I wrote an article on boomers and divorce and one of the things that has been in the back of my mind is, what happens when you re-marry? A 50% divorce rate is nothing to sneeze at – quite literally it is like putting your future on the line based on the flip of a coin. For those of us who are part of that statistic, the number does not even begin to describe the almost unimaginable pain of a divorce, and yet….
And yet, many boomers try again at forming a family and a marriage relationship. Many times the second marriage brings with it children from the prior marriage and, with that, comes a unique set circumstances and issues that no other generation previously had experienced. These relationships are usually called “blended families.” Helpguide.org has a very good article on blended families / stepfamilies that can serve anyone as primer in what to expect in a blended family.
While the 50% divorce rate is amazing in itself, what really amazes me is the underlying desire, like an unstoppable force, to build the relationships in spite of the incredibly treacherous waters that a “blended family” represents. While the divorce rate is not something we should be proud of, the incredible tenacity that we are demonstrating with our willingness to go at it again in even more complex circumstances is something to be proud of. To be sure, there will be those who choose not to re-marry and those who decide that the price to pay is too high.
I don’t think we should or can underestimate what is happening. This spontaneous social experiment is a tribute to our willingness to form lasting relationships “come hell or high water.” At stake is nothing less than the re-definition of marriage, family and the meaning of relationship itself. This experiment will completely change our country and the world.
As you may have noticed, I have used the future tense concerning the re-definition of marriage and family. I believe that we are nowhere near the end of the process but, rather, at the very beginning of it. So far, what we have done is to define the problem. What should be the answer or answers to the problem is yet to be defined but, as boomers and pioneers in this social experiment, I think that we have established the underlying foundation from which “the new” will be built. This foundation is based on the desire for long-term lasting relationships and the willingness to hang on to them with fierce tenacity!
Are you a parent in a blended family? How do you deal with the non-custodial parents? Are you in a situation where you are trying to love someone who does not want to love you? Were you a child of a blended family? How was your life like?