Stepfamilies & Blended Families Ruby Boettcher

Interviewee 1

"I was 11 years old when my parents got divorced, the summer before 6th grade. My dad started dating right away and then remarried about 1 year ago. My mom has been dating off and on since a year or two ago and is not remarried."

"At first I would describe it as very negative and I was very uneasy with the whole experience. I did not want to see either of my parents date or be with anyone else. But as I grew older it became more easy for me."

"The most stressful thing for me would have been, that my parents could not communicate without arguing, which was very hard on my brother and I. My parents could not seem to agree on anything, and I felt as if I was in the middle of it. I felt like I was the messenger between my parents."

"I could talk to my friends but mainly I just kept it to myself. I didn’t really feel comfortable talking to anyone or feel like anyone understood what I was going through. I still don’t talk about it often and talking about it hurts, so I cope with it on my own."

Interviewee 2

"My parents split up around the time I was in 1st grade. About 6 months before the divorce, my parents lived in separate house holds for about 2 months. When they came back together nothing really changed, so they decided it was best if they got a divorce."

"My dad started dating soon after the divorce. During the summer going into 2nd grade he told my brother and I that he had a girlfriend. I later found out it was one of my friends mom, her name is Nicole and she is a 5th grade teacher. They dated for about 5 years and they have now been married for 3 years. Instead of it just being my brother and I, it is now my brother, my step-brother, my step-sister, and I."

"My mom on the other hand did not get remarried. After the divorce she did not date for about 2 and a half years."

"There were stressors, splitting time with the parents was a stressor. My brother and I never liked going back and forth between the houses. I hated going to my dad’s duplex because I was downstairs by the furnace room while my dad was upstairs and that made me feel uncomfortable. We also hated having to be at different houses during holidays and finding time for both sides of the family."

Interviewee 3

"I was about 8 years old when my parents got divorced. Matt, my mom's significant other, moved into my mom’s house not long after the divorce. Then Shera, my dad's significant other, moved in when I was in 6th grade."

"I think that it was both a positive and negative change. At first it was really hard to get used to new people parenting me and as a younger child I would get really frustrated. Now it is more of a positive change because I have better relationships with both significant others. It feels normal and like we are all family."

"My parents were constantly arguing during the divorce. I also had to communicate for my parents because they never spoke to each other. I would have to remember messages and transfer money and other items from parent to parent. This was always stressful."

"When I was younger I talked to a counselor and talked to my grandma a lot. It helped to talk to unbiased people about the situations because my parents both despised each other. So talking to people on one side or the other made it difficult because there were always multiple sides to one story. I also was in a guidance group in 5th and 6th grade with the school counselor and other students."

Interviewee 4

"My parents divorced in 2002 when I was around five years old. Both my mother and father felt divorce was the best option for themselves, and for my brother and I moving forward. Both of my parents have since entered into relationships with other people."

"My mother was noticeably apprehensive during the transition due to the fact that my brother did not seem entirely comfortable with the circumstances. I believe much of his uneasiness stemmed from the fact that the man my mother was engaged to had a son in the same grade who he wasn’t at all close to and would be soon sharing a house with. My mother was very reluctant to move us all into the same house because of this, and because she didn’t want to put my brother and I in such a new, unpredictable situation."

"I could tell my mother was always extremely concerned for my brother and I throughout the entire transition. She constantly second-guessed her decision to move us all in together, and regularly asked my brother and I if we were comfortable with the situation, as I understood she feared that we weren’t happy with everything."

"I believe the remarriage of my mother brought my brother and I closer together. Of course, we maintained our sibling rivalry and petty arguments, but we were both in the same boat regarding the remarriage and could openly talk to each other about things without concerning our mother even more than she already was."

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