Shawnda Muir
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Dear Friends,

Here's a message from Dr. Greg Smalley and his wife Erin on keys to success in a blended family. Enjoy!

How has your marriage been in the last year? My wife, Erin, and I have spent a lot of time together this last year. You and your spouse probably have, too. Some of it has been great! The pace of life was slower. We learned new things about each other and about ourselves.

The COVID pandemic has helped many couples appreciate their spouse more. I certainly gained greater appreciation for a mental load that Erin had been dealing with for decades. I didn’t realize she was thinking about meal planning and preparation as much as she was, how it was always in the back of her mind ... until I took over cooking duties.

We also experienced some loss and learned to grieve together. Like so many other couples, we have had to adapt to very stressful conditions, not only in the world but in our marriages.

One special type of marriage takes even more effort and intentionality – remarriages. Blending two families after a death of one spouse or a divorce demands extra commitment and grit. Often, couples headed for a blended family believe the dynamics are the same as in a biological family, and everything might seem fine — until after the wedding.

If you’re in a blended family, Focus on the Family has resources to help you build a strong marriage while building relationships with stepchildren and your biological kids. Take a look at the resources below. We’re here for you!

Dr. Greg Smalley,
Vice President, Marriage

Improving Your Marriage as a Blended Family Couple | Broadcast
Author and speaker Ron Deal offers couples in blended families advice on how they can assess the strengths of their marriage and improve on areas of weakness in light of the particular challenges they face in parenting stepchildren. Listen online.

Creating a Shared Vision for Blended Family Finances | Article
At some point, every couple should talk about their values related to money and how they will create a shared vision for combining incomes and debt while planning for the future care of their children. Blended family finances can be even more challenging, but that shared vision for your family’s financial future is still possible by building relational trust and carefully considering financial agreements. Read here.

The Smart Stepfamily Marriage: Keys to Success in the Blended Family |This Week’s Special Offer
Whether you're dating, engaged, a young stepfamily, or an empty-nest couple, The Smart Stepfamily Marriage gives you the tools you need at any stage to create a remarriage that will last. Each chapter of this book explores one of the key qualities of happy remarriages as identified by research. Like a GPS for your relationship, this book has built-in discussion questions that can help you and your partner discover where you are, where you'd like to be, and how to get there. Get this best-selling book for a gift of any amount.

The Focus on the Family Broadcast | This Week’s Episodes
The broadcast covers other unique family situations too, for parents and those considering living together before marriage. See which broadcasts interest you:

Loving Your Spouse in the Midst of Parenthood
Fighting for Joy as a Special Needs Parent
Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life
Does Living Together Help or Hurt?

Blended family or not, if you’re struggling in your marriage, there’s still hope! 
Schedule a free consult to see if a Hope Restored marriage intensive is a good option for you.

More free resources for Stepfamilies | Announcement
Remarriage is tough. We can help. Learn how the five love languages can help blended families, or sign up for the Thriving Stepfamilies free video series (or check them all out here!).

Find the Focus on Marriage Getaway event that’s right for you Strengthen your marriage by attending one of our Focus on the Family weekend marriage retreats. Check getaway themes and schedules here.


God Bless,

Your Marriage, Family and Life Team