“Until death do us part”; This is a wedding vow promised by each partner in a union, it indicates a lifelong commitment to one another until they parted by death. But as time passes, the attraction to each other may fade, marital disputes may arise, and the once happy couple may become strangers to each other. Today, Divorce breaks apart hundreds of families every year. Over 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce and women are twice as likely to initiate divorce rather than men (Corcoran).
Divorce is a loss of the family bond, but if it is inevitable, it could also mean an end to marital conflicts, yet at the cost of social and emotional health. Emotional, social, and financial problems often arise in the lives of the men and women who have separated from their spouses. A Separation between married couples cause devastating effects for not just the divorcing couple, but also the children extended family on either side involved. Divorced men and women often experience a vast variety of emotional, social, and financial problems. Men and women often struggle with emotions such as anxiety, rage, and depression while going through the process of divorce. Financial issues often arise from divorce due to the sudden absence of additional income that a person’s former spouse used to contribute. In fact, according to Cathy Meyer, divorcing individuals need more than 30% increase in income, on average, to maintain the same standard of living they had prior to their divorce.
Also, many men and women experience certain social issues such as seclusion and the incapability to interact with others for a period of time after separating from their former spouse. “Each year, over 1 million American children suffer the divorce of their parents” (Fagan and Rector). Divorce often causes negative psychological effects in children of the divorced couple. Children’s psychological reactions vary based on the conflict between the parents, the relationship with their parents, and the ability of parents’ to prioritize the needs of children (Corcoran).
If children are not given the proper help to cope with change, They can suffer from mental health, substance abuse and delinquency (Emery). Children often show signs before the divorce if they were exposed to the parental disputes. Often times, when consoling the child, Many people subside the feeling and true meaning of divorce by persuading the child that divorce is good, and people with married parents envy them. For some, this method works, but most children who have divorced parents would rather have one family with a constant home. Many people brush off the teens’ feelings during a divorce. Without proper help, they can sometimes isolate themselves from their parents, become smart-alecky or reserved. Many dismiss these as the actions of an average hormonal, ungrateful teenager.
Divorce also affects the extended family. In many cases, the extended family members have grown close to the new addition to their family. Many of these family members formed friendships, as they shared many great memories, during the couple’s marriage.
The grief the extended family feels for the loss of their in-law is unfair. The family members that are biologically related often show loyalty to each other. Other family members believe that they cannot maintain relations with the ex, as that would be distasteful to their biological relatives, therefore they decide to cut ties with relative’s former spouse. Unfortunately, the children are the ones who suffer because they ultimately lose a former relative. Ending a marriage causes many effects, not only in the lives of the separating couple but the lives of all those connected. Children who suddenly lose a parent because of divorce exhibit vast varieties of emotional and psychological struggles. Extended families of those who divorce also suffer from friction in the family.
“What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10.9). God realizes the pain that comes from divorce and commands against it to protect his own children. If more husbands and wives could learn to forgive and love one another, fewer families would have to endure the heart-rending pain caused by divorce.