America has been called a melting pot. And it is. Every race, creed and color is welcome here and has made his or her home here. Being divorced can sometimes feel as if you are living in your own country, or at least zip code, and when you become a blended family with someone who lives in your country, you become your own melting pot.
Blended Families and the Brady Bunch
A blended family, by definition, is when you take two families and blend them together to make one big happy family. Think Brady Bunch, but with more drama and problems that can’t be solved within an hour of TV time. But, we all know that when you are divorced with children and the future spouse is divorced with children that you will become your own Brady Bunch.
What the Brady Bunch does not show is all the accessories that go along with a blended family. And, by accessories, I don’t mean more shoes or purses, but in-laws, outlaws, steps and half’s.
The melting pot of blended families
Because my mind works in mysterious ways, when I think of a melting pot, I think of fondue. And, when I think of fondue that isn’t cooked right or has sat too long in the pot without being stirred, I think of all the lumps that form. That is what the melting pot of blended families looks like…. lots of lumps.
I have thought of the best way to illustrate this point, and the only thing I could think of to come up with was a flow chart.
Now, as you can see, this is very confusing. I was confused when I was doing this chart, but it basically goes a little like this….
You have a him and her who are divorced, hopefully only once, because if there is more than one, then it really gets confusing. They have children together and each has children from previous marriages. That means that their children have half siblings and stepsiblings respectively, as well as stepparents.
You still with me?
Both of their ex spouses get remarried as well and have their own children together, which means that their respective children from the divorces above will have more half siblings and stepsiblings as well as more stepparents.
The children of the remarried spouses all the way around have no stepparents, unless of course, another divorce takes place, which could happen. But, those children do have half siblings but no stepsiblings. Their half siblings probably do not live with them full time, so their relationship is based on when they are together. The children with stepsiblings do not live together full time either, although they do live with their natural siblings full time, as they are the natural children of the original couples who got divorced and started this whole mess.
We can assume in this diagram that the steps and half’s and natural all do cross paths at one point or another, because they have it from both sides. The opposing him and her are also married with their own children together and children separately.
I did not add in grandparents and step grandparents and aunts and uncles and all of their children and divorces, because I thought that might confuse not only you, but also me.
In conclusion, divorce is the melting pot of blended families.