Episode 93: Coming Together as a Blended Family—with Sabrina McDonald

May 7, 2024

Rob & Joanna Teigen

When we got married over 30 years ago, we learned right away that growing a strong relationship would be a never-ending process. In our years together, we keep blending our personalities, habits, and the good and bad in our backgrounds so that we can love each other well and accomplish the oneness that God designed for marriage.

For couples who marry after divorce or the loss of a spouse, they face even more layers of grief and complexity to grow a strong relationship. That’s why we are so glad to welcome Sabrina McDonald on the podcast today to help us understand the challenges of building a blended family.

She is a writer and speaker with expertise in marriage and family counseling. Sabrina has been a contributor to national ministries like Focus on the Family and FamilyLife. She is the author of her latest book, A Home Built from Love and Loss: Coming Together as a Blended Family. For anyone facing the challenges of blended families, this book offers practical advice and spiritual guidance to find hope amid grief.

Sabrina shares with us:

  • The challenges of a blended family
  • Tips for maintaining a relationship with all your children
  • Different ways grief can manifest
  • And more!

We hope you find value in this conversation!

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Our Takeaways:

1) Blended families have to grieve the loss of what they thought life would be. Whether you find yourself in a blended family due to divorce, the death of a spouse, or because of children from a prior relationship, you will have to grieve the loss of what you thought life would be. The dreams you had about life have drastically changed. You will experience the growing pains of saying goodbye to those old dreams and replacing them with new ones.

2) Your heart is big enough to love more than one person. For those who have lost a spouse, they often feel the pressure to let go of the love they felt for them in order to make way for their blended family. However, you are capable of holding love for your first spouse and your current spouse. You can love both your children and your stepchildren and that does not diminish the love you have for the other. Your heart is able to hold love for all members of your family.

3) It will take time. Just because our families are blended does not mean that everything will feel normal right away. It could take about seven years to fully adjust and for a new normal to set in. Have patience through the process and don’t rush the grief, adjustments, and challenges you face along the way. These are the things that we have to walk through to bind a family together.

Meet Our Guest

Sabrina McDonald

Sabrina McDonald

Sabrina McDonald is an author, speaker, and certified life coach. Sabrina has been a contributor to national ministries like Focus on the Family and FamilyLife. The unthinkable happened three months after her second child was born when her husband was killed in a car accident. Sabrina was a single mom for three years and then eventually remarried. In her latest book, A Home Built from Love and Loss, Sabrina shares the grief, loss, and healing their families had to walk through as they blended into one.

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