Have either of your parents gotten re-married? How do/did you feel about your new step-parent? Has that changed? How/why? Your family is still “whole”? What do you know about step-parents from TV, movies, other books, or fairy tales? Thank you very much!
I am the product of divorced parents and a divorce myself. My parents waited way to long to divorce- until they thought my sister and I could handle it. I did not choose to do the same thing. I divorced when I realized my marriage was over. I could not simply "hang on".
My step-parents are very different. I have a great relationship with my SM and a "he is married to my mom" attitude about my SD. They have both been in my life since I was 15 and I am now 35.
Our family is still whole, simply a bigger whole. I would not change our family for anything. My parents were both very unhappy. Today, they are both very different- they are both happy. They have been for a very long time.
As for re-marriage, my dad's favorite joke is the first marriage is a trial, the second is for real. I did not find it very funny when I first was married, but since my divorce, I appreciate the joke very much now.
Remarrying is not an uncommon practice in the region of the country where I live. Now, nine times out of ten, these couples get re-divorced as well. They remarry because they are yet jealous of one another and want to prevent anyone else from having their former spouse, or they cannot find anyone else. Seriously, the reality TV programmers should visit. Remarrying seems like a second act of futility here, anyway.
Both of my parent remarried before I was born. Both of my parents had a child with a previous spouse before I was born. I have never had any problems associated with this, as I was born into the situation. My sister, on the other hand, does not feel as loved by the step-parent as she would like. She can see a difference in the way she is treated compared to how I am treated.
I think a family is a group of people who love one another. They don't have to be related to each other to be a family. They have to be committed to each other. A family is what you make of it.
I would like to offer some observations on this topic, even though I am an adult, and it appears that you are trying to gather information from your peers.
As a teacher who has observed the effects of divorce and remarriage on countless students over the years, I can tell you that there probably are as many answers to your question as there are fish in the sea and it all depends on the people involved, parents and children, and the efforts they take to make things work for everyone involved.
I have seen the typical "wicked stepmother" and "mean stepfather" who have no concern for the stepchildren. I have also seen stepfathers and stepmothers who are loving and nurturing and are much better parents than the biological parents. I have had students spend the entire school day sleeping on the couch in my classroom because a biological parent refused to come to school to pick them up when they were sick.
I have had students that have accepted the stepparent right away, and those that have never given them a chance. I have read some gut-wrenching sadness regarding divorce and remarriage in student essays and journals. I have seen students who have blamed the divorce on themselves - "If only I had not messed up so much," or "If only I had cleaned my room more often."
I have even had one instance in a small private school where I taught where three different girls in the same class were all step-sisters because their "father" had at one time been married to each of their mothers (only one girl was his biological child)! The girls were great, the parents were NOT!
TV and the media have depicted all sorts of varieties of families. Our post-modern culture has redefined the concept of "family."