Originally Posted by ThisCat
Don't be sorry. I'm glad I had my dad around. He tried to be a good father, but he simply didn't consider that a divorce could have any kind of profound impact on his kids and it seems many people agree with him. Nothing was because of the divorce but because of this that or the other. I think the divorce and that lack of consideration are tied together.
I don't know anybody, in this thread or elsewhere, who would never consider that a divorce could have a profound impact on a child...not ever. Nobody in this thread has said so, either, so I have no idea where you're getting that from. What we're saying is that divorce doesn't screw up kids. Some
divorces screw up some
kids and that depends on the nature of the divorce, the parents and the kids themselves.
Since I scheduled ds1 to see the school counsellor upon my divorce, it's fairly obvious that I knew it could
have a profound effect on him. But, it didn't.
|I don't really consider that marriage low conflict then. You made it sound like your dad just had some undesirable traits not that there was that much turmoil in your family unless it was in an earlier post I missed. My point was you still would have known those traits with or without the divorce. The fact that there was such conflict in your family though takes it to a different level.
My dad is an alcoholic, but those traits (the irresponsibilty, immaturity, etc.) are 99.9% of what caused the conflict. The actual drinking wasn't that big a deal (and my stepdad drinks quite a lot, too). The point is that there wasn't much visible conflict. My mom was very unhappy. That's 99% (or more) of what I saw. (I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that your dad probably wasn't happy, either, or he wouldn't have wanted a divorce, yk?)
|Anyway, my sister and I had no idea my parent's marriage was problematic for either of them and so many of my friends had the same experience with their parent's divorce. None of us ever wished our parents split. So I am coming at this from a completely different POV.
I get that. But, whether you knew about it or not, there were
problems, and you don't know how they would have played out.
|I think we're talking in circles on this issue or splitting hairs or something.
I don't think it's splitting hairs. I think that saying "divorce screws kids up" is a gross oversimplification of a very complicated issue. Divorce is a major life change. Major life changes are hard. We could just as easily say "moving screws kids up" (sometimes it does), but that doesn't make it that simple.
|I wasn't speculating about what actually happened in your specific case and no one has any idea what would have happened if the divorce happened sooner. I was just pointing out that just because parents divorce doesn't necessarily make the problems go away or change anyone. I know many people that have ended up right back in the same situation or worse after a divorce.
You're right. Nobody knows what would have happened if my parents had divorced sooner. But, nobody knows what would have happened if your parents hadn't divorced, either...or if my parents never had, or if a previous poster's BIL (think it was) hadn't abandoned her niece, etc. etc. etc. Nobody knows. But, we look at divorce stats and how the lives of the children from those homes turned out, and we say "divorce screws up kids".
Familes where the parents are divorced are all
made up of families where at least one parents was unhappy - maybe it was abuse or addiction or maybe it was "just" selfishness, or maybe it was something else entirely, but at least one parent was unhappy. That parent was then either unhappy enough to take the step of ending the marriage, or selfish/immature/whatever enough to not even see that as a really big step (and yes, I do know someone like this, and her kids are well and truly on their way to "screwed up"...but it's not because she got a divorce). When looking at kids from divorced parents vs. non-divorced parents, we're looking at samples that were already different from each other before
divorce ever entered the picture.
Divorce is a life change, and an upheaval. It doesn't, in and of itself, screw kids up. How it's handled screws kids up. Things that go on after the fact screw kids up. Things leading up to the divorce screw kids up. Simply making the decision to end it? Not so much...at least not as some kind of natural law.