Chapter 11 Couple and Family Relations.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 1020
Sarah Murray

Chapter 11 – Couple and Family Relations Remarriage – A New Trend?  Remarriages are increasing Complex factors lie behind the shift from remarriage after widowhood to remarriage after divorce: 1. Life expectancy has increased, thus there is less likelihood people will be widowed at a young age when remarriage is more likely 2. Following changes in the law in 1968 and 1985, divorces have increased enormously, a pattern most evident in younger than older people 3. Improved pensions, which permit older people to choose to live independently, and greater acceptance of common-law unions and single- living  Divorce rate of second marriages is higher than first marriages  Stepfamilies have become more likely to involve cohabitation – these relationships are less stable then marriages Forming a New Family System Reconstituted Family: a remarriage family Stages of Remarriage-Family Formation: Three distinct stages in establishing a second marriage: 1. Entering the new relationship 2. Planning the new marriage and family 3. Forming the remarriage family Boundaries  Must be open enough to allow interactions with others, yet clear enough to that the family feels some unity Permeable Boundaries: family boundaries that allow members to move through them Roles Role strain occurs if there is a misfit between individuals and the roles they are expected to fill, or if there is no recognized role.  Too many candidates exist for available roles A difficulty some children may face, is the loss of accustomed roles, something that can occur in at least three ways: 1. When the new family includes stepsiblings, unless that are widely separated by age, one oldest child loses his or her position, and so does one youngest child 2. If the child has been the only boy or girl and gains a same-sex sibling, the child forfeits a special status 3. If the child has been a confidant of a single parent, that role is usually taken by the new partner The Couple Relationship  Often less romantic, more realistic, and honest about difficulties in the marriage  Sensitive to conglict from the following breakup results in more open communication and greater awareness of the parent’s feelings  Privacy and time-alone may be scarce  Couple time cuts into children’s time when the latter feel out and confused following the remarriage “wife-in-law” – refers to the relationship between current and e-wives Conflict over children is the most common difficult between spouses.  When a partner wants the romantic relationship but not the children, the relationship is often doomed Partners become aware of insurmountable difficulties early in the remarriage, thus most divorces occur quickly. If the marriage survives longer, it is likely to be as stable as any first marriage. Residential Parent-Child Relationships  Parent-child relationship often suffers in the early post-divorce period Residential Parent: the parent with whom the child lives  Child who is having difficulty, often takes bad feelings out on the parent through defiance or other forms of obnoxious behaviour Parentified Child: a child who takes an unusually high degree of a parent’s role Nonresidential Parent – Child Relationships Varies a great deal among families.  Related to the type of custody, the distance between homes, the length of time since the divorce, the age of the child, and the amount of support paid  Children in step father families see more conflict between parents than other children Stepparent –Stepchild RelationshipImportant for two reasons:  Many marriages founder because problems in this relationship eventually destroy the marriage  Adolescents in stepfamilies are a risk of developing behavioural problems Successful stepparents accomplish two tasks:  D
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