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Excuse me while I go on a bit of a rant here. It is a common, way too common, misconception that if you get a divorce you will permanently damage your children. They will be depressed, Woody Allenesque creatures who spend their thirties on a psychiatrist’s couch holding a teddy bear that they stole from Wal-Mart.

Or something like that.

If that is truly the case, our country is screwed. The divorce rate is roughly 41 percent for middle-aged men. That leaves a lot of screwed up kids to be the world’s leaders in twenty years or so.

In a perfect world, marriages really would be until death do us part. Kids would grow up in two-parent homes where they were related by blood to both parents. Everyone would have a comfortable income, enough to eat, and world peace would abound.

The problem is, we don’t live in a perfect world.

All Marriages Are Not Created Equal

I grew up in a two-parent household where I was an only child. My parents adored me, but they fought like gang members from opposite sides of town. When they walked into a room together, you could almost imagine the music from West Side Story playing in the background.

Weekends were miserable. They yelled, cussed, and cut each other down. I can remember one time when I was 10 or so I had a total meltdown in the middle of the hall because I was so stressed from their fighting. It was not fun at all.

They were together until Dad died. Their fights became less frequent but increased in violence. Over the years, I begged these two people that I loved to divorce. I wanted them to be happy. I spent a lot of my childhood playing referee, diffusing their anger at each other, and being a peacemaker. While it’s true that I have mad negotiation skills, it is also true that I carry scars from my childhood--as do we all!

Life Causes Us Issues

I loved reading the biography of Dr. Ben Carson. He was raised by a single mom. He was an African American in a time when there was a strong line drawn between the races, and he was dirt poor. Yet, he grew to be a brilliant pediatric brain surgeon despite the difficulties life threw his way.

If it’s not divorce, it could easily be something else. Truth be told, we are all subjected to issues and hardships, and I don’t believe children of divorce are necessarily worse off than anyone else. I think that it has more to do with how the parents act in the aftermath and how a child is taught to deal with adversity.

We live what we believe. If you believe that your divorce will emotionally shatter your children for life, then you will act in a way that makes them accept that they are emotionally shattered.

Your Children Will Become You

Would you want your daughter to live your life, in your marriage?

You see, the way you live, the treatment you accept, and how you respond will be what she believes is normal and acceptable. The way your husband treats you is quite possibly how your son will treat his wife someday. You set their standard. How do you feel about that?

Not only do you set their standard for how they should define their role as husband or wife, you also define what marriage is--and this is where it gets tricky. If your marriage is unhappy, they’re likely to emulate a fantasy of how marriage should be. No one can live up to a fantasy, and that will spell trouble for them in the long run.

Divorce Can Be Healthy for Your Kids

Divorce can actually be healthier than staying in a toxic marriage. You’ll be happier and more relaxed, which can translate into you being a better parent.

My divorce was relatively easy, and my kids adjusted quickly. When I married again, it was because we had all fallen in love with my husband. He provides a strong character and financial stability that they haven’t had in the past, plus he is one of those guys who lives to spoil his family. My kids see me being valued, and they have a better vision of who they are and what marriage is.

Our lives are infinitely better now.

If I hadn’t remarried I believe we still would have been better off--although it would have been more of a struggle. The peaceful, relaxed atmosphere is providing them a much healthier childhood than before.

Despite the broken home syndrome that they were supposed to have.

It’s a Tough Call

No doubt, it’s a tough decision to make and shouldn’t be made lightly. There is a lot to consider but if you find that you are hanging on to a miserable existence because of the kids you need to realize that you might actually be causing them more emotional harm than a divorce would.

Talk to others who have had to make that choice. Join First Wives World today and get the advice you are looking for from people who understand.


Image Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons, User : Heather Williams

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  • Comment Link Tee Monday, 25 September 2017 07:57 posted by Tee

    Oh look, another selfish a-hole parent who got divorced and refuses to take any responsibility for how it hurt the kids. Hey kids of divorced parents, where have we heard/seen this selfish behavior before? That's right, when our parents got a divorce.

  • Comment Link David Tuesday, 06 June 2017 01:55 posted by David

    Listen, I'm a 16 year old male. My parents got divorced close to 4 years ago and let me tell you something to whoever wrote this article. GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND INTO REALITY. Okay, now that we're out of make believe fantasy land where everything is about you, let me tell you how damaging it actually is. I haven't slept in 4 years all I think about at night is the divorce. It's always lingering in the back of my mind. My grades aren't bad, but they still have been slowly going down the toilet. I'm a sophomore in HighSchool and pretty popular and socially healthy, but during middle school, damn I was wierd. The divorce pretty much ruined my life and I don't ever see myself coming back. Now you can go back to fantasy land where you still think it's not damaging to justify your terribly selfish actions.

  • Comment Link Anonymous Thursday, 26 January 2017 12:45 posted by Anonymous

    Article written by someone who is desperate to deny her kid's dead eyes. That's what kids of divorce all have in common. Dead eyes. They come from knowing that what produced them was a mistake and worthless lie. Life becomes a pointless struggle to numb. I'm still trying at 48 yrs old to fill the holes left by the dissolution of my family at 7. Of course I'll die trying since I can never get back the years I needed them.

  • Comment Link Tom Monday, 09 January 2017 20:19 posted by Tom

    My parents separated when I was 4, divorced when I was 7. I'm 37 now. I have never forgotten how it left me torn in half. It does harm a child ....and you never fully get over it.

  • Comment Link bmo Friday, 11 November 2016 06:48 posted by bmo

    when my parents divorce i had breakdowns often for example in the middle of lunch my friends would try to somewhat try to comfort me but sometimes it just would´t work i finally tried to forget and it worked

  • Comment Link disgusting manchild Saturday, 04 June 2016 06:21 posted by disgusting manchild

    Divorce ruined my life. My mom moved out in 2007 and I had no idea it was coming. I think I was traumatized. It wasn't until a few years later my first semester of college I completely fell apart and I have been the worst kind of lazy bum since. It ruined my relationship with her completely and only now after her death I am starting to heal. I wish she was back and she never divorced my dad. I will feel guilt for the rest of my life because she ruined my family, my relationship with her and my life. I wish all divorce lawyers and judges went to hell.

  • Comment Link Joe Friday, 18 March 2016 23:44 posted by Joe

    Divorce ruins kids lives...I know...I've got four kids whose worthless mother abandoned them and moved 2000 miles away so she could pursue dick.

  • Comment Link Jacob Saturday, 07 November 2015 03:10 posted by Jacob

    Well my parents divorce ruined me. Since I was already born with learning disabilties. I'm the unwanted child of the family. My dad had an affair with my evil step mom to which she said I invaded her space and then in my early twenties I was homeless after quiting a job for people with learning disabilities because it was too hard. That's why I was in special ed my whole family rejected me and throw me out on my ass and of course I made mistakes but my sisters were born normal and made far worse decisions and put the family in jeporday. Now I'm in therapy. My family should be. This is for starters.

  • Comment Link ben Thursday, 13 August 2015 23:04 posted by ben

    Yeah my parents divorced and it has absolutely ruined my childhood.

  • Comment Link A Friday, 26 December 2014 22:22 posted by A

    Well my parents divorce ruined my life. And i feel like that I can relate to absolutely non of these "positive sides"...

  • Comment Link JIHC777 Monday, 10 November 2014 22:28 posted by JIHC777

    I am so sorry you are in that situation. I know first-hand what you are going through. My ex is also a narcissist, and completely horrible with money. The ironic thing is, money is the most important thing to him. Anyway, for the first five months we were separated, he didn't pay a dime to helping support our son. I struggled the entire time to pay for everything, while he continued to mismanage his finances, but still find the money to play golf and go to the gym. I only began to receive child support when it was court ordered and garnished from his paychecks automatically.
    If you feel like leaving is best for you and your children, don't wait until you have enough money to support your family yourself. Get your own attorney-do not share one with him-and he/she will help you file the temporary order for child support. If he is employed, and there is a court order on file, his employer is required to deduct the child support from his paycheck so it will go to you.

  • Comment Link basil0707 Monday, 10 November 2014 07:19 posted by basil0707

    I did chapter 7 in Aug to get rid of debt and make the divorce clean. I was so psyched to finally file once the discharge comes in Dec. He is so bad with money, I would be surprised if he gave me one nickel to pay for our children. So I have been trying to earn enough money to cover everything. That's not happening and now I feel trapped. I don't trust any lawyer to get this master manipulator to pay for his kids. He didn't during the marraige, can't see him paying during the divorce.

    If I file, I will have to sell the house and move to a less expensive area with 4 kids. Means changing schools, renting, church, friends etc AGAIN.

    Have been trying to get the courage to file for 5 years but I always get scared and back away. However the idea of staying in this very lonely marraige to a feckless irresponsible naricissist is so depressing. Can't even imagine the next 5 years if it's been like the last 15.