Most people think it would be obvious that remarriages would have a higher success rate than first marriages. The sad fact is that remarriages have a higher failure rate. Apparently, we don't learn from our mistakes and instead operate under the misguided notion that marriages fail because we married the wrong person. We think the solution is to simply switch partners. The good news is that although we don't learn from the mistakes that caused the marriage to fail, we CAN learn through education -- we can greatly improve our odds at success and avoid re-divorce by taking marriage education classes. The research recommends taking "regular" marriage education classes plus a class designed just for stepfamilies. In other words, you will benefit from basic couples communication skills as well as from knowledge about what to expect and how to manage the challenges that are unique to stepfamilies.
People can do anything, even climb Mt Everest, if they know what to expect and how to prepare. You can learn how to succeed at a remarriage with kids. We now have a tremendous amount of knowledge – research-based information that we didn't have just ten years ago – about how to help stepfamilies not only succeed, but thrive.
Visit the Stepfamily resource page for programs you can attend in your congregation or community center and also programs you can buy – do-it-yourself courses: you can watch the DVDs in your living room and follow along with the discussion guide.
Realize that you can also TEACH these programs in your community. These teach-out-of-the-box programs are designed to be presented by lay educators – just open the box, put in the DVD, and follow the instructor/leader's guide. You can be sure that your community needs such a program – start one! While approximately 50% of first marriages end in divorce, within five years of divorcing, 89 percent of men and 79 percent of women remarry.
- National Stepfamily Resource Center
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