Divorce either Makes You or Breaks You

by RayM on February 10, 2015 - 12:54am

In The Telegraph, the news article titled “How Did Your Parents’ Divorce Affect You?” by Helena Kealey shows the effects of divorce through an online survey which 14 to 22 year olds answered. It estimates that 42% of marriages fail and end up in divorce. In fact, the survey demonstrates that two thirds of children who witnessed their parents’ divorce admit that it affected their grades, that one in eight relieve stress through drug or alcohol, and that one in three suggest they already had an eating disorder as a consequence. The chairman of this survey, Jo Edwards, argues that the findings prove that it is important that the divorce happens “in a way that minimizes the stress and impact on the entire family”.  The survey also shows that parents often put emotional pressure on their children in this situation. In fact, one in three children stated that one of their parents tried to turn them against the other; more than 75% admitted that their parents were trying to include them in the divorce. The article continues on to give an example of the ITV Good Morning Britain presenter, Susanna Reid, who explains how she is one of the lucky ones to have a good relationship with her ex-husband and to have “as good a ‘divorce’ as possible” for their three children.

As a child who has just recently witnessed her family falling apart, I can relate to many ideas that this survey is trying to prove. Like many children nowadays, I can also admit that my parents’ divorce had many consequences on me that I am only starting to realize at this moment. The fact that divorce can impact children’s grades is quite true; although, in my case, my grades thrived because my academic life seemed to be the only part of my life I wanted to focus on. On the other hand, many children experience the opposite effect on their school grades during and after a divorce. Life was not always easy soon after my father left our home. Alcohol seemed to relieve stress for a while, but I soon noticed that it was not the smartest decision considering the vulnerability I was experiencing. I knew how much this divorce was hard on my mother with all the betrayal she was suffering from because of my father trying to include all three children in the situation. Having witnessed my parents’ divorce, I believe that this is a part of the world that is worth improving on because there are many parents and children all over the world that experience it. Considering the increasing divorce rate, I still believe that honesty and communication is key to every marriage, which many relationships are obviously and sadly lacking. Divorce is always a difficult topic to share with others, but it either makes you or breaks you, so do not let it get the best of you.

 

Original Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/sex/divorce/11251366/How-did-your-parents-divorce-affect-you.html

Comments

I`m coming from married parents and I never lived a divorce or had any issues with my parents. In this sense, it was difficult to believe that a divorce could affect children and parents in such a big fashion. Your perspective clearly enhanced the article as it confirms many issues addressed by the Telegraph, and that in many cases the divorce affects directly the child. Also, your opinion gives a perspective that the issue is a long-term deal rather than simply a short-term incident having a negative impact on your life. I also like the solution proposed at the end such as communication and honesty because it gives an inside perspective and completes the article, which seemingly doesn't talk about solutions.

I`m coming from married parents and I never lived a divorce or had any issues with my parents. In this sense, it was difficult to believe that a divorce could affect children and parents in such a big fashion. Your perspective clearly enhanced the article as it confirms many issues addressed by the Telegraph, and that in many cases the divorce affects directly the child. Also, your opinion gives a perspective that the issue is a long-term deal rather than simply a short-term incident having a negative impact on your life. I also like the solution proposed at the end such as communication and honesty because it gives an inside perspective and completes the article, which seemingly doesn't talk about solutions.

I like how you compared your personal experience to support Kealey’s article and the survey she is discussing; it makes the readers realize how these statics are not just numbers, but rather facts. However, the study you used was done by an “association of family lawyers in England and Wales” (Gardner). Part of the reason why sovereignists want Quebec to separate from Canada is because they believe that we do not have a common mindset and the same values as the rest of Canada. You can therefore imagine how different North American and British values and mindsets are, thus the impacts of divorce not only differ from one individual to another, but also from country to country, especially when an ocean separates them. Therefore, an article discussing the impacts of divorce in North America would have been more suitable in this case.
Deontology, an ethical theory, defines morality as following certain rules, and as long as those rules are being followed, one’s actions are ethical, regardless of the consequences. With that being said, you mentioned “honesty and communication” as being the “key to every marriage”. From a deontological perspective, according to you, being honest and communicating with your partner would be the two rules that must be followed in order to have a successful marriage. However, your definition of honesty and communication might vary from your partner’s, hence making it almost impossible for these two things alone to ensure a happy, healthy marriage. I believe that a healthy relationship does not only rely on two things, but rather a combination of multiple things, such as mutual respect, realistic expectations, dedication, and so on. A relationship takes effort, and I think part of the reason why so many couples don’t last is because they weren’t expecting a relationship to require this much effort.
When you mentioned that Susanna Reid, a journalist, had a “good divorce”, I thought that it meant that the couple had not fought in front of the children and that they did not have a messy custody battle. After reading the article, however, I found out that her ex-husband and her live under the same roof “for the sake of their children” (Kealey). Some couples do not realize that staying together “for the children” can actually have negative impacts on their children. Sure, their parents are still together, but what about the tension between the parents? Children are not oblivious of their parents’ problems. The teleological ethical theory suggests that an end goal should define one’s actions, and the utilitarian branch of it suggests that the end goal should be the greatest good for the greatest number. In this specific situation, the ex-couple is considering their children’s happiness only. What about Reid, her ex-husband, and their new partners? I would not define their living arrangement as being a “good divorce”, but rather as disregarding their own happiness.
In my opinion, a relationship does not only rely on honesty and communication. Although, I don’t think that there is such a thing as a “good divorce”, I think that it is possible to have a clean divorce by hurting the less people possible and ensuring most people’s happiness. In other words, I believe that it’s not the divorce itself that hurts people, but how people deal with it before and after.

Works Cited
"How Did Your Parents’ Divorce Affect You?" The Telegraph. Helena Kealey, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.

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