Part One of this series is located here.
How savvy are you about step-families? Do you understand the structural similarity between step-families and same-sex marriage? Take the Step-Family Quiz to test your knowledge. I created this quiz as an engaging way to help defenders of marriage understand the cultural blind-spot that we have about step-families. Of course anybody is welcome to take it. But it is geared towards those who believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman. By the end it should become apparent why I have focused on marriage defenders. There are five questions and their answers, plus a bonus question at the end.
1. Which group was the first to claim there is “no difference” between the intact family founded on natural marriage and other family structures?
- a. Heterosexuals
- b. Homosexuals
2. When was that claim first made, and what form did it take?
I am pleased to see that the community of natural marriage defenders is taking notice of kids in gay households:
Dear Gay Community: Your Kids Are Hurting
Wonderful! But what if I told you that it’s only a start?
Consider this: kids in gay households are often there due to a prior divorce and later remarriage, or a prior divorce and later cohabitation. These structural issues are not being adequately addressed within the larger context of same-sex marriage, and this has created a logical gap in our arguments.
Filling this gap is our opportunity to reach the younger generation.
Largely, the younger generation favors same-sex marriage. But if we addressed the family structure problems first created by heterosexuals, this may help us persuade the younger generation:
- that we care about their family structure inequalities and the pain caused by them
- that gay marriage adds to the structural inequalities children face
- that we are being fair in our assessments–we’re targeting all adults who are the impetus of structural inequalities for children under their care.
Here is why I am hopeful about this line of thought. The author of the above post retracted her support of same-sex marriage because she realized something important: Read more…
A superstition is something we believe in spite of the evidence, because we like the way it makes us feel.
For example: “I can solve all my problems if I could just divorce my spouse, and try again to find the Perfect Soulmate.”
Do you remember the movie, Four Christmases, the Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn Christmas movie from 2008? The premise of this movie is that Reese and Vince have 4 Christmases: one with each one of their divorced and remarried parents. I wrote a column about this film when it came out.
Popular culture has a way of reflecting the anxieties and ambiguities of our age, sometimes without quite meaning to. Christmas 2008’s bit of holiday eye candy, Four Christmases, illustrates the anxiety around insecure relationships, across the generations. The title comes from the visits that a happily unmarried yuppie couple must make to their two sets of divorced parents. But the movie could be called The Superstitions of Divorce. It strips away the lies we tell ourselves to justify our rejection of one another….
Not a one of these first three parents has learned a thing from their divorces. Boyfriend and Girlfriend are not deceived by their parents’ efforts to absolve themselves: They still have the same problems and crazy behavior. The new love interest doesn’t solve their problems.
Another superstition: “The kids will be fine as long as their parents are happy. Kids are resilient.”
Social science can now tell us for certain that this is untrue, as can millions of children of divorce who are now old enough to speak for Read more…
As somebody who was raised in multiple divorce/remarriage situations, the phrase “blended family” has always reminded me of a blender. Yes, a literal blender, like this:
Do you know a child of divorce? Maybe you are divorced and you have children. Maybe you have a young relative or a young neighbor whose parents are divorced. Maybe your child has a friend whose parents are divorced. The holidays can be stressful and chaotic for a young person who must navigate between the two–often shockingly different–worlds of their parents. As a child of divorce myself, I thought it might be helpful to share some thoughts so that readers can understand what these children go through during the holidays.
Sometimes holiday stress can manifest in anger, combativeness, tears, sadness, stubbornness, withdrawal… all of which may seem inappropriate or unjustified to an untrained observer. People might wonder, “Why is this child acting out?” If you know a child of divorce, please be sensitive to their feelings during the holidays. The holidays may serve as a magnifying glass as to how broken their family feels to them. For example, they might feel very divided. They might not know how to talk about the division they feel. Whether real or imagined, they might not feel like they have permission to talk about it. In point of fact, they might not have permission to talk about it.
Here are some situations that the child of divorce must navigate every holiday season: Read more…
When I heard about Robin Williams’ suicide yesterday, I felt shocked. So shocked that it was hard for me to think for several minutes. I kept wondering, “What? Huh? Is this real?” I could not imagine this extremely talented man as being dead. Not only that, but anytime I hear of somebody’s suicide it reminds me of my own father’s death. He also committed suicide, back in 1991.
In the next 24 hours after Williams’ death, my Facebook stream was filled with posts about him. One of these made a reference to an interview Williams did in September 2013, with Parade. In that interview he mentioned his two divorces and the amount of money he lost because of them: Read more…
BY NICOLE M. KING
The News Story – Top 7 worst states for divorce
An ABC News story this week highlighted the top 7 “worst” states for divorce, as indicated by the filing fee, length of minimum separation period, residency requirements, and length of processing period. “Divorce can take an emotional toll on a family,” says ABC, “but the filing and legal process can add another headache in these seven states. Read more…
BY NICOLE M. KING
The News Story – How Dad’s involvement can address the gender gap in higher education
While research has told us that the prevalence of divorce in our society can account for the gender gap within higher education, a recent article in The Huffington Post sheds more light on what the exact causal relation might be. It may not just be the possibility of divorce, itself, that has such an impact on both female and male adolescents, but rather the lack of father involvement in the lives of male children. Read more…
This sounds like an excellent film, but even if you don’t manage to see it, reading the commentary here is an eye-opening education in itself of what the divorce industry has really become.
A searing new documentary exposes the human and social cost of tearing families apart.
by Francisco José Pérez Valero
This article and a trailer for the movie was found here.
Divorce Corp, Directed by Joseph Sorge, Narrated by Drew Pinsky.
The dollars and cents of American divorce are the subject of this blunt, realistic film populated by a series of postmodern characters who are afflicted by a series of circumstances they were unprepared to face. The problem has deep roots. America’s family courts were born in the 1950s, in an era of economic boom and social well-being. Their aim was to preserve the right to divorce in extreme circumstances. Read more…
To Renee Jacques at HuffPo,
I came across your article today:
11 Reasons Your Parents’ Divorce Isn’t So Bad After All
The piece is so callous that at first I wondered if you were joking. Then I realized you weren’t joking.
It’s hard to know where to start in my criticism of your piece, so let’s just dive into the middle:
3. You know to never ignore your emotions and to face your feelings. That way, you can make the hard but important decisions in your life.
“You know to never ignore your emotions….” except your emotions about your parent’s divorce and how confusing it is. Those must be ignored at all costs, so that your parents won’t ever feel bad about their choices. If your feelings make them feel bad, this might jeopardize your standing with them since as a child you’re the vulnerable one.
Or how about this:
4. You begin to realize how much your opinion matters to your parents.
“Your opinion matters to your parents…” except your opinion about their divorce(s), remarriages, and all the Read more…