Free Essay on Causes of Divorce

Free example essay on Causes of Divorce:

It is difficult to gain perspective on assumptions about a subject that is such a prominent social concern and, for many, a very personal concern. Our views about children and divorce force us to examine our beliefs about family and child rearing. Any discussion of divorce inevitably confronts us with views on “normal” families and healthy child rearing.
Divorce is undoubtedly one of the greatest stresses a human being can experience. It is second only to the distress suffered from the loss of a loved one through death. We must acknowledge that the pain of divorce is understandable and normal. Anyone approaching divorce with calm and composure is probably not facing the situation realistically.
The decision to terminate an unhappy marriage through obtaining a divorce is almost never an easy decision. It is usually reached only after other options and alternatives have been carefully considered and then rejected as non-viable solutions to the problems that have developed between the spouses. In a survey conducted by Thibaut and Kelly, 500 previously divorced respondents listed one or more reasons why they felt their marriage had failed and of these 500, 168 listed infidelity on the part of the spouse as the most important reason (Emery, 1999).

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Most often, it was the husband who became involved with another woman and was unable or unwilling to terminate the relationship. Researchers report very different experiences for men and women in terms of frequency and type of extra-marital involvement. For example, three-fourths of the men and one-fourth of the women indicated that they had been involved in an extra-marital affair. For men, the first occurrence was usually early in the marriage without the awareness of the wife. Serious emotional involvements usually did not occur until the middle years and these affairs resulted in some important personality and behavioral changes. These changes were consequential in consequential in precipitating the divorce action. Women typically became involved in an affair as a means of affirming themselves as women, but these involvements tended not to be the major factors that led to the decision to divorce. With the respondents, however, the difference between males and females were not significant (Hayes, Stinnett, and DeFrain, 1980).

Divorce rates differ substantially according to key influences such as race, age, and education. Blacks are more likely to divorce than are whites, but blacks are particularly more likely to separate and live apart from their spouse without legal divorce (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992). Other influential factors include age at first marriage and income. The risk for divorce declines with increasing age at first marriage, such that divorce rates are two to four times higher among women who marry before age 20 in contrast to women who marry after age 30 (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992). Divorce rates decline somewhat with increased education, for example, those who have graduated from high school or college have lower divorce rates than those who complete only part of either educational experience, thus suggesting that a personality characteristic may be linked both with completing high school and remaining married (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1992).

Divorce is likely to be followed by remarriage. Statistics indicate that three out of every four divorced men and two out of three divorced women eventually remarry(Sweet & Bumpass, 1987) and almost 60% of second marriages end in divorce, which therefore indicates that divorce is more likely following a second than a first marriage(Glick, 1984). In 1990, the average number of years of a first marriage that ended in divorce was approximately 8 years, but the average was five to six years for second marriages and about two years less than that for third marriages (National Center for Health Statistics, 1995).

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