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David Baxter

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Divorce not always bad for the kids
by Rachel Rettner, MSNBC LiveScience
July 1, 2010

In marriages with a lot of conflict, "staying together for the kids" might do more harm than good, a new study suggests.

Children of parents who fight a lot yet stay married experience more conflict in their own adult relationships than children of parents who fight and do get a divorce.

"The basic implication is, 'Don't stay together for the sake of the children if you're in a high conflict marriage,'" said study researcher Constance Gager, of Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Some studies have shown children of divorced parents are more likely to get a divorce themselves, but it was not completely clear whether it was the divorce itself or the parents' conflict that had the greater impact on a child's relationships.
Gager and her colleagues analyzed the results of a national survey involving nearly 7,000 married couples and their children in the United States.

The parents were first surveyed in 1987. They were asked questions to gauge their level of marital conflict, including how often they disagreed over money, household tasks, the in-laws and other topics that might spur an argument.

Then between 1992 and 1993, both parents and children were surveyed. Children had to be at least 10 to be included, with 1,952 participants meeting the criteria. The researchers also assessed how the parents' conflict changed between the two surveys, including whether the couple got a divorce.

The children, now adults aged 18 to 34, were again surveyed between 2001 and 2002. The participants, who were either married or cohabiting, were asked about their level of happiness and conflict in their current relationship.

Divorcing decisions
Children who grew up in high conflict families fared better in their adult relationships if their parents got a divorce.

The results held even after the researchers took into account other factors that could have influenced the children's relationships when they were older, such as the whether the participants acted out as a children or had trouble getting along with others.

That isn't to say divorce doesn't affect children in the short-term, the researchers say.

"There is research to show in the short-term, kids go through a one- to two-year crisis period when their parents divorce, but that they are resilient, and they come back from that divorce," Gager said.

Constant exposure to their parents' strife is likely what causes children's future relationships to suffer, the researchers say.

"If they're constantly exposed to conflict, and the parents stay together, that means there's many more years they're exposed to conflict by their parents," Gager told LiveScience. "Whereas if their parents get divorced, at least there's a chance the parents will have less conflict after the divorce," she said.

In contrast, parents' happiness did not appear to affect the children's adult relationships ? children of happily married parentsdid not necessarily grow up to have happy partnerships themselves.

The researchers presented the study last year at the Annual Meetings of the Population Association of America and are currently preparing the work for publication in a scientific journal.
 

Shanny

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Hi......I agree with all you wrote. Looking back I should have left permanently when our sons were very little , because now there is so much messy stuff I am just doing all I can to keep my 15 year old from attempting suicide as he did in the late fall because of his Dad and his own personal guilt which he did not need to carry but he did and it broke my heart huge!!!. I left my kids behind because they were hooked into there dad's games and were being encouraged to treat mom as nothing because she was the crazy one and everything was my fault no matter what it was. As a mother of a 15year old boy and a 18yeAR OLD BOY I watched them take on traits that I knew were not of there nature or doing. I could not protect them as I had done since they were small as things had become bigger then I was capable of fixing by myself and due to the situation at hand I had no choices left but to save them in the end I would have to do the unthinkable and save myself. What a horrible situation where dad pulled the boys into something so horrible . I was not educated enough at this time surrounding the nature and passive/aggressive behavior, all I knew was I lived like a crazy women for 18 years and as the boys grew up into men he used every tool possible to manipulate the situation so that the boys would not see the trulth as they were actually beginning to do ,which I found out on a deeper level after I was gone.I was advised by family, friends and a women's agency this was the only option or I would not mentally survive, and save my children in the end. It was the worst time of my life

Yes, it ripped me apart and it was the most painful thing I ever had to do causing me tears everyday and knowing what would be for them.He used every means possible to keep them from me by scheduling outings for them after I called him to spend time with them when I wasn't working.He would tell the boys their plans and negate mom. The boys were his pawns to lash out at me and it worked for sometime until I realized more. Although over those month's things got worse from him for them and myself as he could not keep up the act of course........ as I knew it would because I always took the blame and brunt to protect them as mothers do, the truth was revealed huge but the cost was high. I became an emotional wreak and my kids were hurting huge. I took legal action after leaving my home stating I would not ask for support money, no assistance, no furnishings except my bed so to eliminate any added stress for 6 month's from there dad to be now put on them which I feared would happen for sure.My only stipulation was that the boys receive counseling as my husband was dead against it and said it was not needed. I did this against everyone's better judgement but I knew deep down what the added stress would do to my now ex-husband and I feared for our boys. It took great love, strength, and courage to walk away as i had to do so fast.

Those month's were hell and in the end because I also did not understand the games my husband was playing still these boys suffered huge both in different ways. I did not get all the pieces until I was back under the roof but what I was able to achieve was help for the boys after several month's which brought me as there mother back to a place were they were no longer scared to be honest with their dad and to take the help from myself and the professionals.

I would do anything for my children but if I had of looked out for me from the beginning when I saw things happening instead of trying to keep a family together until everyone was independent then I would have done a better job as a parent because I yes would have destroyed a family, but in the end this is by far worse isn't it and it is one mess I would not wish on anyone or any child. I am thankful that my 15year old is still alive . I will forever regret, I stayed to long and now I stay to save my kids as well as myself. That is what abuse does, so thank you for this post as I hope it touches the hearts of those families who believe that always staying together when things aren't working and everyone isn't happy is not always the best thing to do for the family.........

A mother and women full of regrets......Shanny
 

CharlesPayne

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Joined
Mar 11, 2020
Messages
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Divorce not always bad for the kids
by Rachel Rettner, MSNBC LiveScience
July 1, 2010

In marriages with a lot of conflict, "staying together for the kids" might do more harm than good, a new study suggests.

Children of parents who fight a lot yet stay married experience more conflict in their own adult relationships than children of parents who fight and do get a divorce.

"The basic implication is, 'Don't stay together for the sake of the children if you're in a high conflict marriage,'" said study researcher Constance Gager, of Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Some studies have shown children of divorced parents are more likely to get a divorce themselves, but it was not completely clear whether it was the divorce itself or the parents' conflict that had the greater impact on a child's relationships.
Gager and her colleagues analyzed the results of a national survey involving nearly 7,000 married couples and their children in the United States.

The parents were first surveyed in 1987. They were asked questions to gauge their level of marital conflict, including how often they disagreed over money, household tasks, the in-laws and other topics that might spur an argument.

Then between 1992 and 1993, both parents and children were surveyed. Children had to be at least 10 to be included, with 1,952 participants meeting the criteria. The researchers also assessed how the parents' conflict changed between the two surveys, including whether the couple got a divorce.

The children, now adults aged 18 to 34, were again surveyed between 2001 and 2002. The participants, who were either married or cohabiting, were asked about their level of happiness and conflict in their current relationship.

Divorcing decisions
Children who grew up in high conflict families fared better in their adult relationships if their parents got a divorce.

The results held even after the researchers took into account other factors that could have influenced the children's relationships when they were older, such as the whether the participants acted out as a children or had trouble getting along with others.

That isn't to say divorce doesn't affect children in the short-term, the researchers say.

"There is research to show in the short-term, kids go through a one- to two-year crisis period when their parents divorce, but that they are resilient, and they come back from that divorce," Gager said.

Constant exposure to their parents' strife is likely what causes children's future relationships to suffer, the researchers say.

"If they're constantly exposed to conflict, and the parents stay together, that means there's many more years they're exposed to conflict by their parents," Gager told LiveScience. "Whereas if their parents get divorced, at least there's a chance the parents will have less conflict after the divorce," she said.

In contrast, parents' happiness did not appear to affect the children's adult relationships ? children of happily married parentsdid not necessarily grow up to have happy partnerships themselves.

The researchers presented the study last year at the Annual Meetings of the Population Association of America and are currently preparing the work for publication in a scientific journal.

I agree with what you have mentioned, David. When my wife decided to leave, we were discussing all the possible co-parenting issues, as far as she was leaving to another man. Still, the major task was to simplify the divorce process, as far as our teenage son needed sane parents, so we used do it yourself divorce packet (the cost for uncontested divorce was lower than lawyer's services) and my son went to a therapist. As she explained, the children's psyche is designed so that the child feels responsible for everything that happens in the family, including the relationship of the parents. Therefore, when the word "divorce" begins to sound at home, the baby thinks something like this: "Mom and Dad no longer want to live together because I'm a bad boy (bad girl). Probably, I behaved badly (I didn't listen to my mother, got bad marks, smeared new trousers, got into a fight with classmates), that is why mom left us, and my dad is constantly sad and angry. I'm bad (, only I'm to blame for everything. " Thus, the child forms a feeling of guilt, to which is added a feeling of abandonment and the fact that he is no longer loved. Moreover, the baby may think that the parent who leaves does not like him, as well as the one who he stays with.

For the teenager, the feeling of abandonment, rejection, and possibly betrayal by the departed parent will be dominant. An inferiority complex and a sense of inferiority flourish on this fertile ground. As a result, ordinary teenage negativity can take on larger, even destructive forms.

I must say that children will experience all these feelings in any divorce, even the most peaceful. The more scandalous the process is, the more negative feelings children experience and the more difficult they are to cope with . But the behavior of a child does not always change. Outwardly, the child can be as usual - obedient, calm, cheerful. However, constant work is going on in my head: I am to blame, I am bad, they do not like me, nobody needs me.

Therefore, if your child is still dear to you, if in the heat of passion you are still able to maintain a sense of proportion, make sure that he suffers as little as possible.
 

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