How to Successfully Blend Your Family

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If you made a list of all the things in your life you never thought would happen, situations you never could never have imagined yourself being in, what would you write down?

For some of you, picking up the broken pieces of your life and starting over again with a blended family might be at the top of that list.

This new chapter of life may have come about through death or divorce or some other circumstance, but the challenge is the same: how to overcome the difficulties common to blended families and to give this new part of your life its best chance to thrive.

One Woman’s Story of Domestic Violence

Chained heart

Every now and then our radio broadcast covers a topic that breaks my heart.

This is one of them.

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month here in the U.S., so we’re gearing today’s and tomorrow’s programs toward creating awareness about domestic violence and offering information and hope to those who may be suffering abuse themselves.

Some of our listeners might be thinking, “Why would Focus be talking about a subject like this on Christian radio?” Well, the sad truth is, domestic violence happens within the Christian community as well, so we need to talk about it openly and honestly.

Read Encouraging Stories of Marriages Rescued from Divorce

Married couple on couch

Back in May, I shared with you the news that the National Institute of Marriage (NIM) was joining Focus on the Family. What made this coming together so exciting was NIM’s specialty is crisis intervention for marriages that are on the brink of divorce.

Through multiple-day intensive marriage retreats for couples who are literally out of options when it comes to salvaging their relationships, the counselors at NIM are able to offer solid, biblical counsel to these couples that help them achieve hope and healing.

Stepfamilies Form Part of Our Christian Faith

wedding rings on puzzle pieces

Stepfamilies exist for different reasons. Sometimes as a result of marriage after divorce… sometimes because of a marriage after the death of a spouse. Sometimes the stepfamily happens because a baby or child born out-of-wedlock creates a blended family after the marriage takes place.

Whatever the reason, we know this is true: in addition to the issues all families face – the sibling rivalry, economic issues, the occasional spat – stepfamilies often have some added challenges to overcome.

The Ultimatum that Saved a Marriage

couple holding hands

His marriage was dead. It was past acrimony and fighting. Comedian Jeff Allen and his wife, Tami, were at a stage of apathy.

After years of his alcoholism and fits of rage, it got to the point where Tami always had her back to Jeff.

Finally, one night, Jeff and Tami were in bed when he tried to talk with her – except she refused to turn around.

“No, please,” she said.

“What’s the problem?” Jeff inquired.

How to Avoid This Leading Cause of Divorce


Mary Hunt was cheating on her husband. Her tryst, though, wasn’t with another man – but it had the power to destroy the marriage just the same.

The secret Mary hid from her husband was about her financial infidelity – to the tune of $100,000 in credit card debt.

Money problems are one of the leading causes of divorce in our nation. Granted, most couples don’t carry a credit burden as deep as Mary and her husband’s.

How Can Parents Help Their Children After Divorce?


Earlier this week we aired a broadcast dealing with a difficult and sensitive issue: how can a man and woman who are divorced co-parent their children successfully?

It can be a challenging issue to navigate. We know God’s heart is for marriage and divorce is outside His intent. That’s why we encourage couples in crisis to do everything they can to work out differences through prayer, counseling and community support.

However, the reality remains that sometimes, divorce happens.

The Greying of Divorce


Exceptions to the norm naturally surprise us, like when we hear about a marriage of 40-plus years ending in divorce.

Do you know somebody who for no good reason has decided to walk away from their marriage of longstanding?

According to the research, approximately 4% of marriages that make it to 40 years will eventually end in divorce.

What would cause somebody to give up on their spouse after so many years together?

I think a lot of it is caused by the modern nature of marriage.

Does Facebook Cause Divorce?


Do you use Facebook?

There’s a new survey out this week suggesting that the popular social networking site is a major factor in 1 out of 5 U.S. divorces.

Are you surprised?

Before going any further, let’s be clear:

Facebook doesn’t cause divorce – people do.

But …

Over the years, the evolution of technology has always facilitated marital infidelity, at least for those so inclined. When the telephone was first invented, people were suddenly able to talk instantly with another person in a different locale.

Seven Predictors of Divorce


I last shared Dr. Gottman’s six predictors of marital success and happiness. Here now are his top warning signs of coming marital strife:

1.  Harsh Start of Arguments

The partner who starts the argument is aggressive or hostile, is insulting, attacks his partner’s character, uses sarcasm, shows contempt or disgust—all of which lead to escalation or withdrawal.

2.  Criticism

Attacking character or traits, instead of addressing the problem specifically.

3.  Contempt

Disgust, disrespect, condescension, sarcasm, eye-rolling.