12 POSITIVE OUTCOMES OF LIFE-SAVING DIVORCES...THAT NOBODY TOLD US

 

Believe it or not, most Americans place a high value on marriage. We long for a marriage that is loving, faithful, and lifelong. But we also believe divorce may be necessary in some cases.

 

You know the kind of situations I mean. You've heard the terrible stories. Although we are generally against divorce, we believe that divorce may be the merciful, life-affirming, and just option in these cases. 

Many of us came from religious or traditional homes where divorce was seen as a personal failure or as a sign of moral decay in society, like another celebrity "Hollywood divorce." Our church leaders didn't tell us that some divorces were vital to save the parents and children's lives and sanity.  In fact, they didn't tell us these 12 facts about the good side of divorce in cases where there are serious problems such as serial infidelity, violence, coercion, abandonment, neglect of duty, abuse, or squandering the family rent money on addictions.

 

12 Facts About the Good Side of Divorce

 

1. 30 years of research shows that divorce is actually good for kids (on average) where the home has physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, high distress, or high conflict. http://lifesavingdivorce.com/abuse-and-kids
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2. Making divorce easier to obtain in the 1970s-80s saved lives. It reduced the suicide rate for wives by 8-16%, the domestic violence rate by 30%, and the homicide rate for wives by 10%. (Stevenson and Wolfers, http://www.lifesavingdivorce.com/divorcesaveslives)
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3. Divorce Saves Lives. When “no fault” divorce laws started passing one state at a time, starting with Governor Ronald Reagan in California in 1969, researchers wanted to see the effect. In states that passed unilateral no-fault divorce, they observed the suicide rate for wives drop 8-16%. The domestic violence rate by and against both men and women dropped 30%. The homicide rate of women murdered by an intimate dropped 10%. Stevenson and Wolfers, “Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics (Feb. 2006): 267. http://www.lifesavingdivorce.com/divorcesaveslives)
Divorce Saves Lives. When “no fault” divorce laws started passing one state at a time, starting with Governor Ronald Reagan in California in 1969, researchers wanted to see the effect. In states that passed unilateral no-fault divorce, they observed the suicide rate for wives drop 8-16%. The domestic violence rate by and against both men and women dropped 30%. The homicide rate of women murdered by an intimate dropped 10%. Stevenson and Wolfers, “Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce Laws and Family Distress,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics (Feb. 2006): 267, 286.
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4. Divorce resulted in 10 times better wellbeing for children in very high-conflict homes compared to children whose parents stayed. (Amato, see http://www.lifesavingdivorce.com/abuse-and-kids)
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5. Divorce—on average—is good for parents in highly toxic homes. Those in these miserable long marriages find their wellbeing improves on average after divorce. (Hawkins and Booth, see http://www.lifesavingdivorce.com/happy)
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6. Abuse is so destructive to kids, that living 24/7 with a father who displays 3 or more anti-social traits increases the child's likelihood of developing conduct disorders themselves. See the list of 7 traits. (Jaffee, see http://www.lifesavingdivorce.com/Jaffee).
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7. Children who experienced physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or observed abuse, or lived in a home with substance abuse, mental illness, or criminality, were found to have a higher likelihood of serious health problems in adulthood. (Felitti, ACE Study 1998, see http://www.lifesavingdivorce.com/abuse-and-kids).
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8. Seven in 10 Christians report they are “somewhat happy” or “very happy” after divorce (Baylor Religion Survey data, see http://www.lifesavingdivorce.com/happy).
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9. Remember the researcher who found that if you stayed in your unhappy marriage, you'd likely be happy 5 years later? Well, Dr. Waite also found that 1 in 3 couples in her study of miserable marriages did NOT get better in 5 years, specifically those in destructive marriages due to domestic violence. More than 8 in 10 of participants who divorced and remarried were happier in their subsequent marriage. (http://www.lifesavingdivorce.com/waite)
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10. Dr. Judith Wallerstein, who wrote the book The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, wrote that 7 in 10 children of divorce turned out “average” or “very well or outstanding.” She told abused spouses not to "stay for the kids." (http://www.lifesavingdivorce.com/wallerstein)  Quote: “Many judges who deal with such families do not understand that merely witnessing violence is harmful to children; the images are forever etched into their brains. Even a single episode of violence is long remembered in detail. In fact there is accumulating scientific evidence that witnessing violence or being abused physically or verbally literally alters brain development resulting in a hyperactive emotional system.”
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11. Divorced Christians reported higher wellbeing than other types of divorcees, a full “9” on a 10-point scale of life satisfaction (Montenegro, see http://www.lifesavingdivorce.com/happy).
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12. Fewer than 5 in 100 remarriages have a child abuse claim. And while that is still horrifying, it’s still better than being in an abusive home. (If I were in an abusive marriage, I wouldn't let 5-in-100 odds stop me from getting a life-saving divorce.) (NIS4 data 2014)
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BONUS: You rarely hear that most children in abusive homes are relieved when their nurturing parent gets away from the destruction, tension, and chaos. I don’t have a scientific study for this claim, but I did a poll in my 3,000-member private Facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/groups/lifesavingdivorce), and more than 8 in 10 respondents said at least one of their children was supportive they got divorced. Very few were opposed to the divorce, and nearly 1 in 10 parents said they had never asked their children.

 

POLL: Is at least one of your children supportive of you being divorced? Nearly 9 in 10 said YES!

 

BONUS for Christians and Other People of Faith: For those who are religious: we were never told that two Bible verses command divorce where there is abuse and neglect. We weren't told that “God hates divorce” is NOT the traditional interpretation of Malachi 2:16. For the first 2,100 years of Bible translation, it was never interpreted that way. Malachi 2:16 was always an anti-treachery verse, not an anti-divorce verse. And since the publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls fragments of Malachi, no new major Bible translation has used the "God hates divorce" wording, not the English Standard Version (ESV), Christian Standard Bible (CSB), or the New International Version (NIV) 2011 update.

 

Are these guarantees that life will be better after divorce?

No, your mileage may vary. Only you know your situation and can determine that. But the majority of those who get a life-saving divorce and get to safety do find freedom from the chaos and eventually regain their peace and wellbeing.

They may be poorer. They may live in a smaller house. They may have to move and find new friendships. But where there is abuse, many find it to be the only good decision in a destructive situation.


Are you considering a life-saving divorce and need support and clarity? I’d like to invite you to my private Facebook group, "Life-Saving Divorce for Separated or Divorced Christians." Just click the link and ANSWER the 4 QUESTIONS. This is a group for women and men of faith who have walked this path, or are considering it. Supporters and people helpers are also welcome.  I’ve written a book about spiritual abuse and divorce for Christians, The Life-Saving Divorce: Paperback: https://amzn.to/3cF1j25  Or eBook: https://amzn.to/3CCBsnr

Also, sign up for my email list below or HERE


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