I feel that love is worth fighting for. In an article by William Doherty, PhD, professor in the Department of Family Social Science at the University of Minnesota for Psychotherapy Networker magazine recently, he urged Couples Therapists to doubt our neutral view on divorce.
After 30 years of divorce rates exceeding 50%, it is not just a passing trend. With divorce being so common, we must examine its impacts on society and its personal consequences Dr. Doherty writes. Current generations seem to be more concerned with personal happiness and gratification over commitment and social responsibilities.
- The majority of research on children of divorced parents shows that divorce can be difficult for children especially while adapting to changing living situations. Children thrive the most in married, stable, low conflict home environments.
- While divorce can seem like a good solution for an unhappy marriage, it can also create a variety of other problems.
- Many divorcees have said through surveys (40%) that they wonder if they tried hard enough to prevent their divorce and regret it.
Although sometimes divorce may be necessary, why not put every ounce of effort into making it work first? Human beings are built to want human connection and intimacy. Many believe in soulmates. If there is a way to deepen your commitment to your spouse and better communicate, it may be worth trying. I advise couples to work towards healing, growth, and hard work before deciding on divorce.
This statement by Dr. Doherty sums it up, “I like to think of marriage as coming with the conviction that nothing will break us up; that we’ll fight through whatever obstacles get in our way; that if the boat gets swamped, we’ll bail it out; that we’ll recalibrate our individual goals if they get out of alignment; that we’ll share leadership for maintaining and renewing our marriage; that we’ll renovate our marriage if the current version gets stale; that if we fight too much or too poorly, we’ll get help to fight better; that if sex is no longer good, we’ll find a way to make it good again; that we’ll accept each other’s weaknesses that can’t be fixed; and that we’ll take care of each other in our old age.”
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More by Mary Kay Cocharo