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Stepfamily Life Can Be Hell but It Doesn't Have to Be!: 7 Steps to Recreating Family

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Stepfamily life can be hell, and fewer than half of all couples who begin a new family remain together. Recreating family while at the same time holding a new relationship together is fraught with complications. In this book Dr. Brandes presents in seven steps the secrets that make it possible for couples to build new-family and save their relationship. Yes, stepfamily life can be hell but it doesn't have to be!
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Overview

Stepfamily life can be hell, and fewer than half of all couples who begin a new family remain together. Recreating family while at the same time holding a new relationship together is fraught with complications. In this book Dr. Brandes presents in seven steps the secrets that make it possible for couples to build new-family and save their relationship. Yes, stepfamily life can be hell but it doesn't have to be!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780967134338
  • Publisher: Segue Foundation
  • Publication date: 6/1/1999
  • Pages: 255
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Introduction: "A Home Torn by Conflict Is a Madhouse" 1
About This Book 2
How This Book Is Different: Structure Defines Relationships 4
The Problem: Life in New-Family Can Be Hell 5
Save Your Marriage: Become Parenting Partners 9
The Ongoing Challenge: To Change Expectations 9
The Goal of This Book 12
1. Sign-On: "I've Been Hurt Before; Will I be Hurt Again?" 13
Introduction: What It Means to Sign-On 14
The Problem: Fear Undermines Ability to Commit 15
Save Your Marriage: How to Sign-On 19
The Ongoing Challenge: Managing Fear 24
Exercise: Clarifying Fear 27
2. Unite: "You Love Those Kids More Than You Love Me!" 35
Introduction: Divided Loyalties Create Divisions 36
The Dance: It's Not the Two-Step--It's the Death Spiral 37
The Problem: Anger Undermines Bonding 41
Save Your Marriage: How to Unite 44
The Ongoing Challenge: To Keep the Loving Alive 47
Exercise: Transforming Anger through Meditation 51
Exercise: Managing Acute Episodes of Anger 53
Exercise: The Lovership 55
3. Cooperate: "The Kids Are Running Our Life!" 57
Introduction: Powerlessness Yields Powerfulness 58
The Problem: Insolence, Authoritarianism, Chaos 60
Save Your Marriage: How to Cooperate 65
The Ongoing Challenge: To Not Alienate the Children 83
Exercise: "You Expect Me to What?" 94
Exercise: Meeting Your Self-Images 96
4. Create: "Your Ex Is Running Our Life!" 97
Introduction: Possessiveness Causes Power Struggles 98
The Problem: Children Caught in the Middle 103
Save Your Marriage: How to Create 118
The Ongoing Challenge: To Resist Temptations to be Possessive 133
5. Establish: "Who the Hell Am I Here?" 137
Introduction: Children Resent New-Parent Power 138
The Problem: Jealousy Leads Partners into Blaming 142
Save Your Marriage: Get a Role for the New-parent 148
The Ongoing Challenge: To Not Become Overly Powerful 164
6. Solidify: "If I'm So Happy, Why Am I Sad?" 167
Introduction: Children Resist Becoming New-family 168
The Problem: Grief Follows Loss of the Dream 172
Save Your Marriage: How to Solidify 175
The Ongoing Challenge: To Accept Differing Needs for Closeness 193
Exercise: Define New-Family 199
Exercise: Define New-Family Expectations 204
7. Support: "I Feel Like Giving Up" 205
Introduction: New-family Life Doesn't Have to be Hell 206
The Problem: Fatigue Leads to Despair 211
Save Your Marriage: How to Support 212
The Ongoing Challenge: To Keep Learning, Adjusting and Renewing 224
Exercise: Identifying and Meeting Personal Needs 227
Appendices 229
Appendix A Managing Money--Dollar, Dollar, Who's Got the Dollar? 230
Appendix B Exercises for Those Still Undecided Continued from Chapter One 238
Appendix C Custody and Visitation Alternatives 243
Readings 246
Acknowledgments 249
About the Author 252
Index 253
Reader Response Form 256
Ordering Information 257
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