Building Blended Family Relationships that Thrive Because...CHILDREN MATTER!
Building Blended Family Relationships that Thrive Because...CHILDREN MATTER!

Building Healthy Stepfamily Relationships

A recent study in America showed 40 percent of married couples with children are stepcouples. A stepcouple, according to Ron L. Deal in his book The Smart Step Family and founder of Smart Stepfamilies, refers to couples in which one or both of them had a child from a previous relationship before they married. Stepfamilies are part of the norm in our culture, comprising a huge people group that must be considered part of mainstream American life. The common term for stepfamlies has shifted to blended family. Blended families and cohabitating stepcouples make up 87 percent of cohabitating couples with children in America. 


In 1998 James Brap published research on the first ten-year longitudinal study of stepfamilies in America. His research revealed that a loving, well-functioning stepfamily over time can negate many of the detrimental psychological impacts of divorce on children. Brap's research also shows the benefits to children from healthy stepfamilies carry over to their adult years and positively impact their marital choices. It appears they have a lower divorce rate (compared to other children of divorce), and the quality of their own marriages closely mirrors the stepfamily's healthy marriage than the poor-quality marriage that ended in divorce. 


As we can see, it's important to build a healthy blended family and strong stepcouple relationships. In this section, you'll find helpful links to articles, books, and support groups to help you build a strong healthy stepfamily.


What About the Couple Relationship?

After remarriage, there is much confusion about the couple's relationship. The unspoken thought that it was going to be just like a first marriage even though you're both bringing children to this new relationship.


By Smart Stepfamilies

How to Cook a Stepfamily

Your stepfamily has an assumed integration style. They have a set of assumptions about how your stepfamily "

'ought' to come together.


By Smart Stepfamilies

How to Build a Healthy Relationship with Your StepChild 

The stepparent-stepchild relationship is weak due to little emotional connection and a brief shared history. 


By Smart Stepfamilies

When Love Isn't Enough

While love is important, there are other critical ingredients too. Communication is perhaps the most important key to a strong, healthy relationship. Effective communication requires you to be an active listener.


By Smart Stepfamilies

Course & Study Groups

Build a Strong and Healthy Stepfamily!

The Smart Stepfamily Study Course Coming Spring 2018!

In this eight-week Smart Stepfamily course, you'll explore the seven fundamental steps to blended family success. Discover practical, realistic solutions to the issues you face in a stepfamily. This course is based on the book, The Smart Stepfamily by Ron L. Deal, marriage and family author, speaker, and therapist

FamilyLife Blended Ministry

FamilyLife Blended Ministry provides biblically-based resources that help prevent re-divorce, strengthen stepfamilies, and help break the generational cycle of divorce. You'll find events, books, podcasts, and more.

The Smart Stepfamily Marriage Study Group Starts 2-11-18

This five-week study group will:

  • Build on your relationship strengths and improve your weaknesses
  • Explore key qualities of a happy remarriage.
  • Gives you tools you need at any stage, whether you're dating, engaged, a young stepfamily, or an empty-nest couple, to create a remarriage that will last. This study group is based on the book, The Smart Stepfamily Marriage by Ron Deal, marriage and family author, speaker, and therapist. 


Build a Strong Healthy Stepfamily.

The Smart Stepmom by Ron Deal and Laura Patherbridge

In today's complicated stepfamily, the stepmom often doesn't know where to turn help. Stepfamily expert Ron Deal and experienced stepmom Laura Patherbridge show you how to survive and thrive as a stepmom.


The Smart Stepfamily by Ron Deal

The Smart Stepfamily reveals the seven fundamental steps to blended family succes and provides practical realistic, solutions to the issues you face as a stepfamily. You'll discover how to communicate effectively and solve the everday puzzels of stepchildren relationships.

The Smart Stepdad by Ron Deal

Stepfathers are often left to travel a difficult road without clear directions. Ron Deal offers advice for men navigating the stepfamily minefield, including how to connect with stepchildren, being a godly rolemodel, how to dicipline, dealing with biological dad, and keeping the bond strong with one's new spouse.

FamilyLife Blended provides biblically-based resources that help prevent re-divorce, strengthen stepfamilies, and help break the generational cycle of divorce.



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© Bobbi Wilcox