Preparing To Blend: The Couple’s Guide To Becoming A Smart Stepfamily, by Ron L. Deal
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
As someone who has read the author’s material before , I have to say that this book somewhat surprised me with its downbeat perspective. If you are looking for a book that is going to encourage one to engage in the blending process, this book is bracing and highly skeptical in dealing with the optimism that people have in their ability to engage in such efforts without a lot of struggle and difficulty. If this book can be seen as a cup of cold water and a necessary correction to foolish idealism, then this book has a good purpose in that it reminds people of the fact that forming stepfamilies is only making life more complicated because one does not get rid of existing ties but rather complicates them by necessity, which is a salutary reminder to people who might be prone to neglecting such matters.
This book is a short one at a bit more than 150 pages. It begins with acknowledgements and an introduction, after which the book talks about the need for a stepfamily to be about more than just the couple involved (1). This is followed by a discussion of the complicated blended family map (2) as well as helpful expectations (3) and the planning of one’s wedding (4). After that comes a discussion of co-parenting (5) with exes and parenting together (6) with the new stepparent. After that the book ends with several chapters dealing with creating a shared grief journey (7), anticipating what will change (8), merging money and one’s family (9), and the effort at making the marriage until death (10), as well as some endnotes.
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