Q: Hi Mary Jo, what is the best way to blend a family going from a single child to five children? Thanks, Joe
A: Dear Joe, That’s a significant transition from one child to five and no matter how enthusiastic you currently feel, your enthusiasm may not spill over onto your new blended family. Feelings of rejection and uncertainty are common as are anger and guilt. Your family’s transition will go smoother if you remember these three important points:
- Be patient. This is a process, and it will not happen overnight. Most families report things improving and moving in a positive manner after one or two years.
- Be realistic. Don’t expect your blended children to perfectly share a house, possibly their room, and two parents without insecurities and daily drama.
- Choose battles wisely. Everyone warms up to others in their own way and time. Choose your battles wisely; know when to insist and when to let go.
Q: Hi Mary Jo, when a man cheats on a woman, how come she can accept him back, but when a woman cheats on a man he doesn’t want to accept her back? Thank you, Carletta
A: Dear Carletta, a study from the Journal of Personality and Individual differences confirms that you are right in saying women take their man back more after cheating. However, it isn’t much more; 21% of men reported that they would return to someone that cheated on them compared to 28% of women. The study, however, did not look at forgiveness. In my work with couples who cheat, their partner’s integrity is forever questioned because cheating is a choice. In addition, I have found that men are less likely to forgive acts of sexual promiscuity, whereas women are more concerned with emotional infidelity (women are more threatened by emotional attachments).