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The term ‘patchwork family’ has gained some currency for a family in which at least one parent brings a child from a previous relationship.

As might be expected, putting the patchwork successfully together can sometimes prove a delicate process.

The faster we move the shorter they tend to be as human beings never measure up to our fantasies of them. The marathon doesn’t really begin until after the first half of the race is over and I contend that most relating doesn’t begin until the flames of infatuation cease to burn in an out of control fashion.

It takes a history of consistent contacts, continuity of conversations and emotional connecting to build authentic, reliable and sustainable relationships. It’s at this time the edge is taken off the urgency to be magnets for each other.

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More and more relationships break up, new relationships are established and the result is a growing number of patchwork families and single parents.

Most relationships destined to end when the blooms of infatuation fades are likely to end in the first six months.

The evolution and stabilization of split off family units do not come about without mourning obsolete family units and coping with individual and systemic growing pains.

Furthermore, many of us after unsuccessful marriages have our self esteem wounded, experience guilt over making our kids victims of decisions that didn’t work out, may begin to doubt our abilities to choose appropriate partners and even delude ourselves into believing we are entitled to and can realistically expect to forge intimate and satisfying relationships without risking disappointments and rejections.

If we level with ourselves we don’t want to get involved with partners who in their repeating of history engage in abusive and neglectful dynamics even if they are darlings the rest of the time.

Unless of course, they own these issues as their problems and are actively working them through.

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