The Divorce Impact in America is staggering, with statistics showing that either you or someone you know has been affected by the break-up of a family, single parenting, shared visitation, or something in between.
50% of all North-American children will witness the divorce of their parents. Almost half of them will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage. (Furstenberg and others -Life Course-)
One out of 10 children of divorce experiences three or more parental marriage breakups. (Gallagher -The Abolition of Marriage)
40% of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers. (Wade, Horn and Busy, -Fathers, Marriage and Welfare Reform, Hudson Institute Executive Briefing, 1997)
50% of all the children born to married parents today, will experience the divorce of their parents before they are 18 years old. (Fagan, Fitzgerald, Rector, -The Effects of Divorce On America-)
I recently spoke to a young girl who shared her “diary” entry with me. She shared that she didn’t like her dad’s house as much as she did her mom’s. Her comments were sad and led me to asking more revealing questions. As she began to articulate her reasons, I became ever so aware of the comparison game that she will play for the remainder of her life. In this innocent exchange, I suddenly became present to how unequally planted this young girl is as compared to her non-divorced peers. You see, her non-divorced peers will likely never experience her realities. They won’t likely experience extended time away from either parent or experience major shifts in family culture or rules. They might prefer one parent over another in certain situations, but they will always know that both parents live under one roof, creating unity and protection.
Among the reasons she gave me for preferring her mother’s home over her father’s was the limited time she spent with her father. The relationship with her father was the root, not the home she was visiting. She spent a little over 48 hours with her father every other weekend. Just as she was warming up to him each visit, it was time to turn around and leave.
Although the parents of this young girl appeared to be doing everything they could to make their divorce circumstances healthy for their children, it still very much impacted the whole family. Their divorce added extra layers of stress: financially and emotionally, leaving everyone vulnerable to increased dysfunction and problematic or at-risk behavior.
The root issues of divorce often land in the dysfunction of childhood experiences. Our choices in partners, our tolerance for certain behavior and the inability to see unhealthy behaviors often resides in what and whom we have been exposed to. The proverbial saying, “I married my dad” is very real to many families. If your dad was emotionally and verbally abusive, you likely married someone who is very similar. If your mother was emotionally distant, you have likely found yourself connected to someone who is emotionally distant, or you yourself have become distant.
Awareness of our roots allows us to heal and create transformative change for our family and the future of our family tree. We can help! You are not alone! Contact us today to make an appointment!