Book Quotes from: Loving Your Stepfamily, The Art of Making Your Blending Family Work

Written by Dr. Donald R. and Jenetha G. Partridge. Institute for Family Research and Education, 2007.

The Most Powerful Bonds in the World (p. 16)

It is because of nuclear bonds that you recognize your immediate family as more than just people close to you – you recognize them as part of yourself – you! Doesn’t the following sound familiar?
• If some kid cries too much, the parent is irresponsible and ought to quiet the kid down. If your child cries too much, the child has a good reason and everyone should feel sympathetic.
• If someone is fired, he or she probably deserved it. If your spouse is fired, the employer made a foolish mistake and will live to regret the error.
• If another child is a rising star, she is probably conceited and shouldn’t be overly praised. If your child is the star of the class, everyone should notice and congratulate your child.
• If an umpire calls a kid out at home plate, the kid is out. If an umpire calls your kid out, he is incompetent and should volunteer his time somewhere else.
• If an officer gives a guy a speeding ticket, the driver deserves everything that’s coming to him. If an officer gives your spouse a speeding ticket, the officer is just trying to fill his quota of tickets for the week.

Why Merging Two Families So Often Fails

In blending marriages there is intentional overlapping of bonds. That brings automatic difficulty and hardship. (p. 20)

In a first marriage there is a common bond and shared loyalty among all of the family members. In the blending family, loyalties also exist, but only to persons in their own bonds- favoring their own bonds and rejecting family members outside the bonds. (p. 21)

It is the nuclear bond that is at the very heart of why blending families have such problems. (p. 21)

The question is why. Why are some stepfamilies loving and happy and others constantly at each other’s throats? The answer is that nuclear bonds are either awakened into loyalty toward their own members and rejecting outsiders or quieted allowing acceptance and peaceful co-existence. If the bonds are awakened, non-biological family members will never connect and will always be involved in some level of nuclear war. If quieted, non-biological family members can connect and form a loving blending family. (p. 22)

The most critical objective of every blending family is to keep nuclear bonds quiet. (p. 23)

The extent to which the bonds are kept quiet largely determines the peace and happiness level of everyone in your family. (p. 23)

Identifying the Critical Relationships

Your family is defined today by the people who are part of your blending and extended family. Identification of every bond and step-connection is critical to making your blending family work. (p. 35)


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