I OWE SO MUCH to so many. To among others, I owe thanks to all those remarkable remarried couples with children who have shared with me their experiences, their dilemmas, their frights, and their laughter, experiences so similar to mine that I am embarrassed to recognize how "un-unique" I actually am. And in the same breath I thank God for my being so un-unique. It does not lighten the responsibility, but it does make it less lonely. I am glad that my problems have not been simply a function of my own simple mindedness. My own selfishness. My failure of insight and courage. No, my bewilderment was indigenous to my breed. I have friends. My kind of failure is widespread among fine and decent couples, whose good will toward each other and their bio- and/or poly-children I respect, and I see as far outstripping my own capabilities. If they too have similar problems, then perhaps it is not my shortcomings that make my field so hard to cultivate, but perhaps it is hard for everyone. Because we are all like pioneers in a strange country—experiments of nature, the testings of a brand new cultural phenomenon—as such some of us will survive and some will not. The old guidelines for family and love no longer work. That is exactly why I wrote this book—to try to establish new guidelines.
Also, the thinking in this book has drawn regularly upon many in-vivo researchers in psychology and anthropology. It is their firsthand contact with the varieties of human emotion,