When is divorce a good thing?
Couples go through many challenges which can cause them to contemplate divorce. The cost of a divorce make it seems easy for individuals contemplating the process. For example, there is a fee to file a divorce, and to get a summons. As of August 15, 2012, the filing fee is $200.00, plus a $15.00 surcharge, and a summons costs $5.00. Notifying your spouse, called service of process, can cost around $30.00 or more if he or she lives far away. There is only one occasion when divorce is considered a good thing.
Researchers report that divorce can cause advantages and hardships on the man and woman as well as other members of the family. After divorce, women experience less stress and better adjustment in general than do men. The reasons for this are that:
- Women are more likely to notice marital problems and to feel relief when such problems end
- Women are more likely than men to rely on social support systems and help from others
- Women are more likely to experience an increase in self-esteem when they divorce and add new roles to their lives.
It seems that women have an advantage as a result of divorce.
Men are usually confronted with greater emotional adjustment problems when compared to women. The reasons for this are related to:
- The loss of intimacy
- The loss of social connection, reduced finances
- The common interruption of the parental role.
Men are initially more negative about divorce than women and devote more energy in attempting to salvage the marriage.
However, it appears that children suffer the most from divorce. Children of divorce suffer from depression, school failures, and tend to get into more trouble with law enforcement. Children with depression and conduct disorders show these problems because there was parental conflict that pre-dates the divorce.
New evidence reveals that both boys and girls equally have a hard time as a result of the divorce. Boys are more externally symptomatic than girls, they act out their anger, frustration and hurt. They may get into trouble in school, fight more with peers and parents. Girls tend to internalize their distress. They may become depressed, develop headaches or stomach aches, and have changes in their eating and sleeping patterns.
People divorce for many reasons. According to Marriage.com, the top reasons for divorce include:
- Infidelity. Extra-marital affairs are responsible for the breakdown of most marriages that end in divorce.
- Money. Money makes people funny, or so the saying goes, and it’s true.
- Lack of communication.
- Constant arguing.
- Weight gain.
- Unrealistic expectations.
- Lack of intimacy.
- Lack of equality.
Even though these are the top reasons, it is the response to these problems that causes more divorces. Couples who desire to avoid divorce must better control their anger. However, there are instances when controlling anger as a prerequisite to divorce is not possible.
According to the Holy bible, the only reason that people should consider divorce is infidelity. In the Old Testament, adultery was understood as sexual relations between a married (or betrothed) woman and man other than her husband. It was therefore a sin against the husband. In the New Testament, Jesus extended the definition of adultery to include sexual relations between a married man and a woman other than his wife. Jesus said, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11-12).
People often wonder if an exception is allowed. However, the Bible doesn’t mention any possible exceptions. Therefore, if a couple is legally married, sex with anyone else is considered adultery. The Bible mentions that adultery is grounds for divorce but does not require it. In many cases, the husband and wife can be reconciled, and the marriage saved after adultery. It is not a sin to continue to live with and have sex with a spouse who has committed adultery therefore avoiding divorce.
Dr. Derrick and Minister Sheila Campbell
PO Box 4707
Cherry Hill, NJ 08012
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