Navigate the challenges of a blended family with children to fortify your marriage for lasting happiness and understanding.
The Happy Stepcouple: How Stepcouples with Children Can Strengthen Their Relationships (Rowman, February 2020) is a comprehensive and practical self-help book designed to help couples with children from prior relationships thrive despite the complexity of stepfamily life. More than two thirds of stepcouple relationships break up within the first few years of committing to each other. With these terrible odds, every stepcouple needs an arsenal of tools necessary to sustain a loving relationship. The Happy Stepcouple gives them everything they need to navigate complex stepfamily dynamics with confidence and kindness, allowing them to build a happy, fulfilling life together.
Drawing on the insights and strategies developed from the author’s 30 years of working as a marriage and family therapist specializing in treating stepfamilies, this work also includes the personal accounts of many stepcouples who describe their stepfamily problems along with how they handled them.
Utilizing the most current research in attachment theory, psychology, communication, and marriage and family therapy, Rachelle Katz offers a grounded approach to overcoming problems stepcouples experience by examining the two primary reasons why so many of these relationships get in trouble: Partners’ inability to understand, agree to, and fulfill each other’s unspoken needs and expectations, and communication styles during conflicts that increase each partner’s insecurity levels and weakens their emotional connection to each other. Both of these factors fray emotional bonds—bonds that already are stressed by stepfamily challenges. Here, stepcouples learn how to establish realistic stepfamily expectations as well as identify and modify harmful communication patterns, essential elements needed to strengthen their emotional bond.
This is the book every remarried couple with children needs to read. Rachelle Katz explains why nearly two thirds of all second marriages ultimately fail, then gives readers the knowledge and tools they need to avoid becoming a statistic. If you’ve realized that love might not be enough and you’re looking to create a rock-solid relationship–regardless of how complicated your stepfamily situation seems–The Happy Stepcouple is for you. (Brenda Ockun, Founder and Publisher, StepMom Magazine, StepMomMagazine.com)
Packed with practical advice, case examples, exercises, it provides readers with a toolbox of skills to repair and enhance their relationships. Highly recommended. (Robert Taibbi, LCSW, author of “Doing Couple Therapy: Craft & Creativity in Work with Intimate Partners”)
Filled with relatable stories and evidence-based strategies, The Happy Stepcouple is a comprehensive guide to transforming your relationship… A real game-changer for stepcouples and their stepfamilies! (Elizabeth Mosaidis, Author of “The Stepmom Project”)
Creating a happy, thriving stepfamily can take real work. As Rachelle Katz shows in The Happy Stepcouple, many of the common, practical challenges are complicated by unrealistic expectations for stepfamily bliss, differences in the emotional attachment style of the adults, and communication habits that can undermine love and security just when it’s needed most. Viewing the stepcouple relationship through an attachment theory lens, the Happy Stepcouple helps partners manage the emotions, expectations and influences that can threaten harmony at home. Based on Katz’s own experience as a stepmother, her work counseling other stepmothers in her psychotherapy practice, and primary research, The Happy Stepcouple is a valuable tool for married and living-together partners with children from previous relationships, who find themselves struggling for more agreement, security and joy. (Wendy Paris, Author of “Splitopia: Dispatches from Today’s Good Divorce and How to Part Well”)
About the Author
Rachelle Katz, EdD, LMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist with more than 30 years of experience and the author of The Happy Stepmother, a self-help book for stepmothers. In addition to working with individuals and couples, she also coaches stepmothers and their partners, runs a monthly support group for stepmothers, and conducts workshops for stepcouples. She has appeared as a guest on several cable network shows and podcasts to discuss stepfamily issues. Rachelle is a clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and the American Psychological Association. She has been married for 28 years and has a 32-year-old stepdaughter. She and her husband live in New York City.