Do-It-Yourself Pre-stepfamily Preparation
My boyfriend and I are looking for resources as we get ready for marriage. We can’t find a minister or counselor in our area that specializes in stepfamilies. Can you recommend something for us?
Editor's Note: Since the publication of this article Ron Deal has authored a pre-blended family guide for both couples and premarital counselors. Learn more here or get Preparing to Blend: The Couple's Guide to Becoming a Smart Stepfamily today. Couple's get a premarital program designed just for them and leaders get a packaged program they can follow.
If you can, sit down face-to-face with someone who understands stepfamily dynamics and is trained in remarriage counseling. That is always the best option. However, if you don't have that option consider these recommended "do-it-yourself" resources:
- Watch The Smart Stepfamily DVD and work through the study guide together. Even better, find a few couples (small group) to work through the series with. You'll learn a lot from each other.
- The book The Smart Stepfamily has discussion questions after each chapter for pre-remarital couples. Read and discuss them together.
- Be sure to read our online articles for dating couples.
- Take the Couple Checkup — this online inventory is terrific and will give you an x-ray of your relationship strengths and growth areas. It can give you confidence in the future or help you see that you need more strengths before moving on.
- Phone Coaching: I now offer phone coaching for couples who want to enhance their relationship. This is ideal for pre-stepfamily couples. Essentially, I can do your premarital counseling with you by phone or Skype.