The Marriage Question

03.27.13

Here's What Divorce Does

One of the arguments against same sex marriage goes along the lines of, 'it will lead to the demise of the institution of marriage.' Here's the problem: the institution of marriage began to erode when divorce rates spiked in the 1970s - long before same sex marriage was even a topic of discussion.

M. Gary Neuman, author of The Long Way Home: The Powerful 4-Step Plan for Adult Children of Divorce, discusses the long-lasting negative impact divorce has on children caught in the middle of the 'irreconcilable differences.'

[O]ur childhoods remain a part of our adult fabric for better or for worse, and with divorce in the past, there is a load of negativity that never goes away. It seems that because divorce has become ubiquitous, people feel that it shouldn't be discussed -- as if they're whining. After all, lots of people went through what you did as a kid. Who wants to hear about it? Move on, get over it. How long can you keep rehashing the same old stuff? Give it up!

In his recent study on the children of divorced parents (as adults), Neuman found some startling results.

  • 89 percent believe their parents' divorce clearly had a negative impact on their life, while 45 percent label the impact as severe.
  • 80 percent have experienced severe sadness or depression.
    72 percent feel their parents' divorce impacted their ability to sustain close relationships.
  • The majority feel their parents' divorce has undermined their self-confidence and ability to trust.