angry at yourself that you are not doing well enough?
• Do you not meet your own expectations of yourself in the given situation?
• Is there anything in their upbringing, which can cause children’s annoying behavior? And it is something that can be changed?
• Are the children trying to achieve something specific with their behavior?
• Are the kids jealous of you?

If you answer the questions above honestly (even if you are embarrassed) you can take responsibility and do something about it. Take responsibility instead of pointing fingers, and gently explain to your boyfriend/girlfriend how you feel and what you need from him/her, so that your experience with the children will be more pleasant.

Blended family - divorced family

Your relationship with the child may benefit from taking a small trip together and be able to really experience the child’s personality beyond the already established role in the blended family. The change of finding out whether it is the child’s role or the child’s perception of his/her role in the family, which is why you object, is possible.

If your impression of the child is surprising and more positive, you may find it easier to identify the source of your resistance. By deliberately changing the facts/things that could move your relationship in the positive direction, you have both helped the child to be more comfortable in his/her role in the family and in his/her relationship with you. If the child is behaving differently than usual, you will also react differently than usual. New input creates new output.


It is quite natural that you become irritated or angry at your boyfriend/girlfriend’s children. Do not blame yourself, and if it is not an isolated case, but an increasing irritation, you have to do something about it, you need to discuss it with your boyfriend/girlfriend.

If you act furiously and show your dismay over their children’s behavior your boyfriend/ girlfriend will most likely immediately take the children’s side.

You get nothing out of it and it only creates distance between the two of you. Wait till you calm down and then talk about it later on in a solution-oriented and welcoming tone.

It is worth remembering that the only thing your boyfriend/girlfriend wants you to like his/her children.

It is a good idea when you initiate the difficult conversations to mention something positive about the children. Something they have done or said that you like.
This provides a better foundation for addressing the difficult conversation about what you want changed.

It is not the easiest conversation to have, but it can be done, if you remember to stay on impartial and speak from the heart and not from anger.