Are you struggling in your marriage? Does divorce appear to be looming on the horizon? Have you been thinking about getting a marriage family counselor?
Is divorce really the answer to an unhappy marriage? At first glance, a person in an unhappy marriage may appear to be happier after the demise of the marriage, but what is the long term effect?
Recently, a report by the Institute for American Values, a private, nonpartisan family think tank, had this to say about the idea that divorce makes an unhappy person happy:
“In popular discussion and in scholarly literature, the assumption has always been that if a marriage is unhappy, if you get a divorce, it is likely you will be happier than if you stayed married,” said David Blankenhorn of the Institute. “This is the first time this has been tested empirically, and [the tests show that] there is no evidence to support this assumption.”
University of Chicago sociologist Linda Waite headed a team of researchers who conducted a study that analyzed the relationship between marriage, divorce, and unhappiness. The team used data collected by the National Survey of Family and Households that had interviewed 5,232 married people in the late 1980s. The total of unhappy marriages: 645. Five years later, 167 had divorced or separated, and 478 had remained married.
The research shows that unhappily married adults who got a divorce were, in the end, no happier than those who had stayed married. The 13 factors they measured the level of happiness on in these adults included self-esteem, personal mastery, depression, purpose in life and alcohol drinks per day.
Divorce causes many problems. Those issues include poverty, depression, poor health and a greater likelihood of suicide. Men who are divorced have higher rates of mental illness and death due to accidents and suicide than married men. Along with that, divorced fathers who do not live with their children are more likely to engage in behaviors that compromise their health. A study of children’s home environments found that divorced mothers often cannot give their children the same level of emotional support as married mothers.
Happily married couples are those who continue to invest in the marriage, knowing that for love to flourish, it takes hard work and substantial amounts of creativity. In each situation of the unhappiest marriages reported by the researchers mentioned above who were able to dramatically turn their marriage around and were able to stay together, commitment served as the underlying foundation for a lasting and often a resulting happy marriage at last.
Nineteenth-century author Leo Tolstoy observed, “What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.”
Would you like to make your marriage work? Or do you believe divorce is the answer? Would you like to weigh the issue and see what research has uncovered about divorce and/or staying married? My website has resources that can help a person in a troubled marriage figure out how to save their marriage and rekindle their relationship.
Angela Edwards lives in the Pacific Northwest, along Washington State’s beautiful coastline.
Author: Angela Edwards
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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