THERE WILL BE UPHEAVALS. From the beginning both parents in the newly combined family need to commit to working through whatever comes up between family members. On a regular basis hold meetings, or at meals, discuss new expectations of the joint family. Make a point to address questions as well as concerns.

Don’t be surprised when jealousy and insecurity crop up. Adults are just as likely to feel threatened by the children of their new partner, as children are. Make it clear to all there is plenty of love to go around.

Encourage lots of ongoing dialogue. That can

nip potential problems in the bud and save plenty of heartache.

New partner/parents will need to create new methods of problem solving. What worked before may not work now.

Too many such new combined families disintegrate in the first few years. DON’T LET THAT HAPPEN TO YOU. Don’t be shy about seeking professional help for you and your partner, either individually or jointly.