Excerpt from Stepmonster
Stepmonster book cover

My marriage was meant to be. It was also doomed to fail. You see, I chose a man with children. Experts estimate that more than half of all adult women in the U.S. will do the same in their lifetimes, and that up to 70% of those partnerships will fail.1 Factor in all the odds and on the day I said "I do," I might as well have picked out a divorce lawyer as well: the greatest predictor of divorce is the presence of children from a previous marriage. In fact, divorce rates are fifty percent higher in remarriages with children than in those without.2 Even more alarming for my marriage, according to the statistics that I was blessedly unaware of until after I committed for life, was the fact that my husband had not one but two teenaged daughters, and was living with one of them when we got engaged (unbeknownst to me, experts recommend delaying marriage to a partner whose child is between the ages of ten and sixteen, so great are the risks of conflict for the couple and the household during that particular period of a child's development).3 The final high-risk factor: I was a childless woman marrying a man with children (some experts suggest that women with their own children fare better in a marriage to a man with children, although they face a whole different set of emotional and practical challenges).4 The chances of our union surviving were arguably in the realm of the hypothetical.

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