Continuing with the myths of divorce post from Rutgers University’s National Marriage Project:
8. Myth: “Because they are more cautious in entering marital relationships and also have a strong determination to avoid the possibility of divorce, children who grow up in a home broken by divorce tend to have as much success in their own marriages as those from intact homes.” Marriages of children of divorce actually have a much higher rate of divorce than the marriages of children from intact families. A major reason for this, according to a recent study, is that children learn about marital commitment or permanence by observing their parents. In the children of divorce, the sense of commitment to a lifelong marriage has been undermined.
9. Myth: “Following divorce, the children involved are better off in stepfamilies than in single-parent families.” The evidence suggests that stepfamilies are no improvement over single-parent families, even through typically income levels are higher and there is a father figure in the home. Stepfamilies tend to have their own set of problems, including interpersonal conflicts with new parent figures and a very high risk of family breakup.
10. Myth: “Being very unhappy at certain points in a marriage is a good sign that the marriage will eventually end in divorce.” All marriages have their ups and downs. Recent research using a large national sample foudn that eighty-six percent of people who were unhappily married in the late 1980s, and stayed with the marriage, indicated when interviewed five years later that they were happier. Indeed, three-fifths of the formerly unhappily married couples rated their marriages as either “very happy” or “quite happy”.
Extra Myth: “It is usually men who initiate divorce proceedings.” Two-thirds of all divorces are initiated by women. Reasons for this vary and are somewhat speculative. Women tend to receive custody by agreement in many cases, so they have more reason to file the divorce. Also, husbands are more likely than wives to have problems with drinking, drug abuse, and infidelity, creating the impetus for the wife to initiate the divorce.