Thursday May 23, 2013
There are new study results from the Center for the Demography of Health and Aging University of Wisconsin-Madison about divorced fathers and their relationships with adult children.
Using data from 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2008 the study extends the existing literature on post-divorced fathers and their relationships with adult children. Specifically, the study contrasts late to midlife divorced fathers and their relationships with their adult children from a prior marriage or relationship after they have entered into a new relationship.
What did the study find?
Preliminary results from the analyses suggest that:
- Divorced mid- to late-life fathers who repartner have notably less contact with and are less likely to transfer money to their adult children from a prior union than divorced fathers who remain unpartnered.
- Cohabitation has similarly negative implications for divorced fathers' relations with their adult children as does remarriage.
- Although new (step)children reduce contact with and financial transfers to children from a prior union, changes in remarried and cohabiting divorced fathers' family structure do not account for the effect of repartnering.
- There is some suggestive evidence that new step-children have a smaller negative effect on ever divorced fathers' ties with their adult children from an earlier partner than new biological children.
- The hypothesis of 'family swapping' is not supported as findings indicate that new (step)children reduce fathers' relations with adult child from prior union to a lesser or a similar extent as do additional children from a prior union.
What does the study tell us about divorced fathers who remarry or cohabitate?
1. Fathers make their new mate a priority over their relationship with their children?
2. Second wives or partners drive a wedge between fathers and children?
3. First wives drive a wedge between the father, second wife or partner?
4. A mother's parental instinct is more keen than a fathers?
5. Fathers have a problem separating their relationship with a new wife from their relationship with their children?
What are your thought?
Sunday May 19, 2013
I heard a young bride say, shortly after taking her wedding vows, "now he can never leave me." The woman had actually been struck dumb by her wedding vows! But, I think a lot of folks are. Once those vows are made it is easy to assume that you are both on the same page as far as making the marriage work.
We all carry our own assumptions about what makes a marriage work. The most dangerous assumption one can make is that the marriage will work just because you took a vow. The days are gone when people remained married because it is the right thing to do, or for the sake of the children. And, with a divorce rate at nearly 50% there isn't much thought being put into staying married to keep the family intact.
Making the assumption that your marriage will last because it is a marriage could be the very thing that breaks the marriage.
When we are working on developing a relationship in any way, whether it be mending a broken marriage or doing things to strengthen an existing marriage if we do things with the wrong assumptions about the other person we are very likely to not be successful in our endeavor.
I receive heart breaking emails regularly from women whose husbands file for divorce out of the blue. Women who were happy in their marriage and assumed their husband was happy. The most devastating thing we can do to a marital relationship is assume there are no problems based on our feelings alone.
It is easy to become complacent or assume that all is well in a marriage when in reality your husband is hiding his true feelings. Before you know it you find yourself in a situation where he has one foot out the door and you are scrambling to fix problems that may not have solutions.
To keep your marriage out of divorce court it is important that you stay aware of not only your feelings about the marriage but your husband's feelings also. Nothing, especially when it comes to marriage should be taken for granted. You should "check in" periodically, take an inventory of sorts just to be sure you and your husband are on the same page.
Wednesday May 15, 2013
When going through the divorce process there is a lot of effort put into negotiating a divorce settlement that is fair to both parties. I learned from personal and professional experience that regardless of how fair a settlement is, there are those who feel a court order does not pertain to them.
Your divorce settlement agreement will cover issues such as child support, visitation and the division of marital property and marital debt. You will either agree via mediation on a settlement or a Family Court judge will decide for you how these issues are handled.
The problem is, just because someone agrees to or is ordered to pay child support or, marital debt doesn't mean they will pay as ordered.
Do you know what to do if your ex defies your final divorce settlement agreement?
Sunday May 12, 2013
The day before my ex-husband left our marriage I would have bet everything we owned that our marriage was stable and would last. Good thing that bet didn't happen!
Over the years I've learned that being caught off guard by a spouse's desire to divorce is common place. Many, many people are left holding the emotional baggage after a spouse walks away or, in some cases runs away from the marriage.
My ex and I had an argument before church one Sunday. He picked up his car keys and said, "I'm going to get a coke." That was the end, he never came home again. I'm not exaggerating, he quite literally never came home again.
I know a woman who woke up one morning to find her husband gone. He had left in the middle of the night with his clothes and a few possessions. He left no note, no forwarding address, no explanation. Like me, she had no idea divorce was being considered by her spouse.
An unwanted divorce is devastating enough without compounding it by a lack of explanation on the part of the leaving spouse. Some though don't think they owe an explanation or can't face the pain their leaving causes. When it is time to go, it is time to go, regardless of how those who are left behind feel or deal with the situation. It is a cowardly exit!
Was your spouse a "runaway?"
Did your spouse...
Behave like all was well in the marriage? Did he/she treat you kindly and lovingly before leaving?
Never mention being unhappy in the marriage?
Leave without notice or, like mine, go out for a coke and never come home?
Give you reasons for leaving that rewrote the history of your marriage? Were you accused of not loving him/her enough? Were you told that marrying you had been a mistake, that they had been miserable the entire marriage?
Change drastically after leaving. Did he/she become mean spirited, controlling and irrational?
Cut off emotional and financial support after leaving?
Turn what you thought was a good marriage into one years long lie?
Turn his/her back on everything you thought they held dear?
It is impossible to describe how it feels to be on the receiving end of this kind of treatment by someone you loved and were committed to. I don't know if it is any consolation but, take this as truth from someone who has been there, this is a dark period you will work your way through. It is a time of growth and acceptance and I promise you, you will come out the other side far better off than the runaway.