Myths about Children of Divorce and the Bible:

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When parents fight...

Little ears are listening

  1. Children of divorced parents, have lover divorce rates than children whose parents never divorced. (Children learn by example and have never seen how a successful marriage operates. When they divorce, they are following in their parents footsteps.)
  2. Children living with one of their divorced parents, are happier in a new step family if the parent remarries. (There is no improvement in the children at best, and often the children are worse off in step families, than living with a single parent.)
  3. "The problems children experience as a result of divorce are temporary with no long term consequences." Or "Divorce is better for the kids if the parents fight." (There is a large body of research conducted by non-Christians that divorce is far more harmful than parents that fight. See books like: The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce.)
    When parents don't get along, children are better off if their parents divorce than if they stay together. Studies have found that in the small percentage of "worst case" high conflict homes (significant physical abuse), children do a little better after divorce. The same damage is inflicted upon the children as a result of the divorce that they will need to cope with, but the removal from the high conflict environment brings greater relief than the divorce creates for a net gain. However the vast majority of all divorces where the parents fight, the children were able to cope quite well until the parents actually divorced. In most cases the children fared much worse after divorce than while they endured fighting parents. Here the damage created by the parents fighting is much less than the damage the divorce creates. Its almost always better for the kids for the fighting parents to stay together. Better still if the parents grow up and stop fighting.

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Divorce always harms kids!
A. Divorce is for parents happiness, not the kids. Kids never want their parents to divorce.
B. Studies have shown that kids always do better in family where couples fight, rather than divorce.
C. Studies have proven that divorce almost always causes permanent and long lasting damages the children. Parents instinctively know this of course, but are too selfish to put their children's happiness first over their own. Statistically, parents are simply not staying together for the sake of the kids any more. No wonder society is all messed up.


If you are an adult child of divorce, a divorced person, someone considering divorce, or anyone professionally involved, such as judges, lawyers or pastors - you must read by Wallerstein, . Already on the top ten bestseller list, I predict it will remain there for years.

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In "'The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce" (written by Dr. Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis and Sandra Blakeslee) 60 families were interviewed, both parents and 131 children at the time of their divorce, and then re-interviewed them 5, 10, 15 and 25 years later! America's only longitudinal study of divorce is profoundly disturbing and shatters major myths about divorce:

Myth 1. If parents are happier after divorce, the children will be too. In fact, children of divorce become more aggressive than those in intact homes, suffer more depression, have more learning difficulties, are more promiscuous, bear more children born out of wedlock, are less likely to marry and more likely to divorce.

Myth 2. Divorce is a temporary crisis whose most harmful impact is at the time of divorce. A related myth is that if the parents don't fight in front of the children after divorce, and show love for them, they will be all right. But as Dr. Wallerstein writes, only after seeing these children grow into adulthood, did she see the whole picture:
''Divorce is a life-transforming experience...The whole trajectory of an individual's life is profoundly altered by the divorce experience...The divorced family has an entirely new cast of characters and relationships featuring stepparents and stepsiblings, second marriages and second divorces, and often a series of live-in lovers. The child who grows up in a post-divorce family often experiences not one loss - that of the intact family - but a series of losses as people come and go.''
In fact, adult children of divorce say flatly, ''The day my parents divorced is the day my childhood ended.'' Their new world is ''far less reliable, more dangerous place because the closest relationships in their lives can no longer be expected to hold firm.'' Most lost not only a father, but their mother as well as she became fully engaged in rebuilding her life economically, socially and sexually. Parenting cut loose from marriage is ''less stable, more volatile, less protective.''

Myth 3: The best time to divorce is when children are very young. In fact, ''youngest children tend to suffer the most. At an age when they need constant protection and loving nurturance, these young children have parents in turmoil.'' Half of the million children whose parents divorce annually are under the age of six.
Wallerstein depicts Paula whose whole world collapsed. Her father was an affluent pharmacist, an attentive husband and parent. Her mother devoted herself to Paula, active in her school activities, taking her to swimming lessons. After her father's business went bankrupt, he disappeared. Her mother, able only get a minimum wage job, transformed from a cheerful person into a strained, desperately tired, silent and resentful woman with no time for Paula.
Only as an adult could Paula put the magnitude of these losses into words: ''Suddenly there was no one there. I spent so much time alone that I tried to become my own company. But how can you do that as a four-year-old child? I would go for days without saying a word.''

Myth 4: The major impact of divorce occurs in childhood or adolescence. Untrue. It is ''in adulthood the children of divorce suffer the most. The impact of divorce hits them most cruelly as they go in search of love, sexual intimacy, and commitment... Anxiety leads many into making bad choices in relationships, giving up hastily when problems arise, or avoiding'' all relationships.
At 15, Paula dressed like a slut, boasted about being high every day on drugs or alcohol and was very promiscuous. Six years later she was living with a man who she planned to marry. Why? ''He loves me, he's kinda hyper, and he likes to party. I said to him, `It's my birthday, marry me.'' They had a child who was neglected in their drinking bouts. After a divorce, she was in the same spot as her mother years earlier - ''no money, no training, no home, with a child to support.''
By contrast, ''many young men from divorced families are immobilized,'' not having had any relationships. This is a major reason the number of never-married Americans has doubled.

Myth 5: Staying in an unhappy marriage is harmful for children. Wallerstein interviewed friends of those whose parents divorced, who went to the same schools as but whose parents remained intact, even when marriages were unhappy. Few realize that ''children can be reasonably content despite the failing marriage,'' she says. But if they divorce, ''the parents have failed at a central task of adulthood,'' which builds in their children a fear, `If they failed, I can fail too.'''


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