Encouragement for remarried couples

There are 35 million Americans in the United States today who are remarried. Remarriage and the stepfamily have changed the landscape of what families look like today. When couples remarry a second time, 60 percent of them will divorce again. For those who remarry for a third time, 75 percent will find divorce at the end of their relationship.

Sounds kind of depressing, doesn’t it? One of the biggest reasons these divorces happen is that when people remarry, they don’t prepare themselves as they should. They have been married before; they know how it’s done. Well, we ask, “How’s that working for you?”

As we set out on our remarriage adventure, we did our homework. We were diligent to seek out resources on remarriage and the stepfamily. Honestly, there were not a lot of resources out there, especially any written or presented by couples that had been living their stepfamily adventure successfully!

That is why the Restored and Remarried seminar, and now the book, were created. As we discovered our failures and successes, through trial and error, we shared them with others. What worked for us was working for them. Simple terms that we developed defused conflict and made it easier for us to be trusting and honest with one another. The bedrock of any relationship has to be trust and honesty, and an authentic relationship with Christ.

When couples meet and fall in love, they often feel that everything will fall into place. They are happy, so that means the kids should be happy too, right? That is not always the case. The number-one relationship problem for remarried couples is dealing with complex stepfamily issues. And although they may have had a marriage experience before, this union is brand-new. It’s not just about the marriage anymore. “Those people” (as we lovingly refer to your kids) are also part of the package.

Family of origin issues and communication patterns that may have worked in the past may not work now. Among the issues stepfamilies must deal with are loyalty, jealousy, financial strain, discipline and ghosts from the past. Couples need to be prepared and equipped to handle these opportunities for growth!

The Restored and Remarried seminar is offered over a Friday night and Saturday. Session titles include Expectations, Myths and Restored Foundations, The Wall, “I Didn’t Think It Was Going to be Like This,” “I Didn’t See This Coming,” Those People, Two Countries and an Elephant, and Sex and Money. The seminar is very interactive and very guy-friendly! Additionally, we address a number of hot relationship topics, such as teens and sex, adult children and grandparents in a stepfamily, pornography and men’s topics.

The book, Restored and Remarried, and workbook reflect the heart of our seminar. We wrote it as a “dirt under the fingernails” experience of stepfamily life. Yes, we’ll share what has worked and what hasn’t!
Restored and Remarried offers couples tools to help their stepfamilies thrive. It offers hope. The stepfamily adventure can be tough. But with a “no turning back attitude” and a commitment to the marriage, there can be joy … and a lot of laughter! Our message is “if you ain’t got the marriage, you ain’t got nothin’.’.”

For further information about Restored and Remarried, the book, workbook and seminar, please check out our Web site! We are also available for conferences, workshops and retreats.
Please visit www.restoredandremarried.com.

Gil and Brenda live in Vancouver, Wash. They have seven children between them, ages 18 to 29. Gil graduated from Bethany Bible College; he currently is an insurance broker and is active in the community with marriage and family issues. Brenda was on staff as children’s pastor of their church, now works with a youth development organization and is involved with marriage and family initiatives. They deliver a fresh style of encouragement to this ever-growing population in society, the blended family. Willing to speak honestly about their own stepfamily adventure, the Stuarts share, heart-to-heart, as they walk the walk.
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