Will I Ever Be Happy Again After Divorce?
I've heard divorce will destroy me and my kids forever. Is that true?
No, in the vast majority of cases that is not true.
Often churches have been given misinformation about the effects of divorce on divorcees and children. They will tell you that you will never be happy again; your next marriage will end tragically too because "you'll bring your problems into the next marriage"; and that your kids will be destroyed, have drug/alcohol/behavior problems and their marriages will fail too. But all of this is incorrect.
One of the leading researchers on divorce, Dr. Mavis Hetherington, wrote, “In the early period, the ‘left’ spouses were the most unhappy and resentful, but by the end of the second year, there were few differences between those left and the ‘leavers’… [In] the second year there was an upsurge in emotional wellbeing as people began to adapt to their new life situation.” —Hetherington and Kelly, For Better or For Worse, p. 150-151
Bradford Wilcox, the senior fellow for the Institute for Family Studies, wrote that two years after the divorce, 50% of parents turn out fine, too, and 20% turn out much happier after a divorce. —W. Bradford Wilcox, Institute for Family Studies
According to 20 years of research, none of the fear-bombing is true for the vast majority of people who need to escape from long destructive or unfaithful marriages. There is research showing that you are likely to be happier if you leave a long destructive marriage. In fact, a study using Baylor University data, shows that 7 in 10 Christians are happy after divorce, that includes all divorces, both life-saving and not. And remember: Baylor is the largest Baptist university in the world. See the graph below.
KIDS AND DIVORCE
Research has shown that nearly 8 in 10 kids turn out fine after divorce, with no serious long-term psychological, emotional, or social problems.
And in fact, researchers have also found that the worse the marriage, the better divorce is for kids (and conversely, if you marriage is kind and loving, divorce is horrible for kids).
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