When they say “til death do us part” in front of the preacher, no newly wedded couple can even visualize the idea of divorce in their future. But, as the fact that over 50% of all marriages end in divorce attests, divorces do occur, despite all good intentions to the contrary.
Divorce is devastating. Both members of the couple are emotionally destroyed, the financial ramifications are monumental, and the legal complications difficult. But of course, the toll is greatest on the children.
Children feel guilty
Psychiatrists say that when a couple divorces, the children of the divorce almost automatically blame themselves. In their eyes, these two loving people got married and everything was fine until the child came along. This may be the furthest thing from the truth, but since the child was not there at the outset, he can only assume that everything was fine until he came along. Imagine the emotional burden of a small child who truly believes he caused his parents to split up.
Time is taken away from them
Children suffer in other ways, and these ways only serve to intensify the emotional pain they are experiencing. When one parent is out of the home, it usually means that the other parent has the entire burden of running the family. This may mean that there is no time for transportation to soccer games, that school events may have to be skipped, that dinner is often on the run. Pity the poor child who feels the guilt of his parents divorce, and now has lost his normal emotional support of sports activities. In addition, it becomes clear to the child that he is no longer loved, when parents can’t find the time to attend school events.
And so are their things
The financial burdens have a major impact on the children of divorce. Even under the best of circumstances, when the couple is financially secure, the cost of divorce can be difficult to bear, and it is the children who feel it the most. Running two households is going to create expenses that are twice as great as before. Discretionary items, such as vacations, video games, trips to the movies or amusement parks will be the first victims of the cutbacks. What child would not believe that these former pleasures are being denied him because of his guilt?
It is of the utmost importance that each of the parents set aside their own animosities and concentrate on the effect the divorce is having on their children. Everyone must be willing to make sacrifices during this difficult period, since, as strongly as they believe so, it is no fault of the child that parents divorce.
Divorce is normally harder on children than adults. Therapy might be a good idea, but do a free people search before choosing your therapist or counselor. Someone with no marriage experience or a rocky job history may not be the best person to guide you.