Among the many problems attacking the families today, divorce is one of the biggest and most stressful dilemmas that families have to face. In the verge of technology and industry progress, the family faces a lot of adjustment problems. At times, these problems bring the whole home down to pieces. But as it is accepted in the modern times, many writers who wrote about divorce say that divorce doesn’t have any victims or that it is nobody’s fault at all.
Many parents have been eased down the road to divorce by a few widely touted cliches.
They believe on the idea saying: “Divorce is better for the kids than an unhappy marriage; just wait until the children are ‘the right age,’ to spare them any pain; kids bounce back from the trauma after only a couple of years. Yet, the surveys and psychological studies around the world state opposite conclusions about the matter basing from actual results. Some have bolstered these optimistic notions.
For example, authors Susan Gettleman and Janet Markowitz discount “the myth of the damaged child. ” They assert that divorce need not be traumatic for children as long as the parents ‘handle it maturely. They even argue that a parental divorce may help children to cope with their own divorces some day! They claim: “The real objects of reform ought to be the institution of marriage and the myth of domesticity itself” (The courage to divorce). But the question is, is it really true that divorce has no dreadful effects to the people involved in it, namely the members of the family? What is Divorce? A marriage counselor describes divorce as a painful experience for any family undergoing a supposed “unresolved” problem. Many psychologists say that divorce is one of the
Divorce and Its Consequences page # 2 biggest factor causing individuality or personality problems among children today. However it may be described, divorce can be simply defined as the separation of the two most important foundations of the family, the father and the mother, the married couple. Usually, the disagreement between two married couples starts with a very small argument that turns into a big problem. Later on, this problem becomes so clouded that the real root of the unwanted situation is already hard to resolve.
And because of the ease brought about by separation, as these married couples believe at the time, they decide to part ways. Aside from this, the family code of many countries around the world makes it easier to file for divorce than to stay together in a family of constant quarreling and arguments. Many couples say that divorce brings to them peace of mind, something they couldn’t have if they would stay together for a long time. As a result the divorce rates around the world to day soars high. Among the many couples that resort to divorce according to the surveys, are young couples who also entered marriage for negative reasons.
Some just to hide unwanted pregnancies and some just to “have fun” or as said by many youths today, “it’s just out of curiosity. ” Other frequently cited reasons for divorce are sexual dissatisfaction, unfulfilled emotional needs, constant argument, problems with in-laws and physical abuse. At times divorce can even be related to why persons marry in the first place. Writer Sydney J. Harris observes: “More young people marry for negative reasons than for positive ones—and negative reasons are incapable of holding any relationship together.
More couples, for instance, marry out of than into. They marry out of loneliness, fear, desperation, a bleak home life, and a sense of insecurity. They are running away from something rather than to something. Many are trying to escape their own feeling of isolation or alienation” (New York Times). Divorce and Its Consequences page # 3 At the other end of the age scale, younger couples who become disillusioned with each other during their honeymoons decide to have a Narita rikon (Narita divorce).
Narita is Tokyo’s international airport, and the expression refers to newlywed couples who say good-bye to each other and their marriage when they arrive back at Narita. In fact, 1 out of 4 or 5 couples seek divorce in Japan. They view divorce as the door to a happier life. On the other hand, the influx of Western ideas, however, is transforming the way that Eastern women view marriage and married life. “The ‘liberation’ of women,” observes Asia Magazine, “is implicitly the single-most important factor in leading to the rising divorce rate in Asia. Anthony Yeo, director of Singapore’s Counseling and Care Center, said: “Women have become more assertive of their rights and more conscious of their dignity. They are no longer willing to sit back and take things quietly. Today’s women have more options and less tolerance of neglect and abuse. And divorce is a real option for those who cannot find marital happiness, especially when the stigma surrounding it has been largely lifted and is not what it used to be 25 years ago. ” True, as many couples divorce, the ratio of the consequences of the said marital move is also growing in numbers.
Who are the real victims of divorce and how do they face the dilemma of separation? This will be tackled in the paragraphs to follow. The Consequences and the Victims of Divorce IT IS neither the lawyers nor the friends nor the media nor the “experts” who have to pay the price of divorce. It is the divorcing couples—and their children—who pay the final bill. Far from being a liberating experience, divorce may come at a staggeringly high price. As marriage is a highly significant form of attachment bond, it gains a lot of negative effects when it is broken.
True, contrary to what many writers say that divorce is easy to accept Divorce and Its Consequences page # 4 as long as it is taken maturely, many broken marriages result to depression of the separated couples. Of course, many would say that this claim is a fraud because they claim that everything is going on just fine after the break-up. This is because they hide the real feelings they have inside out of pride and shame. Consequently, many are blinded that people who undergo divorce feels better about the state of their marriages and their relationship with their ex-marriage mate.
According to psychological surveys, about 19 percent of suicides and suicidal attempts resulted from divorce and 15 percent of this comprises of the divorcees as well. The pain brought about by divorce to the once married couple is usually accompanied by lost of trust and self-confidence. Many ex-married individuals question themselves on what they have done wrong, what short comings were they not able to resolve, and what is it that made them incapable of handling the marriage disputes that occurred before the break-up?
These stressful situations have also brought about serious personality changes to the couples. Many people claim that the once jolly and approachable personality of a certain married individual changes gradually once the marriage is already broken. Well, a lot may say that this is not true with everyone undergoing divorce. But there always comes a time or “point of realization” as referred by psychologists, when the individual would be able to remember everything that happened in the past relationship with the ex-married partner they once shared their lives with.
As an addition to this, A recent study published in the Journal of Marriage and the Family indicated that divorce is linked to unhappiness and depression. The divorced were more likely to be depressed, and those who had divorced more than once were likely to be depressed more frequently. Sociologist Lenore Weitzman, in her book The Divorce Revolution, notes that divorced and separated people have the highest rates of admission to psychiatric facilities; they also suffer higher rates of illness, premature death, and suicide.
Divorce and Its Consequences page # 5. Aside from the said facts, the main victims of divorce are the children. Psychology Today magazine answers that a recent five-year study of over 100 ‘children of divorce’ revealed that divorce is not good for children. Even children in very unhappy homes did not want their parents to get divorced Indeed, five years after the divorce most of these children were not happy, and over one third were seriously depressed. Experts agree that when a child sees his family splitting up “he feels his world is shattered. ” Young children may even conclude that the whole thing is their fault that Daddy went away because they were bad.
This can give rise to severe emotional problems. Extensive surveys indicate that children of divorce, when grown are more likely to have marital problems than are children of intact families. As adults, they are also more likely to be bothered by crying spells, insomnia, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and despair, say psychologists. Aside from this, when the court hearings for divorce proceedings are considered, the children are more likely to experience the hardship of making decisions on with whom they are supposed to choose to live with, especially if the children’s age is already beyond seven.
With this kind of situation, the children’s decisions are usually split up which results to serious state of depression. As years pass, the divorce effects don’t stop just after the break-up. In fact, it continues to influence the child’s personal development. Among the most frequent results of divorce are poor school performances, low self-esteem, behavior problems, distress, and adjustment difficulties. The children, however, often are the principal sufferers. In the U. S. alone, some 11 million children live in single-parent homes.
Many are at the center of custody battles, and commonly, they are snatched from one parent by another. Meyer Elkin, an expert on family Divorce and Its Consequences page # 6 problems, laments, “We are now raising a generation of children from broken homes—and creating a social time bomb” (Awake! 14). Conclusion True, around the world, many married couples rather chose to separate than to take time and talk things over. When actually, divorce is easier to prevent than having to face the long court proceedings of divorce or marriage annulment.
Divorce may seem to be an easy way to escape the unpleasantness of marital problems. But a balanced view is needed, for in many cases divorce has only made matters worse for those involved. Psychology Today, of May 1975, contained the following comments: “In spite of all the cheerful books on creative divorce, no-fault divorce, and better living through divorce, people whose marriages fail are miserable. ” Especially difficult for divorced persons is loneliness.
It must be acknowledged that many persons have struggled for years to make a success out of their marriage, but have not received cooperation from their mates. But the situation should not be overlooked. An element that a sometimes lead to problems is the unrealistic expectations that one or both of the marriage partners may have. Romance novels, popular magazines, television programs, and movies can create hopes and dreams that are far removed from real life. When these dreams do not come true, a person can feel cheated, dissatisfied, and even bitter.
Really, it takes work to achieve a successful relationship. Rather than just put an end to the marriage, it is important to take time to talk things over and try to understand the roots of the problem and be able to save the marriage. This would also help the couple to spare not only themselves but also their mates and their children from future distressful consequences of divorce. Divorce and Its Consequences page # 7
Magazines and Journals: 1. Sydney J. Harris. (1985). Young at heart. New York Times. 15. 2. Markowitz, J. Gettlemen S. (1972). The courage to divorce. Family Journal. 21. 3. Yeo, A. (1999). Singapore Counseling and Care Center. Asia Magazine. 32. 4. Journal of Marriage and Family. (1989). Vol. 4 No. 5. 21. 5. Psychology Today. (1975 May). Vol 8 No. 4. 12. 6. “If marriage is at the breaking point”. (1999). Awake! Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Brooklyn New York. 14. Internet Source: Dr. Anne-Marie Ambert, York University. (1998). DIVORCE: FACTS, FIGURES AND CONSEQUENCES. http://www. cfc-efc. ca/docs/vanif/00005_en. htm. (June 8, 2006).
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