Friday Mar 10, 2023

Dr. Caroline Sanner: Making A Second Marriage Work | All Together #16

In a world where people come and go, some individuals decide to seek opportunities to find new love and companionship after experiencing the end of a previous marriage or long-term relationship. This can be a challenging experience, as navigating step-families and becoming new parents to children from our partners’ previous spouse requires careful consideration.

In this episode of All Together, host Dina Sargeant was joined by Dr. Caroline Sanner, an Assistant Professor of Family Science at Virginia Tech. She studies family complexity, including how structurally complex families (e.g., post-divorce families, stepfamilies) adapt to change and transition. Her research seeks to identify invisible processes in complex families and understand how these processes are shaped by taken-for-granted aspects of culture and society, including norms, ideologies, policies, and institutions.

Dr. Sanner discussed the importance of listening and open communication in relationships, both in romantic partnerships and in families with children. She emphasized the need for self-awareness and making conscious efforts to form new, healthy habits in second marriages or relationships. Additionally, Dr. Sanner shared advice for parents on how to prepare their children for a new step-parent, including taking the time to introduce the new partner slowly and being honest about the changes to the children.

Visit Dr. Sanner’s works and publications at 

Produced by the Family Science Labs, a division of LMSL, the Life Management Science Labs.

Explore LMSL at and visit for additional information about Family Science Labs.

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