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Healing the Stepfamily from the inside out.
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    The StepFamily Center is dedicated to strengthening couples so they can successfully meet the challenges of the stepfamily experience!

    Read More... "About Us"

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    Navigating stepfamily life can be difficult for everybody involved – the stepparents, the stepchildren, and the biological parents. We attempt to answer some commonly asked questions about everybody’s role in a stepfamily.

    Read More...  "Just For You"

  • Healing the Stepfamily from the inside out.

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    Sometimes just hearing what someone else has to say helps so much! I encourage you to write down your own experiences and send them to us. It’s wonderful and healing when you come to realize that whatever you are going through, someone else is going through the same thing. It is my hope to make this site informative and helpful in your journey.


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    There are more than 1,000 new stepfamilies
    forming every day in the United States.


     Let us help you make yours successful.

Dating Isn’t Just for New Couples: 5 Rules for Dating Your Spouse

Written by Susan Swanson on . Posted in Marriage, Relationships, Remarriage, Stepdad, Stepmom

Married life is hard work. Between jobs, kids, social obligations, family and friends, your relationship is often the last thing you put effort into.

When you first started out, you likely made sure to take the time needed to go on dates, spend quality time together and get to know each other. Once you said, “I do,” you probably breathed a sigh of relief thinking you’d never have to date again. You were wrong.

One of the most important things you can do for your relationship is to have weekly date nights. No matter how much you have going on during the week, how long you’ve been together, how many kids you have, or how much you hated dating when you were single, there is no excuse to not take an evening out of the week to reconnect with your partner.

8 Ways to Overcome Anger and Resentment in Your Stepfamily

Written by Susan Swanson on . Posted in Relationships, Remarriage, Stepdad, Stepmom, Stepparents

As much as we don’t want them to be there, anger and resentment are common in stepfamilies. It’s easy for a stepparent to become angry that their partner’s ex isn’t holding up their end of their responsibilities, or angry that their partner doesn’t notice how much they are doing.

And it’s easy for a stepparent to become resentful about running an entire household while helping raise another person’s children or feeling like they are being taken for granted.

The 6 Don’ts of Being a Stepdad

Written by Susan Swanson on . Posted in Parenting, Remarriage, Stepdad, Stepkids, Therapy

Stepdads are often ignored in the literature because so much of the focus is on stepmothers. Since June is the time to honor dads, I want to focus this article on stepdads.

Men who marry women with children take on a role that not many could possibly be prepared for. While you most likely come into this with all good intentions to be the man of the household, you might wonder why you feel left out and why your stepchildren and wife are often upset with you or siding against you. This is very hurtful and perplexing for many stepdads.

The 5 Fantasies of Stepfamily Life

Written by Susan Swanson on . Posted in Relationships, Remarriage, Stepdad, Stepkids, Stepmom, Stepparents

You’ve pictured it since you met your new partner: the marriage, the children, a cozy home together.

You never thought of all the things that could disrupt this idyllic picture: the chance that your stepchildren won’t like you, the ex that will not seem to disappear, and the challenges of parenting a stepchild.

Entering into a stepfamily often means entering into many unrealistic fantasies. Below are five common fantasies you may have that often create disappointment in a stepfamily.

Why Can’t My New Partner Love My Child?

Written by Susan Swanson on . Posted in Biological Kids, Parenting, Relationships, Remarriage, Stepdad, Stepkids, Stepmom, Stepparents, Therapy

“I don’t understand how she cannot love Isabel (8). I know she’s acting out a lot of anger about the divorce, but she’s so loving and adorable!”

It is said that nobody can truly love a child like a child’s own parents. We were the ones who saw how precious they were as infants, and who they needed and depended upon growing up. We were the ones feeling pride at each and every milestone, as if our kids were the only children learning to turn over, crawl, and walk. And we fell in love completely the first moment we heard the words “mama” and “dada.”

This love we have for our children is often so powerful that we cannot imagine how a new spouse, who professes to love us so much, does not feel the same way.