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"So complex is the process whereby the remarried family system stabilizes and regains its' forward developmental thrust that we have come to think of it as adding another whole phase to the family life cycle for those involved." 1
------ McGoldrick,MSW and Betty Carter,MSW
Experts estimate that by the year 2000 there will be more stepfamilies than any other kind of family in the U.S. Half of Americans have been or will be in a stepfamily constellation at some point in their lifetime.2 About half of remarried spouses procreate a mutual child in addition to children from one or both former marriages, while the remaining 50 percent of stepfamilies fall into the categories of stepfather families, stepmother families or complex families in which both spouses bring children from another marriage into their new union.
If the joining of two individuals in marriage is comparable to blending two different cultures, as many a family therapist has suggested, then the joining of two individuals with histories of past marriages, divorce and children must be the joining of two different galaxies!