marriage


Parental Alienation Fallout

At the ripe age of 5-years-old, I announced to my mother that I would never birth my own children.  Fast forward thirty-nine years and turns out, I was right.  This year would have been my tenth year being the stepmother to Lyle, Mariam and Katherine.  Unfortunately, despite my husband and […]

Parental Alienation Concept

Mail Order Monster

An Interview with Paulina Lagudi, Director of “Mail Order Monster”

Paulina Lagudi has written, produced and directed her first feature film aimed at highlighting the challenging yet, positive aspects of stepfamily life. Starring Charisma Carpenter of “Angel” and “Buffy”, and “The Expendables” and Josh Hopkins of “Cougar Town”, “Quantico”, and “Bones”, “Mail Order Monster” is predominantly told from the perspective […]


5 Ways to Include Your Stepchild in Your Wedding Ceremony

The day after I married my wife, we quickly made the trek back from Charlottesville, VA where the wedding was, to home northwestern PA so that my stepdaughter could get back to her other mom. During the drive, I kept staring down at my wedding back and then glancing both […]

Wedding Decorations

Couple talking to each other on the sofa

Are You a Relationship Score Keeper?

“Generosity is something freely given as a gift, with nothing expected in return. When a relationship feels secure, it is easy to want to offer more than your fair share of tasks or thoughtful gestures to show your love for your partner. Whether moving their clothes to the dryer for […]


What to Do When Your Marriage Is Not Number 1

One of the most painful and repeated stories I hear in my work with stepparents is that they often feel like they take a back seat to their stepkids. They feel like they are not the priority for their partner and that awareness creates a particularly acute and unique kind […]

Couple Supporting Each Other

Family Joining Puzzle Pieces

Time and the Stepfamily

I’ve always believed that, with the right attitude and perseverance, just about anything is possible! This is probably why I imagined that with two willing hearts and a can-do spirit that becoming a stepmom and blending families would be a relatively simple process. I liked my husband’s children, and they […]


Finish Before You Begin Again

My area of expertise is working with couples in stepfamilies. Divorce rates are up to 70% the second time around and increase again for the third time. Those statistics are shocking, and for me heartbreaking because of the work I do. There are many more complicating factors in second marriages […]

Couple Holding Hands