Life has many obstacles and divorce has become one of those unfortunate trials, which I have been forced to overcome. Marriage is supposed to be sacred and last an eternity; however, circumstances occur and divorce triumphs. After fourteen years of marriage, it has come to an end for Jason and I. Marriage has its ups and downs, and for many years we just worked through the problems, mainly for the kids’ sake. Conversely, situations have occurred which has pushed the marriage to end, including rising safety concerns, financial instability, parenting conflicts, and mental abuse.
For many years, I was oblivious to my marital situation and the negative effects it was having on my life and our children. Currently, the process of the divorce has been emotionally draining, financially straining, and has impacted the children detrimentally. Divorce is the last thing I wanted for my children to have to endure; however, when safety is a concern, it is what’s in their best interest that matters most. My kids come first and as hard as it was to weigh the pros and cons of their future in a split home, it had gone too far and it was time to leave.
The separation was extremely difficult for both the kids and I due to the fact that is all we had ever known was togetherness. Although the situation is still raw and things have to be worked through with many changes, I am hopeful this will make us stronger. Ultimately, I have had to set my feelings aside and had to make the decision of what is really going to affect them long-term and I feel in my heart that I have made the best decision. Change is inevitable and it is imperative to learn from situations and try to avoid getting back into the same thing again.
I have always lived with both parents and although they often had disagreements, they are still married today. With that being said, not every marriage works, it merely is based on circumstances. Circumstances play a major role as to whether the two can work it out or not. Moreover, our relationship made a turn for the worse and the connection and communication lacked immensely after the death of Jason’s mother as well as two back surgeries he had to undergo. Pain took over his life and our marriage. Although I stayed together for our children, things never got better.
Our children were not only in a home of disconnection of their parents but also safety became a major concern for our family. Pain medication rose to the forefront and the home of love was pushed into chaos. The kids were seeing what it was doing to our family and to their father as he would fall asleep driving or by fear of him nodding. Trust was slowly diminishing and the man I married had changed. He could not hold a job to support our family or he always had some kind of issue with the job he had.
Though, I stayed married for five years after things changed hoping it would get better, there was a turning point, or I guess you could say a “wakeup call” for me. My middle child was in the vehicle when Jason fell asleep at the wheel for just a second, but that moment has caused such fear for our child. He loves his father very much, but he does not trust him. Now, he is extremely attached to me, because he feels I am his safe haven, which has caused him to lack independence. That day could have really been bad but the good Lord was watching over my baby boy and his father.
For about four months prior to the incident, our son would whisper to me, “Please drive momma” and his father would get upset with him because in his mind he had done nothing wrong. Additionally, money began to be scarce and we were not meeting our financial responsibilities due to Jason’s lack of motivation for employment. Currently, I am in school and it was my obligation to get the kids to and from school and make sure their needs were met. I applied for jobs, but after the interview, Jason always seemed to have an excuse for me not to take the position.
He was controlling and felt if I had a job, I would not need him to support me or the kids and we would leave. The divorce is still in the process and the custody battle has been overwhelming emotionally and financially; however, the kids live with me. We are going through counseling to help overcome this obstacle in our lives as well as to have an understanding that sometimes divorce is best. Although we are enduring financial hardship right now, we are making it. Furthermore, I have almost finished undergraduate school and I will start my master’s degree immediately following.
I have hopes of starting a teaching career with online college courses for students around the country. I am taking away from this horrific, traumatizing experience that those who are strong can and will overcome and persevere even in the most difficult circumstances! My children are doing better than they ever have in school, have made many friends, and are heading down a path toward success! Causes of Divorce Marriage takes work, often times, individuals are merely oblivious to the marital expectations as husband and wife as well as the responsibilities in the marriage.
A husband and wife should be equal in their decisions; however, childhood experiences can reflect the views of the marital outlook. The individuals’ home environment as a child is a determining factor whether positive or negative mirrors the behavior in a marriage as well as the expectations of such (Churchill & Fagan, 2012). According to Churchill and Fagan (2012), “Divorce causes irreparable harm to all involved, but most especially to the children (p. 1).
There are countless reasons individuals decide to divorce including lack of commitment, lack of communication, financial instability, domestic abuse, and substance abuse just to name a few. Lack of Commitment Married couples must be 100% committed to the relationship and continue to work through the obstacles faced versus letting the problems escalate. The newness of a marriage or honeymoon phase dissipates and the reality of responsibility kicks in and often times couples fail to communicate with one another to share the responsibilities.
According to a survey in 2013, statistics indicate 75% of marriages fail due to lack of commitment (Allen, Markman, Rhoades, Scott, & Stanley, 2013). In addition, marriages where children are involved, the lack of commitment intensifies, and the couples grow further apart. Marriage is not as easy as having fun and forgetting the obligations of family dynamics. There should be classes before individuals decided to get married on the dynamics of marriage and the responsibilities to ensure a strong marriage.
Obstacles will occur; however, if a couple is willing and able communicate; the marriage will endure any problems that arise. Lack of Communication Another issue with marriages occurs when the communication is lacking, especially where children are involved, which results in parenting conflicts. Essentially, the parents have different views on how to care for and discipline the child. When parents are not on the same page with parenting techniques, problems arise with the couple as well confusing of the children.
The outcome is arguments, and the children are faced with inconsistency as well as instability in the home. In addition, the lack of communicating can create problems with finances, thus resulting in unnecessary disagreements as well. Financial Instability Finances can put a strain on any marriage and can become a major concern if the couple does not work together and communicate effectively. Allen et al. (2013) states, “Financial difficulties were not the most pertinent reason for a divorce, but instead contributed to increased stress and tension within a relationship (p. 36). Unforeseen financial responsibilities can really increase the stress of couples and can cause them to place blame, argue, or feel like a failure. Money management can play an influential role in a marriage if one is frugal, while the other is a big spender, there will be problems that can potentially push a divorce.
Additionally, the economy also puts a damper on a couple’s financials thus really pushing limits in a marriage. According to Dr. Bernice Wilson (n. d. , “Spending and saving decisions affect the entire family, so talking about them would help each family member to better understand the family’s money concerns. Moreover, many families do not hold family meetings, which could greatly impact marital relations” (para. 1). Psychological Abuse Marital psychological abuse can cause relationships to fail as well as causing detrimental effects on the family. In particular, control is a huge issue with mental abusers and such a hush hush situation in many marriages. The abuse begins gradually and over time increases to insurmountable heights (Allen et al. 2013).
According to Safe Horizon (2016), “Abuse is a pattern of controlling behavior that often (but not always) escalates into physical violence. It can start with negative comments about what you’re wearing, who you spend time with, or other subtle forms of manipulation (para. 1). The statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence indicated 48. 4% of women and 48. 8% of men have experienced psychologically aggressive behaviors at least once in their life (NCADV, 2015). Abuse is abuse regardless of whether one has bruises on the outside to show or on the inside.
Unfortunately, married couples are behind closed doors when abuse happens; therefore, the victims are scared or fear telling someone due to the possibility of making things worse. Substance Abuse Substance abuse is another major contributing factor of why marriages end in divorce. The abuse of drugs or alcohol can push the spouse, who does not have a substance abuse problem, over the edge resulting in dissolution. Addiction affects the marriage negatively due to the focus is merely based on drugs or alcohol. Studies indicate, a spouse becomes the enabler for the addicted spouse (New Beginning, 2017).
According to New Beginnings Drug Rehab (2017): There have been situations where the addicts’ spouses will be seeking help for the addict, trying to change their behavior and whatnot, and the marriage will start falling apart because of the personality changes that result or the fact that things are no longer in balance (para. 5). The relationship essentially loses validity and safety concerns become priority for the non-addicted. Once the spousal enabler steps back and evaluates the situation, often times, one will realize the severity and wants out of the marriage (New Beginning, 2017).
Consequences of Divorce Individuals who undergo divorce find themselves in a mess in regards to the consequences following divorce. Change is inevitable in any divorce; the once married couple can endure both emotionally torn and broken or feels a sense of relief. Although, divorce affects everyone involved in some way, the duration as well as the circumstances of the divorce ultimately will be the contributing factor. Married couples do not see divorce in the big picture of the relationship; therefore, when the partner asks for a divorce the other partner may feel blind-sided or betrayed.
Statistics report, “In America, there occurs one divorce approximately every 36 seconds. That’s nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 876,000 divorces every single year (New Beginning, 2017, para. 7). Single parent households, mental instability, financial hardship, and legal issues are all consequences of divorced couples. Furthermore, the entire family will potentially be affected by the divorce directly or indirectly and put undue stress on everyone. Single Parent Household Single parent homes can be extremely detrimental to the children and cause numerous issues with the family dynamics.
According to Churchill and Fagan (2012), “The effect of divorce on children’s hearts, minds, and souls ranges from mild to severe, from seemingly small to observably significant, and from short-term to long-term” (p. 2). There is a greater possibility for weakened parent-child relationship, conflict management problems, behavioral issues, negative relationship attitude, and diminished learning capacity (Churchill & Fagan, 2012). However, some children who come from divorced homes benefit due to the lack of hostile environment, the children are able to have stability and flourish.
Single parent households may be the best option for children and although divorce is not the “norm” circumstances must be considered and what is in the best interest of the children. Mental Instability Divorce can definitely be troublesome to any couple; therefore, the importance of seeking counseling or spiritual guidance will keep one from a downward spiral. Gallagher and Waite (2016) states, “Some people are better able to handle the stresses and challenges and new opportunities of divorce than others” (p. 94).