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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yes, divorce is bad for children

It's even a serious problem for many adult children:
Twenty years after her in-laws’ messy and bitter divorce, Tammy, 35 — a print company manager who lives in Chesterfield, Derbyshire — and her husband Paul, 32, who works in hotel management, are still struggling with the fallout.

If anything the challenges have become worse as Paul’s parents have grown older. The continuing bad feeling between Tom and his ex-wife Mary, 78, impacts on the whole family, including their grandchildren, Alexander, eight, and Savannah, 15.

So bad is the animosity that many family events have been spoiled by it.

Like the growing numbers of other adult children in the same situation, Tammy and Paul have found that the passing of time does not heal the emotional wounds.

In fact it makes the issue of divided loyalties ever more acute, not least because of the increasing loneliness and frailty of their parents.

Much has been written about the trauma that people of any age feel when their parents decide to split. But little thought has been given to the fact that problems caused by broken marriages can actually deepen with time.

And if you throw much-loved grandchildren into the equation, then all-out war can ensue.
Speaking as a child of parents who divorced when I was an adult, I can testify that while the problems presented by parental divorce are real, there is an excellent solution to them. Move to a different continent. It makes life significantly less complicated and significantly more tranquil. Penguins or divorced parents? The choice practically makes itself.

99 Comments:

Anonymous Luke April 28, 2012 8:07 AM  

Here is a politically-incorrect opinion; I think that when parents divorce, that any minor children effectively are no longer of legitimate issue (and should so be universally considered), unless they go with their father. Evidence? The way kids post-divorce observably get way more screwed up on average if they're with the mother.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 8:19 AM  

Interesting post. I can see it as well. Sometimes you just have to get away and what better way to do it than to move to Italy or Uruguay. Dealing with such things are very complicated in the first place. The further removed you are the better.

Unfortunately the poor and middle class don't have the same luxury. But you make an excellent point. My parents never divorced, but my sister-in-law parents did, and I drove her home one night and she cried all the way.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 8:32 AM  

Let me also say Vox that they have separate Christmas and Thanksgiving with their mother with a new husband and their father with a new wife. The children don't seem to be so much bothered by it as they like party's. But some times I wonder if they don't see through it?

The worst thing I ever had to do in these cases was to go help move furniture out of the house of her mom, while the husband was standing over watching. That was most uncomfortable.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 8:33 AM  

Children=Grandchildren.

Anonymous Pablo April 28, 2012 8:41 AM  

Adult children who insist on enabling divorced parents in their "drama" have no one to blame but themselves. Tell Dad to be a man and to move on. Tell Mom she's basically proving she can't let go of her ex every time she criticizes him. Either/or should solve the problem.

But then maybe such weak children are the natural result of a dysfunctional couple. Maybe the children really can't do anything other than pander to their parents. But I still think it's a choice.

Anonymous SouthTX April 28, 2012 8:43 AM  

Thankfully the Wife and I never had to deal with this. She tells me unto death. And I've seen her shoot. Both my Sisters and her's have never divorced. But all put their kid's first.

Blogger Nate April 28, 2012 8:47 AM  

simple fact... Divorce, like suicide, is perhaps the most selfish thing anyone can do. It is... by definition... putting your wants above those of everyone you claim to love.

Which... also by definition... is not love. Love is caring for another more than yourself.

All else is rationalization. You cannot claim to love your family, if you sought divorce.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 8:47 AM  

"But then maybe such weak children are the natural result of a dysfunctional couple. Maybe the children really can't do anything other than pander to their parents. But I still think it's a choice."

You are blaming the choices of grown people on their children, what bullshit?

Anonymous Difster April 28, 2012 8:48 AM  

I find it disingenuous when people say that two parents who don't get along is worse for the kids than divorce. Unless one parent is physically or sexually abusive and an actual danger to the children, it's simply not true. Children need both parents. Dividing their loyalties and their time and their homes is bad for kids in all but a few cases.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 8:52 AM  

Your analogy, would be the same as saying Vox's Dad went to prison because of Vox's weakness. I have never heard such BS. Where do you people come from?

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 8:57 AM  

"simple fact... Divorce, like suicide, is perhaps the most selfish thing anyone can do. It is... by definition... putting your wants above those of everyone you claim to love.

Which... also by definition... is not love. Love is caring for another more than yourself.

All else is rationalization. You cannot claim to love your family, if you sought divorce."

I wish I had said that.

Blogger Astrosmith April 28, 2012 9:02 AM  

Heck, in my case, I just had to move two states over to avoid family drama bullshit.

Anonymous Stingray April 28, 2012 9:09 AM  

Outlaw, read Pablo's post again. You missed his point.

Anonymous SouthTX April 28, 2012 9:16 AM  

This is why I go back the the grindstone. I Vowed before God to care of Her and our Children. I take the Vow seriously. She knows it and takes care of me.

Anonymous the abe April 28, 2012 9:24 AM  

As two generations raised by single-parents are now emmerging. Perhaps the only recompense for the children raised under the pall of a broken home is to withold access to their own children from their parents. Cruel as it is in the short and medium-term, it may be the only way to teach future generations not avoid the morass that now arrests Western Civilization.

Anonymous Anonymous April 28, 2012 9:39 AM  

Had two boyfriends in college that came from split homes. After watching them deal with those issues, I decided that I would only date boys whose parents were still happily married like my parents. I think that was the best decision I ever married. My husband and I married for life. I remember bringing it up to my girlfriends in college, and they thought I was being "insensitive". Whatever, still married after 20 years...

Anonymous E. PERLINE April 28, 2012 9:55 AM  

It seems that humans are naturally programmed to mate for life. If they divorce, it undermines the security of their children. And it leaves the children, no matter how old they are, or how far away they move, with anger.

The problem is that anger causes a long list of negative side effects that persist throughout life. That's why, to the dismay of some die-hards, I give a regular exercise for erasing anger.

I'm an atheist, but I think Christ was an original genius in that regard.

Anonymous Cinco April 28, 2012 10:01 AM  

Yep, I moved 1300 Miles away, one of the best decisions I ever made. Unfortunately, my little brother was absolutely destroyed by my parent's divorce.

Anonymous Cryan Ryan April 28, 2012 10:02 AM  

Usually it goes like this....

1) woman makes man so miserable he either hits back, gets abusive, or (much worse) acts Beta.
2) Woman files for divorce, starts screwing around.
3) Woman gets custody and punishing amount of CS.
4) Woman whores around, bringing shame to everyone.
5) Woman breaks down emotionally, gives up.
6) Girls get promiscuous, diseased, pregnant, and confused.
7) Boys act up, get in trouble.
8) Father tries to start new family, but loses job.

Bureaucrats pursue husband for CS. Wife villifies husband for not caring, not manning up.

Sit coms and news stories push view that men are causing the problems. Men get angry, confused, and sometimes commit horrible crimes.

Solutions....

a) get a time machine
b) go back, reverse female suffrage
c) come back to bright future.

Anonymous Godfrey April 28, 2012 10:02 AM  

For those seeking a mate I highly recommend you seriously consider the family dynamics of potential mates. This has to be part of the equation because – especially for the male - you are marrying into the family.

From an early on I consciously preferred females from intact families. My experience was that women with divorced parents - sadly - had issues; issues I simply didn’t have the strength to take on. These days with divorce so prevalent you shouldn’t have this as a hard and fast rule, but you should consider it.

Also, you should seek a woman who had a strong loving relationship with her father when she was a child. Always observe her relationship with the father; that is the relationship that usually shapes her relationship with men in general when she becomes a young woman.

And finally, Fathers, love your daughters and protect them the best you can from the poisonous culture that hates them. Turn off the television and be a man by protecting and raising your children. They need you.

Anonymous Rantor April 28, 2012 10:10 AM  

Anon: Had two boyfriends in college that came from split homes. After watching them deal with those issues, I decided that I would only date boys whose parents were still happily married like my parents. I think that was the best decision I ever married. My husband and I married for life. I remember bringing it up to my girlfriends in college, and they thought I was being "insensitive". Whatever, still married after 20 years...

I think it depends on what the boyfriends think of the fact that their parents broke up. My parents divorced when I was young and my mother divorced my "evil" step-dad when I was about 18. I was determined to learn from my parents and not do what they did. I have now been happily married for 22 years and can not foresee ever wanting to change that. In the very few rough patches we have had, none lasting for more than a day or two, I remind myself of my marriage vows and Christ's teachings and know that there is no better way for two people to live together in love for a lifetime.

It seems that most of my daughter's friends come from broken homes, it is sad. Because of that she has shown that she is really happy to have loving, caring parents.

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box April 28, 2012 10:13 AM  

That's why SMART men don't get married!
They don't buy the lies of polytheistic Papist spiritualism & put bitches on pedestals, therefore their lives are a lot less complicated...ANOTHER of the many lies of Vaticanism that has left the Western world open for destruction is altruism, which is linked to the carefully-preserved & 100% PAGAN bitch-worship CULTure.
You don't have to worry about getting out of a rut if you never get in one to begin with.

Anonymous Godfrey April 28, 2012 10:17 AM  

Galt-in-Da-Box,

... and you seem so happy. LMAO... at you, not with you.

Anonymous LL April 28, 2012 10:18 AM  

I must note that there are exceptions to what was stated above about dividing loyalties and making things uncomfortable for everyone. My ex comes to my family things (my parents still love him and my mom forces us to do "family pictures" as if we are still married hahaha) and his mom has the security code to my garage and lets my puppy out every day at lunch time. *shrug* He and I could not be married but our kids have a drama free existence. Two weeks ago, my ex spent the night at my house for 2 days while I was in Vegas. We co-parent with a passion and attend events together to support our children. It is what it is. But the main take-away is that he does not hate me and I don't hate him. We both understand we couldn't be married to each other but we hold no grudges and put our children first.

Anonymous Rantor April 28, 2012 10:20 AM  

As VD indicated, another continent works... similar to one of my commanders who told me to never live closer than an eight hour drive from family. It reduces expectations that you will visit often. Being in the military I served 11.5 years in Europe and 3 in Hawaii. Contact with family was limited to annual trips to Florida for Thanksgiving with my Dad and an annual visit with my Mom in either Arizona or she would visit us.

Anonymous rycamor April 28, 2012 10:39 AM  

With some trepidation, I decided to marry a woman with divorced parents. One thing I noted was that her father always treated her with love and respect, even though he rarely treated anyone else that way. Partly, it was her doing, keeping in touch with him but NEVER putting up with any crap (he is a very manipulative and controlling man) and never ever seeking his approval, like the other siblings did.

But the fact is, the divorce has taken its toll on the extended family, though it happened when they were toddlers. Even with the children in their late 30s or 40s, the drama just never seems to stop, and at times has come close to tearing the family apart. It is quite obvious that the lack of close male leadership has resulted in adults who are like fish flopping out of water emotionally, unable to resolve their conflicts.

Blogger SarahsDaughter April 28, 2012 10:40 AM  

We (the adult children) joke with my in-laws about divorce. They just celebrated 50 years and in jest Mom will say, what would you people do if I left? She's teasing and it usually has something to do with making popcorn. It's the most ludicrous thing we can think of. Their marriage is truly what we pattern our own after.

I've had two women in the last couple of months tell me they're thinking of divorce. They each have one child and both know me pretty well so I suspect they were looking for me to tell them why they should stay. To both of them I said the same thing, "your husband is a pretty good catch, he's not going to go at this life gig all alone, you ready to have other beautiful women in his and your child's life?" The first couple is now expecting their second child and the other were holding hands at the soccer game last week.

Anonymous rycamor April 28, 2012 10:44 AM  

My ex comes to my family things (my parents still love him and my mom forces us to do "family pictures" as if we are still married hahaha) and his mom has the security code to my garage and lets my puppy out every day at lunch time. *shrug* He and I could not be married but our kids have a drama free existence.

If I listen close, I think I can hear a hamster wheel squeaking.

Blogger Spacebunny April 28, 2012 10:49 AM  

While I agree with the generalization that divorce (especially of the "I'm not happy, I'm leaving you" variety) is bad for the kids - that these adult children are having such a hard time is utterly ridiculous. I realize that every situation is unique, mine included, I completely agree with the commentor (I think it was Pablo) who said that the kids are themselves to blame for allowing their parents to drag them into the drama. Holidays? Tell your parents that you are now your own family unit and will be celebrating holidays at your house in this manner - everyone is invited, if they can't get along they will not be asked to the next event - this is a good rule for the in-laws too.

Blogger Nate April 28, 2012 10:51 AM  

Best advice on divorced parents (DrWho's parents divorced long long long ago): Simply make it clear early that you don't care what they think of each other and refuse to listen to anything either says about the other ever. Then... from the very beginning make it perfectly clear that they are to be at all important family functions and they are to be civil and well-behaved and if they don't... there will be epic consequences.

Divorcees are in effect children. Treat them as such.

Blogger Spacebunny April 28, 2012 10:53 AM  

If I listen close, I think I can hear a hamster wheel squeaking.

There are always exceptions to every rule and does any part of her explanation sound at all like the example given in the article? If so which part? My parents divorce was extremely acrimonious and I can't relate to this article at all (although I have seen it manifest in other families). My situation is different from LL's in that my father never attended functions, but his parents were at our house almost weekly, attended holidays (Easter and Thanksgiving dinners at our house) and my mom and her ex-mother-in-law talked almost daily on the phone. Like I said before, if adults are having these issues it is their fault, not the fact that their parents are divorced. I have always had a deep seated, almost visceral dislike for people who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. Stop blaming mommy and daddy and grow the fuck up.

Anonymous rycamor April 28, 2012 11:00 AM  

Stop blaming mommy and daddy and grow the fuck up.

Well like I said, I managed to marry the one who didn't blame mommy and daddy--in her adulthood. What I was responding to was the idea of "drama free existence" for little children after divorce. I am in extreme doubt that little children can be free of drama in such a case. Maybe it is possible, but I have never, ever seen it.

Anonymous Despair April 28, 2012 11:04 AM  

"Stop blaming mommy and daddy and grow the fuck up."

Words of wisdom for all adults, with divorced parents or not.

Blogger Spacebunny April 28, 2012 11:11 AM  

Well like I said, I managed to marry the one who didn't blame mommy and daddy--in her adulthood.

Not to burst you super special snowflake bubble, but I don't blame my mommy and daddy either, I literally never have.

Anonymous rycamor April 28, 2012 11:22 AM  

Spacebunny, you're not getting my point. I was only snowflaking in that my wife AMONG HER SIBLINGS was the one who managed to get past it in adulthood.

My argument with LL is about *children*, who don't yet have the ability to rationally cope with such things. Anyone who pretends to themselves that a divorce won't affect children is deceiving themselves, sorry. Yes, you can get past it as you grow up, and I have known plenty who have.

Blogger Spacebunny April 28, 2012 11:34 AM  

My argument with LL is about *children*, who don't yet have the ability to rationally cope with such things.

First of all, given that you have no idea how old her children are, you can't possibly make that call. Secondly, you are the one not getting the point. She's not pretending it doesn't or didn't affect them, she's simply addressing the particular problem that was raised in the article. And a key issue of those adults who have parental divorce issues are because, now pay attention, the parents have an acrimonious relationship. LL was merely pointing out that her children do not have to deal with that particular issue, you know, the one actually under discussion.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 11:41 AM  

"I realize that every situation is unique, mine included, I completely agree with the commentor (I think it was Pablo) who said that the kids are themselves to blame for allowing their parents to drag them into the drama. "

While appreciate your thoughts for the older children, many times the younger children are dragged into the drama. And it sucks. A ten ten year old has know way to understand he doesn't even know what conjugal love is much less marriage.

The Child is not the product of his parents sins. At 5-15 nor 25.

Anonymous LL April 28, 2012 12:03 PM  

Well Spacebunny already addressed rycamor, but I'll add that he/she knows nothing about me or my situation, and as I stated in my original comment, my ex and I take co-parenting seriously and put our kids first, so there will never be any issues as what was stated in the article. Perfect example...just got a text from my daughter. She needs her iTunes gift cards at my house. I won't be home later and they will just let themselves into my house (the ex, in addition to his mom, have my security code to my garage) and get what my daughter wants for her weekend with her dad. I could be mean-spirited and make her wait until she comes home to use those giftcards but what is the point? Should I punish her because her dad is my ex-husband? But rycamor can go ahead and attribute that thought to my little hamster wheel also. Apparently there are no women out there who can get along with exes and their families ever in rycamor's thinking and exceptions don't exist. Whatevs.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 12:07 PM  

"just got a text from my daughter. She needs her iTunes gift cards at my house. "

Actually an Itunes gift card is not what she needs. Sorry to be so harsh.

Anonymous rycamor April 28, 2012 12:17 PM  

LL, of course I know nothing directly about your situation. Your post just reminded me of the many rationalizations I have heard from divorced and single mothers over the years.

You could well be a shining example of how to get through divorce, and honestly I hope so. Once a divorce occurs, of course this is the best way to get through it. If by "drama free", as Spacebunny points out, you only meant there was no divided loyalty issues, then I apologize. If you meant that your kids were unaffected by the whole divorce and ensuing separate life, then I do not, as I am tired of divorce being dismissed so flippantly.

Anonymous LL April 28, 2012 12:17 PM  

Actually an Itunes gift card is not what she needs. Sorry to be so harsh.

Why is that harsh? Are you implying something? Just say it out loud because I have no clue what you're trying to say. That was a completely non-sensical statement unless you expect me to read your mind?

Anonymous III April 28, 2012 12:21 PM  

The two shall become one.

Anything else outside of Gods natural order is chaos.

Divorce is chaos.

Anonymous JI April 28, 2012 12:23 PM  

Cryan Ryan, you nailed!!! I was going to post something similar to that, I've seen that story play out a hundred times here in the US. Probably just as bad in other Western countries.

"Usually it goes like this....

1) woman makes man so miserable he either hits back, gets abusive, or (much worse) acts Beta.
2) Woman files for divorce, starts screwing around.
3) Woman gets custody and punishing amount of CS.
4) Woman whores around, bringing shame to everyone.
5) Woman breaks down emotionally, gives up.
6) Girls get promiscuous, diseased, pregnant, and confused.
7) Boys act up, get in trouble.
8) Father tries to start new family, but loses job.

Bureaucrats pursue husband for CS. Wife villifies husband for not caring, not manning up.

Sit coms and news stories push view that men are causing the problems. Men get angry, confused, and sometimes commit horrible crimes. "

Anonymous LL April 28, 2012 12:24 PM  

If by "drama free", as Spacebunny points out, you only meant there was no divided loyalty issues, then I apologize. If you meant that your kids were unaffected by the whole divorce and ensuing separate life, then I do not, as I am tired of divorce being dismissed so flippantly.

It is exactly as Spacebunny states. Heck, we even hold "family meetings" when school or behavior issues pop up with kids, as they do even in married-couple families. The ex and I are a united front, even now, 4 years post-divorce. The kids can't even play one parent against the other.

As for it affecting the children, using the example of having to come to my house to retrieve something is also an example of how it affects them. They have 2 households that they live in. It affects them. I am not flippant about divorce. But if the ex and I can ease those effects on the kids by cooperatively doing things like me not caring one bit if they come over to get what they need, it is better all around, for everyone involved, including extended family.

Blogger Patrick Henry April 28, 2012 12:25 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 12:29 PM  

Ooops That was my my google login above, "Patrick Henry", I am Outlaw X

Anonymous LL April 28, 2012 12:32 PM  

hahaha, so my daughter wanting to use birthday gift cards from my sisters this weekend while she's spending time with her father because he's the only one who has iTunes (I refuse to "subscribe" to buying music that way but if dad does, it matters not one whit to me) is a bad thing and makes me or her father bad parents? I'm very confused over your logical progression from me being solicitous in opening my home to my kids and their dad to consumerism and replacing parents.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 12:34 PM  

OK I fixed it!

"Why is that harsh? Are you implying something? Just say it out loud because I have no clue what you're trying to say. That was a completely non-sensical statement unless you expect me to read your mind?"

Read my mind? Every child wants a stable family with a mom and a dad, living and a loving together. They don't want disparate love they want to see real love and stability. Why is this so hard to understand? Why would you have to read my mind? Do you think consumerism can replace a parent?

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 12:37 PM  

"opening my home to my kids and their dad to consumerism and replacing parents."

That is exactly what you have done, like it or not.

Anonymous L1v3W1r3 April 28, 2012 12:37 PM  

Father tried some shit w/ a co-worker for a few years. Caught, and made promises to my brother, sister and I it would never happen again. It did, and he was going to leave, broke the news on Thanksgiving. My last words to him were "grow the fuck up. You made a promise to your children, you broke it, does love hurt your children? Is it love when it destroys? Know the value of a thing by it fruits." I didn't speak to him again for over a year, it was his choice, just like it was his choice to violate his promise to God and his children.

Eventually he got the idea - his selfish actions have a consequence and create an emotional landscape that resembles Shermans March. Adult children - unlike children don't have to put up or enable this shit. You want to trash your life? Great, just don't expect me to help, cheer lead, or be part of it.

Blogger Spacebunny April 28, 2012 12:38 PM  

Outlaw- shut up. Your original comment to LL was asinine, and in trying to clarify it, you simply demonstrate that your comment about iTunes is idiotic and irrelevant.

Anonymous LL April 28, 2012 12:43 PM  

So by your somewhat sketchy logic, I am to ignore my daughter's wishes to use birthday gift cards because somehow they are a replacement for her dad or me? Is that where you are going? I cannot even follow you. Are you advocating that I punish my kids because I am divorced from their father in order to force him to be a better "father" by not allowing them over here whenever they come over to visit his mom (who lives across the street from me? I am not a stupid person by any means but seriously, your mental perambulations are eluding me in your comments above. Maybe Spacebunny can help interpret it for me. She knows me pretty well and perhaps she is familiar with your weirdly stated words.

Anonymous LL April 28, 2012 12:44 PM  

Ha!! Spacebunny beat me out before I could publish my comment. So it's not just me who doesn't get your comments, Outlaw X.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 12:48 PM  

"Outlaw- shut up. Your original comment to LL was asinine, and in trying to clarify it, you simply demonstrate that your comment about iTunes is idiotic and irrelevant."

If you say so, so I'll shut up. Even though I believe what I said is true. Asinine is people justifying divorce over the children and their own selfish needs. But you know best, so I will shut up, this is my last post on this thread.

Now you have opened the door for everyone and closed mine, and will respect it.

Blogger Spacebunny April 28, 2012 12:54 PM  

Outlaw X there are just as many (more even, perhaps) children of intact families who use iTunes and other social media - now, they may or may not be using to using consumerism to replace parenting (painting with a very broad brush to say the least as many children use social media responsibly) but it is completely irrelevant to the topic. That you are too myopic or stupid to see that isn't really my problem and attempting to play the victim here just makes you look even more ridiculous.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 1:04 PM  

One last comment SB, what ever you say is OK with me, even though you took it out of context. Would children rather have there face book or their parents together? You may be right and I am wrong, but that is not a world I want to live in. I may get my wish.

Blogger Spacebunny April 28, 2012 1:35 PM  

Would children rather have there face book or their parents together?

It's completely off topic which means it completely irrelevant to the topic at hand as I have already pointed out. How stupid are you?

Anonymous LL April 28, 2012 1:40 PM  

Wait a minute. Your "logical" progression went from me commenting that there is so little strife between me and my ex-husband such that he comes and goes in my house as he pleases, even when I'm not home (which addresses the original post on topic as my situation being an exception), to me or my ex being crappy parents because we allow our daughter to use her iTunes gift cards, to backtracking 4 years and there was some sort of choice for my daughter between facebook and having her parents still married?

Wow, I had heard Vox has some real corkers for commenters but that one there is beyond even the weirdest I've seen.

Anonymous a good ROI April 28, 2012 2:07 PM  

"just got a text from my daughter. She needs her iTunes gift cards at my house."

Actually an Itunes gift card is not what she needs. Sorry to be so harsh.

=====================

I believe Outlaw was saying that the daughter needs the mom, not an "item", whatever item that may be. She needs an intact, healthy, relationship with her mom. He was focusing on the relationship, not consumerism or Apple's evil empire or whatever... he was talking about the relationship.

Now, it is up to debate whether a child can have as good of a relationship with a parent based on whether that parent is divorced from the other parent or not. I don't know myself. But I think it would be foolish to say that a child is 100% NOT affected by their parents getting divorced. I think it comes down to just how much a child is affected or not... a little bit or a lot or somewhere in between.

Blogger SarahsDaughter April 28, 2012 2:47 PM  

So much of the article is about caring for elderly parents and the burden of it. I don't see how the difference would be so drastic if the elderly parents were widowed or still married (and perhaps both in need of care). That Dad is off with his new love and you are left caring for Mom may not seem fair but...which part of life should we expect to be fair?
Caring for the sick and dying is exhausting, time consuming, and a tremendous responsibility...oh how I long for our society to return to viewing it as a natural part of everyone's life and as an honor.
Very good people are grown out of three generational households. They get to witness the end of a life (the blessings and troubles) as they are in the early years of their own.

Blogger Spacebunny April 28, 2012 3:06 PM  

I believe Outlaw was saying that the daughter needs the mom, not an "item", whatever item that may be. She needs an intact, healthy, relationship with her mom. He was focusing on the relationship, not consumerism or Apple's evil empire or whatever... he was talking about the relationship.

So? How is that relevant to the topic? Millions of people have problematic relationships with their mothers (or parents) who aren't divorced. It's not relevant to the topic - this isn't rocket science.

Anonymous Curlytop April 28, 2012 3:20 PM  

As Cinco stated, having at least a two state buffer makes a WORLD of difference, especially if we're talking states with a sizable landmass.

Bottom line is a combination of what Nate and SB have stated and it doesn't matter what the issue is: divorce, etc... when someone is acting childish, nix it asap! Enough with the placating of juvenile behavior.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 3:26 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous LL April 28, 2012 3:36 PM  

A good ROI, I admitted above that there are effects on my kids after divorce, so I'll not argue with you there. The point of Vox's post about lingering issues from acrimonious divorces into grown children's lives does not apply to me because my children have not left the nest yet, but right now, there is no divided loyalty issues in our famiy because the ex & I work together to any extent that boggles our friends' minds.

As for Outlaw X, he is certainly welcome to the interpretation of his opinion as you expressed it, but my daughter's relationship with me has not been replaced by gift cards or any other nonsense like that. What I find amusing is that I know I would be flayed alive on here if I were to admit that I refused their entrance to my home by allowing my divorce to affect my daughter's life & wishes for the gift card in such a silly way. I won't even be home when they come to get it and yet I am still perfectly comfortable with them all doing what they want to retrieve forgotten items. If being that relaxed & trusting of my ex husband has some sort of deleterious effect on our daughter, I will be immensely surprised.

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews April 28, 2012 3:44 PM  

Dangerous to step in, bit I would have to agree that LL's situation is painted as much more rosy than I am sure it is. I am not sure why you seem to be defending it SB, but it smells like BS to me as well.

Perhaps I am colored by having grown up with divorced parents who seemed to "get along well." My father paid relatively modest child support until we were adults. He had his issues, but he was my father.

I may go into it later, but the idea that two people can parent children without a marriage relationship is poppycock. Justify all you wish. Your children will pay the penalty for your choices.

=======

As to the responsibility for adult parents: I agree with both sides. Adult children need to set boundaries, but that is far from the trivial process that is being presented. It is almost impossible to force older individuals to do anything, especially with the modern nanny state providing backup support.

You can refuse to tolerate bad behavior, but that doesn't mean the pain of having to enforce that will not impact you at all. Some may have masked off the pain, but it remains there, because we are built to care for our relations (up and down the chain).

My father passed away over a decade ago, but I still have to watch for issues with my mother. Nothing anywhere close to the base article, but something to watch for anyway.

This advice is as simplistic as those telling us to just walk away from our adoptive children who have mostly chosen to return to their birth lifestyle. It has definite elements of truth, but ignores the entirety of the picture.

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews April 28, 2012 3:48 PM  

"when someone is acting childish, nix it asap!"

True, but the ongoing family connection makes that an ongoing process, not a on-time event. If I meet you and don't like your behavior, I can cut you off and never see you again in my life with minimal thought. I cannot do that with a parent. I will have to continually cut that parent off.

I may have to do that, but it is not the simple process being put forth. (At least not for those of us walking through such things on an ongoing basis, though mine is more aimed downward than upward.)

Blogger R. Bradley Andrews April 28, 2012 3:48 PM  

That should have said "one-time event".

Blogger Spacebunny April 28, 2012 3:53 PM  

I cannot do that with a parent. I will have to continually cut that parent off.

If you cut that parent off it is a final act, why on earth would you have to "continually cut that parent off"? You have either done it or not. You clearly would not or could not, but do not presume to speak for everyone else's ability to do so.

Anonymous FP April 28, 2012 4:13 PM  

Ahh, family drama. Long story short, divorce sucks and it does have long term effects on everyone.

My parents split when I was 14 or so, Mom packed us up and we moved letting Dad come home to the cliche mostly empty house. I tend to forget many things and the timeline of events from my mid-late teens. I just don't care to think much about the insanity committed by all parties during that time.

My mother understood why I chose to take a neutral stance when I was 19-20 and not be any sort of go between for my parents and not talk about one to the other. She still asked me to keep her cancer from my father, not sure why.

I regret not spelling it out for my father, as that might have made things better between us. Of course my mother never told me that my father had called and even talked to her boyfriend-later husband till after my father died. So I probably looked like a jerk, lying by omission for not telling my father that mom had remarried but my father never admitted he knew (explains some of the looks/words by him and his girlfriend though). I never told mom he had a live in girlfriend till after he died, mom took it well but I'm sure she was hurt. Dad lied about having a girlfriend to me and it later came out... talk about an awkward moment that I just let drop. I didn't bother with going to my college graduation to avoid having both parents there with their partners.

Even after all the nonsense, losing your parents by the age of 34 isn't fun. No more drama at least.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 4:18 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous LL April 28, 2012 4:28 PM  

R Bradley Andrews, divorce is never rosy, but post-divorce life can be continued on good terms with most family members if everyone acts like a grownup, respects each other, and moves on. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case.

And I don't think SB is defending me or divorce so much as 1-she is actually aware of my situation from years of interacting with me and 2-she is holding certain people to standards of online debate that stay on topic, so to speak.

People bring their owner baggage into discussions like this, and most have witnessed or been part of very ugly divorce fallout. In my particular case, my ex & I work very hard seperately & jointly to raise our children well, with as little effect on them because they are innocent of our adult decision to divorce.

Anonymous Outlaw X April 28, 2012 4:41 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box April 28, 2012 4:46 PM  

What was that comment about "a hamster wheel squealing"?

The human capacity to get comfortable with error and enslavement defies all semblence of logical explanation.

Anonymous rycamor April 28, 2012 4:56 PM  

I think this thread highlights one aspect of life where men tend to react more emotionally than women. It gets me worked up, I admit.

My wife used to babysit for a few single mothers now and then, and the kids would always gravitate to me. It's hard to explain to a woman how a man feels when someone else's son looks up at him and says "Daddy".

Anonymous Divorced April 28, 2012 4:57 PM  

So? How is that relevant to the topic? Millions of people have problematic relationships with their mothers (or parents) who aren't divorced. It's not relevant to the topic - this isn't rocket science.

The topic is about divorce and children.

Anonymous RedJack April 28, 2012 5:15 PM  

It isn't just a divorce, but any single parent household leads to trouble. My grandfather lost his Dad when he was 8. Grew up without a father figure to learn how to be a man (though it was a much better time to do that in).

I didn't see it for a long time, but he had some of the issues my friends from divorced and single parent households had.

When I was dating, I looked for a girl from an intact home. Glad I did.

Anonymous El Pollo Loco April 28, 2012 7:19 PM  

You may be right and I am wrong, but that is not a world I want to live in.

How about a world without donuts?

Blogger Patrick Henry April 28, 2012 7:52 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Anonymous Clay April 28, 2012 8:43 PM  

I can speak from experience on this subject, as well, maybe more than most,

I’ve only been married to one woman, but twice. Yes, I KNOW if the milk is sour, you don’t drink it again.

BUT..that second marriage allowed me to be with my Princess, Alex.

During those 2/12 years, I taught her how to swim, ride a bike, shoot guns without the scary, and kill snakes .

Her Momma was just in to it for the financial security, so I won’t go there.

Anyway…… ended-up with a beautiful. Smart daughter who’s in the Vacsular field.

She’s been married to a smart accountant, for about 4 years, who is English genetically (redhead). I’m ½ Italian ½ German….So, the white line continues on.

I have 3 brothers, and one sister, who have all made babies with disgustngly white bloodlines.

I suppose, it’s a tradition.


And, yes.....however amicably...divorce still SUCKS.

Anonymous El Pollo Loco April 28, 2012 9:06 PM  

I would have to do harry carry or however you spell it. I know your name and address, by the way.

*burp*

Blogger Patrick Henry April 28, 2012 9:19 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger Patrick Henry April 28, 2012 9:29 PM  

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Blogger Nate April 28, 2012 10:35 PM  

I don't see what's so confusing about outlaw's comment. His implication was clear. The kids need their mom. It was not about materialism. It was a comment on divorce in general.

It doesn't matter how nice to divorced parents are. It doesn't matter how well they get along and how hard they work to raise the kids together well.

You can give a man a great funeral after you chop his head off... and he's still just as dead.

Superficially... divorced co-parents certainly are easier on everyone than the drama queen grown up children that can't go 10 minutes without bashing each other... but its only superficial.

Children are either taught that family is forever... or they are not.

now... That does not justify adults living like idiots and blaming their problems on mommy and daddy. And... plenty of folks who's parents divorced still learn that family is forever in spite of the break up.

My general rule is... I don't give a damn what happened to you as a kid... once you're 40... you should be over it. Its harsh... but its my way.

Anonymous Oregon Mouse April 29, 2012 12:36 AM  

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8982958/99-year-old-divorces-wife-after-he-discovered-1940s-affair.html

I wonder how their children are coping?

"Stop blaming mommy and daddy and grow the fuck up."
I've always thought the most damaged people were those who didn't know they were that affected. They repeat the same messed up relationship patterns over and over and complain that they only meet the losers and psychos. I confess I fell into this pattern as a young adult and my parents aren't even divorced. However, I was mimicking their relationship with every boyfriend I picked without knowing why. It takes a lot of hard work to fix yourself and stop blaming mom and dad.

Anonymous Anonymous April 29, 2012 1:19 AM  

I read the following book about 10-12 yrs into our now 22-year marriage and it forever eliminated any chance of divorce, no matter how overweight/cranky/? my spouse was. In the end, I just love our kids too much to allow my spouse to screw up the rest of their lives. My life is expendable, something I signed up for when I agreed to follow Christ. It should be mandatory reading for all married couples with children:

"The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study"
by J. Wallerstein et al (http://tinyurl.com/7xd6tvg)

Blogger Spacebunny April 29, 2012 1:29 AM  

I don't see what's so confusing about outlaw's comment.

It's not confusing, it's irrelevant to the topic (you know, acrimonious divorces and adult children). No one is arguing that divorce in general will leave it's mark on kids.

My general rule is... I don't give a damn what happened to you as a kid... once you're 40... you should be over it. Its harsh... but its my way.

40? Are you kidding me? No wonder this country is in such dire straights if we don't require to people to grow up before they are 40.

Anonymous SouthTX April 29, 2012 8:03 AM  

Wow, things got fiesty in here from yesterday morning.

Blogger John Luzzi April 29, 2012 9:47 AM  

Vox I agree totally with the suggestion to move to another continent. So divorce is generally such a selfish act. Leaving the continent sounds like a great way to remove yourself from all the insane games selfish parents wind up playing.

Anonymous Anonymous April 29, 2012 2:13 PM  

I agree that divorce is a horrible thing, but I also think it is not the most horrible thing. My aunt and uncle divorced when I was pretty young and while it was difficult for everyone I think everyone is better off now that they are divorced and remarried. I believe their kids(and the rest of us) would have been worse off if they had stayed together.
I come from a family with both parents and am unmarried myself, so my opinion may not count for much, but in a lose-lose situation divorce is not always the worst of the two.

-Siah

Blogger Spacebunny April 29, 2012 2:28 PM  

I believe their kids(and the rest of us) would have been worse off if they had stayed together.

I'm curious - what do you base this belief on and how do you think their kids would have been worse off? I'm genuinely curious, because this phrase is often thrown about during discussions like this and as a rationalization. In some cases, especially where this is abuse, this is almost surely the case, but I don't believe it to be true in the vast majority of cases.

Blogger Matthew April 29, 2012 2:46 PM  

Twenty years after her in-laws’ messy and bitter divorce, Tammy, 35 — a print company manager who lives in Chesterfield, Derbyshire — and her husband Paul, 32, who works in hotel management, are still struggling with the fallout.

N.B. I didn't read the article yet. Isn't it curious that the problem is framed as primarily affecting the woman? Rather than writing about Paul's parents divorcing, the author focuses on Tammy's in-laws' divorce.

Anonymous Anonymous April 29, 2012 3:32 PM  

-Spacebunny
I base this belief on how they were when they were together and how they are now. My early memories of them of are yelling matches and anger. Neither of them are that way now. My cousins and family would have seen a picture of marriage with bitterness as the mainstay opposed the healthy relationships they did see.
What happened was bad, but watching two people constantly tear eachother to pieces would have been much worse. Both are in new relationships now and are much better for it.
The issue though is the kids. They have both turned out pretty well although the older male one has had some issues along the way. I guess I have no way to express the difference between overt tension and the subtle kind. I just know that one felt alot worse then the other. Once they parents were seperated they could focus on the kids and not eachother. They were able to make joint decisions for the kids without it being about them.
I wish they could have resolved their differences but I honestly don't see how they could have.
-Siah

Blogger Nate April 29, 2012 3:45 PM  

"40? Are you kidding me? No wonder this country is in such dire straights if we don't require to people to grow up before they are 40."

Do read precisely and realize that I said "anything". I did not limit that statement to mommy and daddy issues.

Blogger Spacebunny April 29, 2012 3:52 PM  

Do read precisely and realize that I said "anything". I did not limit that statement to mommy and daddy issues.

I did read it precisely and my statement still stands.

Anonymous HeligKo April 29, 2012 8:02 PM  

As crappy as my wife has been, her choice to end our marriage has already done some severe damage to my oldest. She was a poor to average mother, and less than that as a wife, but the family dynamic was one where stability was found with me there every day. Now they have a stable and unstable home, because she really can't hold it together alone, but hey she isn't unhappy because of me, or is she. I don't know how that works. Don't care. She will blame everyone else for her problems. She is blaming our 12 year old for the relationship and volatility in their relationship, but the kid does pretty well with me. Now we have two harried and exhausted households. The kids will be the ones that ultimately lose, period. Of course the nature of the I am not happy divorce, is there is no hope for reconciliation. There was nothing to really fix. Its an emotional reaction to tough times in marriage, and four kids creates a tough time. The trust is broken. The vow forever tainted. To attempt reconciliation is simply to give her license to behave as she wishes and return to this place on another day. Times were easier for the kids when the parent wanting out had to make a choice of family or no family. If they chose no family, then they walked away from it all. Now this wishy washy divided family crap just wears everyone out, but I know I am not giving up my kids because she doesn't want to remain married. Her selfishness already demonstrates that she is not going to put the kids first, ever. I don't know how to fix it. Perhaps a generation is coming who like the founding fathers will take up this mantle and have enough fortitude and brains to do something substantial, but I won't hold my breath that will come in my lifetime.

Anonymous Joe Doakes April 29, 2012 8:49 PM  

I second the referral to Judith Wallerstein's work. I was a divorce lawyer for a dozen years before I quit in disgust. I never once heard the divorcing parents tell me they were ending it for the betterment of the children, it was always me, me, me.

No fault divorce and abortion on demand are symptoms of a society so self-centered we can't even be bothered to pretend to care about the truly innocent and vulnerable among us.

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box May 01, 2012 2:22 PM  

Touchy-feely emobullshit @ its finest: The modern feminine/effeminate substitute for reason.
THIS is why you never get married & always use contraception.

Blogger Galt-in-Da-Box May 01, 2012 2:33 PM  

A trend the establishment media would rather you didn't know about is people who get married, discover that it's designed as slavery for the man & bribery for the woman, then mutually agree to divorce & yet live and work together: It's a lot easier without that seditious third partner - Government.

Anonymous derek sutton May 03, 2012 9:25 PM  

I didn't read all the comments but just wanted to add something: the key to the excerpt is the word "bitter". My folks divorced but did so amicably and without rancor and I don't believe I suffered much. If you can manage a friendly relationship with the ex, stay unmarried at least until the kids are in college, then the situation is workable, imo.

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