Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Divorced Kids' Marital Stigma

Elizabeth Marquardt, one of my favorite writers about divorce, writes of the anecdotal evidence that children of divorce are having trouble marrying because they are regarded by potential partners as damaged goods. The divorce stigma is mostly gone for the divorced, but has passed on to the next generation.

It is true that children of divorce are more likely to divorce themselves. They are more likely to rush into marriage impulsively, or delay (and cohabit) endlessly, trying to be sure. In either case, they are likely to doubt that they themselves know how to marry. They expect that any fight could lead to good-bye.

It is also true, though, that a good marriage is the most healing of institutions. Divorce is not inevitable for the children of divorce. Millions of divorced kids have made successful marriages, ending the cycle.

The best tool for overcoming the causes of divorce is to know what they are and communicate directly about the problems. If the problem is communication itself, as it so often is, meta-communicate about how you are communicating. Every marital problem has a work-around, if both people want to stay married.

The divorced-kids' stigma is not unfounded. But it is not a doom, either.

1 comment:

Pastor Dennis said...

I wonder if this "stigma" is part of the cause of the reduction in the marriage rate.