Focus on the Family

So, Where's the Honeymoon?

Unrealistic expectations create disillusionment when your hopes are not realized. Realistic expectations for your blended family give much need perspective and guidance for a fulfilling family experience.

by Ron Deal

There is a honeymoon for blended family couples, it just comes at the end of the journey, not at the beginning.

Falling in love produces a hope for the future. Couples with children from previous relationships who fall in love and plan a wedding also hope for a blended family filled with love and honor. They wish for a honeymoon – and a "familymoon!" But if their hope is not realized in the manner desired, disillusionment sets in. And disillusionment without perspective can erode love.

Finding Realistic Expectations

Marriage and the stepfamily experience are complicated endeavors. It is vital that you understand something of the process of becoming a family so you don't assume terrible things when you experience discouragement or disillusionment. One stepmother said, "I didn't realize that a second marriage would cause me to give up the dream of a perfect or whole family. Everyone's illusions change after marriage, but it's particularly difficult when children and a former spouse are involved." Much of the discouragement people experience in stepfamilies is normal and simply part of learning to be family for one another. Sometimes, misguided expectations of the "perfect or whole family" set you up for even greater disillusionment. It's very important that your expectations are realistic. Adjusting them now can help you aim for the right target and encourage you to relax in your family and enjoy the journey.

A Well-Cooked Meal

Stew left in a crock-pot for only 30 minutes will not taste good. But the same ingredients allowed to cook for six hours – softening and sharing themselves at their own pace – produces a well-cooked meal. Stepfamilies take time to cook well. Patience and persistence are key culinary attitudes. So, too, is remembering that there is a honeymoon for blended family couples, it just comes at the end of the journey, not at the beginning.

1Becoming a Stepfamily (New York: Gardner Press, 1993).
2E.M. Hetherington and J. Kelly, For Better of For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2002).