The act of divorce around sixty years ago was considered by most Americans as scandalous. But today, divorce seems to be as common as purchasing a new car. The problem is that many children and family members are affected mentally and emotionally, sometimes for a lifetime. While there can be some legitimate reasons for divorce, statistics show that it has become so common placed in our society that people have learned to disregard its devastating effects. It leaves a trail of tears and heart ache in its wake. First of all, the divorce rate has increased dramatically through the centuries.
It has been proven that one out of every two marriages today ends in divorce. The State of Unions in 2005 reported 63% of American children grew up with both biological parents. The Correlations of Divorce statistics say that young adults under twenty years of age have a 50% chance of getting divorced within the first ten years of marriage. Plus, if you marry over the age of twenty-five, you have a 24% chance of getting a divorce. If you search the word “divorce” on the internet; thousands of divorce lawyers will be advertised and most websites give you links for online divorce forms.
This is what our generation has come to. Second of all, we do not think of how divorce will affect our off-spring. Children are not usually the primary focus of a divorce, but custody battles and visitations are. Parents argue about money and possessions, but never really focus on the children’s wants and needs. The mother usually is awarded full custody of the children, while the father is granted visitation if he requests that option. The truth is children are the ones affected the most and yet have the least room to say what they want.
They depend on their parents for a stable environment and emotional support. Most children blame themselves for their parents’ divorce and want to take the initiative to fix their parents’ marriage. Many teens of divorce turn their anger outwards and start down the path of adolescent delinquency while others hide their anger and hurt themselves emotionally and or physically. There are numerous reasons why married couples get divorced but some are more justifiable than others. The Fatherhood Today reported the top three reasons for divorce are preventable.
The reasons given are lack of commitment, too much arguing and conflict and infidelity. However, unpreventable and more serious reasons why marriages end in divorce are drug use one or both partners, an alcoholic spouse, and worst of all, domestic violence to a partner and or the children. Domestic violence can be emotional, physical, and psychological. All three cause harm to a person and should not be tolerated by anyone; however, you cannot help a person who doesn’t want to be helped. This includes drug users and alcoholics. Divorce happens and sometimes this is the best option to keep family members safe.
My own experience with divorce was an unpleasant story, but I have raised my two sons with my family’s support. This unpleasant situation confused my two boys and I was worried that they would blame themselves or even me. I tried to explain to them that our situation was the most direct and sensible way to proceed. I was only 20 when I got married, but a year and half later I got divorced. I did not think twice about getting a divorce, I had to make a choice for my children’s safety, because my ex-husband was a drug addict. My family stayed by my side even after I broke the news to them.
My younger sister was an angel who helped me raise my boys for several years. No matter the struggle, I provided for my little family. In the selection, “The Making of a Divorce Culture,” by Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, she stated that in the past, Americans got divorced according to each generation’s norms and the foundation that suited them. This standard of divorce is what was accepted and practiced. She feels that Americans today don’t take family and marriage seriously. She believes also, the American people today live solely for themselves and want personal fulfillment, thus leaving families to fend for themselves.
This is true for the majority of Americans. Divorce was looked upon with disgust and disapproval in the late 60’s, but today it is accepted and in some cases encouraged. Many married Americans will put their desires and feelings first, but push their families aside to seek their self fulfillment. This act is leaving the children in a difficult position, and they are at risk of becoming delinquents with no guidance from both parents. Divorce can be a negative decision to most marriages today, but sometimes it is the best decision a person can make. Divorce is your choice, so choose wisely.