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What Do Children Win When You Divorce?

March 12, 2012

In North America, the divorce rate is hovering right around the 50% rate. If you also consider that there are  many breakups between people who for one reason or another never got officially married, I would be willing to bet that the “divorce” rate is right around 55%. Somewhere around 15% of those marriages do not have children, so for todays posting would you allow me to speculate that right around 40% of our populations children are affected by divorce? OK, good. So 40% of our populations children are affected by divorce, what percentage of those children do you think have parents that actually work together?

Less than you would like to think

for the first five years of my divorce I struggled greatly with the notion that I was the only person in the world that had an ex that absolutely did not want to co-operate  for the betterment of the children. Society told me that women are the best parents and they always do what is best for the kids. believing this to be true, I made it clear that I wanted to work together and offered many suggestions of what we could do to make our divorce easier on our children. I truly believed the suggestions to my ex-wife would, if met with co-operation, greatly benefit our children. Unfortunately,  my suggestions for co-parenting were met with disapproval and ridicule. In fact, my ex-wife would actually do the exact opposite of what I had suggested. For example, back in January of 2009, I let my ex-wife know that I had taken away our eldest son’s cellphone because he had abused the privilege and had disregarded the guidelines set forth with that privilege. I felt that because I was paying the bill, I had the right to take it away, and felt that it was a great opportunity to teach him a valuable lesson for later in life.  I won’t tell you of the response, but will tell you that in less than five days, our son had a brand new blackberry with all the bells and whistles. I wonder, would you be surprised to know that because of what he was taught in that one incident, our relationship has dissolved, even though I have worked diligently, trying to counter what he was taught.

I was shocked as I began to learn that this is actually commonplace in divorce.

As Fathers Aware became a reality,  I began to study divorce, take parenting classes, talk to men and women about their current situation, and found that I am definitely not the only parent that struggles with an ex that refuses to let the past go and do what is best for the children. In fact, I have found, through the research I have conducted, in over 95% of divorced couples, at least one of the parents would rather fight their ex than do what they can to help set their children up for success. Lying, manipulation, verbal and mental abuse is not just something happening in my divorce, it is happening in most divorces. No, I’m not kidding, innocent children are exposed to this everyday, and are taking the negative effects with them into adolescence and adulthood. Because of the unwillingness between parents to work together as they go through divorce, their children are actually learning the opposite of what they need so they can become successful later in life.

Don’t these parents see what they are doing?

Statistics prove that when children are affected by divorce, the incidents of drug and alcohol abuse rise significantly, not to mention physical and mental abuse. Cases of adolescents dropping out of school rises and so does the rate of suicide. Criminal activity goes up by at least 20% and the chances of having unhealthy relationships that end in breakup or divorce goes up significantly. Doubt the research? My parents divorced when I was twelve. By the time I was fourteen, I was using and selling drugs, stealing cars, breaking into homes, I did not finish school and now, at  forty-one years old, after years of hard work I am finally in the first healthy relationship of my life. Not only have I experienced what the research proves, but I see it happening every day, not only in other children, but my own children as well. The unfortunate thing is that no matter how hard I work to help my two boys, without the co-operation of their mother, they will always be held back from experiencing life at it fullest. When we  teach a child something negative, it needs to be countered with something positive twenty times.

Failure is what children win when you divorce……..and we keep doing it

I know for some of you reading this you might think it’s harsh, but it’s actually honest, this is what is going on. Be a part of Fathers Aware and make sure you hold your friends and family accountable. If someone you know is divorced and acting in a way that is not positive for the kids, say something, let them know what can happen. It is time to put an end to the way children are affected when adults get divorced, children are our future after all.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2012 10:38

    OMG I wish you would talk to my friend and tell him he doesn’t have to stay because of the kids in a bad relationship and he won’t be the only one.


  1. The Effects of Divorce on Children | Therapy Stew

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