On the aspect of divorce, Rauch mentions, “In the West, of course, love is a defining element. The notion of lifelong love is charming, if ambitious, and certainly love is a desirable element of marriage.” (Rauch, 1) However, other elements than love are associated with divorce. Social and economically equality or income status is a major element along with degradation of traditional values with globalization and liberalization. Similarly, economic independence makes its mark with a huge impact in the context of divorce. There is a significant amount of suffering associated with divorce but the worst affected is the children.
Given the many problems that are associated with marriage, it is not so surprising that many young people in Western societies- which, largely, now values individual fulfillment over traditions- have become disillusioned with the institution of marriage. This has resulted in the surging of non-traditional social structures. Divorce used to be quite rare, but now, it is extremely common. In fact, half of all new marriages in the United States will end in divorce. Divorce rates are not just rising in the United States, however. In the Soviet Union, for example, only 37 percent of marriages survive three years, and 70 percent break up within a decade. Men and women tend to divorce their spouses for different reasons. Women can claim a variety of reasons for seeking a separation from their spouses.
Such reasons include physical, emotional, or mental abuse, heavy substance abuse, infidelity, sexual problems, or lack of support. Men seeking divorce from their wives complain of nagging, a dull sex life, or meddling in-laws. Women usually are more dissatisfied and find more fault with their marriages than men do. It must be added that the majority of men and women do eventually remarry. Divorced women with higher incomes and educations frequently delay remarrying, and many of these successful women never remarry. Remarriages tend to be more gratifying for the husbands than for the wives, just as is the case with first marriages. (Benjamin, 80).
Modern American society, riddled as it is by marital conflicts and ever-increasing problem of divorce is hardly the ideal place for the upbringing of children. The family, which is the nurturing ground and basic component part of society somehow turns into a hotbed of crisis and anxiety for children when their parents are involved in bitter acrimony and fail to live up to the sanctimony of the relationship. As such, the crumbling family unit makes the child feel insecure and the trauma thereby endured may manifest itself in unsocial behavior, incompetence at school and alienation from the peer group. Somehow, the age of the child during the separation of the parents is directly proportional to the amount of psychological pressure endured and consistently poor academic performances. Surely, such a child is direly in need of help, underachievement in school is a classic symbol of such distressed children. (Walker, 34-8).
Divorce, in itself can be a social disaster for children, who sometimes respond to the crisis, not only of the present situation, but also to the tension of the times preceding and succeeding the divorce. Thus, the conflict between the parents, their open fights before the children, lack of self-control, irrational temperament and violent mood swings leave the children frightened and on tenterhooks. (Hetherington, 31).
Circumstances, where the child reacts favorably to parental divorce are rare indeed. However, such a phenomenon may be made possible in instances where the parents make it a point to work out the separation through amicable agreement and ensure that they never voice their difference of opinions in the presence of the child. As such, a thoroughly professional business like understanding between the parents with the avowed aim of the healthy development of the child is required. Neither parent should criticize the other, as it confuses the child. (Pearson, 179)Thus, in conclusion, it should be stated that even there are many reasons for divorce the worst affected are the children. Thus, the society and the authorities must work together to combat this social problem for a better future.
Rauch, Jonathan; Society Has a Compelling Interest in Allowing Gay Marriage; “For Better or Worse?” New Republic, May 6, 1996.
Benjamin, Michael & Howard H. Irving; Research in family mediation: Review and implications; Mediation Quarterly; VL, 13, 1; 53-82; 1995.
Walker, Janet A; Family conciliation in Great Britain: From research to practice to research; Conflict Resolution Quarterly; 19, 24; 29-54; 1989.
Hetherington, E. Mavis; Stress and coping in children and families; New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development; 84; 24; 6-33; 2001.
Pearson, Jessica; The equity of mediated divorce agreements; Conflict Resolution Quarterly; 9, 2; 179-197; 2004.