top of page

Building Healthy Blended Families and BROKEN FORTUNE by Aly Mennuti

Cover of the book Broken Fortune by Aly Mennuti used to teach the concept of building blended families.

When Benjamin (Dad of three) and Kate (Mom of two) married, they expected their families with young kids to merge. The wedding day showed that, without work, blending was unlikely. Caroline threw rose petals at guests, Julian went missing for hours, Tessa had a panic attack, Paul displayed anger to mask his hurt, and Elizabeth attempted to become the family savior. Kate and Benjamin, who had considerable time, talent, and treasure, didn’t help. The time and talent consistently went to their businesses, leaving the kids with only the treasure.


Money didn’t solve the family's problems. Decades later, when they gathered following Kate’s death, little had changed. Caroline threw tantrums, Julian fled and avoided, Tessa faked perfection while barely holding life together, Paul hid from reality, and Elizabeth single-mindedly strove to create a healthy family.


Building functional blended families is challenging. Newlyweds may be excited about their new life together, but the children they bring into the family often experience conflicting emotions, including sadness over losing their original family, anxiety about their changing roles, and discomfort with the new relationships they are expected to form.


Here are tips newly formed stepfamilies can use to build healthy and functional blended families:


Expect Ambivalence: Don’t expect kids to be excited about change. Accept that their feelings are complex and varied. Listen to the emotions they are experiencing without forcing your feelings on them.


Find Common Ground: Mutual interests help people feel included and less like strangers. Find shared interests in books, movies, foods, and activities (etc.), and then engage in these things together.


Roll with Rejection: It is normal for stepchildren to go through periods of disliking their new stepparents or stepsiblings as they are the personification of a deeply felt emotional rollercoaster. Try to give each other grace and practice forgiveness.


Ease In: Fast, dramatic change is challenging for anyone and instigates revolt. Slowly take on more family roles and responsibilities and spend time getting to know each other.

**Thank you to the author, Aly Mennuti, for providing an ARC of this book.


bottom of page