Positively Paula

3 Top Questions Remarried Couples Should Ask When They Disagree

Wednesday, June 06, 2012
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Chuck Semich, our advice columnist at RemarriageWorks. Our episode, "Top Secrets of Stepfathers" is one of my favorites because I don't think there are enough resources available for stepdads. During the show, dedicated to all stepfathers in honor of Father's Day, Chuck, a licensed family therapist who specialized in blended family relationships and is both a stepchild and stepfather himself, offered a spot check or inventory that we can ask ourselves when we are arguing...  
I asked Chuck for his best advice on how to make your remarriage succeed. Chuck described the top three questions he has asked himself when he has been in a disagreement:
  1. Is this a matter of life or death? 
  2. Am I part of the problem, or part of the solution?
  3. What's more important - being right, or having a healthy relationship?
If you take a moment and think about these questions the next time you and your spouse are arguing, especially about a blended family issue, you can really change your own perspective, and diffuse your anger or frustration. I've tried it. I haven't succeeded in calming myself down every time, but with practice, it gets better.

I invite you to listen to the podcast, "Top Secrets of Stepfathers" with Chuck Semich, and to check out his stepfamily advice in our advice column. His professional and personal experience, along with his wisdom are really helpful. If you and your spouse are facing problems in your remarriage, consider listening to the podcast together.
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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!


Happy Valentine's Day to My Blended Family and Yours

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Opinions about Valentine's Day vary.  (In fact, these days opinions about everything vary, including ones about remarriage on Facebook, but I'll save my story on that for a future blog.) Today I want to send everyone, especially my husband, family, friends, and readers a positive Happy Valentine's Day message. I often refer to my family as a blended family or stepfamily in my posts, but they really are my "family." If you blog, you know how it is to try to please the search engine gods out there. So, back to Valentine's Day...


Some people swoon at the idea of an entire day dedicated to love and the act of showing love; many others think it is a "made up" holiday forced upon us by the greeting card industry. Before writing this post today, I read the Wikipedia article on Valentine's Day to try to come up with some deep, meaningful post about Valentine's Day; and frankly, I was just disappointed. Reading the article started to become a downer. How can a day celebrating love turn into a day that has been banned? (I guess I'll explore that theme, too when I decide to write about my recent Facebook experience. And, that isn't going to happen today!)

Today I'm sending a loving Happy Valentine's Day to my husband, my family, friends, and to all families - blended and step! I truly appreciate all of you and wish you love, peace, and happiness. Whether you are the remarried couple that goes out on the town tonight and exchanges extravagant gifts, the couple that gives an extra hug whispering, "Happy Valentine's Day" while settling into bed, or the stepparent that sends a simple text message to your stepchild simply saying "Happy Valentine's Day," show some love today to those around you that you care about. Any way you want to do it is fine.


Falling Forward on Your Stepfamily Journey

Monday, September 27, 2010
I admit it; I've fallen. I haven't written in this blog for too long of a time. Today I am recommitting to write several times a week for those who are in a remarriage and/or stepfamily. I thank those of you who wrote to say that RemarriageWorks.com has been really helpful. You've inspired me, too. With the onset of this beautiful autumn season, my change starts now. And, I challenge you to make a positive change in your stepfamily life.

We've all had some personal failings due to a myriad of reasons. Perhaps you have read that instituting a regular stepfamily meeting can help the members in your blended family communicate. But, you didn't want to force the issue when a teenager balked at the idea.

Maybe you and/or your spouse had every good intention of talking to a counselor, therapist or stepfamily coach about finding some solutions for relationship problems in your blended family, but you rested in a comfort zone of "not believing in counseling."

Or, could it be possible that you've been meaning to take time out of your busy day to take your stepchild for an ice cream or shopping trip, and your work just got in the way yet again? I've been there and done that. Many times I've fallen.

The good news is that we have the gift of falling forward. If we wake up in the morning, we have the choice of starting over or trying again. I've failed at blogging regularly; and, I've also failed at some things as a mom and stepmom. It's time to move forward. While we get to "fall back" with our clocks this autumn, maybe we could all benefit from falling forward, moving in a positive direction, and recommitting to some actions that would be good for us and our stepfamilies.



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