God hates it, and I think most of us agree that we, too, hate divorce. We hate what it does to families, children, friends, relatives.
This writing is not about whether or not you should get a divorce, but rather look-before-you-leap counsel. If you’re considering divorce, know that you won’t be the only person affected. Know that your decision will affect a host of people. Unless you have what’s considered by many to be biblical reasons (adultery, abuse, or addiction), your decision may be a selfish one.
I know of what I speak. Sixteen years ago, I walked away from a marriage of 29 years. I had been unhappy and thought I had some excellent reasons for my decision. In hindsight, it was a decision based on my needs and wants alone. My adult children were blindsided, my friends were confused, and my parents were hurt.
Children of Divorce
Before you make what could be a purely selfish decision, consider some of the following statistics.
Children of divorce are:
1. Twice as likely to drop out of school as those from intact homes
2. Three times as apt to have a baby out of wedlock
3. Five-fold more likely to be in poverty
4. Twelve times more apt to be incarcerated*
Children of divorce face many more difficulties than those of an intact family.
1. Parental loss: divorce often results in the loss of contact with one parent, and with this loss, children also lose the knowledge, skills and resources as children living in intact families.
2. Economic loss: another result of divorce is that children living in single-parent families are less likely to have as many economic resources as children living in intact families.
3. More life stress: divorce often results in many changes in children’s living situations, such as changing schools, child care, homes, etc.
4. Poor parental adjustment: generally, how children fare in families is due in part to the mental health of the parents. This is true for children in divorced families as well.
5. Exposure to conflict between parents: conflict is frequently part of families and may be especially common in families undergoing a divorce. The degree to which children are exposed to conflict may have substantial effects on children’s well-being.
For more statistics, visit www.marriage-success-secrets.com/statistics-about-children-and-divorce.html.
Trying to work things out with a spouse after you’ve considered divorce is a difficult choice to make — especially if you feel you’ve done all you can do to reconcile. Just remember that counseling is a lot cheaper than divorce, plus you’ll show your children, friends, and family how adults work things out.
If you liked this, you might also like God Was There
Dee Litten Whited writes from Virginia.
*Cited in a posting from Smart Marriages Listserv on Sept. 15, 2004.© 2002 - 2021, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.