Marriage requires effort and communication. And when marriage includes step-children, unique challenges may arise that must be overcome in order to maintain stable family dynamics. In The Smart Stepfamily Marriage, authors Ron L. Deal and David H. Olson discuss ways to approach problems to create a healthier family union.
This book is a gem, and the advice given to stepfamilies can be used for marriage and relationships in general. I liked how the authors point out that marriages need “check-ups.” Even if there aren’t major problems in a relationship, having regular discussions to check on the health of the relationship is a good idea. This would be a great book to read if you’re about to embark on the journey of a stepparent. And if you’ve been a stepparent for years, the book has a lot of great takeaway points. It would probably be a good tool in couple’s counseling.
Deal and Olson address how differing personalities and conflicting approaches to life effect marriage, and the text includes a lot of helpful discussion questions, quiz questions, charts, and graphs. I really liked the section where they compared what money can buy (i.e. flattery) to what money can’t buy (i.e. respect.) Throughout the book, the authors cite research studies and provide interesting statistics. The book also includes a code for a free individual profile at couplecheckup.com, which is handy.
I received a review copy from Bethany House. The Smart Stepfamily Marriage is availabe here on Amazon.