Yesterday was Stepfamily Day. I know you may never
have heard of the day, even though it was first started
in the U.S. 16 years ago, and I suspect right now, you
can’t even contemplate getting to the point where you
are part of a stepfamily. But, consider these facts:
- One in three North Americans live in a stepfamily;
- More than 50 per cent of North Americans will live
in a stepfamily at some point of their lives;
- 30 per cent of children are growing up in stepfamilies.
There is a very good chance you will end up in a stepfamily situation.
But then again, you may already know this. Apparently
“parenting differences” is the #1 reason that remarried
couples, sometimes called encore marriages, end up
breaking down. About 37 per cent of U.S. second marriages
end before they hit the 10-year mark. And 20 per cent of
Canadian second marriages never make it to the eight-year
mark. That’s one in every five second marriages!!
What the stats can’t tell us is the emotional turmoil that comes
with having to deal with divorce. The anger, the bitterness,
the vindictiveness, the sense of helplessness, the sense of
fear, the tiredness, the confusion…it goes on and on. You
honestly don’t know what it’s like until you have personally
been in the situation.
And here’s something else you may not realize: the agreements
you make as you deal with your divorce — the parenting
agreements and the financial agreement — are what you will
be living with for the rest of your life. It’s very very important
that you make the right choices and the right decisions at the
beginning of this process. It takes a lot of time and a lot of
awareness to figure it out. And the legal process is a long,
complicated, convoluted one. Whether you choose to do
mediation or go to court, can cooperate civilly with your ex
or find yourself in an intensely high-conflict situation, it is
important that you handle things right, from the beginning.
Your future depends on it. And your future stepfamily will
be dealing with the choices you make now.
Something to keep in mind.