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Smart Stepfamilies

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Marriage Smarts

Stepfamilies: What About the Couple Relationship?

...We didn’t just marry each other, we married an extended family system with tentacles extending into places we were and were not aware of.
Protecting Your Marriage: Avoiding the Six Predictors of Divorce (Part 1 of 2)

So what does make a marriage last a lifetime? I once heard this question asked to a couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. The husband simply replied, "Going out to dinner twice a week". "That’s it?" asked the interviewer. "Yes," answered the husband, "I go on Tuesdays and my wife goes on Thursdays". Surely there must be a better way!
Protecting Your Marriage: The Art of the Repair Attempt (Part 2 of 2)

Another step we can take to protect our marriage against divorce is to learn the "art" of the repair attempt. Repair attempts, or statements and actions that prevent negativity from getting out of control, are the secret to keeping the Four Horsemen at bay.
Lost & Found: Pain and Grace of Remarriage

Divorce and remarriage was not the path of redemption Darryl had hoped for, but he could not deny God’s love had found him.
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Adding Significance to Your Marriage

Stepfamilies don’t have a family tree—they have a family forest!  And even without trying, your marriage can easily get lost in the forest (or is it “you can’t see the marriage for the trees”?).  So how can you bind together despite the forest’s attempt to pull you apart?  One answer is making intentional use of marital rituals.
When Love Isn't Enough

I hate to say it, but after all these years, The Beatles were wrong.  Their classic hit “All You Need Is Love” is a cruel myth.  Marriage takes more than love.  
Maximize Your Fun-Factor

All work and no play may make Jack a dull boy, but that’s only the beginning.  It makes Jack and Jill’s marriage pretty dull, too.  Fun, friendship, and romance is likely how your relationship got started.  Be sure to intentionally keep it an active part of your relationship forever.
After The Wedding: The Honeymoon is Over

Helppppp!!!  I married this great guy/girl with these really great kids. At least, I thought they were these really great kids when I met him/her. But now, after only a few months of marriage, they seem to be pulling us apart...
Sex the Second Time Around

For remarried couples, intimacy has a whole new set of expectations and issues.

Your Spouse Grieves Too

While you may have experienced the divorce, your remarried partner also mourns the loss of dreams and expectations for your marriage.

Managing the Fires of Conflict in Marriage

Conflict is inevitable in every marriage.  How you handle the conflict dictates whether you grow or suffer defeat.  Learn how to grow...
Recipe for a Happy Marriage (Serves Two)

Sweeten your marriage with this wholesome recipe of love and aged wisdom. 
Ghost Whispers

The ghost of marriage past is subtle and quite effective in sabotaging many marriages.  Read a number of common ghosts and see how they compare to the whispers in your life. 
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Shared Ghost Busting: When Your Spouse Has a Ghost

So, you're married to someone with a ghost?  What can you do about it?  Find out here...
Couple Flexibility: A Hidden Key to Marital Intimacy (Part 1)

Research of over 50,000 couples in stepfamilies has revealed a never-before understood aspect of successful remarriage.  Learn how you can build one of the top five predictors of intimate relationships in this 3-part series. 
Relational Flexibility (Couple Flexibility Part 2)

Part 2 of a series on Couple Flexibility based on the largest study of remarriage ever conducted.  Learn how you can build one of the top five predictors of intimate relationships in this 3-part series.
The Heart of Flexibility (Couple Flexibility Part 3)

Part 3 of a series on Couple Flexibility.  So what makes someone flexible?  How do you teach someone to be flexible?  When our research uncovered the importance of flexibility, these questions began to trouble me.  Is flexibility a natural personality trait which people either possess or they don’t?  What attitudes lay at the heart of a flexible lifestyle?

We Both have Baggage... But it’s Cute and it Matches!

...we all have a past. Unfortunately, one of the results of the past is emotional baggage, and having tons of unopened baggage can be deadly to a new stepfamily. So, take a deep breath and fight that urge to throw all your bags into the attic or hide them in storage. We have some unpacking to do.
Key Qualities for Great Lovemaking*

The author of A Celebration of Sex offers key ideas for a great sex life.

Healthy Boundaries: New Partners & Old Ones

If you answered “yes” to one or more questions, though you may be legally divorced from your ex-spouse, you may still be emotionally married to him/her...
Enhancing Your Sexual Intimacy

Just because sex is a natural function of your body, don’t assume you know all you need to know to be sexually proficient.  Here are a few suggestions for enhancing your sexual intimacy.
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Remarriage Sex: Tips for Not Getting Caught in the Past

In a national survey, unhappy remarriage couples were four times as likely as happy couples to report feeling concerned about the previous sexual experiences of their partner.  Here are some suggestions for not getting caught in the past.
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Healthy Sexpectations

Sexpectations influence sexual attitudes and ones belief about what constitutes “good sex.”  Misguided sexpectations can set a couple up for disappointment and disillusionment with their sexual experiences.  But healthy sexpectations contribute to more positive sexual experiences...
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Both the Marriage and the Kids

The process of establishing the couple as the foundation relationship of the home can feel like a win-lose situation for biological parents and children.  It’s not.  It’s a matter of significance...
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A Daily Dose of Marriage Wisdom

A daily sized dose of marital wisdom.
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Building Your Stepfamily Safety Net

Stepfamily safety nets, like their circus counterparts, do not just happen.  They are intentionally rigged and strenuously tested to ensure success.
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God's Purpose for Marriage

What? There’s no marriage in heaven? But I thought that eternity with the one you love would be the ultimate ending to true romance. It is—but not in the way we assume.

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The Communication Difference

Is this couple communicating effectively? Absolutely. It’s effective all right, but it’s not healthy. In fact, it’s destructive, and if something doesn’t change, this couple is headed for disaster.

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