The Blended Family System

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Despite the many differences among the American population, nearly all Americans consider themselves apart of a family. The idea of having a family is essential as it provides people with a sense of strength, comfort, and belongingness. However, over the past several decades, the concept of what makes up a family has continued to change. Although the U.S. Census Bureau defines a family “…as a group of two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together,” others hold much broader definitions (Cox & Demmitt, p. 29, 2014). More Americans are starting to realize and accept the many different structures associated with families. When one pictures the typical American family, they usually imagine a father, mother,…show more content…
This family system consists of a “husband and wife, at least one of whom has been previously married, plus one or more children from previous marriage or marriages” (Cox & Demmitt, p. 34, 2014). The blended family can be quite stressful for children once their parent remarries (Cox & Demmitt, p. 33, 2014; Kemp, Robinson & Segal, n.p. 2015). Children can often become overwhelmed by the many changes that occur in their lives, which include new family traditions, new family relationships, accepting a new parent, and adapting to having new siblings (Kemp, Robinson & Segal, n.p. 2015). However, once the child overcomes many of the challenges that come with being in a blended family, there are many great benefits that can be had. For instance, having a stepmother or stepfather provides the opportunity for children to have someone else to love and support them. In addition when a child sees their mother or father open, loving, and respectful toward their new stepfather or stepmother, the child will feel more secure and will likely start modeling those qualities. Once children feel loved, valued, appreciated, and connected to everyone in the family, it is likely they will be able to form a meaningful relationship (Kemp, Robinson & Segal, n.p.…show more content…
Polygamy, Greek for “often married,” refers to a marriage that has more than one partner. The most common type of polygamy is known as polygyny, when a man has multiple wives at the same time. Additionally, there are two other types of polygamy. The first, known as polyandry, when a woman has multiple husbands at the same time, and the other, known as group marriage where the makeup of a family consists of multiple husbands and multiple wives. In the United States, polygamy continues to be an illegal practice despite the number of Mormons, Muslims, and Native Americans who feel it should be acceptable. However, regardless of the United States government’s stance on polygamy thousands of people live in illegal polygamous relationships. Although, many Americans have very little good to say about polygamous relationships, polygamists have several reasons that give them satisfaction in being in this type of family structure. For instance, having a large family and multiple incomes to rely on can be beneficial in the face of tough times. Additionally, others have argued that polygamy helps better satisfy men’s sexual desires. However, much of the downfalls associated with polygamy include the negative stigma associated with it. Many people believe polygamy is ignorant, bigamist, and goes against much of what is stated in the

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