What are the Possible Consequences of Divorce for Adults
This is page 1 of 7 page document. The work is the product of the Utah Commission on Marriage. Distinguished members are appointed by the Governor of the State of Utah. They have published this information as a service to the public. Marriage counselors in this country, including SWFL marriage counselors, appreciate the multi-faceted information contained in this report. What follows is a reproduction of this section of their report found at strongermarriage.org
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[I]ndividuals who make the decision to divorce need to be well-informed about its potential costs to themselves, their partners, and their children. When spouses are preoccupied with their own immediate frustrations and disappointment, family experts have a responsibility to remind them of the long-term investment they have in each other and in their children.
- Drs. Linda J. Waite & Maggie Gallagher, noted marriage researchers
Overview: Compared to adults in a stable marriage, divorced adults, on average, have poorer physical and mental health. They experience more social isolation. After a few years, most divorced fathers do not have regular contact with their children. For some divorced adults, new romantic relationships help rebuild self-esteem and happiness, but for others, new romantic relationships end up producing greater feelings of loneliness, unhappiness, and lower self-esteem. Many individuals struggle to manage their emotional ties to their ex-spouse. They continue to be dependent on them for emotional support and practical matters. They remain deeply attached even though the legal ties have been broken. Continuing strong attachment to the ex-spouse makes it harder for adults to adjust to divorce. There are a number of factors that help individuals adjust better to divorce, such as the ability to embrace change.
Parents at the crossroads of divorce have many questions about the possible effects of divorce on their children. But they also have questions about how a divorce might affect them. This chapter examines the research evidence on the effects of divorce on adults.
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