Divorced? Essay, Research Paper
“Christy, Allen, Joseph go sit on the couch. Your
daddy and I will be in there in a minute,” my mother
yelled early one day before school. I was in eighth
grade, Allen was in seventh grade, and Joseph was in the
sixth grade. We were kind of scared to go sit on the
couch. By the tone of Mom’s voice, all three of us
children knew something bad was going on.
“Kids, you know your father and I love you very much
and that we would do anything for you,” my Mom managed to
say through her crocodile tears. Allen looked at me and
then at Joseph with a puzzled look.
Seeing my mother’s hurt through her tears, I asked,
“Mommy, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
She dried her swollen eyes and took a deep breath.
“We have something to tell you and we’re not quite sure
how you are going to take it.”
Daddy butted in with, “…but we still have to tell
you. Your Mom and I have decided to get a divorce.”
“What,” we all cried as tears started streaming down
our faces, “why? We don’t understand!”
I learned a very valuable lesson that day. One that
taught me what divorce would do to my family and our
lives. A lesson I would have to live with for the rest
of my life. Divorce throws a harsh, glaring light on
reality, and crumbles dreams.Plans that were once bright
and full of promise, now lay shattered and abondoned. I
decided to investigate what led to my parents’ loss of
interest in each other and what could be done to prevent
this to other couples. I also wanted to find out the
best way for me and my brothers to deal with this
According to a study performed by psychologist
Andrew Weiten a failed marriage could be the result of
many different cicumstances. For example, one or both of
the parents may be unhappy. If a couple gets married at
an early age or is married impulsively, it may cause
problems in the marriage. Financial problems or even
psychological problems play a great role in divorce
decisions also. He also says to remember that “no two
people become divorced at the same time.”(1). In other
words, usually during a divorce one of the parties feels
regret and wants the divorce, but the other party will
grieve and mourn on the loss of their “life.”
According to the Monthly Vital Statistics Report
in the United States alone, approximately 1,135,000
divorces occur annually. Probably, fourty or even fifty
percent of marriages will end in divorce if current
trends continue.(4). However, that is only a projection.
The report also showed a consensus that the overall
United States divorce rate had a brief spurt after World
War II followed by a decline, then started rising in the
1960’s and even more quickly in the 1970’s, then leveled
off in the 1980’s and then declined slightly.(6).
There are many different ways that divorce affects
both children and adults. Effects on children of divorce
include psychological problems, juvenile delinquency,
suicide, undereducation, and teen motherhood.Fortunately,
my brothers and I haven’t had any noticeable problems
like these so far. “Problems arise from conflict during
and after divorce more that from conflict during the
marriage, and there is an increased incidence of
detriment even if the divorce is low-conflict. Problems
persist into early adulthood and affect the marriage and
mating choices of children of divorce.”(Ferguson 2). So,
not only do children suffer from immediate hurt and
problems, they suffer from these things for the rest of
My Mom is a sixty year old technician for Choate
Mental Health Center in Anna. She and my Dad tried
counseling with little success and both decided that
divorce was the only sure way of solving the problems my
parents faced. “I would’ve thought that finally deciding
to end the struggle would be a relief,” Mom told me.
“But if anything, it’s left me anxious, I know this was
the right thing to do, but there’s always a voice inside
of my head saying, ‘go back!’
According to Dr. Kathleen Wall, “most adults go
through similar thoughts and feelings after a
divorce.”(5). The transitions of separation and divorce
may lead to feelings of loneliness. Some people consider
counseling as a method of coping, while others use their
friends and loved ones as a support systm for
theirselves, much like my family did. “Typical stages of
mourning a death of a marriage are denial, anger,
bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Without
emotional support from the people around you and possibly
a therapist, your emotional healing may take longer that
you expect. Marriage is better than divorce or
bachelorhood for the health, wealth, and happiness of
adults of all ages and genders.” (Kubler-Ross 2).
Pre-marital counseling sometimes helps reduce the
risk of divorce somewhat and can prevent many bad
marriages. A recent study shows the men who do housework
were significantly healthier four years down the road!
“Indications were that men who did housework were less
likely to urge conflicts, less overwhelmed by the
emotions of their spouse, and had lower blood pressure.”
Gary Ferguson says to develop and practice positive
behaviors to incorporate into times of conflict.
“Practice them, because when the emotions elevate in
conflict we are less likely to be able to access these
unless they are becoming second nature.”(7)
Don’t assume that your marriage is doomed because
one or two of your spouses characteristics aren’t ideal.
A good marriage partner will probably have a variety of
skills, control of their emotions, and tolerance and
affection toward you and others. One thing you have to
remember when entered into a marriage as a husband or
wife: “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has
to be made, like bread; re-made all the time, made
Ferguson, Gary; Wall PhD, Kathleen. “The Need to Disidentify.” 1996.
05 Nov, 2000. .
LeGuin, Ursuula K. 1995. 05 Nov, 2000.
O’Brien, Mary Ellen. “Avoiding Conflict.” 1997. 03 Nov, 2000.
Kubler-Ross PhD, Elisabeth. “Failed Relationships.” 1998. 06 Nov,
Weiten, Andrew. 1986. 05 Nov, 2000.
“Monthly Vital Statistics Report.” 1998. 07 Nov, 2000.