The Impact of Unwanted Divorce Vs Death of a spous Essay

This essay has a total of 1543 words and 8 pages.


The Impact of Unwanted Divorce Vs Death of a spouse





The Impact of Unwanted Divorce Vs Death of a spouse

When someone is confronted with legal separation from the person to whom they’ve
committed their adult life, it may seem as though their whole life is disintegrating right
before their eyes, especially if they’re not the one choosing the separation. The
future stops existing, and only an empty present looms ahead. For some, the feelings
evoked by a divorce and the issues that surround it pass relatively quickly; for others,
the anguish and consequences last for years.

Many people who have suffered through the emotional trauma of divorce strongly believe
that losing a spouse as a result of an unwanted divorce has had a greater impact on their
emotional health and well being than losing a spouse in death. A significant number of
therapists and other psychiatric professionals agree, for they understand that divorce is
far more than just a legal process. (Rich and Schwartz)

Essentially, when one spouse divorces another, he or she is rejecting their partner,
physically and emotionally as well as legally. This rejection can be emotionally
devastating to the spouse who doesn’t want a divorce, and can inflict even more
psychic damage than death, for the widow or widower of a deceased spouse knows that their
partner did not choose to die.

Along with these feelings of rejection, the spouse who wanted to stay married also often
feels betrayed. Their partner vowed to love and honor them forever, and to stand by them
in sickness and in health, and to devote their lives to them. With divorce, all of that
is taken away. Those promises of love, fidelity, and companionship are broken, by the
choice of the spouse pursuing the divorce. In contrast, when death takes away a spouse,
it is certainly not by choice.

Like those who have just been widowed, newly divorced people may be grief-stricken, and
emotionally anxious about how they’ll live from now on. They will perhaps be angry,
guilty, depressed, or all three. They will almost certainly feel apprehensive about
having to handle many of the daily tasks of living with which they may have little or no
experience, or may have taken for granted.

Unlike the widowed, however, they still must deal with the reality of having a living
ex-spouse who will almost certainly cross their path frequently in the months immediately
following the decision to divorce, and perhaps well beyond that. This is one of the most
difficult factors many divorced people face. It can be very hard to see their ex-spouse,
especially if the ex-spouse is in a new relationship.

The impact of divorce, then, shouldn’t be underestimated. Even in a day and culture
where the breakdown of marriages is commonplace and divorces an accepted occurrence,
marriage is still sacrosanct. Weddings are still built upon oaths of commitment, and
marriages are still legally and emotionally binding. Even the most cynical people go into
marriage with the expectation and hope that their partner will be the right one, and work
towards developing a life together on the basis that the relationship will be permanent.
Accordingly, it’s a very serious business when the marriage falls apart.

Examining this issue from a male perspective, it should be noted that when marriages break
down many men find it hard to talk about it and often adopt a macho attitude and act like
it doesn’t bother them all that much, when inside they are dying. In fact, studies
have revealed that many men will still be struggling with problems relating to divorce and
separation ten years after the event.

Furthermore, the fact that men often receive much less emotional support from friends,
family, and co-workers is a major reason why, when marriages break up, many men develop
severe emotional problems which can eventually effect their health. Studies indicate that
the emotional trauma of divorce stresses the human mind and body as much and sometimes
more than the loss of a spouse through death, which lowers the immune system’s
defenses to physical disease. Therefore it is no wonder that three separate studies found
higher rates of infectious disease and cancer among persons undergoing marital disruption.
(Larson and Larson)

Another ramification of unwanted divorce, which is often overlooked, is the effect
of parental separation upon children. Long-term studies indicate that for children,
divorce produces emotional trauma that often endures for life. Further intensifying the
impact of divorce in our culture is the fact that more than one million children each year
experience the breakup of their families. Unwanted divorce means the disintegration of a
child’s fundamental security base his family which can be terribly traumatic, not
only for

the children, but for the parents as well, especially if one of them wanted to save the marriage.
These children often experience a sense of profound rejection, abandonment, fear, and
anger. Many even feel guilty, somehow holding themselves responsible for their
parent’s divorce. Children from disrupted households are more likely to be involved
in crime, given that criminal behavior is more strongly tied to disrupted family structure
than even income level. Other studies also indicate a relationship between divorce and
teen suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, and poor school performance.

This emotional suffering experienced by the children of a shattered marriage can exact a
terrible emotional toll on the parent who didn’t want the divorce, for, unlike when
a mother or father dies, the children often blame one or both parents for a divorce. When
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