Interpersonal conflict within the blended family : a pastoral study
Basson, Jennifer Louise
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Blended families are fast becoming the pattern for marriage in a century where divorce is prevalent. This study focussed on the fact that couples are not being adequately prepared through premarital counselling for the problem areas found within the blended family. The basis theoretical perspective revealed that problems that are typical today within the blended family were shown to be present from the moment that man deviated from God's plan for the ideal marriage, and that many examples of this are found in the Bible. The meta theoretical perspective showed that there are very specific problems associated with couples who consider marriage for a second time. The research indicated that the conflict manifested itself with four major areas: Parental conflict; discipline of children; maternal negativity; and the crisis of identity found within stepchildren. The empirical section of this study revealed that the premarital counselling used by couples facing a blended marriage did not adequately prepare them and that of all the couples surveyed, whether they had done premarital counselling or not, all had struggled within the same areas in their marriages. It was found that there were large gaps within the premarital counselling given and that these gaps correlated with the four main conflict issues mentioned earlier. Furthermore, the study showed that the church is not regarded as being the institution that can help blended families in their conflict issues. Remarital counselling guidelines have been proposed in the form of an acronym 'WISER FAMILIES'. These guidelines address particularly the conflict areas that the research identified, which were not addressed by conventional premarital counselling. Guidelines were also proposed for churches, to assist them in dealing with the problems experienced by blended families, and suggests practical ways to meet their needs, using the implementation of support and focus groups.
- ETD@PUK