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Gil and Brenda live in Brush Prairie, Washington. They have seven children between them, who are all young adults. Gil graduated from Bethany Bible College; he is currently an insurance broker and active in the community with marriage and family issues. Brenda was on staff as Children’s Pastor of their church and recently established a team building organization helping people communicate better in team environments. Brenda is also involved with marriage and family initiatives. They are founding board members of Thriving Families of Clark County, WA, members of Smart Marriages, Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage Video Presenters, members of Better Marriages, Certified Marriage Team coaches, and are sought after for radio and television interviews.
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Inside the Lesson
In this episode, Gil and Brenda Stuart—founders of the Restored and Remarried seminars and authors of Restored and Remarried—take an insider’s look at the difficulties every blended family faces. In spite of the happiness and hope a second-marriage couple feels at the start of their new marriage, blending two families together is often the biggest challenge the couple will face. According to Gil and Brenda Stuart, over 58% of divorced people have not dealt with their past pain before committing to a new relationship, which can have a devastating effect on the success of a second marriage. But it is not impossible to heal from past pain and move forward into a healthy marriage. To do so, the couple must commit to avoiding each other’s “bare wires,” or areas of intense pain that, if triggered, will create a shock. Also, especially in the beginning of a remarriage, many blended families experience waves of grief over former family structures that have nothing to do with the new spouse, parent, or siblings. Gil and Brenda Stuart offer wise counsel on dealing with exes who attempt to tear apart a couple’s new relationship due to unresolved issues that lead to resentment and jealousy. They also offer advice on how a remarried couple can and should parent each other’s children.
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