Combining Two Families and Meeting Everyone's Needs

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Newly remarried John and Mary had two children, each from a prior marriage, making a new stepfamily with four children. While all were expected to get along peacefully, trouble began early. First, teen stepsiblings Jeff and Lora became attracted to each other, which made them feel guilty and confused. The teens also wanted more freedom at the same time that John and Mary wanted more togetherness. Stephen, who was the oldest in his previous family was now the middle child. Joy, who had a certain favorite chore in her family before, was now doing a different, and dreaded one. John and Mary also had difficulty agreeing on rules and modes of discipline. Here came the arguments and the tears. With so much fighting and quarreling going on, John and Mary were wondering what on earth they had started by getting married.