Are You Worried Your Divorce Is Destroying Your Children?

Posted: July 2, 2012 in divorce, marriage
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If you’re divorced with kids, you might still be battling the guilt that goes with being divorced. But, I want to let you know, you shouldn’t let it eat you alive.

First of all, it’s already done, and you can’t go back and change things.

Secondly, according to a piece written by Mary Parke regarding a research study done by CLASP (Center for Law and Social Policy), it’s possible that the quality of the parent’s relationship can be more significant in your children’s life, than divorce.

Even though I’ve always thought this was true, (hence why I left my ‘X’) it’s one of those things most people like to see in writing before they believe it…

This is what I’ve always thought: 
“How could it be better for a kid (or kids) to deal with horrible repeat fights, constant underlying stress and the discord between two parents, over a divorce?” I just could never believe it was, and I worried that my children would grow up witnessing our continued mistakes then go out and repeat them…

Here’s the article:
Doesn’t the Quality of the Relationship Matter More Than the Piece of Paper?

The quality of the relationship between parents matters to child well-being. Children who grow up in married families with high conflict experience lower emotional well-being than children who live in low-conflict families, and they may experience as many problems as children of divorced or never-married parents.47 Research indicates that marital conflict interferes with the quality of parenting. Furthermore, experiencing chronic conflict between married parents is inherently stressful for children, and children learn poor relationship skills from parents who aren’t able to solve problems amicably. When parents have a highly discordant relationship, children are often better off in the long run if their parents divorce. Between 30 and 40 percent of divorces of couples with children are preceded by a period of chronic discord between the parents. In these situations, children do better when their parents divorce than if they stay married.

Seems that if parents who absolutely cannot get a long at all, go through with divorce, they help children avoid learning the ill-handled conflict and poor relationship and communication habits. (Hence why it’s best to get help to learn how to improve these, but it’s not all parents benefit from it, which leads us back to the divorce option.)

In my own personal case, I know that this time around in my second marriage, my children see two adults dealing with our disagreements better. We are not perfect, but we do handle our disagreements better and communicate more successfully than my first husband and I did. Although I did feel very guilty after my divorce because I really thought I might be messing up my kids, I have learned that they are witnessing a much healthier relationship, and will benefit from this today, and always. Hopefully, I will help them break the cycle. (That was the goal.)

What made you feel guilty about your divorce?

How do you think your children have benefited through the divorce?

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