Dec 24, 2019
Brian Mayer over the next 3 weeks will be talking about the
stages of stepfamily development. These stages were developed
by Patricia Papernow, Ed.D. We will walk through the early
stages in the first episode, the middle stages in the second
episode, and the later stages in the third episode of this
series. The broad view of this series is to understand that
there are steps that the life of the stepfamily will take and that
patience is needed to see them all unfold. We hope you
enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional
resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com
- If you have listened to this podcast for any amount of time you
know that we talk a lot about patience in the journey that your
stepfamily is taking. Sometimes we get so caught in the agony
and pain of the moment that it is hard to see through to what is
next or what is possible.
- In this 3 part series we will be taking a look at this journey
and what it commonly looks like for most families. This will
hopefully give you a good sense of what to expect as your
- In these episodes we will be using Patricia Papernow’s 3 stages
of stepfamily development as the backdrop for our discussion
today. She breaks it down into Early, Middle, and Later
- In today’s episode we will be talking about the Later
Stage. In this stage she further divides this into
the chapters: Contact and Resolution.
- The later stage is what we are all trying to achieve. I
am a Cincinnati Reds baseball fan and former color commentator Joe
Nuxhall used to say and the end of every broadcast, “Rounding Third
and Heading for Home.” This is where we are in this
stage. Heading toward to home stretch with victory in
- In chapter 1 of the Later Stage, Papernow describes a
Contact chapter. The agreements have now
been made and while things are not perfect, it is like the family
has now reached for even ground after climbing from the pit and are
positioned to begin the climb up the mountain. Relationships
between spouses and children now become sources of positivity and
encouragement. More clearly defined roles are now present and
so the relationships can now be the focus rather than the issues
- In the final chapter, Resolution occurs.
A new history and a new normal begins to develop. Although
some of the children may still not feel as much of a part of the
family as others in this stage some acceptance has occurred.
Major disagreements like custody arrangements, who will handle
expenses has either been resolved or seem less volatile.
- Check out Episode 120 when we discussed the Early
Stages of Stepfamily development which involve Fantasy,
Immersion, and Awareness.
- In the next episode 121 we will discuss the Middle
Stage of Stepfamily development which involve Mobilization
and Action chapters. So check that one out as well in case
you missed it.
- Just remember to be patient. The difficulties you may be
facing you family are temporary. You will move along and some
challenges will disappear and others will appear.
- According to Papernow, stepfamilies who move through all 3
stages do so in about 4 years. The average time for
most stepfamilies is 7 years and some can take as long as 12
years. Unfortunately some stepfamilies end in
divorce, others can get stuck in the early stages, and a small
number complete the whole cycle.
- It appears that those who complete the cycle, tend to negotiate
the early stages quicker.
Thanks For Listening!
- With so many things that take time in our lives, I am more
grateful than you know that you took time to listen to this podcast
- If you liked this episode and believe that it would be
beneficial to a friend, family member, or colleague, please share
it using the social media buttons on this page.
Remarried Life Facebook Group is a community of people
just like you who get and give support. Please join today!
As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it
is something you do. Talk to you next week unless you are
binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in
about a minute! Take care.