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by Kasey Blake
In her national best sellers, "The Dance of Anger" and "The Dance of Intimacy", Harriet Lerner, noted psychologist and columnist, describes our relationship patterns as an ongoing "dance". When we examine this dance pattern further, we see that we are involved in many different "dances" with the various people in our lives. We are mother, daughter, sister, friend, all in one day. The flow of this is often imperceptible. In stepfamilies, however, the "dances" often don't move as smoothly as we would like. Short infrequent visits make it difficult for relationships to get in full swing. It seems that just as everyone is adjusting to their shifting roles, the weekend comes to an abrupt end... stepparent returns to being bio parent... sister/brother is possibly once again without live-in siblings, etc..
How do we succeed at this "step dancing" so that we do not feel we are on a continual roller coaster? A combination of tolerance, planning and understanding will help us to comfortably navigate our continually changing step family relationships.
We can do it! Once we acknowledge the difficulties that we face, educate ourselves as well as get support, we will find that we can "stepdance" as well as we used to disco!!
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