Marriage is an important institution in any society especially as it ensures continuity of generations as well as the upbringing of children. Divorce which refers to the termination or rather the dissolution of marriages is therefore an important topic in any society. Hendrix and Pearson noted that it is generally accepted that industrialization and globalization triggered divorce as then more women could access higher education and consequently higher wages. Women acquired almost the same stand or equality with men.
There was a shift from the traditional roles as well as traditional expectations that initially dominated the society. As women increasingly became aware of their rights they intensified their struggle for freedom and could barely handle unfulfilling or unsatisfying marriages. (Lewellyn H and Pearson, Willie P, 1995). Divorce is also significant as it has economical, psychological, medical as well as emotional implications on the spouses as well as on the children involved. Children are the innocent victims in any divorce. Divorce is ranked among the major stressors in people’s lifetime.
(Bergelt et al, 2006). Divorce triggers grief especially on the partner who has not given hope and had a strong desire to see the marriage work. It is also associated with anxiety, sadness and in some instances people suffer depression. (Clarke-Stewart A and Cornelia Brentano C, 2007). Divorce rate website shocking statistics have it that approximately half or 50% of the total marriages in the US end up in divorce. Although the accuracy of this statistics is questionable the insinuation is true, there are very high divorce rates in America as well as in other western countries.
Rates of divorce also vary depending on the marriage attempt and will be higher in the third and second attempts as opposed to the first marriage. (www. divorcerate. org). Various scholars have it that the causes of divorce vary as they are specific to the divorcing families but they revolve around lack of communication, infidelity, childlessness as well as the nature of the marriage. With lack of or improper communication in marriages or relationships the chances of divorce are higher as one partner may have problems and hold grudges with the other partner without their knowledge.
As the saying goes “a problem shared is a problem half solved” when problems or issues are not discussed the rates of divorce will be higher. One’s family history also plays an important role in determining the chances of divorce where people from divorced families will record higher rates of divorce as opposed from those in close knit families. (Wallerstein J, 1991). This could be attributed to the fact that a close knit or stable family will teach their children of the benefits associated with stability in the family as opposed to those subjected to divorce who may view it as the only solution to disagreements in marriage.
Notably, the manner in which people got married also plays an important role in influencing or rather determining if people are to get divorced or not. There are higher chances that marriages which started with cohabitation will have higher divorce rates as opposed to those that did not. (DeMaris A and K. Rao V, 1992). People who had a long relationship before they married also record lesser rates of divorce as opposed to those who married after short term relationship.
It is important to discuss people’s expectation in marriage if the marriages are to last. Issues that trigger divorce may have been identified earlier but the thought that with time people will change proves to be a wrong notion. In most cases people in long relationships before marriage are able to know each other well in terms of the likes and dislikes and this reduces the level of conflicts in their marriages as opposed to when marriages are after a short lived relationship and people have not understood each other well.
Time, sex and financial matters were established to the major causes of divorce especially to new marriages according to a study conducted by Creighton University Center for Marriage and Family. Keeping the balance between work and marriage proves a difficult task to some and this triggers divorce when one partner feels left out or not awarded much time and attention as they deem appropriate. (Lawler M and Risch G). Couples also strive over how to manage their debts or finances. The degrees in which spouses engage in sex also determine if they are to get divorced or not.
Those who engage in more frequent sexual relationships with their spouses recorded higher chances of culminating their marriages in divorce as opposed to those with lesser sexual relationships. (Lawler M and Risch G). The effects of divorce will also vary with varying individuals. Unlike some adults who may gain from divorce as it offers them a chance to explore a new hobby, career or have a new lover, children only experience negative effects of their parents divorce. Divorce destabilizes the child rearing processes as it predisposes children who initially had two parents to single parenthood.
Research has it that children who are subjected to divorce are at a higher risk of being subjected to abuse especially after their parents re-marry. (Stiffman M et al, 2002). They are also more likely to suffer from behavioral as well as emotional problems and consequently more likely to engage in delinquency as well as substance and drug abuse. Children from divorced families also perform poorly in their academics as opposed to those in close knit families due to the psychological as well as financial problems they are predisposed to. (Amato P and Booth A, 1996).
Divorce turns the children’s life upside down leaving them confused and feeling betrayed. (Dawson D, 1991). The actual effects will however depend on the child’s age. Divorces sees children suffer from a low self esteem as well as social difficulties. Most of them become aggressive and have poor social adjustment skills. Some children end up contemplating suicide all attributed to their parents divorce. (Burnett T, 1993). Due to their poor performance in school children from divorced families are more likely to drop out of college thus failing to graduate.
Divorce has an economic implication as families have their income reduced by as much as 50% after divorce. (Fagan P and Rector R, 2000). Women who in most cases rely on their husbands to provide financially face the music after divorce. This could trigger emotional problems and may see some engage in drug and substance abuse in desperation which only works to worsen their parenting skills thus posing a threat to their children’s well being. (Olga M, 1999). Others may be forced to engage in more than one job which also jeopardizes on quality parenting time.
Again the divorce procedures are expensive and time costing which may drain their finances. Divorce also has economic implications on the society at large owing to the fact that the government spent much money assisting the single parents some of which are precipitated by divorce. Ironically the US government spends so much to counter the effects of divorce while very little is done to ensure that marriages stay intact. Since divorce has more negative than positive consequences the federal government can intervene to reduce the prevailing condition.
(Fagan P and Rector R, 2000). It can make it her national goal to reduce the rates of divorce which can be attained through pro-marriage demonstration programs where people are made aware of the negative effects of divorce especially on children who are innocent victims in. More welfare funds can be channeled to programs that aim at strengthening marriages. Again, the government should investment more in programs that aim at ensuring accurate data collection related to marriage and divorce as with the actual statistics it is possible to assess the true implications of divorce.
Other incentives to encourage intact marriages and hence reduce the problems associated with divorce would be the introduction of tax credit for those in marriages especially until their children are aged 18 years and above. The community at large can also play a major role in discouraging divorce by promoting the pro-marriage programs. (Fagan P and Rector R, 2000). Couples should also be subjected to divorce education programs so that divorce is not sought for trivial issues that could have been resolved.
It is vital to teach the Americans that families are vital institutions in the society and ought to be strengthened. Marriages offer the best environment for children upbringing and the dissemination of this information should be done if the increasing divorce rates are to be countered.
Clarke-Stewart, A. and Cornelia B. (2007). Divorce: Causes and Consequences Yale University Press, DeMaris A. and Vaninadha Rao V. (1992). Premarital Cohabitation and Subsequent Marital Stability in the United States: A Reassessment,” Journal of Marriage and the Family 54 (1992): 178-190