Friday, May 2, 2008

Impact Of Divorce On Families

As a licensed mental health professional, I work with many individuals, couples, and families who are affected by divorce. I see the devastating effects that breakups can have and am dedicated to helping people develop the skills to cope with experiences like divorce.

Major Disruptions

The decision to divorce causes major changes in the lives of all family members. Some upheaval is inevitable. The main trouble areas are:

1. Financial: Money becomes a huge problem for most people. The cost of a divorce is extremely high, and two households cost more than one.

2. Career: Being less focused at work and spending time away from the job for divorce-related appointments takes its toll.

3. Logistics: Running your home is more difficult because you no longer have a partner to help with daily chores.

4. Emotional: Most people have periods of depression, sadness, anger, and fatigue.

Lots of Feelings

People who are experiencing the breakup of their marriage can expect to have a wide variety of feelings. Some call it “the crazy time” and there is even a book about divorce with this title. The following complaints are common:

• Poor concentration

• Nightmares

• Sleep problems

• Fatigue

• Mood swings

• Feeling tense

• Nausea

• Gaining/losing weight

• Feeling nervous

• Somatic complaints

Divorce profoundly affects children. In Surviving the Breakup, author Judith Wallerstein describes the experience of 60 divorcing families. She outlines the following key issues for children of divorcing families:

Fear: Divorce is frightening to children, and they often respond with feelings of anxiety. Children feel more vulnerable after a divorce because their world has become less reliable.

Fear of abandonment: One-third of the children in Wallerstein’s study feared that their mother would abandon them.

Confusion: The children in divorcing families become confused about their relationships with their parents. They see their parents’ relationship fall apart and sometimes conclude that their own relationship with one or both parents could dissolve, as well.

Sadness and yearning: More than half of the children in the Wallerstein study were openly tearful and sad in response to the losses they experienced. Two-thirds expressed yearning, for example: “We need a daddy. We don’t have a daddy.”

Worry: In Wallerstein’s study, many children expressed concern about one or both of their parents’ ability to cope with their lives. They wondered if their parents were emotionally stable and able to make it on their own. Over half of the children expressed deep worries about their mothers. They witnessed their mothers’ mood swings and emotional reactions to the events in the family. Some children worried about suicide and accidents.

Feeling rejected: Many children who experience a parent moving out of the home feel rejected by the parent. The parent is usually preoccupied with problems and pays less attention to the child than in the past. Many children take this personally and feel rejected and unlovable.

Loneliness: Since both parents are preoccupied with their problems during the divorce process, they are less able to fulfill their parenting roles with their children. The children may feel like their parents are slipping away from them. If the father has moved away and the mother has gone off to work, the children often feel profound loneliness.

Divided loyalties: The children may (accurately) perceive that the parents are in a battle with each other. The children feel pulled in both directions and may resolve the dilemma by siding with one parent against another.

Anger: Children in divorcing families experience more aggression and anger. It is often directed toward the parents, expressed in tantrums, irritability, resentment, and verbal attacks. Many children see the divorce as a selfish act and feel very resentful about the resulting destruction of their lives.

More than one-third of the children in Judith Wallerstein’s study showed acute depressive symptoms such as sleeplessness, restlessness, difficulty in concentrating, deep sighing, feelings of emptiness, compulsive overeating, and various somatic complaints.

The symptoms that many children may have during the divorce process either moderate or disappear within 18 months after the breakup. Of the symptoms that remain, the most common are:

1. Manipulative behavior was reported by about 20% of the teachers of the children in Wallerstein’s study.

2. Depression was diagnosed in 25% of the children and adolescents. The symptoms of depression in children include:

• Low self-esteem

• Inability to concentrate

• Sadness

• Mood swings

• Irritability

• Secretiveness

• Isolation

• Self-blame

• Eating disorders

• Behaving perfectly

• Being accident-prone

• Stealing

• Skipping school

• Underachieving at school

• Sexual acting out

You should consider finding a therapist to work with if most of the time you feel:

• Alone

• Depressed

• Numb

• Exhausted

• Isolated

• Hopeless

• Overwhelmed by your children

• Overwhelmed by your feelings

• You are sleeping too much or too little

• Worried

• Anxious

• Afraid

Does Depression Cause Divorce?

The break up of a marriage happens for many different reasons with chronic depression being one of the leading causes of divorce around the world. A depressed person will be very moody and down in the dumps and hard to be around and relate to. Depression often goes undiagnosed and the depressed person's behavior is often more than a spouse can bear. Can depression cause divorce? You bet it can!

Depression is ugly and puts tremendous strains on a marriage, especially if you are not sure the condition exists or even how severe it is. Depressed moods and symptoms can have a way of hiding at times and then being full blown the next instant, especially at the initial stages.

Often the depressed spouse pulls back from the relationship, not wanting to do the same things that were always done as a couple. Their belief that nothing will be fun is so strong that they even start missing family events. Sometimes the simplest life tasks go for days without being completed. Even personal hygiene can become an issue as the depressed person pulls away from the world and spends most of their time in a dark room alone.

Many times it's the depressed person pushing all the right buttons to set a divorce in motion because they have no self worth and feel they are very undeserving. They may be the first one to bring up the subject of divorce. Living with depression is a very scary place to be. The depressed person may think that everything is a waste of time and this may start to create problems for the non-depressed spouse.

Life is still the same for the non-depressed spouse and frequently they do not understand what could be causing the changes. Communication at this point is at an all time low, with niceties being a thing of the past. This may be when the first thoughts of divorce are being contemplated and considered a solution.

If this is you and you are living with a depressed person you need to do a few things to save your marriage. Even more important is saving both of you a lot of unnecessary grief. Understand depression by doing some research. There is a massive amount of information all around you, both on the internet and speaking with your doctor. Living with a depressed person is very difficult, but with the right information and medication depression can be treated.

Does depression cause divorce? The answer: Only if you let it. If depression has struck the one you love, there are many things that you can do - but first and foremost understand that depression is a disease, a disease that can be treated. But many times, these marriages do end in divorce because they become too unbearable

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Communication Gap

In our life we come across many such resources (including websites, divorce experts/attorneys etc) that are working to safeguard marriages and provide ways and means to educate people in-order to have a happy life and stay married forever. On the other hand also there are found organizations, institutions and experts who would do their best efforts to provide happiness to people by drawing them out of miserable marital life they are experiencing for whatsoever reason may be and that’s through divorce.

Well people on both these extremes are doing their part of work in promoting harmony, love and peace amongst people. Some focus on resolving the issues that arises in marital life while others focal point is to show people how divorce can bring an end to miserable relationship letting people breathe freely after they get divorced. But very wisely said it is always better to work on the cause rather than looking at the effect. Therefore we should think on finding the roots of the problems that more often than not occur in marriage and if can not be eradicated at least we can try to avoid them from happening after marriage.

As far the matter of divorce is concerned, The United States of America has the highest divorce rate of 3.8 divorces of 7.5 marriages per 1,000 people.

If we can not save many marriages, although many are making their utmost efforts to preserve it, at least we can try to identify the reason and grounds that become causes of divorce in most of the cases.

Every state of The United States has defined a set of reasons of divorce on the basis of which divorce may be granted. In most cases, the causes of divorce are complex and are specific to a couple's relationship, their troubles, and their own life experiences. Many people have cited “irreconcilable differences,” “irretrievable breakdown,” or “incompatibility” as major causes of divorce in different locations. The most commonly stem from one specific issue that is compounded by a lack of commitment to the marriage and having a poor or bad communication in between each other. There are other common causes of divorce that include money, infidelity, and career choices.

Marriage experts agree to the fact that communication problems are the root causes of divorce and they further lead and give birth to other as well. Because when two people lack communication, they are unable to solve problems that may occur in the marriage. Many married couples think that the minor problems that occur in their marriage, are insignificant, and are not worth talking about; however, they fail to realize that even the smallest things can cause conflict between the two when they are not able to solve them through communication. Many couples lack communication when it comes to making decisions about shared finances. And here money also become of the reason of divorce. Many people say money is the root of evil; the disagreement in a decision shown by one spouse can bring a drastic effect on the marriage.

With this connection when there are mismatch in the decisions made in financial matters, the support provided for children by both the parents weakens a lot. It results in poor child care, poor or no education and every other node of the chain. Eventually children become apple of discord between parents which jeopardizes the marriage. When one of the parents is closely related to children and the other is not able to provide attention, the relation takes another extreme turn and that is affairs (whether emotional infidelity or extramarital sex i.e. adultery) and which is becoming a very common cause and reason of divorce today.

As time passes by a spouse then finds warmth and affection from outside the relationship. Consequently starts cheating on the other and affairs tend to start. The outsider (to the marital relationship) then gradually starts filling hatred in your heart against your spouse. It truly fulfills no purpose, and can only aid in destroying what is left of the couple's marriage.

Therefore, divorce, no matter whatsoever the reason is, is never as easy as it is conceived. Whether a couple’s decision to divorce is for the good or bad, it is certain there are many affect that it has on the couple’s individual lives. The major causes of divorce so far clearly identified could be communication problems, lack of commitments, children support, money, affair and adultery.

Some common causes of Divorce

There are many reasons why people want a divorce. It could be easy to put a reason for the sake of supporting a divorce petition. In reality though, there may be hundreds of unique reasons why certain couples just want out. Sometimes, there is more that just one reason. Here are only some of the possible causes of divorce:

Communication Problems

Communications problems between a couple may possibly exist even long before they tie the knot. Expectations may not have been made clear or certain issues that could affect a marriage were not brought up. Discussing feelings about aspects that are personally important is also crucial but may not always be practiced by couples. Some couples may put little weight on pre-marital issues only to realize during marriage that they should have clearly set things in black and white or that hey should have been better listeners. Communication issues before marriage can get worse after getting married.

Financial Issues

Money or aspects related to it is of course a possible cause of disagreement between couples. Married couples could squabble over such issues as shared financial responsibility, unequal financial status, undisclosed financial state, over spending and lack of financial support. Evidence suggests though that money is not always the sole or primary cause of divorce. Nonetheless, it is still a significant factor. Again, the lack of communication over financial issues is the real culprit here and not money per se.

Forms of Abuse

There are many forms of abuse, all of which are possible causes of divorce. This does not just include intentional and habitual physical battery. Abuse may also come in the form of sexual abuse and emotional abuse. One partner may actively seek to degrade his/her partner through harsh language.

Drug and alcohol abuse as well as excessive gambling that is becoming detrimental to the marriage may also be used as a form of abuse. There may be no physical or verbal abuse but the other partner would understandably have a difficult time managing finances and daily life with an addicted spouse.

Marital Infidelity

The law on marriage that is common on monogamous societies states that marriage must be a mutually exclusive arrangement between two parties. This is of course unless both partners privately consent on their own to see other people while remaining married to each other. Otherwise, one may seek to divorce a spouse if evidence of infidelity is clearly obtained.

Sexual Problems

Sex is an essential aspect of marriage. Couples are expected to consummate or perform the act. That is unless a person knows and accepts before marriage that one partner has some sexual problems. In some cases, sexual dysfunction or disinterest may begin after tying the knot. If a couple is unable to resolve this, it may become a reason for divorce.


This is often cited as one of the causes of divorce. There are however numerous kinds and forms of incompatibility. A couple may be incompatible in anything and everything. They may not be able to find a common ground sexually, intellectually and emotionally. In cases of incompatibility, it might just be unbearable to live life with someone you just can't fit with.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Divorce Papers For Legal Divorce Process

Receiving divorce papers is something that most married couples hope to never experience. However, with the divorce rate constantly increasing, more and more people are holding those papers in their hands. I’ve seen coworkers be served with divorce papers at the workplace and know how much it can destroy someone. Even if you know that they will be arriving, it still strikes some emotion inside of you that makes it a tearful event. Those divorce papers symbolize the end of something that should have been wonderful. Perhaps some people long to hold those divorce papers in their hand so that they would finally be free from their misery.

More divorce lawyers are setting up shop all around the world. Why? Because there is a demand for them since more marriages are not working out. It saddens me to see people filing for divorce when they may not have tried any other options. I personally didn’t get married to get divorced, so if my marriage is on shaky grounds, I’ll do whatever I can to restore it. However, if something drastic happens or things really are impossible, then I’d be willing to let go. Divorce sometimes seems too easy and almost as if you’re giving up without even trying. When you say “I do”, make sure you go as far as you can before having those divorce papers served to your spouse.

I’ve seen divorce papers destroy lives as well. The coworker who received hers at work, headed for a downward spiral after that. Until that moment, she’d been hopeful about her marriage working out, and he shocked her by having them delivered to her. She had a nervous breakdown and has never fully recovered. After receiving divorce papers, you have the fun task of dividing up property, assets and finances. Perhaps you need to work out alimony or child support and custody. There are so many things involved. One of both of the partners could have their credit ruined from a divorce. You’ll also discover how much more arguing can take place after filing for divorce. Suddenly, items that you never thought your spouse cared about are being fought over. Pets may become a topic of discussion.

Your divorce papers will always play a role in your life. They should be kept in a safe place in case they’d ever be needed for legal purposes. Don’t ever throw them away. You’ll need them if and when you do ever get remarried. You may need them to prove a legal divorce someday if your spouse ends up getting in financial trouble.

Relationship Issues Leading To Divorce

When you go through the worst in a marriage, sometimes there is nothing you can do but cut your loses and move on. I have a friend who went through what can only be described as a nightmare. She was not abused, but that is one of the few positive things she can say about her marriage. She would not go back and do it differently because if she did she would not have her daughter. However, she has lived through the worst she could imagine, and now she is living her life without the loser she married. The one thing that is missing is the divorce papers.

It would be much simpler if she were not now a single mom of two. The man she wants to divorce has little to no money. Though he finally agrees to the divorce after a few years of trying to talk her out of it, he can’t seem to come up with his half of the money to finalize the end of their relationship. Divorce papers don’t seem to be something he cares about getting, and he is taking his time. She can’t afford to pay for the divorce on her own, so she is going to have to wait for her divorce papers for a little while longer.

I swear it’s like a game to him. He knows she needs the divorce papers to move on with her life, but he seems to stall at every turn. He is buying things like guitars and amplifiers, but he has yet to put a dime towards the divorce. It’s not even like it is a complicated divorce. They know how much it will cost, and he knows what he has to pay. It’s not a lot of money, but for some reason he doesn’t want her to have those divorce papers. He’s selfish. He wants her to himself, but he isn’t willing to give her the same thing. He’s playing a game with her and she knows it.

I have half a mind to pay for the divorce myself just so she can get those divorce papers and move on with her life. The guy she is divorcing is someone I have known my entire life and he has disappointed me more than I ever thought possible. Through everything that happened, he refused to take responsibility for what he was doing, and found away to make it the fault of everyone else, including me. I can’t stand the sight of him, and one of my fondest wishes is to see her standing with the divorce papers in her hand so that she can finally be free of him. It would be worth the price for sure.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Divorce Support And Help

The divorce rate in the US is very high, and this means there are a lot of people out there who are going through the pain of separation. Most people don’t know where to turn for help, and they don’t know they can find divorce support from both professionals as well as others who are going through the same thing. I have a friend who is about to divorce, and she has already joined an online site to help her through this trying time.

The site she found was meant just for divorce support. She has found others who know what she is going through, and they have helped her with legal and emotional advice. Some of these people have become dear friends to her, and she has even found someone she might want to share her future with. Because they are both looking for divorce support right now, they are not rushing into anything. They want to be sure they are free, clear, and definitely not on the rebound when they finally decide they can be together and have a healthy relationship.

You can find divorce support through professionals if you want. You can always find a mental health professional that specializes in marriage counseling as well as divorce support. They may have even helped you through your marriage counseling and they already know what your problems and issues may be. That may save you the visits needed for a professional to get to know you. They have a head start in knowing what you have been through, so they have a head start in helping you get back on your feet emotionally.

If you want to get divorce support online, make sure you don’t reveal too much about yourself on a website or message board. If you are going through a bad divorce, you don’t want your soon to be ex spouse to be able to find you if you are coming out of an abusive marriage. They may look for you on divorce support sites to see if they can find your new location. Also disguise your true name and identity just enough so that your spouse may not know it is you for sure. They may be able to use things you say there against you, though you should talk with the owner of the board or website before you post to find out what the laws are in regards to that.