Are You Ready for a New Family?
Creating a stepfamily is a huge decision
Dr. Peter Marshall
Jeannette Lofas, Ph.D., CSW, the president and founder of The Stepfamily Foundation, stresses the necessity of careful consideration. "Keep in mind that two out of three remarriages fail," she says. "Would you take the children on a plane to San Francisco if there was only a one-third chance that the plane would work? Prepare very carefully. Marriage takes a lot of work to survive nowadays; stepfamilies take even more." Dr. Lofas suggests premarital counseling to make sure you and your partner really know what you're getting into; a counselor will help you to work out a family plan, or at least to start creating a plan. "Learn how a stepfamily functions," she advises. "The couple has to work out a system for agreement; otherwise there'll be a lot of conflict. Make sure that you agree on the plan, and that the agreement is clear to everybody."