How NOT to Become a Stepfamily Statistic

Stepfamily break-up rates are significantly higher than first marriage divorce rates. Learn the three things all stepcouples can do to stack the odds in their favor.

Stepmoms: Leave a comment below and tell us: What do you and your partner do to strengthen your relationship and overcome the challenges inherent to stepfamily life?

How NOT To Become A Stepfamily Statistic | Video Transcript:

Hi there! I’m Brenda Ockun with StepMom Magazine and you’re watching StepMom-TV
…because even when it’s good, it’s complicated!

When I met my husband I knew he had kids and I knew it wouldn’t be easy. But, when I heard the statistics about stepfamilies like us? It was a wake up call.

According to the US Census Bureau, 40 percent of all first marriages, 60 percent of all second marriages and 73 percent of all third marriages end in divorce. These numbers tell us is that it is not easier the second time around and the third time? It isn’t a charm!

The bad news is statistics don’t lie. The good news is you don’t have to be a statistic.

So, here are 3 quick tips to help you and your partner stack the odds in your favor:

1.  Make your relationship a priority.
A lot of couples insist that the kids need to come first and while it is true that kids need a lot of love and attention, a stepfamily can’t succeed without a strong, connected couple steering the ship.

So, this means you must pay attention to each other. You must make time to be alone without the kids. And you must not feel guilty about it! Remember, one of the best things you can do for the kids is to show them what a happy, loving couple looks like so that they’ll be able to model the same behaviors when they’re older.

 2. Keep your expectations REAL.
One of the biggest myths about stepfamily life is that every family will blend. The truth is, your stepfamily might not blend. Ever. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t all live together – happily.

 The reality is that stepfamilies don’t feel like first families. They are inherently different. And this causes a lot of people to freak out. What you should expect is that everyone in your stepfamily is cordial, kind and respectful of one another. These three things will give any family a solid foundation they can build on.

3. Take time to learn about stepfamily dynamics, together! 
When it comes to stepfamilies, one of my favorite sayings is that you can’t dodge the ball you never saw coming. And one of the biggest mistakes that couples make is thinking that love will be enough.

 It won’t be enough. Trust me! To really succeed as a stepcouple, you both need to understand what’s normal, what’s not, what’s possible and what is probable. Couples who learn together have a better chance of stay together. Like anything in marriage, it’s up to both people.

Now, I’d like to hear what you think. Join the conversation by leaving a comment under this video. If you liked this video, please click the share button. And if you’d like even more tips and information be sure to subscribe to our monthly online magazine.

Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you next time, here, on StepMom-TV!

If you liked this video, you’ll LOVE the monthly magazine!

11 thoughts on “How NOT to Become a Stepfamily Statistic”

  1. Great info on stepfamily success – delivered with the same conviction and sincerity you always deliver, Brenda – whether it’s here, on the pages of StepMom Magazine or in real life. There was only (1) thing missing from this vlog: Mr. Ockun (lol).

    I kept wishing Gregg would poke his head into the frame at various points on the screen. And finish it all off with a peck on your cheek. Maybe for Valentine’s Day??? But, seriously: You, your readers, your viewers and your magazine team ROCK!!!

  2. So honest and true. I believe the unrealistic expections is one of the greatest factors that destroys stepfamilies. Realizing that my stepfamily is not going to operate like a first family is the first step to freedom!

  3. This video is very informative and parallels my family. As my stepchildren get older, the blending seems to have stopped. We coexist and that is it. It wasn’t until I found Stepmom magazine that I felt validated in what and how I feel towards my stepchildren. Everyone feels you should step into the role of mother b/c they live with you but you cannot and this magazine told me “that is okay”!

    Thank you for helping me find my inner peace and acceptance of my family’s dynamics. I can exhale!!

    1. I am so relieved to see that I am not the only one experiencing this phenomenon of the “blending” slowing down. My oldest daughter moved out for college and instead of things getting better, she seems to barely tolerate me now. I am feeling less and less like her “step mom” and more like her father’s wife. I really was and still am surprised by this. Worse, I am worried that it will impact my relationship with my younger step-daughter as we are much closer. Ugh, still searching for my inner peace with this new situation. 🙂

  4. These are great tips!! I give the same to other stepmoms. If we aren’t proactive at preventing the failure of our blended families then we WILL succumb to those statistics. The couple is the foundation, so the best strategy is to start here. Being on one accord. Being educated together and being real about the dynamics and our expectations. Stepmoms can be an influential force to keep the family together if we prepare ourselves better!

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