Does Divorce Bring Negative Consequences?

Does Divorce Bring Negative Consequences?

A. Dean Byrd explains about negative things parents say to their children. It seems
children are the ones who suffer the most from negative effects in divorce. Byrd describes many
negative things that parents say and do. He said, parents say things like “you are just like your
mother” or “you are just like your father”. (128) The other thing ex-spouses do is blame
everything on the divorce. (128) Putting your child in the middle by passing messages to your
former spouse through them. Byrd says, “Don’t try to protect your children from consequences
of divorce”. He says to include them in decisions. (129)
Wallerstein and Blakeslee, Second Chances said that “the quality of the mother-child
relationship is the singles most critical factor in determining how children feel about themselves
in the post-divorce decade and how well they function in the various domains of their
On Kathleen O’Connell Corcoran gives many statistics. The following
are a few of them. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. The United States has the highest
divorce rate. Sixty-seven percent of second marriages end in divorce. These rates are terribly
high, but from 2005 these rates have gone down. An interesting statistic is that women initiate
divorce twice as often as men. Women experience less stress and adjust better than men after a
divorce. Women tend to have more of a support group than men do with family and friends. Men
remarry more quickly than women. Men are more negative about divorce and spend more
energy attempting to salvage the marriage. (Corcoran)

Paul R. Amato and Denise Previti used a national panel data collection and gave the
following reasons for divorce, the most common is infidelity, incompatibility, drinking, drug
use and just growing apart.
The United States Census shows that the divorce rate is lower now than it was in 1990.
Out of 2,230,000 marriages, the divorce rate was 3.6% per 1000 people. The highest rate was in
1981 at a rate of 5.3%. Nevada had the highest divorce rate than any other state, while
Massachusetts had the lowest. Some sources say the divorce rates may go down, only because
people are becoming more likely to live together than marry. Divorce (DS)) also
say if you are over the age of 30 when you marry the percentage of divorce rate goes down. The
highest percentage is of men and women between the age of 20-24 years old. (DSO) In
Utah in 1990 the divorce rate per 1000 people was 5.1% and in 2010 went down to 3.7%. Second
marriages have a 60-67% divorce rate and third marriages have a 70-73% divorce rate. Couples
who do not have children have a higher divorce rate than childless couples. After a divorce
men generally wait 3.3 years to remarry, women wait 3.1 years. (DSO) Divorce in
the United States is highest in the world. (MO) In 1980 interracial couples had the
highest divorce rate, the highest was between white females and non-white males. In 2002 the
percentage of couples who reached their 5th anniversary was 82% but, the percentage of those
that reached 15 years went down to 52%. (DSO)
Guy M. Galli says, Divorce is generally not a “win-win” relationship. When couples have
children with their former spouse “win-win” in not usually the case. (37) When there are
conflicts there is always those “win-lose” circumstances where each person in the relationship
tend to fight hard and dirty. Galli says, couples will “pull no punches” to win everything,

children and belongings alike.(38) He also says there is a “lose-win”, this is where one spouse
gives in and gives the other person whatever they want and and are basically a doormat. (38)
Then there is also the “lose-lose” situation. How can both parents lose? Galli explains, this is
when the one parent has visitation of the child and that parent wants to go on vacation, out of
town or on a date but doesn’t let the other parent watch the child.(38)
In the book “After Divorce” S. Brent Scharman has written a chapter titled, “LDS
Men and Divorce”. Scharman states, “Two of the most common though contradictory
stereotypes about divorce are that it opens the door to a life of poverty and deprivation for
the wife and children and that the husband becomes the fulfillment of the sentiments of the
country song, “She got the gold mine and I got the shaft”. “ (81) In this chapter it explains that
studies show women are worse off financially after divorce. It also says women may be happier
having control over the limited resources they do have. (81)
Kristin Armstrong wrote a 365 daily devotional book. It is called “Happily Ever After”,
“Walking with Peace and Courage Through a Year of Divorce.” Day 2 of this book is called,
“Choosing Your Path”. In a portion of this Armstrong explains how it is imperative to recognize
the significance of healing. She states, “This choice not only affects you, but it can also shape the
legacy you leave for your children and grandchildren. The path of sour bitterness, crusty
resentment, and cold regret breeds generations of despair.”
Andrew J. Cherlin wrote a book called “The Marriage Go Around”, “The State of
Marriage and the Family in America Today”. This book talks about marriage and divorce
in different countries and cultures. In this book it talks about a national survey that was given

to Americans, they were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the following statement:
“Marriage is a lifetime relationship that should never be ended except under extreme
circumstances.”, said Cherlin. Only 11 percent said they disagreed and 13 percent neither agreed
or disagreed. Although when people marry they intend for their marriage to last forever. (25)
Divorce generally effects children more than it effects the adults. Children feel as if its
their fault and they are used as leverage to the other parent.
Shelley Stile talks about the negative emotions and thoughts that people hold onto that
stops them from moving on with their lives. She says anger, sadness, depression, rage, grief,
resentment, bitterness and confusion are some of the feelings divorcing couples experience.
After a divorce is finalized there is a new way of life and sometimes it gets lonely.
Even the person who initiated the divorce have these feelings, everyones life has changed. If
resentment and hatred is what is thought about daily lives can’t go on. ( Stile
lists eleven items that help divorced people let go of bad thoughts and emotions. The first is life
is precious and it needs to be made great. Second, only you are responsible for your life. Third,
learn how to grow and not live in the past. Fourth, everything happens for a reason. Fifth, It is
not what happens in life, its how a person handles it that matters. Sixth, don’t spend your life
asking what should have been. Seventh, separate facts from drama. Eighth, “Don’t let the mind
chatter run the show because you will forever stay stuck.” Ninth, Learn to forgive. Tenth, Fall in
love with yourself and honor yourself. Eleventh, you have control of one thing that is yourself.
Price and McKenry said that there are some influential reasons that there has been such
a change in the divorce rate from earlier times. Economic conditions, the rise of feminism, and
reform of divorce laws. They also said the “wars made women indispensable to the workforce.

Since these things happened women became more independent, more assertive, they started
getting an education, became part of the workforce, had fewer children and fought for equal
rights. Hetherington and Arasteh have said that divorce is not the beginning of turmoil its been
apart of their daily lives for a while.
The California Children of Divorce Project was started in 1971 and ended in 1981.
Sixty divorced families were in the study. There was an interview at 18 months, 5 years and
10 years after the divorce. Nine families were referred to psychologists so they were not
included in the study which left fifty-two families. The responses from the children were based
on general and separation anxiety, sleep patterns and anger. The younger children were more
affected but there was not a noticeable difference in gender. Eighteen months into the study
boys were showing difficulty in sleeping. At five years the “strong correlation between the
psychological adjustment and the overall healthiness of the family life after the divorce was
the best predictor of the attitudes and behaviors of the children.” After 10 years, the majority
of the children recalled negative images of their parents split up and felt deprived of a normal
childhood. The young women had a fear of betrayal and attachment, but they still believed
they could have a happy marriage. (TCCDP)
These days divorce is so lenient that society is more accepting of the idea. Researchers
say that there is an “entirely new generation” of children to study. Over the last 10 years the
negative effects on children have been delayed social maturation, the sleeper effect, the
increased likelihood of marital instability and lower levels of academic achievement.
Researchers want to know about these effects for children’s studies to ensure proper
interventions are established so families can cope with stressful events. (Price and McKenry)

Harper Book of America Quotations stated, “So many persons think divorce a panacea
(cure-all) for every ill, find out, when they try it, that the remedy is worse than the disease.”
After reading all the facts and findings from researchers and other sources, Does Divorce
Bring Negative Consequences? My sources say yes!


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