I face a real dilemma when trying to come to grips with the modern idea of a “family”. My generation lived in a very different era. We would have been baffled by the title of this essay. A dilemma about the proper structure of family life? What foolish talk is this? Back then we saw no other viable way of forming a family unit. There was only one good model, and it was ours!
By contrast, society today offers so many options. There are:
• A young couple with children, married or living in a common-law union.
• A couple in their 40s who pair off. If children are added, the parents are often in the last years of their 40s.
• Same-sex couples of all ages. If they choose to enlarge their family, they adopt or use sperm donation.
• Some families want children.
• Some families decide not to have any.
There are many more types of family unions, but the above will do for examples. Some similarities appear in these diverse examples. The couples I know consider themselves to be legitimate families. Each one strives to be loving, kind, and supportive of their particular “family”. Divorce or separation rates fall within the current national average. Continue reading