Kids: The Forgotten Casualties of Divorce

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Although it is not easy to decide to marry someone and spend the rest of your life with that person, the decision to end a marriage is beyond words. It is one of life’s tough decisions which has to be made for those who experience shattered relationships.

This particular decision is made after spending what seems like ages in thinking, re-thinking, backing off, anger, lots of tears, doubt, fear of the future and then accepting the breakup, and it doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong, it doesn’t matter who started it or who ended it, whether the decision was made in haste or after extensive trials, whether the people involved parted politely or rudely, what remains is the loss of extensive feelings invested in someone. This loss is more pronounced when there are kids involved, they are the innocent casualties of divorce which should be handled with care, the bystanders who watch their beloved turn into ugly creatures at times, who don’t know whom to blame; their parents or themselves.

A lot of parents get too involved in their wars against each other, they fight in front of the kids or hide from them, they might take it out on them, and some might even use them as weapons against each other. And no matter how the parents are mentally developed or highly educated; once the fire ignites, the flames don’t die except when everything is burnt…….looking at people around, I see a lot of people who love their kids so much but act stupidly and mercilessly when it comes to parting with their spouses, they look at divorce from a financial view or wait for revenge, they don’t see that they carve an emotional scar which could leave an everlasting imprint on their offspring.

But generally, people perceive marital breakups in an absolute contradictory ways, some people would try to avoid it and resort to reconciling for the sake of kids, some just live their lives separately but under the same roof, while others see that there is no religion which forces a man and a woman to stay connected after they lost the bond of marriage and became strangers. But, what about the impact of divorce on kids?  Who would make that choice for them? how could guarantee that staying together even after things collapse is best for the kids? who could guarantee that divorce would destroy the kids completely? Who is to say?

There are millions of studies conducted by millions of psychologists who vary in their opinions. Their view is based on case studies; some underestimate the damage while other studies exaggerate about the hard hit effects of divorce. But the one logical opinion in this matter is that its all up to the parents, how they deal with a breakup, how they convey their feelings about their spouses to their kids, how they eliminate the guilt. They have to separate between their personal feelings and the relationship of the kids with the other parent, of course with the blessing and support of their family and friends.

But this is absolutely true in an ideal world, the common trend in our society is that the x-couple hide in silence wrapped up in their own feelings of loss or anger letting it seep to their kids, they chose not to speak about the reasons or talk to them about how they feel.

For other people, the x-couple could be very civilized and understanding, they might part as friends, they sit and talk about their kid’s problems and discuss their future together, but the people around them might be the reason the kids could develop an inferiority complex. The way family or friends might treat the kids as aliens making the kids feel unwelcome in some homes or on the contrary, spoil them rotten in an attempt to compensate for the breakup.

I read an article on the internet which says that “the debate is no longer about whether divorce is good or bad for the kids, it’s more like looking at the aspects of divorce. How can there not be an effect? but parents have a lot to do with that effect”. And I add that the whole society should be aware of the reasons and learn how to treat the kids right and not just halt at the idea of rejecting divorce, divorced women or kids brought up with a single parent. Life for post-divorce kids is not custody issues or financial burdens, if there is a big chunk of our society struck by divorce, then at least let’s save post-divorce kids and raise them in a stable environment.

Just like any other change occurring in our lives which force us to learn, there are lessons which could be learned from divorce too. We could teach kids to try so hard before giving up but to acknowledge the proper time for giving up, we could teach them to accept that life might bring sudden changes or we could point out their parents’ mistakes so they could avoid them and establish successful and intimate relationships when they grow up, and above all, we could teach them how to stand up again by being an example ourselves.

Behind every door there are different stories, different incompatibilities, different ethics and different failures; therefore, there are no explicit and definite rules which certify that kids brought up with both parents under the same roof are much better than those of divorced parents; it all depends on the supervision and guidance of parents, married or divorced. They are the ones who assist and direct their kids, no matter how hurt they are themselves.


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