Divorce can be such a disaster (most of the time it is). I know there are certainly occasions when it is unavoidable, but that is not the norm. And when children are involved, indications are that, for the most part. Everybody loses!
I recently had a mother of two young children say to me – “I don’t think everyone loses. Parents can co-parent and the kids will be fine.” This naïveté demonstrates a lack of maturity and wisdom. The reality is that the kids are impacted by separation from each parent for extended periods of time; both parents have impaired connection with their children; grandparent’s time with the grandchildren is impacted; the finances of the couple, and perhaps even the grandparents, are now having to be spent on litigation; aunts and uncles relationships are also affected. Everybody loses!
Research has consistently demonstrated that children of divorce experience: a 10 % increase in mental and physical health problems; impaired self-identity and lowered self-esteem; a world filled with uncertainty and unpredictability; increased risk of suicide; a greater chance of spending time in jail; increased chance of having their own marriages fail; greater mistrust of the opposite sex, leading to fears of marriage; and lowered grades in school and poorer school attendance. And this list is not exhaustive. To quote one author, “To a greater or lesser degree, the kids will hurt for the rest of their lives because of the divorce.” Everybody loses!
So why would a seemingly loving parent choose this for their children? Most often because they are focused on what they want and not on the impact this decision will have on anyone else. Does that sound harsh? Perhaps. Is it true? More often than not. Everybody loses!
The solution – the best thing a parent can do to love their children is to love the sox off the other parent! Yes, there are exceptions but again, those are not the norm. Sometimes the choice comes down to (and this will be hard for some), “Do I love my kids or do I love my own individual desires more?” If you want to avoid “Everybody losing,” endeavor to choose a path of love!