The Impact of Divorce: Is it Contagious?

Can divorce be contagious? If my girlfriends are leaving their husbands, should I?  What if my husband’s mates are all single?  Will he want to be single, too? Divorce can be a moot word.  It can bring an enormous amount of uneasiness when spoken about in certain circles.  But, why is there a negative stigma when it comes to divorce?

We have lived in a society where people get married, have children and then stay together until ‘death do us part’.  The 21st Century has presented us with different options.  As divorce rates grow, so do our families, with step-children, step-parents and co-parents.  But with the 21st Century and its ideals, why do we still cringe when we hear that someone is getting a divorce?

Someone came up to me the other day and said, “I had no idea you were divorced.  I am really sorry.  I didn’t know.”

I responded probably quite unusually according to society’s majority with, “that’s okay – I have never been happier!”

I guess everyone has different views about divorce, especially if children are involved.  I think that is really the worst part of divorce – if children are involved.  All children want is their families to be in one place at one time.  Even though children are very resilient and can cope with change sometimes easier than adults, they still want a family unit.

Is that the reason why we cringe when we hear someone is getting a divorce- if children are involved?  ‘Oh, those poor children.’  ‘But what about the children!’

Psychologists have proven that it is healthier to separate than to argue in front of children.  It is not healthy for children to grow up in a hostile, angry and an unbalanced environment.  Children can also sense when there is a coldness in the room.  Even if a couple ignores and avoids each other it is an unhealthy environment for the children as well as the couple.  Children learn and model everything.  If love and friendship is not present in a couple’s relationship the children WILL be affected.  It will affect them with their interpersonal relationships both same sex and opposite sex patterns.

The impact of divorce on a family unit should not go amiss.  Divorce affects everyone differently.  And, there are many reasons why people get a divorce.  Sometimes it is a healthy choice for your children when separating from a toxic person.  Perhaps someone in the family doesn’t take the parenting role seriously.  For whatever the reason, I do not think we should judge people for having to go through something traumatic and stressful such as divorce.  Whether or not children are involved divorce is still stressful.

Hopefully we will realise why the divorce rates have gone up drastically.  Perhaps we should reconsider how we got into the relationship in the first place.  Co-dependent relationships often take us on the journey down the road to divorce.

Divorce is not catchy, nor is it a toxic plague.  Divorce is a break-free clause that is given to married folk who need a get out of jail card… literally.  Some choose to break free and some people are thrown into it without choice.  Whether you choose to leave your partner or your partner took it upon himself to leave you- it still hurts.

If you or anyone you know needs support please contact us.  We have plenty of counsellors who have experience with couples counselling and divorce support.

Jessica Valentine is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist who supports people within the local community and worldwide online. She offers online Skype therapy and face-to-face counselling in East Sussex, Brighton-Hove.

skype: JessValentine
follow her on Twitter, FB and IG: @getwellbrighton

Leave a Reply