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Thread: Stepfamilies

  1. #1
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    Stepfamilies

    What is your experience with stepfamilies? Some peoples don't view them as real and functional families, and it's difficult to get them to accept the steprelatives. In your view, is a stepfamily a proper familial environment? Why or why not?

    Here I found on Wikipedia statistics about stepfamilies from the USA:

    • The most common form of blended family is a mother and stepfather arrangement, since mothers often maintain custody of the children.
    • One-third of all children entering stepfamilies were born to an unmarried mother; the other two-thirds of cases involve divorce or the death of one parent.
    • Of the 60 million American children under the age of 13, half are currently living with one biological parent and that parent’s current partner.
    • The 1990 U.S. census estimated that by the year 2000 there would be more stepfamilies than original families.
    • If only children residing in legally married stepfamilies are included, 23% of U.S. children would be designated as living in a stepfamily; when children are included who live with a cohabiting parent, the figure rises to 30%.
    The source:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepfamily

    PS: You can take a look at a similar themed thread, about accepting other people's children:
    http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=123019
    But that's only one facet of a stepfamily, this theme is about accepting also stepparents, stepsiblings and so on.

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    I don't see much of the issue. That a man should declare himself ready to be a father and provider to a child already brought into the marriage is not something to be scorned, but rather to be respected. It's a matter of pragmatism: Where it's the preferable situation for the woman and the child, there it is alright.

    Obviously, if it stems from divorce, it is not always ideal; but there may well be cases where divorce, and subsequent re-marriage, is preferable to an absolutely dysfunctional arrangement. Still at any rate preferable to coming from an unmarried background, but what should a woman do if her man walks out on her when she's pregnant, become a spinster herself and let the child starve in turn?

    When it involves a woman becoming widowed, it is evidently better that she find herself another person to provide for the child. In bygone times, it was customary for the surviving spouse to remarry soon, especially in rural areas it often meant an extra helping hand needed to run the farming household.

    The ideal arrangement is of course always that a child grow up with its natural, biological parents. Where this is impossible (for instance death), or at the very least impracticable (for instance if the father/first husband is abusive and criminal, unemployed, perhaps jailed), it is something that should not be scorned. Actually I deeply respect any man who willingly overcomes that barrier and gives a lone mother and her child a new supportive home.

    Besides, fostering was practiced by our ancestors. If it was alright for our ancestors that a child grow up with their uncle, it's not going to destroy a child to grow up with their mother's second husband. There are situations when biological fathers simply aren't good fathers, and in this case anyone who volunteers to be a better father deserves utmost respect.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
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    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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    My fiancee adopted a child because she could not bear children. When I entered into the relationship I knew what I was getting into. She was in a very bad marriage and got a divorce before we started dating.

    At first there was some small conflict with her ex-husband, but that was soon taken care of. The court decided that she had full custody. It turned out the only reason her ex-husband was causing trouble was that he wanted the tax right off of having a child. Before the situation got out of hand I had a few 'words' with him and all was well.

    I will say that I could not be happier and proud that I had a hand in raising him. Things have gone very well and there has been no major difficulties. Since I have no biological children of my own I call him my son and treat him as such. When he was younger people would assume he was my biological son, and we would just laugh about it. Now that he is grown we don't get that as much( i'm 5'9'' and he is 6'2" ), but we still kind of look a like.

    He never has said " you are not my father, I don't have to do what you say" and has always shown me respect. Now that he is out of the house we have become good friends and often hang out together. I will say I even miss having him at home.

    As a "step dad" I would give the advice that you can love a step child just as much as if he/she was your biological child.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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  6. #4
    Of course there's stepfathers, and stepfathers.
    I had an English stepfather.
    I was 4 whe I had to live with him and my natural Mother, my Mother was not allowed to play with me or hug me, to show any love at all, when I came home from school I was left alone in my bedroom until time for school the next day, my stepfather would encourage my mother to ridicule me, I would be violently beaten just for making a mistake in what I said or when too afraid to talk, I would be smashed around the head for being "creeping Jesus".
    I was kicked in the stomach, strangled so I had purple marks around my neck for 10 days.
    To get rid of me, I was put in a Childrens home for a few years, the happiest days of my life, but then they took me back to save the £25 a month they had to pay the " Church of England Childrens Society", so it was back to abuse and neglect.

    The result of this is that I am now unable to form close emotional relationships and so must spend a miserable life alone, it would have been kinder for my mother to have put me in a sack with some bricks and thrown me in the river, stepfamilies should be made illegal, maybe then more women would consider staying with the father of thier children and children would grow up the way God intended them too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralf Rossa View Post
    Of course there's stepfathers, and stepfathers.
    I had an English stepfather.
    I was 4 whe I had to live with him and my natural Mother, my Mother was not allowed to play with me or hug me, to show any love at all, when I came home from school I was left alone in my bedroom until time for school the next day, my stepfather would encourage my mother to ridicule me, I would be violently beaten just for making a mistake in what I said or when too afraid to talk, I would be smashed around the head for being "creeping Jesus".
    I was kicked in the stomach, strangled so I had purple marks around my neck for 10 days.
    To get rid of me, I was put in a Childrens home for a few years, the happiest days of my life, but then they took me back to save the £25 a month they had to pay the " Church of England Childrens Society", so it was back to abuse and neglect.

    The result of this is that I am now unable to form close emotional relationships and so must spend a miserable life alone, it would have been kinder for my mother to have put me in a sack with some bricks and thrown me in the river, stepfamilies should be made illegal, maybe then more women would consider staying with the father of thier children and children would grow up the way God intended them too.
    Similar things are seen all to often here...the stepfather/mother being a total A hole

    in my Family i have a step mother and brother and they are great people i see them as family because we treat each other as such

    I have a step son as his father died when he was 4(he had buggered off on them before that) and it can be very hard work but he's a good kid and i call him by his name and i call him son every now and then....my Daughter gets called Daughter! when she's in trouble

    Yes the Step Family can work but like any family it requires work
    Tasmanian twice the heads!!.......twice the intelligence!?

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    I don't think being good family depends on your biological relation to the child. There are good step parents and bad biological parents, and vice versa. Lack of functionality in a family rather happens because of people's characters and habits.

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    Tired

    I am actually apart of a step-family.

    Not because my parents are divorced, but because I married someone who was divorced and had children prior me.

    I think step-families can function just as normally as any other family. I treat my husbands kids as if I would treat my own. I love them very much and I always put their best interest in my heart and mind. Even though my step-children have a mother of their own, it is not my intention to replace her, nor will it ever be. I am sure she doesn't really care for me because another woman is coming into her children's lives and is in a way a mother figure. But honestly, I would rather have my children around a woman that loves and cares for them and treats them right other than badly... Its not the kids fault the parents are divorced, so why should they be the one to suffer. When those children are with my husband and I and in our care, I want them to feel that there is love for them, that their daddy loves them and their step-mom loves them.

    But I believe step-families have just as much chance as a "normal" family

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    Step-families can work. The only difficulty is getting there. It is a big risk to take on someone with children, as if it doesn't work out between the couple, the children begin to wonder why they have been left...again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathen_son View Post
    Step-families can work. The only difficulty is getting there. It is a big risk to take on someone with children, as if it doesn't work out between the couple, the children begin to wonder why they have been left...again.
    Trust me, being with someone that has already had children before you, it can be difficult at times, because as much as you want to be the parent, you aren't. I wouldn't trade a minute of it though... His ex might try to be ugly and make the drama happen, but that is what makes my husband and myself the better people in the end because we know that it is about the children.

    But also, if I knew I couldn't handle the fact that he had children, I would've never continued the relationship. It is something that you have to either accept or not, and I chose to accept it, so whatever happens along the way comes with the territory, and it has actually made my marriage much stronger

  15. #10
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    Step-families have always been present throughout history, owing mainly to the high mortality rate, but they were probably never as common as they are today. Family fragmentation nowadays is primarily due to voluntary marital dissolution or non-marital births, and the death of parents is a non-significant factor.

    My experience living in a step-family wasn't been entirely positive, and I think step-families do pose some unique problems. But it is good to read some of the positive experiences described in this thread, and as for the negative experiences, you have my utmost sympathy.
    'Well, what are you?" said the Pigeon. "I can see you're trying to invent something!" "I-I'm a little girl," said Alice, rather doubtfully. She found herself at last in a beautiful garden, among the bright flower-beds and the cool fountains.



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