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When a couple marries, it is in the hope that their marriage will last. However, there are times within a marriage when you can question whether you should get a divorce. There are several arguments for the advantages and disadvantages of divorce. Each argument has different weighting, depending on the family's situation.
Disadvantage: impact on children
Divorce doesn't just affect the couple who are splitting; children feel the impact, too. A disadvantage is the negative impact it will have on children. Researchers and psychologists accept that divorce can negatively affect toddlers and teenagers, according to the University of New Hampshire. Toddlers will often believe they are to blame for a divorce, while teenagers may feel pressured into siding with one parent. The results are that a child will grow up doubting their ability to marry and can suffer depression because of the break-up of his family.
Disadvantage: psychological effect on adults
An argument against divorce is its negative effect on a couple's psychological health. "Divorce has been rated the number-one life stressor," according to Arizona State University. Adults can suffer a negative psychological balance, including high levels of anxiety, unhappiness and depression. Your psychological and emotional well-being can therefore be severely damaged by divorce, and it can affect the rest of your life.
Advantage: impact on children
The impact of divorce on children has been stated previously as a disadvantage. However, there is an advantage to a child's parents splitting up. A child who experiences divorce may mature quicker and develop responsibility at a younger age. If a child's father moves out and she has younger siblings, she may have to take on a co-parental role with her mother. This exposure will give her a sense of responsibility that other areas of her life can benefit from. Also, children will benefit from divorce if there is a high level of conflict in their parents' marriage. It is unhealthy for children to be around parents who fight and criticise each other.
Advantage: personal growth
An advantage to divorce is the personal growth a person goes through after the event. "Divorced individuals report higher levels of autonomy and personal growth than married individuals do," says Miami University professor of philosophy, Robin L. Graff-Reed, in her article, "Positive Effects of Stressful Life Events: Psychological Growth Following Divorce." This is because divorced individuals have to become self-sufficient and cope with the pressures of everyday life by themselves. After divorce, individuals can develop the personal skills that can help them work towards a better quality of life for themselves and their children.
- University of New Hampshire: The Effects of Divorce on Children
- Arizona State University: The Consequences of Divorce for Parents; Sanford L. Braver, Jenessa R. Shapiro and Matthew R. Goodman
- Ohiolink: Positive Effects of Stressful Life Events: Psychological Growth Following Divorce; Robin L. Graff-Reed
- Purdue University: Provider-Parent Partnerships: The Effect of Divorce on Children: What Makes a Difference; N. Karuppaswamy and J.A. Myers-Walls
- Jeffrey Hamilton/Digital Vision/Getty Images