Counterargument and refutation. 1. Counterargument. a. Children might have a perfect family with both mother and father which help them mature. b. New spouses in stepfamilies may have strong and harmonious marital relationship. 2. Refutation. a. Remarriage has negative effects on children. b. There are many conflicts happening in stepfamily. III. Conclusion Because of the above reasons, it is better for divorced parents not to remarry. Should divorced parents remarry? Remarriage of divorced parents is always a controversial issue in our modern society.
Some of divorced parents choose remarriage as another chance or hope with a new family while many others decide to become a single parent. As making the decision to remarry, divorced parents have to choose a new partner who is suitable not only for them but for their children as well. Havemann and Lehtinen (1990) quoted a sociologist, ‘the difficulty which remarried family must wrestle may be tremendous’ (p. 280). Divorced parents can get into big troubles which people in first marriages will never foresee.
In our opinion, divorced parent should not remarry for some rationales. Firstly, divorced parent remarriage is mainly responsible for children’s stress, depression, severe behaviors and bad schoolwork. Children not only can be the unwitting victim of a network of jealous and angry people but also suffer from conflict of loyalty. A study cited by Lutz (as cited in Strong, Devault & Sayad, 1998) showed that many children felt stressful and worried because they were put in difficult predicaments. For example, a teenage girl felt heavily stressed.
Although she lived with her mother and stepfather, she had to spend her weekends with her maternal grandparents and her paternal grandparents. She was always asked to report what happened at the other place and guard secret about it (R. H. Lauer & J. C. Lauer, 2007). Moreover, Visher and Visher (as cited in Devault et al. , 1998) see that many children in the stepfamilies who suffer the conflict of loyalties and loss of love from their parents can be in a state of great anxiety, confusion and they could behave unpredictably.
In addition, according to Wallerstein and Kelly (as cited in Schwartz & Scott, 1994), remarriages of divorced parents not only cause children’s tension but also affect their study. The boys, for instance, had negative attitudes and did not concentrate on study in school because their father and stepmother refused to send their biological mother money (Havemann & Letinen, 1990). Secondly, remarried parents will face stepchildren’s disputation and unresolved issues related to the first marriage.
Children at any age tend to oppose and begrudge their stepparent, a newcomer in their family (Lauer & Lauer, 2007). In fact, they usually show their distrust, suspect, and resentment toward their stepparent. Even when stepmother try her best to be closed to stepchildren and satisfy their needs, the stepchildren still do not accept her as their real mother since they think that she is trying to replace their biological mother (DeVault, Sayad & Strong, 1998). By any cost, children try to “drive a stepparent out of the home” (Havemann & Lehtinen, 1990, p. 82). As a result, remarriages indeed have been devastated and disrupted by teenage stepchildren (Havemann & Lehtinen, 1990). Besides, not only stepchildren but also ex-spouses can be a complicated problem with remarried couples. Especially, former marital habits have a negative impact on the rapport between new spouses (Schwartz & Scott, 1994). A woman in her 30s, for example, told some troubles about her remarriage. Her husband bought her a nice nightgown, however he had a ritual of buying small size which fit his ex-wife but it did not fit her.
Similarly, she also had a mistake that she called her current husband by her ex-partner’s name (Havemann & Letinen, 1990). In addition, keeping in touch with ex-spouses is inevitable. For instance, Sager and his associates reported that Mrs. Prince was annoyed because her husband has some calls continuously with his ex-wife many times a day for problems involving his biological children (Lauer & Lauer, 2007). Opposing people may claim that divorced parent remarriages may help the children to recover from emotional trauma of their parent’s divorce.
Furthermore, on account of becoming older and more experienced than in the first marriages, new spouses in stepfamilies might have strong and harmonious marital relationship. However, as stated previously, parent remarriages put the children in a problematic position and cause their emotional troubles. For stepdaughters, both Hetherington and Joshua Fischman (as cited in Schwartz & Scott, 1994) found that they experience more depression and have more negative behaviors.
Besides, there are many conflicts happening in a stepfamily, which affects new spouses’ harmony like stepchildren’s disagreement and relationships with ex-spouses. Children’s behaviors have negative effects on the marital rapport, namely they act against stepparents and make a resentful atmosphere (Schwartz & Scott, 1994). Furthermore, stepsibling relationship is also one of the biggest problems in stepfamily because it can lead to stepsibling rivalry (Schwartz & Scott, 1994).
As a result of such disharmony, “it is often difficult for remarried family to feel like a real family” (Schwartz & Scott, 1994, p. 389). In conclusion, complicated problems with stepchildren and ex-spouse and negative impacts on children are two most severe issues in remarriage. Both the quality of the marital relationship and the stability in remarriage are poor. The statistics indicate that divorce people who remarry have a higher divorce rate than those in first marriages (Schwartz & Scott, 1994).
Therefore, to our view, it is better for divorced parents not to remarry, which benefits both them and their children. Words: 852 * References DeVault, C. , Sayad, B. W. , & Strong, B. (1998). The marriage and family experience (7th ed. ). Belmont, Wadsworth publishing company. Havemann, E. & Lehtinen, M. (1990). Marriages and families (2nd ed. ). Englewood cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Lauer, R. H. & Lauer, J. C. (2007). Marriage & family (6th ed. ). New York: Phillip A. Butcher. Schwartz, M. A. & Scott, B. M. (1994). Marriages & families. Englewood cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.