I’m sure most of us still believe in the dream of true love. Somewhere out there, our soul mate is just waiting for us to find them. One day, you meet someone wonderful and envision a long future together. Surely, you will be the couple who escapes the unfortunate statistics of many marriages these days. Years pass, and despite your best efforts to understand, those characteristics which seemed so charming in the beginning, have carved a deep groove in your nerve endings. You finally decide this is not going to work. Divorce may seem like the only answer, and often it is.
The most recent government statistics on divorce shows the rate at around 50%, slightly lower if it is your first marriage. This means roughly half of the people you know have been involved in divorce. So, I was wondering if divorced families have become the new normal? Surprisingly, the rates of divorce are actually falling, but this fact may be misleading because the marriage rate is also falling. This tells me that people are taking longer to commit, or deciding that living together is the best option for their situation. One positive change for freedom of choice that I applaud, has come with the relatively new government supported healthcare options. In the past, health insurance was only provided to spouses and may have been a motivation to marry or stay together.
From what I have seen in my community, it is not only divorced families that may be the so-called new normal, I would say that every possible family combination is the new normal. I see grandparents taking care of grandchildren, sisters taking care of their brothers’ children, stay at home fathers taking care of their children, same sex couples creating families, and yes, many single parents who struggle on their own. Often these situations can be fraught with emotion and confusion about being “different.” As much as the schools try to promote diversity, it is difficult to overcome the power of the media’s influence on public opinion to have the perfect appearance, clothes, and family life.
The mediators at West Coast Family Mediation Center, we embrace diversity and welcome you to come talk to us about your family concerns. We are experts in mediation, and mediation can be helpful at any point in a relationship. For example, as a caregiver, you may question the legal strength of your rights if you are not the true parent. Whether it is legal issues at the beginning of a marriage, a reset in the middle of your marriage, or the unfortunate unraveling of your life resulting in the need for divorce proceedings, we are here to support your needs as they change over the course of your life. Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center.
by: Jennifer Segura