Below are stories shared by readers of The Smart Stepfamily. They represent stepfamilies who are imperfect, but striving for the Promised Land (both the spiritual and the relational Promised Land). We appreciate their encouragement and willingness to share their story. Scroll to the bottom to see the most recent submission.
"I have found a helpful resource on stepfamily life and co-parenting. The author of the e-booklet recommended that I share this letter with you; otherwise, I wouldn't impose. I also want you to know that I've realized I have been violating a few of these principles and am committing myself to do better.
The SmartStepmom book has opened my eyes, and has helped me to see and understand that I am not alone. I went to the bookstore yesterday looking for help and guidance because of the hurt that I am feeling. I read this book within 24 hours of purchasing it, and it has opened my eyes to know that there is hope.
Quiero que sepan que tener una familia reconstruida no es nada facil especialmente para uno de mujer que tiene que atender al hogar y liriar con todas los ninos. y es mas dificil mas cuando tu pareja no te ayuda con el hogar.
While we are not yet married, we feel we are off to a good start and feel encouraged that we can have a marriage to last a lifetime and raise healthy, God fearing children! Thank you for the hope you offer us all!
My kids are of extreme importance to me. This is the only thing holding me back from marriage. I do not have the same feeling about his kids - I welcome them to my home anytime, no matter where we would live. If as adults they were in a transition, college, military, divorce, etc. I would have no problem supporting any of the kids.
I ask my self this over and over again. How can, I change this how can I move forward with her knowing my children aren’t ready how long do I wait. Do I wait? Do I need to leave this beautiful woman and remain alone because I would never want to go through this again nor would I with anyone else. She is worth it to ME! Am I a bad father for wanting this for myself I guess I am looking for somekind of direction a different way of looking at the situation maybe there is something out their I haven’t tried maybe someone can give somesort of outlook.
I am recently divorced after 15 years of marriage. I have a 14 year old daughter that is an only child and has been the center of my world as well as the center of my ex husbands world since she was born 14 years ago.
Today my heart is breaking he said he hates me and dispizes our daughter. All my fears came true he is moving to Kansas with his mom. curently he is sleeping on the porch waiting for his mom to come pick him up how did we get to this point
During the time my husband was gone, I was "mom" in our house and what I said, went.Now that he is home, my step-son makes it very clear to me that he has a mom and a dad which he adores and does not have room in his life for me.
It is hard for me to call my daughter and confront her about the disrespect.But, if I don't do something to change the way she relates to us, he wants a divorce. My husband is a wonderful man.I feel his pain and just don't know how to rectify this problem with my daughter.
I hate feeling so uncomfortable in my own house and then my husband and are on pins and needles with each other.I am looking for any words of wisdom to help me. I do pray often to have God guide me, help me to hold my tongue,and to trust him.It is such a struggle everytime we are all together.
I'm trying to learn now what setting boundaries means, even after my kids have grown up...I've tried to assure my wife that I'm learning about boundaries and that this will not happen, but she won't believe me. What do I do?
"I have a six year old son from another marriage. Currently we are arguing about whether, when we have kids, we should ever attend anything of his if our children have something that
conflicts with that."
I have a stepdaughter who is now five years old. I met her at the same time her dad did, when he found out he was truly the real father; she was only 6 months old. I fell in love with both her and her father. (We had been dating for a short time, but were already talking of marriage).
It was not an easy start to be sure. Between us we had 8 children, one of which was our own. We married after we had the baby and his 4 older children had a very difficult time with our relationship (part of the reason we waited 2 years) and one of my older children had a difficult time with the relationship.
I have been a step mom to two adult children for 2 1/2 difficult years. Prior to that, I was a happy single mom for 10 years! I spent those years of singleness bringing up my children and finding Jesus. I became very active in my church and my children's lives who are growing up to be college graduates and lovers of Jesus.
...we had our courtship and proceeded to get married. After the wedding we came home and fairly quickly both the girls attitudes had changed towards me. There were so many times I wanted to run and quit. Quit my marriage. Quit step parenting. After several years of the ups and downs of marriage and parenting in general I’ve learned a few lessons.
When they went to mom's house they would be encouraged to tell stories that portrayed me as a demon in their lives. KT was reported as telling on her brothers if she saw them hug me,smile at me, or to have minded me in anyway. They would be chewed out. This is so crazy I still can't wrap my mind around it...
The problem I am having is I can't talk with my husband about our financial future. What to do in case he becomes ill,incapacitated,or God forbid passes away without his focus being on his children to the point of argument.
I am a christian woman who has never been married but met my boyfriend/fiance at church... He is a father to a sixteen year old son, who is a wonderful young man. I have not yet met him because my fiance says that he doesn't want to push his son.
...my children have a step-mother. She sends me these forwarded emails about step-family, Christian websites, bible scriptures, etc. etc. etc., but she is mean to my kids.... How do I tell them to let an authority figure's words roll off their back. I really think she just hates me, but takes it out on them. I don't know. They suffer, and it makes me sick.
I wasn't expecting to feal jealousy when I married a widower 2 years ago. After 6 years of single parenthood I fell in love with a widower. We both have 2 boys, now ages 20, 16, 13, and 9. My husband is a wonderful man but some of our problems I never expected...
"Smart Stepfamilies is the most highly practical program I know for helping couples who are dealing with the common struggles of stepparenting. The church desperately needs to offer hope to this large segment of our society. Ron and Nan Deal are available to help you with the process. Ron is an excellent presenter and his book The Smart Stepfamily is the most helpful book I know on this topic. I highly recommend them and their ministry."
Dr. Gary D. Chapman
Author of The Five Love Languages and The Five Languages of Apology