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The Remarriage Blueprint

How Remarried Couples and Their Families Succeed or Fail

About The Book

A New York Times bestselling relationship expert shares stories of seven remarried couples—and explains the unique challenges these families face and how anyone can bypass roadblocks to lasting intimacy and enjoy a happy home life: “A compelling book that can serve anyone looking to tie the knot once more” (Kirkus Reviews).

It’s estimated that 40 percent of new marriages in the US are remarriages, but the survival rate of second marriages is alarmingly low. Many remarrying couples set out with a sense of optimism, a belief that this marriage will usher in a life of happiness and unity—but complicated family dynamics can often strain new partnerships to the breaking point. The challenges of remarriage are pervasive, but little guidance has existed until now.

Based on more than a decade of candid, revelatory interviews, The Remarriage Blueprint provides a crucial explanation of the obstacles to remarriage and the secrets to overcoming them. Author Maggie Scarf, a consummate relationship expert, plumbs the everyday workings of shared life to illuminate the emotional preconceptions, social pressures, and perpetuated fantasies that confound remarriage. Through cautionary tales and stories of hope, Scarf offers guidance for handling everything from children who reject the new family dynamic to the thorny issue of money. Loaded with practical wisdom and searing accounts, The Remarriage Blueprint is “an extremely helpful book on a topic that receives too little attention” (Peter D. Kramer, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University and author of Listening to Prozac).

About The Author

Photography by Stan Godlewski

Maggie Scarf is a visiting fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center, Yale University, and a fellow of Jonathan Edwards College, Yale University. She is the author of two books for children and six books for adults, including the New York Times bestselling Intimate Partners. She has made many television appearances (among them The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today show, Good Morning America, CBS News, and CNN) and has been featured in many newspapers and magazines, including People, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek, and others. She lives in Connecticut with her husband Herb, the Sterling Professor of Economics at Yale, and is the mother of three adult daughters.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (September 17, 2013)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781439169551

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Raves and Reviews

"Scarf’s writing is technical but accessible…the eight extended case studies featured in the book offer intimate and candid glimpses of the struggles faced by remarried couples and their families."

– Publishers Weekly

"I picked up this book and couldn't put it down. This is the perfect subject for the wise, engaging Maggie Scarf. I was riveted because Scarf writes about the issues that wrecked my own remarriages. I didn't understand the problems until I read this book. Scarf has done a dazzling job. Brava!"

– Susan Cheever

"Maggie Scarf brings greatinsight to this important and fascinating subject. And who knew that good sensecould be so entertaining!?"

– Betty Rollin, author of First You Cry and Last Wish

"The Remarriage Blueprint is a thriller, a total page-turner. In eloquent prose and vital interviews Maggie Scarf discusses questions many of us did not even realize we needed answered before remarriage. Scarf can help you make remarriage the pleasure and the joy it should be. Love this book!!"

– Judy Collins, author, singer, song-writer and activist

“Maggie Scarf brings laser-like powers of perception to bear in The Remarriage Blueprint, and the result is a compelling survey of how different couples handle the challenges—and opportunities— that come with second (or third) marriages. The combination of riveting personal stories and practical knowledge makes this book a must read.”

– Letty Cottin Pogrebin, founding editor of Ms.magazine and author of How To Be a Friend To a Friend Who's Sick

“As a couple and family therapist, I’ve often wondered how the unresolved issues that couples bring to second marriages get played out. Through her thought-provoking interviews, Maggie Scarf sheds new light on these processes, as well as the ways in which second marriages create entirely new issues for such couples to tackle.”

– Hannah Fox, Director of the Met Center for Object-Relations Theory and Practice and Professor at NYU Graduate School of Social Work

"Maggie Scarf tells the stories of seven very different remarried couples and masterfully captures the details of each family's triumphs and struggles. This is a rich, thoughtful book, written with clarity and compassion."

– Dr. Patricia L. Papernow, author of Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn't, and Becoming a Stepfamily

“The dilemmas of remarriage have received little attention compared with the abundance of literature on divorce and separation. This lucid, well-researched book will correct that deficiency. It should be required reading for those contemplating remarriage and for therapists, lawyers, judges and extended families who are the advisers, supporters and decision makers for these families. “

– Carol C. Nadelson, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

"Invaluable insight for anyone contemplating or struggling with remarriage. Scarf helps readers face the illusions, secrets, conflicting cultures, money problems, and (especially) difficulties of step-parenting that can distort the structure of family life. An extremely helpful book on a topic that receives too little attention."

– Peter D. Kramer, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University and author of Listening to Prozac

“For people ready to try it again, this time with their eyes open, Maggie Scarf's thoughtful book is a sober and sobering exploration of the pitfalls as well as the satisfactions of remarriage.”

– Alix Kates Shulman, author of A Marriage Agreement and Other Essays

“Ever since its medieval debut in The Book of Common Prayer, the wedding vow has warned couples what marriage can bring - poverty, illness, and a bucket list of what turns out worse instead of better. Does hard-won experience make a second, or a third, attempt at wedlock more successful? Articulate, compassionate, and wise, Maggie Scarf has placed herself between fresh hopes and, sometimes, new disappointments, to come back with a guide for the perplexed.”

– Kathryn Harrison

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