Finally, some good news for divorced moms who worry that the marital split will scar their kids for life: New research hints that there can be a silver lining for children whose parents separate. Kids from divorced families can grow up to have healthier families themselves if they've seen their parents happy in second marriages, according to a new Pew Research study.
The Pew study suggests that when divorced parents remarry, their children benefit from exposure to the second, happier union, and become more likely to succeed at marriage themselves. Anecdotally, many Circle of Moms members have found that starting anew and creating a blended family is creating happiness for their children.
"Something amazing happened [to me] now that I am with a really great guy who is normal and who loves me with all my flaws," says Elizabeth J., who left an abusive marriage and now finds her sons so much happier in their new step family. "He treats my boys like they're his own. At first I was skeptical and afraid, but we are a happy family now. It is amazing."
Embracing the Future
Having just celebrated her seventh anniversary with her second husband, Mary S. says the step family is the best thing that could have happened to her two daughters. "When I finally got the courage to leave (after the first time he hit me in front of our kids, who were 2 1/2 and 1 at the time), I thought I would never be able to trust anyone again," says Mary. "Well, a year later, I met my now husband. He loves me, adores my kids, and makes my life whole. He doesn't judge. We also had two more daughters together. Your kids learn that you deserve to be happy and loved, and the fact that he loves my kids too is icing on the cake."
Like many Circle of Moms members who are single moms. Angela B. says she was very nervous about creating a new family for her children, and afraid they would never get over her unhappy first marriage and the unhealthy relationship they witnessed there. But she has been pleasantly surprised: "I was very skeptical about letting anyone into my life, and especially my children's lives. My kids are getting the happiness they deserve." Gina S. shares a similar situation. "I must say that I am so very blessed to have found such an awesome guy," she shares. "Being a father means the world to him. It is one of the many reasons I fell in love with him. He has three sons 16, 8, and 7 who worship him and my 10-year-old son simply adores him."
He Loves My Kids and I Love His
Many Circle of Moms members agree with the study's finding that step children particularly benefit from a parent's positive bond with a step parent."I found my wonderful husband the second time around," says Diana P. "He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. We have six kids between us. He loves my kids and I love his, and we only use the word ‘step' for identity purposes to strangers." And Heather shares that "It's amazing how much your life can change when you meet someone that is good for you and to your children."
Having a step family was not something most moms plan for or anticipate, but many Circle of Moms members like Trisha G. say ultimately they have realized their are two choices following divorce: remain in the loss, or embrace the future.
"I am very blessed to have a man the second time around [who] would do anything for me," she says. "He loves me like no other ever has and treats my kids as if they were his own. "
Do you think a parent's second marriage can heal a child's loss of his original family?
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