The Four C’s

The Keys To Successful Stepcouple Relationships

Being in a stepcouple relationship is unique and challenging, rewarding and exhausting all at the same time. There is no other relationship on the planet like it. Stepcouples face unique challenges for sure! So HOW do we attend to our children, stepchildren, exes, etc. and keep our stepcouple relationship alive and well? It takes just four C’s.


When conflicts come up over and over, STOP arguing in the same old way, and LISTEN to these timeless tips.

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Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today's Blended Family

Susan Wisdom

Dedicated to creating and sustaining strong adult relationships in today’s stepfamily

I know from my personal and clinical experience that a strong stepcouple is the foundation and glue in a healthy stepfamily. I have a masters degree in counseling psychology from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. I’ve been in private practice since 1988 specializing in counseling stepcouples and stepfamilies. I wrote a book as a remarriage manual for adults with children: Stepcoupling: Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today’s Blended Family (Crown Publishing Group, New York, 2002).

I grew up in Berkeley, California where I lived in a traditional two-parent family. I moved to Portland, Oregon with my first husband and our two small sons. After divorcing, I met and fell in love with David, who was also divorced. He had three children, I had two, and we both had full time custody. We married and suddenly we were raising five children all under fourteen years old in one house. It was a shock for all of us. There were days when I didn’t think we’d make it.

I remember one particularly difficult stretch early on when I couldn’t get through to his kids, no matter what I said or did. My own kids were feeling the pressure and missing the relationship we had when it was just the three of us. When I was at the end of my rope one evening, after a very long day with his children, David and I went up to our bedroom and talked for hours. He just listened while I ranted. He wiped my tears, and held me. He assured me that he loved me very much and that I belonged with him in this stepfamily. He also told me that I was doing all the right things as a mother and stepmother, but it was just hard. Finally, I calmed down and we made some plans for improving things. He agreed to talk with his kids.

After that, while our conflicts got to us from time to time, we always knew that we would stay together. We loved each other, we needed each other, and the children deserved stable, committed parents to raise them. They’re grown and married now, with families of their own.

This experience was the beginning of my understanding that the stepcouple relationship is pivotal to the strength and longevity of a stepfamily. Since then, I’ve seen this proved over and over in my counseling practice.

Years of experience
In a successful stepcouple relationship raising 5 children since 1976
Interviewed on more than 75 national and regional television and radio programs
Masters degree in Counseling Psychology from Lewis and Clark College, 1986
offers encouragement and practical tips for dads in a wide range of fathering stages and situations.
A FREE online resource supporting stepparents with their journey in stepfamily life.
Learn from others. Ask questions. Share your experiences. Meet new friends.



Silver Creek Lodge

Do you want to build a healthy, long lasting stepcouple relationship that defies the statistics of 70% divorce rate for couples in stepfamilies? 

Stepcouples need extra support and resources in order to succeed. The statistics prove that intentional efforts are necessary. The intense and complicated dynamics of blending lives and former lives that include children and exes are not experienced by first time families.

So you may be wondering how the stepcouple retreat is going to benefit your marriage. You will walk away feeling validated in your roles, inspired in your relationship, and empowered to make the changes you need for your stepcouple success.  Topics covered have been inspired but the book “stepcoupling: These are the important elements we will focus on:
-Understanding boundaries, roles and expectations- what’s realistic regarding exes and stepkids
-Improving Communication- what your needs are and how to have them met
-Simple and effective ways to reconnect and stay connected
-Self care and couple care and how this is necessary for sustaining your relationship
This is time away for the two of you to focus just on the two of you. And your man will appreciate the opportunity to talk to other men who “get” the guys perspective on life in the blender. This retreat turns the tables on the belief that “Only other stepmoms get what it’s like to be a stepmom” . 

The theme for The Successful Stepcouple Retreat is Growing Together as a Couple. The entire weekend will be dedicated to renewing and recharging your intimate relationship. Come join me for a weekend of fun, relaxation,reflection and re-connection. Limited numbers. Get your spot by contacting me for a deposit today!

Limited spots available.
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Your turn to make a move

I accept email transfers, Pay Pal or credit card. You can do a split payment plan as well. Just contact me on my contact page and I can answer any questions and provide more details!

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