KITOTO: How to navigate challenges of blended families

Wednesday March 18 2020

Blended families could mean the bringing together of two family cultures, who enjoyed different ways of life, to live under the same roof. PHOTO | FILE


Hi Pastor Kitoto,

I have a question regarding blended families. I am a single mother of four and I have been approached by an eligible gentleman who is also a single father of two. Considering that I will come to the marriage with my children and he will also come with his and there will be issues to deal with in the marriage such as disciplining children, finances, et cetera, what should I be aware of in regard to managing the new blended family that will be formed? Both of us lived in sin but now we are both born again. Then at what point is it okay to introduce each other to our children? Do you have any book you can recommend for more information?


There are many types of blended families. First, there are those formed from a single and unmarried man and woman with children of their own born out of wedlock in a relationship that never moved towards marriage. Second, there are those who come from marriages that experienced divorce. Third are those that are a mix of the two.

Reasons that necessitated the break-up of the relationship in either case is integral to coming up with ways of overcoming past hurts and moving towards building new relationships.

Remembering that relationships are complicated is helpful to building consensus on issues.

Strong and emotionally healthy individuals make relationships and marriage work better. For example, a spouse with children from an abusive relationship will have a lot of baggage to carry from that past. In addition, there could be people issues and conflicts that require resolving.

Therefore, challenges of blended families and how to deal with them will be a priority. As you mentioned, instilling discipline in children can lead to the breaking up of a relationship if a spouse ends up feeling like their child was being treated unfairly. Talking and walking towards a joint way of raising and disciplining children will be one of your key priorities.

Together with this are the issues of merging different family cultures. What were their agreements on issues concerning money, treatment of in-laws, how previous relationships still affect the current life. How were conflicts resolved and victories celebrated.

In essence, blended families could mean the bringing together of two family cultures, who enjoyed different ways of life, to live under the same roof. What level of tolerance would be needed?

When studied well and approached with wisdom, a lot could happen that could add wisdom to how spouses and children live in blended families.

So, when should one say yes in light of such issues? The answer to this is not as simple as one may think. People are difficult to understand. However, do due diligence in the areas discussed.

For example, what caused the separation in the previous relationships? Are there pending issues that were not dealt with? Who took responsibility for what? How has that affected how they moved forward? What was the family culture? What relational intelligence can I bring into this relationship?

These and many other questions can offer a place to start. In the end, it is a matter of choice.


Do not let people intimidate you with threats

How are you Kitoto? I hope you can help me solve my problem and restore my relationship which was destroyed by a Mafia group. I was working in a place where the men there had to have sex with every woman. Sex has never been my hobby. Leave alone having sex with a stranger. However I met my Mr. Right and we were very happy together.

The people I refused to have sex with, made sure that the relationship didn't work. When my spouse got a job with the UN, they frustrated him and he had to quit.

As I am talking we are not together and it is almost 20 years and I have not had sex with another man. These people took my school and college certificates and burnt them. I can't get a job and anywhere I get a teaching job on contract, they follow me and threaten my employers. So most of the time, I am jobless. They insist I must have sex with them. My spouse is too scared to come back to me. How do I handle this mafia group and move on with my family?

I may not fully understand your context. However, it’s not only immoral but against the law for someone to harass or demand sexual favours from another. This is sexual harassment.

Standing for one’s values is key. Why desire to compromise and regret all your life? I encourage you to be steadfast. Sometimes good morals don’t come about easily.

In addition, if indeed these people continue to be a problem, you need to report the threats to the police.

I really do not see how they are able to penetrate into every space you or your boyfriend gets into. Their threats should not be allowed to continue. Instead, it should be met with the full force of the law. Allowing them to taunt you could give them the power they need to rule over you.

It may be right for you to place sexual harassment in its correct place and not allow others to get leeway to continue to mentally abuse you.

As for them getting hold of your personal documents like certificates and destroying them, you should take legal action. Taking authority over your fears is also important. Fear can make one overly anxious. It may be difficult to force your man back to you. You have to defeat your fears.

I said in one of my article some time ago that, the way to a successful life is to stop feeding one’s mind with negative thoughts.

When we do, we will come to believe what we think about ourselves. I suggest that, instead of blame, feed your mind with positive thoughts, and make it your priority surround yourself with people who give you positive support.

When you learn to accept and love yourself, this will help release joy and bring soberness to your heart and mind. You must believe deep down in your heart that you're destined to do great things including relating to people who have the capacity to add value to your life.


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