Opinions About Marriage, Children, and Divorce
Children, and Divorce
Recently I read many of the comments on a Huffington Post article about the new documentary film, Split, in which children describe and illustrate how their parents’ divorces affected them. The film is scheduled for release in June. The comments to date have covered a wide range of opinions, including the statements below.
True or False:
1. Many people marry with too little thought and too little commitment.
2. With or without marriage, many people make babies before they are mature enough to take good care of them and/or before they can afford to provide for them financially. On this overpopulated planet, it may be a good idea for a lot more people to be very cautious about adding to the population.
3. Most kids hope their parents will not divorce. Most kids feel hurt, angry, and/or scared if their parents do divorce.
4. Some kids are relieved and do get to live in calmer, safer, happier homes after their parents divorce.
5. Parents despising each other is going to be tough on their kids, whether or not the parents stay married.
6. Abandoning a child who loves and needs you is a terrible thing for a parent to do.
7. Some people leave their spouses and their children because they are selfish and irresponsible.
8. Some people leave their spouses because their health, their financial security, and/or their ability to provide good homes for their children is likely to be better if they escape from their abusive or desolate marriages.
9. With decent parental and community support, most children of divorce prove resilient. Not unhurt, not without some sorrows and even some scars, but still able to enjoy life and to become secure, kind, competent adults.
I think that all of the above are true. Oversimplifying and emphasizing just one or two of the above as the only statement(s) that matter may not help us as a society figure out what is best to do. Maybe, at a minimum, we can agree that children who do have to cope with divorce need and deserve our compassion.
The documentary Split may motivate some parents to try harder to make their marriages work and may help others better understand how to help their children through a long, hard time. Good work, Ellen Bruno.
Your comments are welcome.
The author, Virginia Colin, is a Professional Family Mediator certified by the Virginia Supreme Court. She is not an attorney or a therapist. For a free consultation about whether family mediation would be helpful for you, contact her at mediatorQ@gmail.com or 703 864 2101.