Ron Deal gives very practical advice on how to make step situations work in the face of divided loyalties, marital problems, parenting differences, toxic ex-spouses, etc. With the divorce rate at 74% for second marriages with children, there's obviously unique dynamics in a step family that couples must face along with all the other normal challenges of life and marriage. My family was helped by the explanations on how to gradually move the step parent into authority at various levels, and how to develop realistic expectations for the amount of time it will take for family members to accept each other and ultimately bond as a family.
For people who are considering a second marriage, please don't get discouraged by his "warnings" and occasional negativity. I wish that someone had told me the struggles that I might face before I remarried, and that someone had been straight with me about how hard it really is to blend two families. Thank God that we read the book before we threw in the towel. His recommendations really work, and our family has a lot less tension and pressure since reading The Smart Step Family.