In first marriages, the old saying is to put a bean in a jar every time you make love during the first year. For every year thereafter, take one out every time you make love. By the end of your marriage, it is said that the jar will finally be empty. It's a nice wives tale, but not necessarily as accurate for remarriages.

You don't get that nice, uncomplicated "honeymoon" period with your remarriage. After the "I Do's" are shared, you come home to children expecting their lives to stay as unchanged as possible even though you've made this decision to marry. This can be frustrating and a real let down if you weren't expecting it.

You still are newly married though. You still need alone time for your marriage to grow in intimacy and commitment. It's just more of a challenge this time around because you're not alone. "Initiating" every room in your new house isn't that easy because there are children who could walk in at any moment.

You still have the same parenting demands and now have the added demands of trying to build a relationship with your step children. All of this takes energy. At the same time, you have a spouse who is vying for your time as well. Learning how to balance these needs is a skill you must be able to balance in order to have a successful marriage and step family.

One of the things I always warn my coaching clients is that you can't neglect your marriage in order to try to strengthen the family. If the marriage disintegrates, there is no family!!

You must nurture your marriage relationship. You are a married couple, not just John & Mary's parents. A good rule of thumb is that your marriage requires just as much time as your children do. In fact, I'd challenge you that if you're newlyweds you may need more. Your marriage relationship is the weakest one.

While sex doesn't "make" a marriage, it can break it. It is an intimate act in marriage. You've both agreed to share this with only each other for the rest of your lives. Neglecting it, is a sure sign of relationship difficulties.

You may need to be creative about ways to fit in intimate times. If you're fortunate and both sets of children go to your ex-spouses homes for visitation, try to set that up so that all children go on the same weekends so that you have time alone as a couple.

If you aren't that lucky, then you need to discuss this as a couple. How are you going to create the time to be intimate? This doesn't always have to lead to love making, but it does need to be time where the two of you just focus on your relationship, not the rest of the family.

You may need to be really creative in coming up with intimate moments with everything else that's going on in your lives. Helping to support you in creating the remarriage and step family of your dreams is our goal. Learn how we can help you with this in our newly formed section of our site at

I'd like to invite you to join our Article Archive, where you'll have access to numerous articles all focused on helping you to strengthen your marriage and step family. Learn more at

Finally, creating a strong step family can be a long process. One way to make is successful is to avoid some of the most common mistakes! That's just what, "We're NOT the Brady Bunch!", our latest book will offer you. Learn how to avoid the 10 most common traps that step families make. Visit to get all the details.

Author's Bio: 

Alyssa is a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Indiana. She has been providing family and marital counseling for over 10 years.

Her passion, however, is working with divorced families who are planning to remarry. She runs a divorce recovery group for children. Her desire is to work with not only the children, but also their parents to help everyone adequately prepare for a remarriage with the goal being to avoid a redivorce and achieve remarriage success!

To that end, she's been working tirelessly to improve her site in order to offer the best in resources for these burgeoning families.

In addition to her site, Alyssa has been been published in numerous locations both in print and on the web.

She is available for in-person or phone consultations as well as speaking engagements.