As with most life transitions, divorce can be liberating, depressing, frustrating, or traumatic to any person who experiences it. Perhaps the most painful part on the process of divorce is when the children get involved and when they all get trapped in the situation. These children may suffer significant losses in their lives and unless the situation can be handled in a civil manner, they will become prone to the psychological torment that could affect them for the rest of their lives. The issue of divorce however is becoming more and more intense since for the past ten years the divorce rate in the United States has skyrocketed to a record high of almost fifty- percent. It is also believed that the divorce rate in the United States is the highest in the world and the reason for this are primarily the ever-changing role of the husbands and wives in their household, early marriage, infidelity, extra marital affairs, domestic violence, financial instability and psychological incapacity.
The issue of divorce is not only the main problem in the American society of today. The custody issue on who is going to gain the right to take care of the children wholly is also a tough one. For the past decade, divorce and the custody battle have rapidly become a significant life event for perhaps millions of Americans each year. “There were more than two million divorces each year, affecting 3 million adults and more than two million children (Thompson, Parting 18).” Thus we can prognosticate that the American family of today is definitely ill and is in great need of a revival.
The first and probably the most important step in order for couples to have a solid relationship is education. Education is the key to lowering divorce rate. Divorce is one of those issues where private and personal behavior exacts a huge public cost, “but because divorce and marriage are such intensely personal issues, most citizens are loath to support any program that injects government into the process (Uncoupling 223).” We share the view that new laws or public programs cannot solve this crisis. However, it seems equally clear we cannot sit idle as divorce ravages families and society. Couples who are planning to get married should somehow take a step in advance to learn about the process of marriage and the circumstances that surround it. These can help couples better understand what marriage is all about and it can also help them see some other expectations in their future. Counseling is also an alternative. Marriage counselors can be a great help for couples who are contemplating a marriage.
Presently, the role of both husbands and wives has changed dramatically since the advent of the technological revolution in our society. Women are now often seen in the professional fields than ever before. Men still remain as the chief provider of the family but because of the involvement of their wives in the professional field, their relationship amongst themselves have also began to drift apart. These differences can sometimes lead to divorce. However, divorce can be easily prevented in this kind of situation. Marriage is all about the understanding and the love for each other. In able for a marriage to become healthy, both parties should come together in combining the effort to strengthen their relationship. Time is the most important thing in a relationship. Husbands and wives should try to compensate the time they lost from each other. Time is very useful in maintaining a relationship. It builds up trust and confidence for both parties thus making the marriage foundation firm.
Economic opportunities also seem to be a significant factor in divorce. The rise in divorce closely parallels the increase in the number of women working. Women with a paycheck were less likely to stay in a marriage that wasn’t fulfilling to them. Armed with a measure of economic power, many women had less incentive to stay in a marriage and work out their differences with their husbands.
Moreover, domestic violence has also become a very clear indication of a failed marriage. A lot of us think that it is only a private matter and that we cannot interfere with the issue but we must take a stand on preventing it. “Women who suffer abuse do not only feel the physical pain but also a psychological and emotional pain as well (Trish Wilson <a href=”http://www.feminista.com/v1n4/twilson.html”>http://www.feminista.com/v1n4/twilson.html).” An abused woman should not focus on leaving her abuser. She should try to work out some alternatives to save her from the hands of her abuser and to save the integrity of her marriage as well. Her focus should be on doing what is necessary for her to get her life in order. Her physical, psychological, and emotional health need to be restored and stabilized. She will need to get her finances in order and with renewed strength will come her resolve to better protect herself and her children. People should also campaign against domestic violence because that is the only way of educating people about it. These campaigns may also save marriages and it may also lessen the problem in our society.
Another issue is the high numbers of extra marital affairs and infidelity cases in marriages today. It can be argued that with sexual infidelity comes as a lack of respect for the other partner and blatant disloyalty in the marriage. This may not sustain the assumption that sexual fidelity is synonymous with loyalty, but it does allude to the idea that the concepts are interlocked. In this example, it is imperative to locate the root of negative feelings in the relationship instead of assuming that it stems from the act of sexual infidelity. “To most couples, love, sex, and jealousy will seem a perfectly natural, even inevitable threesome, intimately associated with contemporary marriage. Jealousy is primarily a learned response, determined by cultural attitudes. Jealousy is aroused in relation to that which you already posses. No one person can ever “own” another person.” (O’Neill 239-40) It appears that what you are jealous about, you infer a feeling of ownership to. Marriage is not an institution for owning a person; it is for becoming partners with that person. In the case where jealousy is the reaction of the sexual infidelity, great care should be taken to re-evaluate the cause for this emotion. Another negative and most common feeling that arises is that of distrust. Trust is a two-way street. Both partners must not only trust, but also be trustworthy through sharing experiences with one another.
Marriage is a very joyful event in a person’s life. However, unless much can be done in order to redefine the status of what marriage is all about, divorce and other marital problems will continue to arise tremendously. Divorce is tumultuous event in a married couple’s life. It does not only affect the financial status of the household, but rather it also affects the people that comprises the family especially the children. Families are experiencing many problems today, but the role of divorce in this picture has been frequently overlooked because its destructive effects have been subtle, yet insidious. When the divorce rate increased in the 1960s, few would have predicted its dire consequences three decades later. Yet divorce has changed both the structure and the impact of the family. Intimacy, time, effort trust and love is the key to have a peaceful and healthy relationship. Marriage for life is God’s ideal, but divorce is a reality in our society.