Men Who Marry Single Moms More Likely to Quit – Study Shows

A one year survey of stepdads and former stepdads revealed some startling results. In 2012 launched a survey to better understand the high divorce rates in blended families. What they found surprised marriage and family experts. Family Dynamics Researcher, Stacey James Wheeler says the ability to answer the survey questions anonymously made a big difference. “I don’t know any other research on the subject that’s allowed men to be completely honest. These guys were."

South Lake Tahoe, CA, August 09, 2013 --( The survey sheds new light on the reasons so many blended families divorce. “Most of these families will fail. It's been that way for a few decades," says Wheeler. "Now we have a better idea why. Couples have regular arguments over the kids, men report feeling unappreciated and say they don’t understand what their wives want from them." Responses from stepdads showed these men are twice as likely to leave –compared to biological fathers.The most current US government statistics show divorce in blended families is now in the 70% range. This is well above the US national average for divorce, which is below 50%.

Some of the findings in the study were less surprising. Nearly 31% of the stepdads reported they had problems with the children’s’ biological fathers. One in three also reported they felt their role in the family wasn’t defined and the kids were out of control. Though the results are sobering, Wheeler says there's a positive side. “Stepdads are quickly becoming a regular ingredient in the modern family. Most families have –or have had- a stepdad. There’s been hardly any research done on the sociological implications of this family dynamic. What we’re learning now is valuable.” According to Wheeler the research provides important information to help couples improve communication, reduce family turmoil and avoid divorce. With divorce on the rise the additional insight from the study could make a very big difference.

Wheeler is a Family Dynamics Researcher, author and columnist. He’s a stepdad of three.
Amber Hall
S. James Wheeler