Positively Paula

Top Secrets of Stepfathers

Friday, June 01, 2012
Looking back over my last nine years in a blended family, I think I could have done a better job, especially when it comes to understanding my husband and his point of view on parenting and stepparenting. Sometimes I wondered why is he doing what he is doing? I just didn't get it so many times. Even after asking him! Do you want to know how a stepdad thinks, feels, and deals with stepfamily challenges? Tune in to my RemarriageWorks show on June 4 at 8 p.m. EST as I interview our advice columnist, Chuck Semich about the "Top Secrets of Stepfathers." 

Chuck Semich, a licensed family therapist who specializes in stepfamily relations in his private practice, was a stepchild and is a long-time stepfather and step-grandfather. Chuck's professional and personal experience with stepfamily living runs deep and wide. In honor of Father's Day, I thought it would be great to hear a man's point of view on blended families, stepparenting, and life as a stepdad.

This is your chance to hear the top secrets of stepfathers! Send your questions for Chuck to [email protected] or Tweet @RemarriageWorks by noon on June 4, and I will consider including them. One of my questions will be: "What do stepdads know that stepmoms don't?" And, "How does my husband seem to compartmentalize stepfamily challenges really well, and I don't?" More importantly, "How can I do that, too?"

The RemarriageWorks show will air live on the Stepmom's Toolbox Network on June 4 at 8 p.m. EST. It's a great opportunity to learn about what makes the stepfathers in our blended families tick!


Win a FREE Second Wedding (aka Encore Wedding) from WINC FM!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Do you know anyone who is planning their second wedding? engaged to remarry? having an encore wedding in the next year or so? If you or anyone you know is planning to get married again after divorce or widowhood, you have to check out an exciting contest from WINC FM in northern VA/DC. WINC FM is giving away an encore wedding (aka second wedding). This could be a great way to start off on the right foot with your second chance for happiness! The contest package includes some fabulous prizes.

WINC FM, out of Winchester VA, our media sponsor for our upcoming Remarriage Showcase for Encore Brides, which will be held at River Creek Club in Leesburg, VA on March 10, is having an encore wedding giveaway on-line now!  Prizes include, but are not limited to: 
  • second wedding invitations custom-designed by Carla David Design
  • a Luxe Wedding Experience package from the extraordinary event planning company, A Splash of Elegance; 
  • wedding photography by Jones Photography
  • a wedding gown from the fabulous new bridal couture boutique, Soliloquy;  
  • flowers by Graceful Flowers;
  • music by Music Unlimited;
  • the fine venue Piedmont Club in Haymarket, VAa ClubCorp club; and, 
  • if you are going to have a stepfamily, four coaching sessions from The Stepmom Coach, Claudette Chenevert.  
Even if you aren't located in northern VA/DC, consider making it a destination second wedding! (Please note: travel and lodging are not included.) 
All you have to do is submit a video that is 30 seconds or less telling WINC FM why you deserve an encore wedding. If you or your fiance' have had some rough times, and I'm guessing you may have if one or both of you is getting remarried, check out this opportunity. 
WINC will be announcing the winning couple at our Remarriage Showcase for Encore Brides on March 10. 
And, for those of you who may be wondering.....
Q: How are second weddings any different from first weddings?
A: I invite you to check out my article, "Top 5 Reasons Why Remarrying Brides Deserve Their Own Bridal Show." 
Q:  What? Are you kidding me? What's up with RemarriageWorks.com, WINC FM and these sponsors? Are they promoting divorce?  
A:  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Here are the plain facts.  Nearly 100 million people in the U.S. are either considering remarriage after divorce or widowhood, or are already remarried. Over 1000 stepfamilies form daily. The divorce rate for second marriages is between 60-70%, and that rate is even higher than the divorce rate for first marriages. Our mission at RemarriageWorks.com is to help remarriages and stepfamilies succeed. Remarriage and stepfamily living and blending families can be a challenging road, an often very rewarding and joyful journey, but it can be very tough and often takes a lot of hard work. 
We want to make the remarriage journey a little easier for you by bringing you credible and valuable resources, inspiration, and hope with a positive twist!  If you like this, please spread the word about our efforts and WINC FM's encore wedding giveaway contest.  I really think the time is coming where we can start supporting healthy remarriages and stepfamilies from the start!


Second Weddings in Orange County, CA - What a Trip!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012
I just got back from talking about second weddings, encore brides, and life after remarriage in beautiful Orange County, CA. Thanks to everyone I met at our "meet & greet" pre-events for the upcoming Remarriage Showcase for Encore Brides. My goal with the "meet & greets" was to get out to CA and meet local businesses and media who wanted to learn more about second weddings (aka encore weddings), encore brides, and stepfamily life. I love talking to others who care about challenges that blended families face and want to help remarrying couples and stepfamilies!  

I was able to do just that. I met with some great businesses in OC that really want to serve remarrying couples and stepfamilies with their unique needs that come with planning a second wedding and forming a stepfamily. I met a fabulous event planner, Sabrina Cadini-Giacomelli, PBC of La Dolce Idea. It's clear that Sabrina truly understands what people need at their second weddings. I wish I had known her when I got remarried with kids years ago.

I also had the great pleasure of being interviewed on The CW San Diego "6 in the Morning Show" to talk about "Life After Remarriage." I discussed what kind of resources remarrying couples often need, even after the wedding day.

After this trip, we are even more excited about bringing the Remarriage Showcase for Encore Brides to Orange County. The venues where we are hosting our events are absolutely gorgeous. Stay tuned for more details about the Remarriage Showcases which will be at Morgan Run Resort & Club in Rancho Santa Fe, CA on October 13 and at Coto de Caza Golf & Racquet Club in Coto de Caza, CA on October 14. The beautiful view alone will make you want to check out the idea of having your second wedding in Orange County! Or, even if you aren't getting remarried in the OC, you will find helpful, unique resources to help you with planning your second wedding and stepfamily living.


2nd Wedding Wednesday: Where Will We Live as a Stepfamily?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Finding a home to call your own is often far from a walk in the park for remarried couples and stepfamilies. There are so many factors to include. Which house do you keep? Which do you sell? Or, do you just bite the bullet and sell them both? Ideally, the most viable decision would be to purchase a new home that you can truly call your own. But, we all know about the country's current economic woes, so that may not always be possible.

If your remarriage includes children, incorporate them in the search for the perfect residence. According to Jeannette Lofas, with Dawn B. Sova in Stepparenting, "look over magazines together before starting your new home and discuss the pictures in the magazines rather than argue over an actual new home with your family. If there are going to be some deep arguments about your tastes in living quarters, this is a good way to begin developing family cohesion."

One key factor in a move remarriage-style is location. The children are already overwhelmed with the adjustment of what they had viewed as their family, and now they are dealing with new family relationships. To avoid any additional trauma, keeping the kids in their same school district is probably a smart move. More quests for the perfect home are limited to a certain area for this reason.

Some blended families are comprised of more than one or two children who have been accustomed to having their own room. This may drive you to attempt to purchase a home big enough to accommodate each child. Making an effort to have the kids feel part of the family is a top priority. The last thing you want to hear is "Why do I have to share a room, and he/she doesn't?" Or, "Why do I have to change schools, and he/she doesn't?"

Many remarrying couples try to keep everyone happy. That's a major challenge. And, finding a new house can be a financial burden. For couples who are remarrying and older, the idea of buying a five bedroom house when retirement is just around the corner may not seem reasonable.

Despite all the challenges and accommodations that go into selecting the perfect roof for your stepfamily to live under, finding a home is just another step in the so-called blending process. Remarriage and stepfamily living is a journey. And, it is one to handle with care down to the smallest detail.




2nd Wedding Wednesday: The Familymoon!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
When approaching a second wedding, most couples are immediately aware that it will be far from conventional. In a second wedding, so many of the small details are handled in a less traditional way. The second wedding invitations may include the joining together of more than two people; the encore bridal dress may not be white; and, it's likely that his and/or her children will be involved. So, it goes without saying that your honeymoon, too, may lack the traditional romance and one-on-one time.

Not many couples would ever put the word "child" in the same sentence as the word "honeymoon," but remarriage often includes blending families, and that obviously requires a focus on your children. So, while planning the date and location of your second honeymoon, maybe it's time to consider a familymoon! (The word "familymoon" was trademarked in 2004 by Beaches Resorts.)

Essentially, a familymoon is a family vacation, a time set aside to spend time with the family and to create memories. Family time for a stepfamily is extremely important. By letting your children and stepchildren know that they are a part of your remarriage journey, the blending process will go more smoothly. 

There are some fantastic resorts that offer an opportunity for romance, one-on-one time with your new spouse, and great family fun. A great example is Franklyn D. Resort & Spa, the only resort in Jamaica to offer your family a personal vacation nanny throughout your stay. One of the attendees of our recent Remarriage Bridal Showcase for Encore Brides in Leesburg, VA just won a vacation from Franklyn D. Resort  Spa. I can't wait to hear how it went!





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