Divorce ends conflict – or does it?

When considering divorce, most parents consider the potential effects of divorce on their children. One argument in favor of divorce is the idea that it will bring an end to conflict. In other words, that divorce can have a positive effect on children’s lives.

end conflictBut how true is it that children enjoy more peaceful, less troubling lives after their parents divorce?

The idea that divorce brings an end to conflict is based on the idea that marriage is the cause of conflict. To end the conflict simply end the marriage.

The problem with this argument is that it ignores the fact that conflict is caused by personalities, not marriage.

There’s no doubt that living in close proximity as a married couple heightens the conflict. However, divorcing and living separately doesn’t necessarily make it better. And rarely does it make it go away:

Divorce often causes a bitter dispute between the parents, even worse than before the divorce was decided upon. Two-thirds of angry divorces remain that way after 5 years of being separated, and one-quarter to one-third of those divorces that were initially in good spirits had degenerated to open conflicts.”

Second Chances: Men, Women and Children a Decade After Divorce (Paperback)
by Sandra Blakeslee, Judith Wallerstein

After all, divorced parents can still argue by phone, or when they drop the children off at each other homes. Then there’s the temptation to vent anger, resentment and other negative emotions to their children, or engage them as accomplices in making the other’s life a misery.

Children are concerned with the fact that their parents are arguing. Divorced or not, you will still be their parents. The big question is, will you still be arguing? Will divorce really have a positive effect on your children?

Posted in: Deciding to Divorce

Leave a Comment