“When I was in fourth grade, my parents sat me down and told me they were getting a divorce. I remember saying, ‘OK’. . . just ‘OK’.” Years later as a high school senior, Jason vividly recalled the long repressed emotions of that abbreviated conversation, a conversation that remained etched in his memory. He was incredulous: “How could they have just accepted ‘OK’? What I wanted to scream was, ‘You’re wrecking my life,’ but I didn’t want to make my parents feel bad.”
Approximately 50% of the couples who marry today will end up divorced, and almost half of all children in the U.S. have seen or will see their parents divorce. In marriages that are empty, conflict-ridden, or even abusive, this is the right decision, but it is still only the better of two painful alternatives. The children, who have no control over the decision to divorce, are often the ones most affected by this decision to reorganize the family.
When I first got divorced, there was a part of me that thought my lifestyle would not change dramatically. I believed that after eighteen years of marriage and raising a young family of four children, I could depend on the courts to ensure that I would have an income which would allow my children and me to remain at the economic level with which we were familiar.