The Happy Stepcouple: How Couples with Stepchildren Can Strengthen Their Relationships

The Happy Stepcouple: How Couples with Stepchildren Can Strengthen Their Relationships

by Rachelle Katz

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Navigate the challenges of a blended family with children to fortify your marriage for lasting happiness and understanding.

The Happy Stepcouple 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538130650
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 02/15/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 588,525
File size: 469 KB

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.

Table of Contents



1 Stepfamily Fallacies

2 Expectations of Your Relationship

3 Finances

4 Redefine the Role of Stepparent


5 The Relevance of Emotional Attachment Styles for Stepcouples

6 Understand Each Attachment Style and Its Unique Coping Reaction

7 The Clash of Emotional Attachment Styles

8 The Stepcouple Shuffle

9 Bolster Your Security Level

10 Modify Your Reactions

11 Don’t Let a Grudge Weigh You Down

12 Gain Courage to Express Feelings with Confidence

13 Communicate Effectively

14 Boost Your Partner’s Security

15 Go Gently into Conflict

16 Dance the Waltz of Intimacy


17 Manage Insider/Outsider Issues

18 Tame Your Partner’s Green-Eyed Monster

19 Construct Healthy Boundaries

20 Balance Power in Your Relationship

21 Further Steps

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