Marriage is a special bond made between two people who, basically, pledge their lives to each other. When a couple gets married, they make a vow to stay together forever, or at least until parted by death. The vow of 'Forever' is broken in more than half of American marriages. A divorce is the untying of the knot of the promises made to each other in the wedding ceremony. Due to the way that Americans have developed this society, divorces are more common today than ever before. The divorce rate has been at a constant increase through the passing years. Some of the reasons that many American marriages end are due to the infidelity of spouses, couples marrying at too young of an age, and those who find divorce as an easy way to give up on the marriage when things become difficult. Most couples that get a divorce have children. Witnessing a divorce is a turning point in the child’s life, and these children do not have any idea on how to deal with the type of situation. Children are the ones who are normally affected the most; they will have to learn to deal with their parents’ divorce, affecting them in a negative way. It is not only the divorce itself that plays a massive role in the child’s life. It is also how the parents act while the divorce is going on and how the act when it is final. “It is not the fact of divorce that hurts the children, it is the manner in which the parents behave afterward.” (Your Letters). If the parents act like children and all the do is fight a scream at each other, then that is the example being shown to the children. When the child grows up, the way they act when it is time for them to get married all that they will know is fighting, not what real love looks like. A child who is from a broken home has a harder time knowing when they are in a good relationship rather than a bad relationship. (Moore). One substantial result of divorce is the increased risk of emotional and behavioral problems in children. Children from divorced families are likely to experience loneliness and insecurity (Analysis). The children feel that they have been abandoned or rejected by their parents (Analysis). Parents teach young children about the fairy tale endings and true love, so when the parents get divorce it shatters that image of true love in the child’s mind. Children also worry that when the time comes to get married themselves, they will be doomed for divorce. Most children believe that they are the cause of their parents’ divorce, and they build up a deep sense of guilt and shame. Bradley Moore explains “I always wonder if I was the reason my parents got a divorce. I wonder if I said things or did things to make them fight.” Even though it is clearly not the child’s fault Moore will always carry those thoughts with her. Parents think that their kids are mature and have a strong foundation and can handle hard situations, but really if they are exposed to situations that decompose the image inside their head, that is what sticks in the end (Dimarco 129). Children are not immune and they soak up all of the experiences they have in life and that is what they live buy in the future (Dimarco 128). Not only do the children feel guilt, but they also feel that they need to please both parents and make sure that they do not make one upset because of all the anxiety they already have. Diana Milne, a professor at the University of Missouri, states that “children or teens feel they have to "take care of" one or both of their parents. Giving up one’s childhood to care for emotionally troubled parents.” Milne is explaining that the children have a since of responsibility to take care of their parents. When a child sees that their parent is upset they want to make sure that they do not make things worse, so they will tell both parents whatever it is that they want to hear (Moore). Many parents, when talking about their problems, say how they are going to try and work things out for the kids. This could be a very detrimental to a child. Studies have shown that if one is in an environment that is not happy, it will affect the mood of everyone (Analysis). In a home where there is a high amount of conflict, and the parents are just living together to push through the problems, different types of parenting will come out and both parents think that they are right, but which does the child listen to? (Analysis). It is much better for the children to be in a home, even if a single parent home, than to be in a home where the parents are undermining each other’s way of discipline (Analysis). Children get confused and just start to disobey both parents because they cannot please both (Moore). Marriage was created as a partnership, two people coming together to be stronger as one. The special bond made between two people who pledge their lives to each other has become not so special anymore. Marriage is making a vow to stay together forever, or at least until parted by death, now it is until things get to difficult. The bond of this partnership is broken in more than half of American marriages. Parents do not understand that witnessing a divorce is such a turning point in the child’s life. Children do not have any idea on how to deal with the type of situation and are going to soak up the parents behavior and act like them in the future. Children need to be put in situations where they feel loved and safe. When all a child sees is fighting, the way the child sees every relationship in the future will change.
"Analysis: Effects of divorce on children." Talk of the Nation 31 Jan. 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 25 Sept. 2013. Moore, Bradley. Personal interview. 23 Sept. 2013.
Dimarco, Hayley. The Road Ahead: A Faith-Powered Guide. Grand Rapids: Baker Group, 2007. Print. “Milne, Diana. Impact of Divorce on Children." Impact of Divorce on Children. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. "Your Letters: Divorce Kids, Cell Phone Bans." Weekend Edition Sunday 10 Jan. 2010. Literature Resource Center. Web. 25 Sept. 2013.