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The Lure of Divorce
Seven years into my marriage, i hit a breaking point — and had to decide whether life would be better without my husband in it..
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In the summer of 2022, I lost my mind. At first, it seemed I was simply overwhelmed because life had become very difficult, and I needed to — had every right to — blow off some steam. Our family was losing its apartment and had to find another one, fast, in a rental market gone so wild that people were offering over the asking price on rent. My husband, Keith, was preparing to publish a book, Raising Raffi, about our son, a book he’d written with my support and permission but that, as publication loomed, I began to have mixed feelings about. To cope with the stress, I asked my psychiatrist to increase the dosage of the antidepressant I’d been on for years. Sometime around then, I started talking too fast and drinking a lot.
I felt invincibly alive, powerful, and self-assured, troubled only by impatience with how slowly everyone around me was moving and thinking. Drinking felt necessary because it slightly calmed my racing brain. Some days, I’d have drinks with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which I ate at restaurants so the drink order didn’t seem too unusual. Who doesn’t have an Aperol spritz on the way home from the gym in the morning? The restaurant meals cost money, as did the gym, as did all the other random things I bought, spending money we didn’t really have on ill-fitting lingerie from Instagram and workout clothes and lots of planters from Etsy. I grew distant and impatient with Keith as the book’s publication approached, even as I planned a giant party to celebrate its launch. At the party, everyone got COVID. I handed out cigarettes from a giant salad bowl — I had gone from smoking once or twice a day to chain-smoking whenever I could get away with it. When well-meaning friends tried to point out what was going on, I screamed at them and pointed out everything that was wrong in their lives. And most crucially, I became convinced that my marriage was over and had been over for years.
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I built a case against my husband in my mind. This book of his was simply the culmination of a pattern: He had always put his career before mine; while I had tended to our children during the pandemic, he had written a book about parenting. I tried to balance writing my own novel with drop-offs, pickups, sick days, and planning meals and shopping and cooking, most of which had always been my primary responsibility since I was a freelancer and Keith had a full-time job teaching journalism. We were incompatible in every way, except that we could talk to each other as we could to no one else, but that seemed beside the point. More relevant: I spent money like it was water, never budgeting, leaving Keith to make sure we made rent every month. Every few months, we’d have a fight about this and I’d vow to change; some system would be put in place, but it never stuck. We were headed for disaster, and finally it came.
Our last fight happened after a long day spent at a wedding upstate. I’d been drinking, first spiked lemonade at lunch alone and then boxed wine during the wedding reception, where I couldn’t eat any of the food — it all contained wheat, and I have celiac disease. When we got back, late, to the house where we were staying, I ordered takeout and demanded he go pick it up for me. Calling from the restaurant, he was incensed. Did I know how much my takeout order had cost? I hadn’t paid attention as I checked boxes in the app, nor had I realized that our bank account was perilously low — I never looked at receipts or opened statements. Not knowing this, I felt like he was actually denying me food, basic sustenance. It was the last straw. I packed a bag as the kids played happily with their cousins downstairs, then waited by the side of the road for a friend who lived nearby to come pick me up, even as Keith stood there begging me to stay. But his words washed over me; I was made of stone. I said it was over — really over. This was it, the definitive moment I’d been waiting for. I had a concrete reason to leave.
A few days later, still upstate at my friend’s house, I had a Zoom call with my therapist and my psychiatrist, who both urged me in no uncertain terms to check myself into a psychiatric hospital. Even I couldn’t ignore a message that clear. My friend drove me to the city, stopping for burgers along the way — I should have relished the burger more, as it was some of the last noninstitutional food I would eat for a long time — and helped me check into NYU Langone. My bags were searched, and anything that could be used as a weapon was removed, including my mascara. I spent my first night there in a gown in a cold holding room with no phone, nothing but my thoughts. Eventually, a bed upstairs became free and I was brought to the psych ward, where I was introduced to a roommate, had blood drawn, and was given the first of many pills that would help me stop feeling so irrepressibly energetic and angry. They started me on lithium right away. In a meeting with a team of psychiatrists, they broke the news: I had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder; they weren’t sure which kind yet. They gave me a nicotine patch every few hours plus Klonopin and Seroquel and lithium.
I wasn’t being held involuntarily, which meant I could write letters on an official form explaining why I ought to be released, which the psychiatrists then had three days to consider. I attached extra notebook pages to the letters explaining that I was divorcing my husband and was terrified I would never be able to see my kids again if I was declared unfit because I was insane. These letters did not result in my release; if anything, they prolonged my stay. I got my phone back — it would soon be revoked again, wisely — but in that brief interim, I sent out a newsletter to my hundreds of subscribers declaring that I was getting a divorce and asking them to Venmo me money for the custody battle I foresaw. In this newsletter, I also referenced Shakespeare. The drugs clearly had not kicked in yet. I cycled through three different roommates, all of whom were lovely, though I preferred the depressed one to the borderline ones. We amused ourselves during the day by going to art therapy, music therapy, and meetings with our psychiatrists. I made a lot of beaded bracelets.
In the meetings with the shrinks, I steadfastly maintained that I was sane and that my main problem was the ending of my marriage. I put Keith, and my mother, on a list of people who weren’t allowed to visit me. Undaunted, Keith brought me gluten-free egg sandwiches in the morning, which I grudgingly ate — anything for a break from the hospital food. My parents came up from D.C. and helped Keith take care of our children. I was in the hospital for a little more than three weeks, almost the entire month of October, longer than I’d ever been away from my kids before in their lives. I celebrated my 41st birthday in the hospital and received a lot of very creative cards that my fellow crazies had decorated during art therapy. Eventually, the drugs began to work: I could tell they were working because instead of feeling energetic, I suddenly couldn’t stop crying. The tears came involuntarily, like vomit. I cried continuously for hours and had to be given gabapentin in order to sleep.
On the day I was released, I didn’t let anyone pick me up. I expected the superhuman strength I’d felt for months to carry me, but it was gone, lithiumed away. Instead, I felt almost paralyzed as I carried my bags to a cab. When I arrived at my apartment, I couldn’t figure out where I should sleep. It didn’t feel like my home anymore. We couldn’t afford to live separately, even temporarily, but the one thing that our somewhat decrepit, inconveniently located new apartment had in its favor was two small attic bedrooms and one larger bedroom downstairs. I claimed this downstairs room for myself and began to live there alone, coming into contact with Keith only when we had to be together with our children.
You might assume that my fixation on divorce would have subsided now that my mental health had stabilized and I was on strong antipsychotic medication. But I still did not want to stay in my marriage. If anything, I felt a newfound clarity: Keith and I had fundamentally incompatible selves. Our marriage had been built on a flaw. My husband was older, more established and successful in his career. These were the facts, so it had to be my job to do more of the work at home. Unless, of course, I decided to take myself and my work as seriously as he took his. But that was unappealing; I had managed to publish three books before turning 40, but I didn’t want to work all the time, like he does.
I wondered if my marriage would always feel like a competition and if the only way to call the competition a draw would be to end it.
We picked the kids up from school and dropped them off, or really mostly Keith did. I appeared at meals and tried to act normal. I was at a loss for what to do much of the time. I attended AA meetings and the DBT meetings required by the hospital outpatient program, and I read. I read books about insanity: Darkness Visible, The Bell Jar, An Unquiet Mind, Postcards From the Edge. I tried to understand what was happening to me, but nothing seemed to resonate until I began to read books about divorce. I felt I was preparing myself for what was coming. The first book I read was Rachel Cusk’s Aftermath, which has become the go-to literary divorce bible since its 2012 publication. In it, Cusk describes the way her life shattered and recomposed after the dissolution of her marriage, when her daughters were still very young. She makes the case for the untenability of her relationship by explaining that men and women are fundamentally unequal. She posits that men and women who marry and have children are perpetually fighting separate battles, lost to each other: “The baby can seem like something her husband has given her as a substitute for himself, a kind of transitional object, like a doll, for her to hold so that he can return to the world. And he does, he leaves her, returning to work, setting sail for Troy. He is free, for in the baby the romance of man and woman has been concluded: each can now do without the other.”
At our relationship’s lowest moments, this metaphor had barely been a metaphor. I remembered, the previous winter, Keith going off on a reporting trip to Ukraine at the very beginning of the war, leaving me and the kids with very little assurance of his safety. I had felt okay for the first couple of days until I heard on the news of bombing very close to where he was staying. After that, I went and bummed a cigarette from a neighbor, leaving the kids sleeping in their beds in order to do so. It was my first cigarette in 15 years. Though that had been the winter before my mania began, I believe the first seeds of it were sown then: leaving the children, smoking the cigarette, resenting Keith for putting himself in harm’s way and going out into the greater world while I tended to lunches, homework, and laundry as though everything were normal.
In Nora Ephron’s Heartburn, as in Aftermath, I found an airtight case for divorce. The husband was the villain and the wife the wronged party, and the inevitable result was splitting up. I felt an echo of this later on when I read Lyz Lenz’s polemic This American Ex-Wife, out this month, marketed as “a deeply validating manifesto on the gender politics of marriage (bad) and divorce (actually pretty good!).” The book begins by detailing how Lenz’s husband rarely did household chores and hid belongings of hers that he didn’t like — e.g., a mug that said WRITE LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER — in a box in the basement. “I didn’t want to waste my one wild and precious life telling a grown man where to find the ketchup,” Lenz writes. “What was compelling about my marriage wasn’t its evils or its villains, but its commonplace horror.”
This was not quite the way I felt. Even though I could not stand to see my husband’s face or hear his voice, even though I still felt the same simmering resentment I had since I entered the hospital, I also found myself feeling pangs of sympathy for him. After all, he was going through this too. When we were inevitably together, at mealtimes that were silent unless the children spoke, I could see how wounded he was, how he was barely keeping it together. His clothes hung off his gaunt frame. And at night, when we passed in the kitchen making cups of tea that we would take to our respective rooms, he sometimes asked me for a hug, just a hug. One time I gave in and felt his ribs through his T-shirt. He must have lost at least 15 pounds.
It began to seem like I only ever talked to friends who had been through divorces or were contemplating them. One friend who didn’t know whether to split up with her husband thought opening their marriage might be the answer. Another friend described the ease of sharing custody of his young daughter, then admitted that he and his ex-wife still had sex most weekends. In my chronically undecided state, I admired both of these friends who had found, or might have found, a way to split the difference. Maybe it was possible to break up and remain friends with an ex, something that had never happened to me before in my entire life. Maybe it was possible to be married and not married at the same time. Then I went a little further in my imagination, and the idea of someone else having sex with my husband made me want to gag with jealousy. Maybe that meant something. I was so confused, and the confusion seemed to have no end.
I read more books about divorce. I received an early copy of Sarah Manguso’s Liars, marketed as “a searing novel about being a wife, a mother, and an artist, and how marriage makes liars out of us all.” In it, John, a creative dilettante, and Jane, a writer, meet and soon decide to marry. Liars describes their marriage from beginning to end, a span of almost 15 years, and is narrated by Jane. The beginning of their relationship is delirious: “I tried to explain that first ferocious hunger and couldn’t. It came from somewhere beyond reason.” But the opening of that book also contains a warning. “Then I married a man, as women do. My life became archetypal, a drag show of nuclear familyhood. I got enmeshed in a story that had already been told ten billion times.” I felt perversely reassured that I was merely adding another story to the 10 billion. It made it seem less like it was my fault.
The beginning of my relationship with my husband wasn’t that dramatic or definitive. I thought I was getting into something casual with someone I didn’t even know if I particularly liked, much less loved, but was still oddly fascinated by. I wanted to see the way he lived, to see if I could emulate it and become more like him. He lived with roommates in his 30s — well, that was the price you paid if you wanted to do nothing but write. I wanted what he had, his seriousness about his work. We went on dates where we both sat with our laptops in a café, writing, and this was somehow the most romantic thing I’d ever experienced. On our third date, we went to his father’s home on Cape Cod to dog-sit for a weekend, and it was awkward in the car until we realized we were both thinking about the same Mary Gaitskill story, “A Romantic Weekend,” in which a couple with dramatically mismatched needs learn the truth about each other through painful trial and error. Our weekend was awkward, too, but not nearly as awkward as the one in the story. On the way home, I remember admiring Keith’s driving, effortless yet masterful. I trusted him in the car completely. A whisper of a thought: He would make a good father.
In Liars, cracks begin to form almost immediately, even before John and Jane get engaged; she is accepted to a prestigious fellowship and he isn’t, and he is forthright about his fear that she will become more successful than he is: “A moment later he said he didn’t want to be the unsuccessful partner of the successful person. Then he apologized and said that he’d just wanted to be honest. I said, It was brave and considerate to tell me. ”
Through the next few years, so gradually that it’s almost imperceptible, John makes it impossible for Jane to succeed. He launches tech companies that require cross-country moves, forcing Jane to bounce between adjunct-teaching gigs. And then, of course, they have a baby. The problem with the baby is that Jane wants everything to be perfect for him and throws herself into creating a tidy home and an ideal child-development scenario, whereas John works more and more, moving the family again as one start-up fails and another flourishes. Jane begins to wonder whether she has created a prison for herself but pacifies herself with the thought that her situation is normal: “No married woman I knew was better off, so I determined to carry on. After all, I was a control freak, a neat freak, a crazy person.” The story John tells her about herself becomes her own story for a while. For a while, it’s impossible to know whose story is the truth.
I thought about Keith’s side of the story when I read Liars. Maybe it was the lack of alcohol’s blur that enabled me to see this clearly for the first time — I began to see how burdened he had been, had always been, with a partner who refused to plan for the future and who took on, without being asked, household chores that could just as easily have been distributed evenly. Our situation had never been as clear-cut as it was for Lyz Lenz; Keith had never refused to take out the trash or hidden my favorite mug. But he worked more and later hours, and my intermittent book advances and freelance income could not be counted on to pay our rent. As soon as we’d had a child, he had been shunted into the role of breadwinner without choosing it or claiming it. At first, I did all the cooking because I liked cooking and then, when I stopped liking cooking, I did it anyway out of habit. For our marriage to change, we would have needed to consciously decide to change it, insofar as our essential natures and our financial situation would allow. But when were we supposed to have found the time to do that? It was maddening that the root of our fracture was so commonplace and clichéd — and that even though the problem was ordinary, I still couldn’t think my way out of it.
Splinters: Another Kind of Love Story, by Leslie Jamison , is in some ways the successor to Aftermath — the latest divorce book by a literary superstar. It is mostly an account of Jamison’s passionate marriage to a fellow writer, C., and the way that marriage fell apart after her career accelerated and they had a child together. It then details her first months of life as a single mother and her forays into dating. In it, she is strenuously fair to C., taking much of the blame for the dissolution of their marriage. But she can’t avoid describing his anger that her book merits an extensive tour, while his novel — based on his relationship with his first wife, who had died of leukemia — fails commercially. “It didn’t get the reception he had hoped for,” Jamison writes, and now, “I could feel him struggling. He wanted to support me, but there was a thorn in every interview.” C. grows distant, refusing to publicly perform the charming self that Jamison fell in love with. “I wished there was a way to say, Your work matters, that didn’t involve muting my own,” Jamison writes.
For all my marriage’s faults, we never fought in public. Friends encouraged us to reconcile, saying, “You always seemed so good together.” (As if there were another way to seem! Standing next to each other at a party, it had always been easy to relax because we couldn’t fight.) And we never did anything but praise each other’s work. Until this last book of my husband’s, that is. I had read Raising Raffi for the first time six months before it was published, while I was out of town for the weekend. I had, at that time, enjoyed reading it — it was refreshing, in a way, to see someone else’s perspective on a part of my own life. I even felt a certain relief that my child’s early years, in all their specificity and cuteness, had been recorded. This work had been accomplished, and I hadn’t had to do it! There had been only a slight pang in the background of that feeling that I hadn’t been the one to do it. But as publication drew nearer, the pang turned into outright anger . The opening chapter described my giving birth to our first son, and I didn’t realize how violated I felt by that until it was vetted by The New Yorker ’s fact-checker after that section was selected as an excerpt for its website. Had a geyser of blood shot out of my vagina? I didn’t actually know. I had been busy at the time. I hung up on the fact-checker who called me, asking her to please call my husband instead. (In case you’re wondering, Keith has read this essay and suggested minimal changes.)
I related to the writers in Splinters trying to love each other despite the underlying thrum of competing ambitions. But most of all, Jamison’s book made me even more terrified about sharing custody. “There was only one time I got on my knees and begged. It happened in our living room, where I knelt beside the wooden coffee table and pleaded not to be away from her for two nights each week,” she writes. Envisioning a future in which we shared custody of our children made me cringe with horror. It seemed like absolute hell. At the time we separated, our younger son was only 4 years old and required stories and cuddles to get to bed. Missing a night of those stories seemed like a punishment neither of us deserved, and yet we would have to sacrifice time with our kids if we were going to escape each other, which seemed like the only possible solution to our problem. Thanksgiving rolled around, and I cooked a festive meal that we ate without looking at each other. Whenever I looked at Keith, I started to cry.
We decided to enter divorce mediation at the beginning of December. On Sixth Avenue, heading to the therapist’s office, we passed the hospital where I’d once been rushed for an emergency fetal EKG when I was pregnant with our first son. His heart had turned out to be fine. But as we passed that spot, I sensed correctly that we were both thinking of that moment, of a time when we had felt so connected in our panic and desperate hope, and now the invisible cord that had bound us had been, if not severed, shredded and torn. For a moment on the sidewalk there, we allowed ourselves to hold hands, remembering.
The therapist was a small older woman with short curly reddish hair. She seemed wise, like she’d seen it all and seen worse. I was the one who talked the most in that session, blaming Keith for making me go crazy, even though I knew this wasn’t technically true or possible: I had gone crazy from a combination of sky-high stress and a too-high SSRI prescription and a latent crazy that had been in me, part of me, since long before Keith married me, since I was born. Still, I blamed his job, his book, his ambition and workaholism, which always surpassed my own efforts. I cried throughout the session; I think we both did. I confessed that I was not the primary wronged person in these negotiations, and to be fair I have to talk about why. Sometime post–Last Fight and pre-hospitalization, I had managed to cheat on my husband. I had been so sure we were basically already divorced that I justified the act to myself; I couldn’t have done it any other way. I had thought I might panic at the last minute or even throw up or faint, but I had gone through with it thanks to the delusional state I was in. There aren’t many more details anyone needs to know. It was just one time, and it was like a drug I used to keep myself from feeling sad about what was really happening. Anyway, there’s a yoga retreat center I’ll never be able to go to again in my life.
At the end of the session, we decided to continue with the therapist but in couples therapy instead of divorce mediation. It was a service she also provided, and as a bonus, it was $100 cheaper per session. She didn’t say why she made this recommendation, but maybe it was our palpable shared grief that convinced her that our marriage was salvageable. Or maybe it was that, despite everything I had told her in that session, she could see that, even in my profound sadness and anger, I looked toward Keith to complete my sentences when I was searching for the right word and that he did the same thing with me. As broken as we were, we were still pieces of one once-whole thing.
My husband would have to forgive me for cheating and wasting our money. I would have to forgive him for treading on my literary territory: our family’s life, my own life. My husband would have to forgive me for having a mental breakdown, leaving him to take care of our family on his own for a month, costing us thousands of uninsured dollars in hospital bills. I would have to forgive him for taking for granted, for years, that I would be available on a sick day or to do an early pickup or to watch the baby while he wrote about our elder son. I would have to forgive him for taking for granted that there would always be dinner on the table without his having to think about how it got there. He would have to forgive me for never taking out the recycling and never learning how to drive so that I could move the car during alternate-side parking. I would have to forgive him for usurping the time and energy and brain space with which I might have written a better book than his. Could the therapist help us overcome what I knew to be true: that we’d gone into marriage already aware that we were destined for constant conflict just because of who we are? The therapist couldn’t help me ask him to do more if I didn’t feel like I deserved it, if I couldn’t bring myself to ask him myself. I had to learn how to ask.
No one asked anything or forgave anything that day in the couples therapist’s office. After what felt like months but was probably only a few days, I was watching Ramy on my laptop in my downstairs-bedroom cave after the kids’ bedtime when some moment struck me as something Keith would love. Acting purely on impulse, I left my room and found him sitting on the couch, drinking tea. I told him I’d been watching this show I thought was funny and that he would really like it. Soon, we were sitting side by side on the couch, watching Ramy together. We went back to our respective rooms afterward, but still, we’d made progress.
After a few more weeks and a season’s worth of shared episodes of Ramy, I ventured for the first time upstairs to Keith’s attic room. It smelled alien to me, and I recognized that this was the pure smell of Keith, not the shared smell of the bedrooms in every apartment we’d lived in together. I lay down next to him in the mess of his bed. He made room for me. We didn’t touch, not yet. But we slept, that night, together. The next night, we went back to sleeping alone.
Pickups and drop-offs became evenly divided among me and Keith and a sitter. Keith learned to make spaghetti with meat sauce. He could even improvise other dishes, with somewhat less success, but he was improving. I made a conscious effort not to tidy the house after the children left for school. I made myself focus on my work even when there was chaos around me. Slowly, I began to be able to make eye contact with Keith again. At couples therapy, we still clutched tissue boxes in our hands, but we used them less. Our separate chairs inched closer together in the room.
That Christmas, we rented a tiny Airbnb near his dad’s house in Falmouth. It had only two bedrooms, one with bunk beds for the kids and one with a king-size bed that took up almost the entirety of the small room. We would have to share a bed for the duration of the trip. The decision I made to reach across the giant bed toward Keith on one of the last nights of the trip felt, again, impulsive. But there were years of information and habit guiding my impulse. Sex felt, paradoxically, completely comfortable and completely new, like losing my virginity. It felt like sleeping with a different person and also like sleeping with the same person, which made sense, in a way. We had become different people while somehow staying the same people we’d always been.
Slowly, over the course of the next months, I moved most of my things upstairs to his room, now our room. We still see the therapist twice a month. We talk about how to make things more equal in our marriage, how not to revert to old patterns. I have, for instance, mostly given up on making dinner, doing it only when it makes more sense in the schedule of our shared day or when I actually want to cook. It turns out that pretty much anyone can throw some spaghetti sauce on some pasta; it also turns out that the kids won’t eat dinner no matter who cooks it, and now we get to experience that frustration equally. Keith’s work is still more stable and prestigious than mine, but we conspire to pretend that this isn’t the case, making sure to leave space for my potential and my leisure. We check in to make sure we’re not bowing to the overwhelming pressure to cede our whole lives to the physical and financial demands, not to mention the fervently expressed wants, of our children. It’s the work that we’d never found time to do before, and it is work. The difference is that we now understand what can happen when we don’t do it. I’m always surprised by how much I initially don’t want to go to therapy and then by how much lighter I feel afterward. For now, those sessions are a convenient container for our marriage’s intractable defects so that we get to spend the rest of our time together focusing on what’s not wrong with us.
The downstairs bedroom is now dormant, a place for occasional guests to stay or for our elder son to lie in bed as he plays video games. Some of my clothes from a year earlier still fill the drawers, but none of it seems like mine. I never go into that room if I can help it. It was the room of my exile from my marriage, from my family. If I could magically disappear it from our apartment, I would do it in a heartbeat. And in the attic bedroom, we are together, not as we were before but as we are now.
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Persuasive & Argumentative Essays about Divorce: Free Tips
A divorce is a life-changing experience that affects spouses and their children (if there are any). Since divorce rates are relatively high in modern society, more and more people face this problem nowadays.
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When you are assigned to compose an argumentative essay about divorce, you should be as careful as possible. Remember that the split-up of marriage can be a painful experience for everyone involved.
The article will give you useful advice on how to write an outstanding paper on the topic. Learn the essential features of the following types:
- persuasive essay about divorce,
- for and against essay,
- causes and effects of divorce essay,
Check tips from Custom-writing.org below and write the best paper!
- 💍 How to Write It
- 📂 Essays by Type
- ✒ Causes and Effects
✍️ Divorce Essay Topics
💍 how to write a divorce essay.
The general structure of essays on divorce is quite common:
Yet, there are some variations of what info to include in the body, depending on the essay type. The following structure is applicable for divorce argumentative essay. To learn about the features of other types, keep on reading our article.
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Argumentative divorce essays are composed according to the standard structure:
1. Thesis Statement about Divorce
A divorce essay introduction isn’t anything extraordinary as you have to introduce your topic and position.
- You should always give broad information about the issue and state the main problems you will discuss in your writing.
- Make a general statement about the consequences of divorce or the common divorce effects on people.
- Then write your thesis statement on divorce. Clearly explain to the audience the topic you’re going to discuss and your position on that topic. In case you find this task difficult, try using a thesis generator for argumentative essay . This will save you some time.
That’s it! Now your divorce essay introduction is ready.
2. Main Body
This section presents all of your ideas and arguments related to the topic of divorce.
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- Here you can write about the adverse effects of divorce on children or the most common reasons people divorce.
- Use compelling arguments and support your ideas with examples.
There are tons of surveys and statistics about divorce on the internet, so it won’t be too challenging to gather the information you need.
In the last paragraph, you have to sum up your paper and leave a final expression.
- Summarize every idea presented in your divorce essay.
- Restate your thesis statement on divorce, relying on your reasoning.
- Then list your concluding thoughts on this topic.
Make your sentences clear and easy to follow. Use synonyms to improve your writing style. Such an approach will help you convince the readers and express your thoughts better.
📂 Divorce Essays by Type
The content and reasoning of each paper on divorce depend primarily on the type of essay . See the following sections to understand how to write each of them.
Here are a few types you can consider:
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Argumentative Essay about Divorce
When it comes to divorce, there are many disputable topics—for example, the reasons people separate or its impact on children. It’s easy to find support and statistics for both issues. And you’ll need them as facts are a crucial part of a divorce argumentative essay.
As a starting point:
Research your idea and choose a side to support. Make sure that among all argumentative essay topics about divorce, you selected the most interesting for yourself. In your thesis statement, concisely express your position, so the reader can quickly get it.
Then, start writing the entire essay. Regardless of what type of paper you are writing—anti or pro divorce argumentative essay—your writing should meet these requirements:
- Base your points on logic;
- Present both sides of the arguments, but support only one;
- Take into consideration counterclaims;
- Support all the arguments by valid evidence;
- Use a calm, informative tone.
Don’t forget to incorporate quotes and figures to convince your readers.
Persuasive Essay about Divorce
What is the goal of writing persuasive essays ? It’s to convince your reader that your position on a particular problem is true.
Therefore, writing this paper means that you should identify an individual problem related to the topic. In the introduction of your persuasive essay about divorce, you should choose your side and deliver it to the reader.
Similarly to an argumentative essay, you have to provide credible facts to support your position. Yet here, you use them to back up your opinion and persuade your reader.
While composing your persuasive essay about the legalization of divorce, remember its distinctive features:
- Based on emotions;
- Presents only one side of the argument;
- Ignores counterclaims;
- The tone is dynamic, emotionally-charged, and aggressive to some extent.
Cause and Effect Essay on Divorce
Whether it concerns old parents or a young couple, divorce typically has the same causes and effects. You can often see them clearly, even in books or movies.
The essay outline for the causes and effects of divorce essay is quite common:
In your divorce essay introduction, provide a general background and compose a clear thesis statement. For example, your thesis might look like this:
A divorce, caused by the spouses’ expectations mismatch, results in a lack of communication between children and one of the parents.
In this part of your essay, investigate the cause and effect of divorce, you stated before.
For the given thesis, the main points would be the following:
The primary cause of divorce is the mismatch in the spouses’ expectations from the marriage.
The divorce often results in a lack of children’s interactions with one of the parents.
Synthesize all of your arguments and give your audience a space for a further investigation of your issue.
Narrative Essay about Divorce
If your assignment is to write a family essay, you can choose from a wide range of topics. For this purpose, a marriage essay or a divorce essay would be perfect.
In a short paper about your family, it isn’t easy to cover many topics. So choose only one.
Look through some narrative essay topics and select the one you like:
- The story of my divorce: how did I decide to break up with my spouse?
- My life completely changed after my parents divorced.
- How my life looked like before the divorce with my wife/husband and how it looks now.
- The way divorce destroys healthy communication between children and parents in my family.
For and Against Divorce Essay
As you know, both the negative and positive effects of divorce are disputable, making them appealing to discuss. There are many recent studies and relevant statistical data on the topic to help you write such an essay.
This topic would also be great for a speech on divorce.
Wondering what are the for and against divorce arguments? Take a look at the following:
✒ Divorce: Causes and Effects
We have a pleasant bonus for you! Below, you can find useful arguments and insightful ideas that you can use in your papers on divorce. Apply our concepts in any type of essay, adjusting them to your topic.
Divorce essays can cover the following issues:
Generally Known Facts on Divorces
When covering this issue in your persuasive essay on divorce, you will have to cover the problem altogether. Include the common marriage problems that psychologists all over the world study. Use their statistical data on divorces when crafting your argument.
Divorce is quite a broad topic, and you may want to narrow it down. With so much information available, you could write a research paper on divorce without any difficulty.
Statistical Data on Divorces
Good divorce essays should include enough statistical data. It will add more scientific value and reveal your research abilities. Besides, facts and figures present many exciting topics to comment on.
You can do significant research concerning divorce causes and consequences. Draw a contrast between divorce in several countries, or examine the age and education of people who officially separate more often.
Reasons for Divorces
What does an essay on divorce mean without discussion of its reasons?
Find out different sociologists’ viewpoints on the reasons for divorces. Then underline the cause you consider to be the most truthful one.
You can also provide your own theory on the grounds for divorces in your persuasive essay on divorce. The key point is to prove the accuracy of your statement.
Divorce Prevention Ideas
If there is a problem, there must be some solution. So, think of the possible ways to make a marriage work.
Investigate divorce causes from a scientific point of view. Examine the primary studies that reveal why people actually break up. Also, discuss the precautions that can help married couples avoid significant conflicts.
Effects of Divorce on Children
Parents sometimes forget that their divorce isn’t only about them but also about their children. It causes psychological problems for kids, which you can classify in your paper. Don’t forget to add some statistical data on divorce to support your arguments.
Every child reacts differently to their parents’ breakup. It’s a rare case when divorce consequences are positive, making the effects on kids an urgent topic to discuss.
Positive Effects of Divorce
Sometimes divorce isn’t a catastrophe but rather the only way to heal wounds and begin a new life. Often, people don’t recognize that they need to change their lives for the better. This situation is primarily related to abusive marriages or those with regular cheating.
In these cases, the positive effects of divorce may seem easy to understand. However, psychologists have to make great efforts to persuade people to end their relationships. Write a paper making this same argument.
- Negative outcomes of divorce on children .
- Connection between divorce and antisocial behavior of children.
- Family crises and the issue it causes: divorce, remarriage, stepparents, adoption.
- Effect of divorce on teenagers ’ academic performance.
- Causes and consequences of divorce .
- What can be done to decrease divorce rates in America ?
- Does parental divorce affect the rates of juvenile delinquency ?
- The most widespread reasons for divorce .
- Analyze marital success factors and Gottman’s predictors of divorce.
- Impact of divorce on child’s mental health .
- Change of divorce law throughout history.
- Positive and negative changes in children’s behavior after divorce.
- Divorce : a disaster or a benefit?
- Is cheating one of the main reasons of divorce?
- Gender stratification impact on divorce trends.
- Effect of divorce on family relationship .
- Do divorced parents change their child-rearing styles ?
- List of factors typically associated with higher divorce rates .
- The support required for all the members of divorced and single-parent families .
- Analyze the reasons for high divorce rates .
- Does divorce only impact adolescent in a bad way?
- Effect of poverty on divorce rates.
- Specifics of divorce in the UAE .
- Does divorce lead to depression ?
- Family therapy and its role in decreasing divorce rates.
- The impact of divorce on children-parents relationship.
- Evaluation of child custody in divorce proceedings.
- How to manage the stress of divorce.
- Effect of divorce on children’s self-esteem.
- How to minimize the devastating consequences of divorce .
- Addiction as the reason for divorce.
- Effective communication in marriage and its role in preventing divorce.
- Divorce as the only way out of an abusive relationship .
- Financial issues of divorce and how to overcome them.
- Parental support is the best way to help children to go through divorce .
- How do adolescents adjust to parental divorce?
- Do boys and girls react to the parental divorce the same way?
- Social media can destroy relationship and lead to divorce.
- Can Christian counseling help couples to resolve their issues and avoid divorce?
- Poverty among divorced women.
- Young marriage has more chances to break-up.
- Respect is the best way to get marriage satisfaction and avoid divorce.
- Is interfaith marriage doomed to divorce?
- Why a successful marriage may end in divorce?
- Marriage contract will help to facilitate the legal side of divorce process.
- Reduction of the number of divorces .
- Personal development after divorce.
- How family relationships influence future marriage and divorce chances of children.
- Child support in case of marriage divorce.
- Will lack of family and work balance definitely result in divorce?
If you are stuck on writing, you can always ask us for help! Whether you need a persuasive essay on divorce or any other paper, we are here and ready to assist.
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- Top Ideas for Argumentative or Persuasive Essay Topics
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- Gun Control Essay: How-to Guide + Argumentative Topics
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- Free Exemplification Essay Examples
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- Divorce Argument Essay: Bartleby
- Cause and Effect Essay: The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Roane State Community College and UNC at Chapel Hill Writing Center
- Counterargument: Gordon Harvey, the Writing Center at Harvard University
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Essays About Divorce: Top 5 Examples and 7 Prompts
Essays about divorce can be challenging to write; read on to see our top essay examples and writing prompts to help you get started.
Divorce is the legal termination of a marriage. It can be a messy affair, especially if it includes children. Dividing the couple’s assets also often causes chaos when divorce proceedings are in session.
Divorce also touches and considers religion and tradition. Therefore, laws are formed depending on the country’s history, culture, and belief system.
To help you choose what you want to talk about regarding this topic, here are examples you can read to get an idea of what kind of essay you want to write.
1. Divorce Should Be Legalized in the Philippines by Ernestine Montgomery
2. to divorce or not to divorce by mark ghantous, 3. what if you mess up by manis friedman, 4. divorce: a life-changing experience by writer louie, 5. divorce’s effects on early adult relationships by percy massey, 1. the major reasons for divorce, 2. why i support divorce, 3. my divorce experience, 4. how to avoid divorce, 5. divorce and its effects on my family, 6. the consequences of divorce, 7. divorce laws around the world.
“What we need is a divorce law that defines clearly and unequivocally the grounds and terms for terminating a marriage… Divorce is a choice and we all should have the freedom to make choices… in cases where a union is more harmful than beneficial, a divorce can be benevolent and less hurtful way of severing ties with your partner.”
As the title suggests, Montgomery and his other colleagues discuss why the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country, needs to allow divorce. Then, to strengthen his argument, he mentions that Spain, the root of Christianity, and Italy, where the Vatican City is, administer divorce.
He also mentions bills, relevant figures, and statistics to make his case in favor of divorce more compelling. Montgomery adds that people who want a divorce don’t necessarily mean they want to marry again, citing other motives such as abuse and marital failure.
“Divorce, being the final step in a detrimental marriage, brings upon the gruesome decision as to whether a married couple wishes to end that once made commitment they had for each other. As opposed to the present, divorce was rare in ancient times…”
Ghantous starts his essay with what divorce means, as not only an end of a commitment but also the termination of legal duties and other obligations of the couple to each other. He then talks about divorce in ancient times, when men had superior control over women and their children. He also mentions Caroline Norton, who fought with English family law that was clearly against women.
“So even though G‑d has rules,… laws,… divine commandments, when you sin, He tells you: ‘You messed up? Try again.’ That’s exactly how you should be married — by treating your spouse the way G‑d treats you. With that much mercy and compassion, that much kindness and consideration.”
Friedman’s essay discusses how the Torah sees marriage and divorce and explains it by recounting a scene with his daughters where they couldn’t follow a recipe. He includes good treatment and forgiveness necessary in spouses. But he also explains that God understands and doesn’t want people in a failed marriage to continue hurting. You might also be interested in these essays about commitment .
“Depending on the reasons that led up to the divorce the effects can vary… I was fourteen years old and the one child that suffered the most emotional damage… My parents did not discuss their reasons for the divorce with me, they didn’t have to, and I knew the reasons.”
The author starts the essay by citing the famous marital promise: “For better or worse, for richer or poorer,” before going in-depth regarding the divorce rate among Americans. He further expounds on how common divorce is, including its legalities. Although divorce has established legal grounds, it doesn’t consider the emotional trauma it will cause, especially for children.
Louie recounts how his life changed when his dad moved out, listing why his parents divorced. He ends the essay by saying society is at fault for commercializing divorce as if it’s the only option.
“With divorce becoming more prevalent, many researchers have taken it upon themselves to explore many aspects of this topic such as evolving attitudes, what causes divorce, and how it effects the outcome of children’s lives.”
Massey examines the causes of divorce and how it impacts children’s well-being by citing many relevant research studies. Some of the things he mentions are the connection between the child’s mental health, behavioral issues, and future relationships. Another is the trauma a child can endure during the divorce proceedings.
He also mentions that some children who had a broken family put marriage on a pedestal. As a result, they do their best to create a better future family and treat their children better.
Top 7 Prompts on Essays About Divorce
After adding to your knowledge about the subject, you’re better prepared to write essays about divorce.
There are many causes of the dissolution of marriage, and many essays have already discussed these reasons. However, you can explain these reasons differently. For example, you can focus on domestic abuse, constant fighting, infidelity, financial issues, etc.
If you want to make your piece stand out, you can include your personal experience, but only if you’re comfortable sharing your story with others.
If you believe divorce offers a better life for all parties involved, list these benefits and explain them. Then, you can focus on a specific pro of legalizing divorce, such as getting out of an abusive relationship.
If you want to write an essay to argue against the negative effects of divorce, here’s an excellent guide on how to write an argumentative essay .
This prompt is not only for anyone who has no or sole guardian. If you want to write about the experiences of a child raised by other people or who lives with a single parent, you can interview a friend or anyone willing to talk about their struggles and triumphs even if they didn’t have a set of parents.
Aside from reasons for divorce, you can talk about what makes these reasons more probable. Then, analyze what steps couples can take to avoid it. Such as taking couples’ therapy, weekly family get-together, etc. To make your essay more valuable, weigh in on what makes these tips effective.
Divorce is diverse and has varying effects. There are many elements to its results, and no two sets of factors are precisely the same for two families.
If you have an intimate experience of how your immediate and extended family dynamic had been affected by divorce, narrate those affairs. Include what it made you and the others around you feel. You might also be interested in these essays about conflict .
This is a broad prompt, but you can narrow it down by focusing on an experience you or a close friend had. You can also interview someone closely related to a divorce case, such as a lawyer, reporter, or researcher.
If you don’t have any experience with divorce, do not know anyone who had to go through it, or is more interested in its legal aspects, compiles different divorce laws for each country. You can even add a brief history for each law to make the readers understand how they came about.
Are you looking for other topics to write on? Check out our general resource of essay writing topics .
Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.
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Alberta, Canada, 2005. Photo by Alex Webb/Magnum
A manly divorce
Straight men rarely write about the end of their marriages. our enduring ideas about gender explain this silence.
by Joshua Coleman + BIO
The past few decades witnessed a flood of personal essays and memoirs about divorce. Perhaps the most successful was Eat, Pray, Love (2006) by Elizabeth Gilbert, which has sold more than 12 million copies to date, and became a movie starring Julia Roberts. In her breakaway bestseller, Gilbert describes her ‘devastating, interminable divorce’ and the search for fulfilment that followed it. The book’s popularity is not only due to Gilbert being a gifted writer, but also her ability to capture a cultural perception of marriage as an institution often antithetical to personal growth and self-development. What’s more, the book is just one of dozens tracking the same territory: the freedom and self-exploration that comes of departing from past strictures and setting a new course.
While men have written their fair share of marital advice books, only a handful of marriage memoirs have been written by them. Which prompts the question: aren’t men also happy to leave bad marriages, work their way through their feelings of guilt, and ultimately find a better life? And, if they are, why aren’t more saying so? Are such proclamations considered to be the domain only of women, rendering such ideation too feminine for men to acknowledge? Does it look too narcissistic for men to also have a ‘What I learned from my divorce’ narrative? Or are men just not that interested in the topic – or, for that matter, are they not liberated by divorce itself?
In the context of the traditional, heterosexual marriage, it’s important to acknowledge that women’s freedom to negotiate a relationship more in line with their ideals, or to leave altogether, is relatively recent. It is also important to acknowledge that this freedom has not been universally achieved, either globally or in the United States. From that perspective, the archetypal hero’s journey narrated by Gilbert and other female memoirists is likely born – among other aspirations – from a desire to push back against historically oppressive forces. As the historian Stephanie Coontz argued in her opinion piece ‘How to Make Your Marriage Gayer’ (2020) for The New York Times :
Right up to the 1970s, when an American woman married, her husband took charge of her sexuality and most of her finances, property and behaviour … During the 1970s and 1980s, wives won legal equality with husbands and courts redefined the responsibilities of spouses in gender-neutral terms. By 1994 a majority of Americans repudiated the necessity for gender-specialised roles in marriage, saying instead that shared responsibilities should be the ideal.
However, legal equality has not necessarily made marriage a more equitable place for women. As Coontz notes, while the model of shared responsibility has become the ideal in principle, it remains far from the reality in practice. Today’s women – at least those in heterosexual marriages – do twice the amount of childcare and almost twice as much housework compared with men, including women in full-time employment. Men after marriage do less housework than when they were single, while women do even more, especially when they become mothers .
Women are also more likely to carry the emotional burdens of their extended network of family and friends – to keep track of birthdays, gifts and crises – and to respond with cards, calls and outreach; a task sociologists refer to as ‘kinkeeping’. While this orientation has the potential to make for deep and lasting relationships with friends or family, the sociologists Ronald Kessler and Jane Mcleod observe that this effort takes an emotional toll when it involves helping loved ones manage stressful life events. In those cases, what they call a ‘cost of caring’ leaves women more vulnerable to depression, anxiety and burnout, a reality from which men are often insulated.
While men arguably love their wives as much as their wives love them (and, in some cases, even more), their identities are less oriented around care work per se, and more commonly toward achievement, self-direction and status, as a survey of men and women in 68 different countries confirmed in 2009. However, the stereotype of the self-centred and clueless male paints a pale portrait of what many men experience today. It also ignores the cost paid by men pressured to prize status and invulnerability over connection. For example, men account for almost three out of four ‘deaths of despair’, as the economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton term it, either from a suicide or overdose, especially those down the economic ladder. Many men feel rudderless today since the role of provider and protector is no longer a pathway to identity. Men who lack the ability to provide, protect or significantly contribute to the family are psychologically the least likely to be able to offer their wives the kind of vulnerable, emotional and collaborative support that predicts today’s stable marriages. They’re more likely to retreat into anger, addiction and internet use, a dark triad of traits stemming from a preoccupation with self-reliance. Unfortunately, being vulnerable, talking about their feelings and asking their wives about theirs is the last thing most men want to do when they’re feeling small or defective. And they certainly don’t want to write about it.
It doesn’t help that so little understanding for men can be found across the political spectrum. As the economist Richard Reeves writes in Of Boys and Men (2022), progressives are quick to label problematic male behaviours in marriage as evidence of toxic masculinity and propose that men should be rehabilitated to learn how to communicate their feelings and needs in more socially adaptive ways. The populist Right, on the other hand, weaponises men’s dislocation and offers false promises such as removing women from the workforce or re-establishing men’s seat at the head of the family economic table – all the while failing to endorse family or work policies that would aid working men, women and their families.
I t’s important to ask: ‘Who’s leaving whom?’ Maybe men also don’t write about their divorces because of the shame that attends their wives’ leaving them, since, in the US at least, most of the time men are the ones getting left. Because men are more conflicted about showing weakness or vulnerability, it’s not difficult to see why men aren’t lining up to reveal themselves in this way, or finding a narrative of growth or transformation. In addition, men can face worse health effects than women after divorce or widowhood. They’re more likely to die or become ill if they don’t remarry or re-couple. Since husbands are the primary beneficiaries of their wives’ behaviours – such as scheduling doctor’s appointments, therapists or social engagements – the absence of this care can lead men’s orientation toward independence on a self-neglectful, even self-destructive course.
Another reason men – at least those in heterosexual marriages – sometimes do worse after divorce is that, for a significant percentage, their wives are their best friend, if not their only friend. Women commonly have much more extensive social networks, which may explain why they’re more likely to show resilience post-divorce, even if they’re often more at risk financially. Friendship is important and carries a whole host of psychological and health benefits. My wife calls her closest friends her ‘sister wives’. I like the double helix of the term, the way it encircles them as siblings and spouses, where platonic rather than romantic love is the bond. She talks to them often, sometimes daily. I like talking to my wife too, but not all of the time, and sometimes not as much as she wants. She accepts that we have temperamentally different inclinations towards conversation. And her acceptance of that disparity allows me to feel comfortable expressing vulnerability in ways that I would likely avoid under less favourable marital conditions.
However, many men today are caught between knowing what’s enough vulnerability with their wives – and what’s too much. Years ago, I saw a cartoon with two women in conversation; the caption read: ‘I want a guy who will well up with tears, I just don’t want one who actually cries.’ While that may or may not be true for the majority of women, it’s certainly true for some, at least based on my own private practice. Which is to say that men aren’t the only ones doing the gender policing around men’s emotions.
It’s good to be able to talk over your feelings but also good to know when to put them away
Some of these differences begin in childhood. Men are sometimes less fluent with feelings in adulthood, in part because parents, even parents today, are more likely to use emotion words with girls than they are with boys. This may also occur because girls begin talking at a younger age and remain more verbal than boys throughout their lives. The psychology professor Thomas Joiner found that, overall, boys are more secretive with their parents than are girls, and less responsive to and inclusive of their mothers. ‘The fact that, when the genders are combined into one group, gender rises to the top as a predictor of speech frequency, even beyond a personality characteristic like expressivity, shows its fundamental importance,’ Joiner writes in Lonely at the Top: The High Cost of Men’s Success (2011). ‘Speech frequency is of obvious importance to interpersonal exchange; indeed, it can be viewed as its currency … Talk can be viewed as tiny stitches in a social fabric; the more stitches, the more varied and durable the fabric.’ Men have fewer friends, fewer sources of support, and are far less likely to reach out for help. This means that, when they fall, there’s often no one there to catch them. Worse, they often won’t let anyone know that they’re falling.
Our society, and we therapists, idealise communication, vulnerability and expression of emotions, overall, for good reason. But, sometimes, not expressing yourself – more often the domain of men – has its own value. It’s similar to the parenting differences observed between women and men. Mothers tend to be more communicative, more sympathetic to the child, and more prone to guilt or worry about them. Fathers tend to be less conflicted about limit-setting, less preoccupied with the inner life of the child, and more oriented toward stimulation and excitement. Too much of one spoils the child. Too much of the other induces less self-reflection and emotional awareness. While everyone’s needs are different, the same could be said of a healthy marriage: it’s good to be able to talk over your feelings but also good to know when to put them away. As we therapists sometimes advise: ‘Before you say you don’t feel heard, consider how well you listen.’
Perhaps this is why the comedian Chris Rock’s observation – that men care about three things only: sex, food and silence – gets such a big laugh. There’s some truth in it. But I think it’s less about silence than it is the absence of conflict. While women can’t be described as liking conflict, some report that they see it as affirming when their husbands complain, since at least it shows he’s thinking about the relationship. Meanwhile, men often experience their wives’ complaints as a failure in their role as men or partners.
Because men in both straight and same-sex marriages are more preoccupied with sex than are women, they also suffer a greater cost by its absence. More to the point, sex is often a way that men gain access to their vulnerability and expressiveness, something women value. I often see couples caught in a downward spiral where the wife says she doesn’t want to be sexual unless her husband shows more vulnerability and openness, and the husband states that he has more difficulty accessing his vulnerability and romantic feelings without sex. I occasionally hear wives say they feel used by their husband’s preoccupation with having sex with them. I think that misunderstands the meaning of sex in marriage: for most men, it’s not just about the sex. It’s about the connection. Well, that and the sex.
It is tragic, though not surprising, that fathers are more likely to be estranged from their girls than from their boys
My experience counselling men and couples for the past four decades shows me that men also long to have close, intimate relationships, and sometimes leave their wives to pursue them when they feel too rejected or ignored. Yet a man leaving his marriage for love seems freighted with more condemnation or contempt than a woman. Culturally, this seems less permissible, and may also explain why men aren’t telling their stories. Perhaps we still have the idea that leaving a marriage is a more selfish act for a man because we assume that women agonise more about its effect on their children. In addition, our outdated ideas about men in marriage, along with men’s more self-reliant orientation, may cause us to believe that men don’t care as much and therefore don’t deserve as much empathy. Those beliefs might also be fuelled by the fact that, traditionally, men have been better able than women to land on their feet financially and have a better chance of re-coupling post-divorce.
Yet, fathers in my practice worry a lot before and after their divorces. In particular, they worry about how the divorce will affect their children and their relationship with them. With good reason, as it turns out. Recent research by the sociologist Rin Reczek at Ohio State University and colleagues found that, while roughly 6 per cent of people report a period of estrangement from mothers, a whopping 26 per cent of respondents report estrangement from fathers, especially by daughters. While not all of those fathers are divorced, my research shows that some 70 per cent of estranged parents became so after a divorce.
It is tragic, though not entirely surprising, that fathers are more likely to be estranged from their girls than from their boys. Daughters often seem to speak the same language as their mothers, their inclinations toward empathy allowing them to sense what she is feeling or thinking at an almost psychic level. As the journalist Ruth Whippman observed in The New York Times in 2018:
At both its best and its worst, the mother-daughter relationship can at times be as close as two humans can get to telepathy. With two people who are both heavily socialised to anticipate and meet everyone else’s emotional needs, the dynamic can become a kind of high-alert empathy, each constantly attempting to decode what the other might be thinking, hypersensitive to any change in pitch or tone, like a pair of high-strung racehorses.
While that disposition can make for a close relationship, it is not without its burdens. Mothers and daughters are the most common dyad seeking my services after the daughter has cut off contact. It’s another example of the way that care work, a predominantly female enterprise, can cause problems. Estrangement sometimes results because the daughter knows no other way to shed herself of the tidal pull of her mother’s emotions, especially painful ones. As Deborah Levy writes of a fictional mother in her novel Hot Milk (2016): ‘I must never look at her defeat with all I know, because I will turn it to stone with my disdain and my sorrow.’
N on-heterosexual marriages are less governed by gender-role expectations, though men in same-sex marriages still behave differently from women in same-sex marriages. Like straight men, gay men are less likely to engage in the kind of care work that is more common with women in straight and lesbian marriages but are more likely to share the care equally between the two partners when needed. Gay men appear to do better both in marriage and in communication, and have the lowest divorce rates in comparison with straight and gay women. They are more likely to openly discuss their sexual preferences and have agreements about the circumstances and types of sexual contact allowed outside the marriage. In The Case Against the Sexual Revolution (2022) Louise Perry writes :
[T]he average differences in male and female sexuality become glaringly obvious when we look at the gay and lesbian communities. Although it may be controversial to point out how dramatically these two sexual cultures differ, there is plenty of hard data that it would be dishonest to ignore. Lesbian women are remarkably keen on committed monogamy: the median lesbian woman in the UK reports just one sexual partner within the last year, and a majority report having known their sexual partners for months or years before they first had sex. Lesbian women are also significantly more likely than gay men to get married or enter into a civil partnership.
However, in comparison with gay male or heterosexual couples in marriage, lesbian marriages are also the most likely to end. As Coontz writes in her 2020 opinion piece:
Women put more energy into maintaining and deepening intimacy than most men do and have much more extensive expectations of empathy and emotional support. They also monitor relationship quality more closely and have higher standards for it. These traits can produce exceptionally intimate, supportive relationships, but they also consume a lot of energy and can generate stress or disappointment. This may help explain why lesbian partnerships, despite their high average quality, have higher breakup rates than gay-male couples or different-sex couples.
I asked Diane Ehrensaft, a psychology professor and gender specialist at the University of California, San Francisco and the author of Gender Born, Gender Made: Raising Healthy Gender Non-Conforming Children (2011), about how these dynamics express themselves in transgender marriages and divorces. ‘I think to answer that question you have to break it down into: when one or both of the partners is trans when they come into the relationship, versus when one person transitions while in the relationship, and, within that category, when they start out as a heterosexual couple versus a same-sex couple,’ she explained in an email. ‘Mostly what I’ve observed when one person transitions after getting together, the trend seems to be that the woman in a previously heterosexual relationship doesn’t want to be with a woman, whereas I’ve noticed in same-sex gay relationships the couple is more likely to stay together if one transitions to transfeminine, and in same-sex two women relationships, it’s the woman who usually wants out if her partner transitions to transmasculine. So, I guess you might say that women either have their finger on the pulse more about what works for them or are less flexible about switching gears in their sexual relationships.’ She went on to clarify that her statements were observations, not hard data.
T he German historian Ute Frevert observed that: ‘[E]motions are not only made by history, they also make history.’ Perhaps nowhere is this truer than in the ways that feelings, far more than economics, social class or status, became crucial in determining whom to love and whom to leave. Sociologists of modernity such as Anthony Giddens in the UK, Ulrich Beck in Germany, and Pierre Bourdieu in France have noted that, as our lives began to be less governed by religion, neighbourhood or gender, our emotions became far more central in helping us decide whom to be close to or avoid. This highlights that, while women’s orientation toward care work and men’s emphasis on self-reliance may seem predetermined, it is in some ways historically recent. ‘In the localised and hierarchical society of the premodern era, no interactions were impersonal,’ the historian Coontz explained in an email quoting from her forthcoming book on the history and future of love and marriage. ‘Men had to gauge the moods to soothe the feelings of their social superiors; while women felt no obligation to be considerate of their social inferiors. But as work moved out of the home and politics became more competitive, men had to distance themselves from personal emotions and focus on “the bottom line”. Their wives became responsible for providing men a refuge from the demands of the workplace and the market, anticipating their needs and offering a place for emotional recuperation. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the doctrine of separate spheres made it inappropriate for men to read and respond to other people’s emotions, and inappropriate – indeed unacceptable – for women NOT to do so.’
Expanding on the role of emotions, the Israeli sociologist Eva Illouz describes three narratives that attend today’s contemplations of divorce – revelation , accumulation , and trauma. In this process, individuals retrospectively explain the desire or decision to disentangle themselves from the person with whom they were romantically involved by labelling and using emotions as a moral foundation to support decisions to stay or leave. ‘I shouldn’t have to feel so neglected all of the time.’ ‘I deserve to be with someone who is more affirming of who I am.’ ‘His anger was a form of emotional abuse and I don’t have to put up with that.’
Illouz notes that, over the course of the 20th century, the reasons for divorce became more affective and abstract. While alcoholism or neglect were most commonly given as reasons to divorce in the 1940s, by the 1970s and beyond, ‘growing apart’, ‘becoming more distant’ and ‘feeling unloved’ took their place. The ‘Relationships in America Survey’ (2014), sponsored by the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture, found the following reasons for divorce listed by respondents: infidelity (37 per cent); spouse unresponsive to needs (32 per cent); growing tired of making a poor match work (30 per cent); spouse’s immaturity (30 per cent); emotional abuse (29 per cent); different financial priorities (24 per cent); and alcohol and/or drug abuse (23 per cent).
The opportunities for men to display their masculinity and honour have largely eroded
‘[E]motional intimacy has been a force of dis-institutionalisation, making marriage more likely to follow psychology than sociology, individual temperament rather than roles and norms,’ writes Illouz in The End of Love: A Sociology of Negative Emotions (2021). And in Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation (2011), she writes :
It is therefore unsurprising that love has been historically so powerfully seductive to women; it promised them the moral status and dignity they were otherwise denied in society and it glorified their social fate: taking care of and loving others, as mothers, wives, and lovers … Women’s social inferiority could thus be traded for men’s absolute devotion in love, which in turn served as the very site of display and exercise of their masculinity, prowess, and honour.
Yet history marches on. The opportunities for men to display their masculinity and honour have largely eroded, and the ability for women to strongly push back against a perspective of them as inferior has been strengthened by the many ways that women have caught up to men and are surpassing them.
Consider the following statistics, cited by Reeves in Of Boys and Men :
- Girls are about a year ahead of boys in terms of reading ability in OECD nations, while the advantage for boys in mathematics is increasingly shrinking.
- Boys are 50 per cent more likely than girls to fail at mathematics, reading, and science.
- Girls are more likely to graduate from high school.
- While the Ivy League colleges in the US were always predominately male, every one of them today is majority female.
- Women account for around half the managerial positions in the US economy.
- Many previously male-dominated professions, including medicine and financial management, are rapidly tilting female, especially among younger professionals.
- The proportion of women lawyers has increased tenfold, from 4 per cent in 1980 to 43 per cent in 2020.
- In 1968, only 33 per cent of young women in their teens and early 20s said they expected to be in paid work at the age of 35. By 1980, the share was 80 per cent.
This isn’t to say that parity has been reached across the board. Only one in five executive-level company directors is a woman and, of the Fortune 500 firms, just 44 have a female CEO. The share of venture capital money going to female founders is less than 3 per cent. So, at the upper reaches of the economy, there is still much more work to do for women. But, the further you progress down the economic ladder, it’s men who are struggling far more than women.
So, why don’t men write more about their experiences?
Joyce Maynard – a bestselling author of 18 books, including two memoirs – has been hosting writing retreats for more than 20 years. While most of her memoir retreats have been open to men, she notes that they seldom attend. ‘Women have been telling each other their stories all their lives, and it’s not unfamiliar for them to do so,’ she told me in a phone call. ‘But it’s been my experience that for a man to reach a place of openness to exposing emotional pain or struggle, something in his experience had to bring him to his knees.’ Maynard added that, as someone who twice attended previously all-male educational institutions in the Ivy League, she had long observed the difficulty of men – particularly high-achievers – to acknowledge loss or vulnerability. She told the story of attending the recent 50-year reunion of her almost all-male class at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. ‘After decades of feeling the requirement to present themselves as successful,’ she said, ‘as they approached age 70, my classmates were no longer trying to set the world on fire. They had survived failed marriages, trouble with adult children, health issues. Many seemed relieved to finally be able to set down the mantle our culture had instructed them to carry all those years. They were able to reveal their more authentic selves in a whole new way. And, of course that’s what writing memoir requires: a willingness to look at one’s failures as well as one’s victories, and then make sense of them.’
To be clear, some men are writing memoirs on this topic: ‘The Marriage Lesson That I Learned Too Late’ (2022) by Matthew Fray; The Marriage Advice I Wish I Would’ve Had (2014) by Gerald Rogers; Falling Forward: A Man’s Memoir of Divorce (2014) by Chris Easterly; A Man’s Guide to Surviving Divorce: How to Cope and Move On with Life (2011) by R L Blackwood; and Men on Divorce: The Other Side of the Story (1997), an anthology by the editors of Women on Divorce (1995) – both female. But they pale in comparison with those authored by women authors.
T he challenges that exist in today’s marriages are exacerbated by our highly individualistic culture in the US, where the gospels of twining one’s soul with another’s while prizing identity and independence are characterised as eminently achievable. Yet reconciling these often-contradictory forces requires enormous emotional and material assets. ‘The very idea of living “autonomously” and organising life as a self-defined, goal-driven, and future-oriented project would seem to require resources, private space, and an independence from other people that only the affluent and upwardly mobile might possess,’ writes the sociologist Joseph E Davis in Chemically Imbalanced: Everyday Suffering, Medication, and Our Troubled Quest for Self-Mastery (2020).
And not to be a bummer but, while the hero’s journey of leaving a bad marriage can make for compelling and sympathetic memoirs, in the US, 67 per cent of second marriages end in divorce too, and 73 per cent of third marriages fail to go the distance. As Joni Mitchell sang in ‘Help Me’ (1974): ‘We love our lovin’. But not like we love our freedom.’ Freedom to stay. Freedom to leave. Freedom to choose. Perhaps a more apt lyric is Sheryl Crow’s: ‘If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad. If it makes you happy, then why the hell are you so sad?’
So, maybe, like many things in life, men want the freedom not to talk about it, let alone write it down. Or they want the freedom to hide how sad, lonely or hurt they feel by the loss of their marriages or the decline in the relationships with their children. Maybe they worry that they’ll look weak or inadequate in the eyes of women – let alone men – if they reveal how lost and alone they feel.
And maybe they’re not wrong.
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Marriage and Divorce Essay Introduction, Tips, and Samples
Table of Contents
Divorce is a common topic for law and social science students to research and write about. The effects of divorce are varied and can be brought on by various factors.
This article provides a comprehensive overview of how to write a marriage and divorce essay. It provides tips, guidelines, topics, and sample introductions to make the writing process as easy as possible.
Let’s dive in!
How to Write an Essay on Marriage and Divorce
Sometimes divorce results from a mutual decision and a clean break with the family. But, more often, it is the culmination of years of tension. For this reason, the law includes numerous safeguards for parents and their offspring in the event of a divorce.
Family circumstances leading up to the divorce are also essential to consider. This is because socioeconomic status can significantly impact a couple’s ability to keep their marriage together. In conclusion, there is a wide range of potential topics for an effective essay on divorce.
Prove that you’ve thought about the bigger picture by discussing the factors contributing to divorce.
Find the root causes of the issue and explain them in a way that will convince the leader of their veracity. Use relevant statistics to support your claims and give your research more weight.
Once you’ve spotted a worrying pattern, you can try to elaborate on it and explain why this particular family issue is so pervasive.
Such concepts can be developed into full-fledged essays with the potential to leave a deep impression on the reader.
It’s important to talk about the various legal proceedings involved in a divorce, regardless of the reason for the split. One of the worst parts of divorce is having to go to court to resolve issues like property division and child custody.
Prenuptial agreements are one example of precautions that can be taken to avoid such problems. However, you should also mention the drawbacks of these agreements.
Finally, you can talk about the societal factors contributing to divorce, such as teen pregnancy leading to early or forced marriages.
Sociological research can help pinpoint the root causes of divorce, which must be addressed to end this social problem.
If you want your essay to have more of an impact, remember to follow these general guidelines:
Points to Note for Marriage and Divorce Essay Introduction
Use interesting and engaging ways to start your divorce essay to keep the reader interested. If the reader loses interest and skims, you’ve failed.
Write an introductory paragraph that presents a high-level summary of the issue without diving into subtopics or specialist language.
Conclude with a clear thesis statement that states the question you will address and the position you will take, if applicable.
Don’t stray too far from the central argument you laid out in your thesis. To better engage your reader, keep your work narrowly focused.
Like how you should begin the paper, your divorce essay should end with a conclusion that summarizes the entire paper. Restate your thesis and add a few fitting closing remarks to your essay.
Separate article sections with titles that identify the themes should be explored in different paragraphs. This method makes the essay easier to read and more organized overall.
15 Topics and Sample Introduction on Marriage and Divorce Essay
What Happens to a Person After a Prolonged Divorce? When one spouse, typically the man, abandons the spouse and their children during a divorce, the surviving spouse may have trouble providing for them.
Young children are especially vulnerable to the adverse outcomes of divorce. Children’s reactions to their parent’s separation and eventual divorce vary depending on their age, gender, and personality.
Based on these issues, here are some topics and introductions to start your essay.
1. Psychological Counseling for Dealing with Divorce
One thing that happens after a divorce is that a person’s emotional and mental state changes. Counseling began in the country in the 1950s, when it was realized how important it was to… Why and how people get divorced.
Many marriages end because one partner cheats on the other. The person who was cheated on feels like all the work and sacrifices made to keep the marriage together was for nothing.
2. What Divorce Does to Children
When a married couple with children gets divorced, the law says that the children’s best interests must be protected. Difficulties that children face and ways to solve the new problems that arise after a divorce.
3. An Overview of the Children of Divorce’s Living Situation
Recent studies show that the number of divorces worldwide has increased a lot. This is primarily due to the shift […]
4. Exegetical Study of Divorce in the Bible
The divine plan for marriage and the right to divorce can be used to understand the passage of marriage and divorce.
5. How divorce affects the children
Scholars pay attention to how the child’s age affects their feelings about their parents’ split. Psychologists say that when parents split up, it’s a big change in how children are raised.
8. Marriage and Divorce in the Bible – Religious Studies
The most important thing is that the Bible says not to do it. Both society and the Church suffer when people get divorced. Infidelity is often a cause of divorce and stress disorder.
Divorces and stress disorders can have different causes. But the idea of cheating is still a bit shocking because people have the right to choose whether or not to do it. […]
9. Rates of Divorce in the United Arab Emirates
Even more worrisome is the fact that Emirates are involved in 30% of divorce cases in the UAE.
10. “How Divorce Affects Children” by Meera Chowdhry
For example, it is said that after the end of the Second World War, there was an increase in divorces.
11. How women are affected by divorce
Both people who believe in religion and those who don’t agree that it has helped bring peace and civilization to the world. On the other hand, divorce…
12. Why and how people get divorced in the UAE
In this case, the rate is the number of divorces compared to the total number of marriages in a year.
13. Deontology and Utilitarianism: The Ethics of Divorce
Before discussing the ethics of divorce, the paper first talks about ethics and then discusses divorce in modern society.
14. Settlement talks for a divorce
The goal of the meeting is to work out Rex’s divorce without going to court. All the people involved in the negotiations should be prepared for the negotiations. The results of divorce are poverty and instability.
Divorce isn’t the answer to problems in a marriage because it leads to poverty, instability, and a bad environment for the kids. Due to this situation, personal analysis shows that some children are usually left to the […]
15. How is coaching different from therapy when it comes to divorce?
Divorce is one situation where parents and children need help from a professional life coach to deal with the changes.
An introduction sets up the background, setting, and the immediate questions that need to be answered to determine how the essay will be structured.
We write about problems from the standpoint of the emotional, social, and practical effects that these issues have on people’s lives.
Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.
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Divorce Essay: Causes and Effects
I hope you will enjoy reading this causes and effects of divorce essay. Also you should definitely visit our website Puressay.com , which is one of the best essay writing services. There you will find everything you are looking for. However, if there is something you are interested in and you do not see exactly what you want, in this case contact our team of professional writers and they will provide you with first-class original essay . Don’t waste your time and join us!
Divorce in a family
Why did not they manage to create happy family?
Causes of divorce in a family issue is relatively new, but already urgent problem. It became widespread only a couple of decades ago. According to the statistics, in 1950s only 3% of families got divorced, in ‘60s it was already 10%. In 1980s due to different reasons 33% of family could not avoid divorce. Today the number of divorces is about 45%. So there is no need to explain why this essay about divorce has much importance and must be read. Besides, young generation starts to forget what value family has and why they should try to save it.
Usually young families that exist for less than a year get divorced, also 1/3 of divorces happen in families that exist for 1 – 5 years. That is why the problem of divorces is the problem of young people.
Of course, there are cases when divorce is necessary, when husband and wife do not respect each other, do not love each other and do not take into consideration the opinion of each other, so in this case a man and a woman in a family are almost enemies. So how can it be possible to avoid divorce in such a family? Is it necessary at all? Trying to save the image of a happy family, parents may hurt emotionally their children.
There are about 120 children on a hundred divorced families. And in the most of cases children stay with their mothers. Besides, more than half of women do not marry for the second time, it means that there is no male influence on a child in the process of upbringing.
And our school much feminized lately can not replace the role of the father in a family. This fact leads to bad consequences.
One of the main reasons of unhappy family life and as a consequence of divorce is the fact that future husband and wife do not each other well enough before they decide to get married. When a young man and a young woman with similar opinions and interests meet each other, we can say that they are lucky. However, in most of cases people have to learn to live together, to adapt to family life. Unfortunately, not everyone has patience, desire and knowledge to do that.
Let’s look at the example of two families. In both families husband and wife are talented people. In both families they love each other. But the first family gets divorced, and the second one does not. What did lead to the divorce in the first family? In this family the wife did not see friend in her husband, did not consider him head of the family. She treated him as an enemy and used to think that children were a trap that her husband purposely made to become more successful in the life. So when he studied his postgraduate education, the wife decided to get divorced. In the second family the married couple supported each other. The wife decided not to chase after the husband. The husband continued to get education while she took café of the family. She said she did this for the family’s sake. The husband thanks to his wife’s support became professional and perspective scientist. As a result, the whole family got the benefit, what can not be said about the first one.
In the past you could often hear such a phrase: “On the family council we decided…” Why do we hear it so seldom today? Instead we can often hear about the competition between husband and wife, that they do not want to give way to their second half. And after that they naively think that they can create happy family and get family happiness.
About 40% of women and half of men after divorce create second marriage, so it means that the reason of divorce becomes the reasons of women’s loneliness.
Women after divorce in most of cases do not give birth again. So divorces have negative impact on the demographical situation. Young people so easily decide to get divorced and have very unserious attitude to the marriage, that it seems that divorce is a new fashion trend, and this is another unusual cause of divorce. Nowadays it is so easy to divorce, especially when a couple does not have children. Such a simple way of marriage annulation leads to irresponsible attitude to marriage itself.
Fashion in the sphere of family life is very dangerous. And not everyone realizes it. People often hide their own egoism behind love. It is so easy to blame love and jealousy, wife’s or husband’s bad temper.
Most of cases of divorce due to various reasons happen in the cities-millionaires. In such cities the family social control of relatives, grandfathers and grandmothers, neighbors, etc. is less strong. And young people more often and usually without much thinking get married. Also there is much higher number of venal and fictitious marriages, which very soon come to their end. Also many young girls and boys have to get married because they wait for a child.
Very often young people say that the family is destroyed but they can not say the exact reason. And you want to ask them: “Who were you in love : creators or destroyers? Whom did you become in fact?”
Causes of divorce
Research of the most common divorce reasons among young family gave the following result:
1st place. Cause of divorce is harmful habits, in particular the problem of alcoholism in a family (in most cases husband’s alcoholism);
2nd place. Cause of divorce is adultery of one of the spouses;
3rd place. Cause of divorce is light-minded, thoughtless decision to get married;
4th place. Cause of divorce is living conditions, problems related to them and lack of money;
5th place. Cause of divorce is conflicts in a family because of the parents.
There is another reason that should be mentioned. Everyone knows such a term as marriage of convenience. And everyone understands that the ground of the marriage is not love, but certain benefit of one of the spouses. In such a family in the first years or eve months of marriage the basic rules of mutual respect and moral principles are violated. And it is logically, because what is the base of marriage (material interest instead of feelings), that is the result of marriage. Conflicts in such a family begin from the very beginning, because there is no love and respect between the couple. People often forget that it is not possible to build happy marriage basing on material interest. Such spouses divorce because they have the material aspect, but the spiritual is absent.
The consequences of divorce
What does divorce for the married couple mean? Divorce is a painful phenomenon that leaves marks on a human soul, it is always catastrophe, tragedy that affects people sometimes for years. Divorced spouses sometimes miss each other, feel anxiety, despite the fact that they were the initiators of divorce and considered their family life unhappy. Even if they manage to keep good relationships, for a child divorce is always a catastrophe, it is a tragedy for the whole life, because child can be absolutely happy only having both of parents. Besides, scientists discovered that children of divorced parents in their adulthood divorce more often than children raised in full families.
Divorce is the process that causes much harm to a child, affects the mental health. Moreover, gils raised without father often begin to hate men in general. Divorce also has negative influence on the child’s discipline and the personality development. Children often start doing what they want, they usually have problems with friends, memory and school. Since the child is between parents, he /she will always suffer more than the parents.
Most of divorced men and women become supporters of free relationships because of their previous negative family experience. They also are afraid of the repetition of the situation, that is why they do not get married again.
So, now you see how much important it is to consider all the possible negative consequences of divorce before taking such a decision. Also young people should understand the whole responsibility when they decide to get married. Anyway, I hope that the situation with divorces will improve soon and that people will be more serious about marriage and family relationships.
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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Divorce — The Main Causes Of Divorce
Overview of The Main Causes of Divorce
- Categories: Divorce Relationship
About this sample
Words: 2043 |
11 min read
Published: Mar 18, 2021
Words: 2043 | Pages: 4 | 11 min read
Table of contents
Introduction, major causes of divorce, causes of divorce: essay conclusion, works cited.
- Amato, P. R. (2010). Research on divorce: Continuing trends and new developments. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72(3), 650-666.
- Cobb, N., & Boivin, J. (2019). “It takes two to tango”: Communication and trust as predictors of marital satisfaction. The Family Journal, 27(1), 68-74.
- Feldman, B. N., & Broussard, C. A. (2006). Men’s adjustment to their wives’ breast cancer: A problem-solving perspective. Journal of Family Psychology, 20(1), 1-7.
- Gottman, J. M., & Silver, N. (2015). The seven principles for making marriage work: A practical guide from the country’s foremost relationship expert. Harmony.
- Hawkins, A. J., Blanchard, V. L., Baldwin, S. A., & Fawcett, E. B. (2008). Does marriage and relationship education work? A meta-analytic study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(5), 723-734.
- Johnson, M. D., & Anderson, J. R. (2015). The evolution of divorce ideology in the United States. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(2), 347-360.
- Karney, B. R., & Bradbury, T. N. (1995). The longitudinal course of marital quality and stability: A review of theory, method, and research. Psychological Bulletin, 118(1), 3-34.
- Markman, H. J., Stanley, S. M., & Blumberg, S. L. (2010). Fighting for your marriage: Positive steps for preventing divorce and preserving a lasting love. John Wiley & Sons.
- Sassler, S., Addo, F. R., & Lichter, D. T. (2012). The tempo of sexual activity and later relationship quality. Journal of Marriage and Family, 74(4), 708-725.
- Snyder, D. K., Castellani, A. M., & Whisman, M. A. (2006). Current status and future directions in couple therapy. Annual Review of Psychology, 57, 317-344.
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VI Lenin on
Speech at the, first all-russia congress of working women, november 19, 1918.
Delivered: 19 November, 1918 First Published: 22 November, 1918, Pravda No. 253; Published according the Pravda text Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, Progress Publishers, Moscow, Volume 28, 1974, pages 180-182 Transcribed and HTML Markup: Sally Ryan (proofed by R. Cymbala ; see source file.) Online Version: V.I.Lenin Internet Archive , 2002
Comrades, in a certain respect this congress of the feminine section of the proletarian army is of particularly great significance, since in all countries women have been the slowest to stir. There can be no socialist revolution, unless a vast section of the toiling women takes an important part in it.
( Comrade Lenin is greeted by the delegates with stormy applause .) Comrades, in a certain sense this Congress of the women's section of the workers' army has a special significance, because one of the hardest things in every country has been to stir the women into action. There can be no socialist revolution unless very many working women take a big part in it.
In all civilised countries, even the most advanced, the position of women is such as justifies their being called domestic slaves. Not in a single capitalist country, not even in the freest Republic, do women enjoy complete equality.
In all civilised countries, even the most advanced, women are actually no more than domestic slaves. Women do not enjoy full equality in any capitalist state, not even in the freest of republics.
The aim of the Soviet Republic is to abolish, in the first place, all restrictions of the rights of women. The Soviet Government has completely abolished the source of bourgeois filth, repression and humiliation — divorce proceedings.
One of the primary tasks of the Soviet Republic is to abolish all restrictions on women's rights. The Soviet government has completely abolished divorce proceedings, that source of bourgeois degradation, repression and humiliation.
For nearly a year now our completely free divorce laws have been in force. We issued a decree abolishing the difference in the status of children born in wedlock and those born out of wedlock, and also the various political disabilities. In no other country have the toiling women achieved such complete freedom and equality.
It will soon be a year now since complete freedom of divorce was legislated. We have passed a decree annulling all distinction between legitimate and illegitimate children and removing political restrictions. Nowhere else in the world have equality and freedom for working women been so fully established.
We know that the entire burden of the obsolete rules is borne by the women of the working class.
We know that it is the working-class woman who has to bear the full brunt of antiquated codes.
Our law wiped out, for the first time in history, all that made women inferior. But it is not a matter of law. In our cities and factory settlements this law on the complete freedom of marriage is taking root, but in the countryside it very frequently exists only on paper. There, church marriage still predominates. This is due to the influence of the priests, and it is more difficult to fight this evil than the old laws.
For the first time in history, our law has removed everything that denied women rights. But the important thing is not the law. In the cities and industrial areas this law on complete freedom of marriage is doing all right, but in the countryside it all too frequently remains a dead letter. There the religious marriage still predominates. This is due to the influence of the priests, an evil that is harder to combat than the old legislation.
Religious prejudices must be fought very cautiously; a lot of harm is caused by those who carry on this struggle in such a way as to offend religious feelings. The struggle must be carried on by means of propaganda, by means of enlightenment. By introducing acrimony into the struggle we may antagonise the masses; this kind of struggle contributes to the division of the masses according to religion, but our strength is in unity. The deepest source of religious prejudice is poverty and ignorance; it is with these evils that we must contend.
We must be extremely careful in fighting religious prejudices; some people cause a lot of harm in this struggle by offending religious feelings. We must use propaganda and education. By lending too sharp an edge to the struggle we may only arouse popular resentment; such methods of struggle tend to perpetuate the division of the people along religious lines, whereas our strength lies in unity. The deepest source of religious prejudice is poverty and ignorance; and that is the evil we have to combat.
Up to the present the position of women has been such that it is called a position of slavery. Women are crushed by their domestic drudgery, and only socialism can relieve them from this drudgery, when we shall pass on from small household economy to social economy and to social tilling of the soil.
The status of women up to now has been compared to that of a slave; women have been tied to the home, and only socialism can save them from this. They will only be completely emancipated when we change from small-scale individual farming to collective farming and collective working of the land. That is a difficult task. But now that Poor Peasants' Committees are being formed, the time has come when the socialist revolution is being consolidated.
Only then will women be fully free and emancipated. It is a difficult task. It has been observed in the experience of all liberation movements that the success of a revolution depends on the extent to which women take part in it. The Soviet government is doing everything to enable women to carry on their proletarian socialist activity independently.
Up to the present not a single Republic has been capable of emancipating the women. The Soviet government will help them. Our cause is invincible, for in all countries the invincible working class is rising. This movement signifies the growth of the invincible socialist revolution.
The poorest part of the rural population is only now beginning to organise, and socialism is acquiring a firm foundation in these organisations of poor peasants.
Before, often the town became revolutionary and then the countryside.
But the present revolution relies on the countryside, and therein lie its significance and strength. the experience of all liberation movements has shown that the success of a revolution depends on how much the women take part in it. The Soviet government is doing everything in its power to enable women to carry on independent proletarian socialist work.
The Soviet government is in a difficult position because the imperialists of all countries hate Soviet Russia and are preparing to go to war with her for kindling the fire of revolution in a number of countries and for taking determined steps towards socialism.
Now that they are out to destroy revolutionary Russia, the ground is beginning to burn under their own feet. You know how the revolutionary movement is spreading in Germany. In Denmark the workers are fighting their government. In Switzerland and Holland the revolutionary movement is getting stronger. The revolutionary movement in these small countries has no importance in itself, but it is particularly significant because there was no war in these countries and they had the most "constitutional" democratic system. If countries like these are stirring into action, it makes us sure the revolutionary movement is gaining ground all over the world.
No other republic has so far been able to emancipate woman. The Soviet Government is helping her. Our cause is invincible because the invincible working class is rising in all countries. This movement signifies the spread of the invincible socialist revolution. ( Prolonged applause . All sing the "Internationale" .)
Collected Works Volume 28 Collected Works Table of Contents Lenin Works Archive
The Causes of Divorce Essay
Introduction, inequality in spending or earning money.
Divorces are socially significant actions that often have negative implications for both former families involved and society as a whole. The causes behind this social phenomenon can vary significantly, but for the sake of a deeper understanding, there is a necessity to explore some of them in-depth. One of the main causes of divorces is betrayal; another is unequal spending and earning. Exploring these causes could provide an insight into how to avoid them.
Betrayal or infidelity is one of the most common causes for a husband and wife to split. Infidelity for each particular person can mean a multitude of things. Some people, arguably most, define betrayal in marriage as having sex with another person. This is deeply connected with the nature and tradition of the intimate relationship between men and women. Letting another person into one’s personal space to the point of having intercourse is already an issue of deep-felt trust and having utter conviction in the other party’s genuine feelings. If a marriage partner reveals that they have had that same kind of intimacy and affection with someone else, it will definitely insult the other partner. No wonder, then, that after such an incident, the victim of infidelity would want to sever the relationship as trust is violated. At first glance, it seems understandable and logical.
There is also another explanation for such a reaction. Religious people consider the marital vow of loving and honoring each other for as long as they both live sacred; sacred as something that is witnessed, blessed, and sealed by the higher power. Such an alliance is forbidden to break by divine law. If a person decides to violate this vow, it means not only that they betrayed their partner but also that they went against God. Such an action for a deeply religious person is much more than a violation of trust. Therefore, there are not many choices left other than to drift apart.
There can also be other understandings of betrayal. Some people have more conservative views on marital fidelity and may consider even holding hands with a person of the opposite sex for a second too long to be a friendly handshake. It may not lead directly to divorce but may give grounds for monitoring each action of an allegedly cheating wife or husband. This is often considered a norm in middle-eastern countries where women are not allowed to even look at a person of the opposite sex in the eyes for too long. This is a deeply religious and cultural tradition that may not be acceptable to others. Interestingly, in some Islamic practices, men are allowed to have up to four wives, and this is not considered to be infidelity.
Additionally, people often vary in degrees of tolerance towards infidelity. Some consider it a violation of trust but not to the point of needing to end the relationship, especially if it didn’t last that long. Many people would consider writing a one-off or short-term event as a mistake, provided the circumstances did not imply serious consideration of deliberate and heartless assault on their partner’s feelings. Some people even forgive betrayal more than once or do so systematically for a number of psychological reasons. Some are very tolerant in their views on marital relationships and may even let the other party have sex with other people while not feeling betrayed at all. People in this category, with somewhat progressive or, as some may say, open-minded views are quite rare according to the author’s personal observations.
After staying in the relationship after a betrayal, most people cannot maintain the same level of emotional affection for longer than a few years. People may stay together because they have grown comfortable with each other and they are afraid of being alone again. Others demonstrate the opposite reaction and start slowly drifting towards other people in search of those sharp and intense feelings that they long for but cannot experience with the person they loved a few years back. Whatever the reasons for betrayal, be it lack of love or sexual attraction, a divorce requires the verbal or non-verbal consent of the two spousal parties.
Money can also become a reason to end a marriage and go separate ways. In this case, people have not necessarily entered a relationship seeking material benefit. At least, the financial well-being of a partner was not a defining characteristic. If love was the prime reason for getting married, then money could be just an excuse and a valid reason for not verbalizing the absence of feelings. People often tend to avoid upsetting their loved ones or the people they care about by not telling them the hard truth. However, divorce can often be accompanied by a long period of mutual accusations and even legal actions against one another in an attempt to retain a larger part of the matrimonial property. After seeing this happen, it can be hard to believe that these people ever loved each other.
There are also cases when people who were committed to building a career and have remained single into their thirties or even forties. Such people can be inexperienced in building a long-lasting relationship and are accustomed to a standard of living. Entering marriage late for such people may mean a rapid shift from a relatively calm and steady lifestyle into a costly endeavor as the needs of two people differ from just having to consider themselves. Frequently, divorce happens when people marry hastily, not having lived together long enough to grow accustomed to each other’s lifestyles. Another reason for money-based divorces could be one-sided love. An aged man or a woman with a considerable fortune could fall in love with a younger person who has deceitful intentions of waiting for their elder partner to die and pretend to be caring and loving enough to be mentioned in their will. An end to such relationships is often brought about by ‘failed’ acting or the elder partner following the advice from a close friend.
There are also situations when people end relationships because they do not consider themselves equal partners. For some people, marriage is not only about love and affection but also financial equality. Men often feel uneasy to earn less than their wives. Although this may not be discussed between the two, marriages sometimes become a topic of external discussion and gossip can make a proud man feel miserable in his relationship to the point he cannot see any positive side. The situation is often aggravated by the fact that men do not like to bring up such deep topics for discussion, and prefer to let things build up. This unhealthy pride, with gossip as a stimulating factor, could sever a marriage that otherwise could be happy.
Another side of this issue could entail a wife being dissatisfied with her husband earning low wages or a husband discontented with his wife’s excessive spending. These are clichés that are often seen on TV and read in books; the roles can be opposite too. Nonetheless, the disparity in earnings and spending between partners can become an issue that threatens a relationship. Marriage can be viewed as a union where each side is equal in everything. It would be safe to assume that each partner should contribute to keeping the flame within the family hearth either ‘by labor or by coin’ but in equal amount nonetheless. When contributions cannot be measured and compared in dollar equivalent, there may arise a question of equality that quickly becomes a fight over money and contribution.
There is a myriad of reasons for divorce. They may be well-established and evidenced with facts of infidelity or bank statements. However, a divorce still remains an act between two people who united for some reason in the past, who now wish to go their separate ways. For one party, it may seem a relief, for the other it is misfortune. Having analyzed two possible causes of divorce, it occurred to me that the underlying reason for divorce is a change in one of the partners or both of them. If marriage is a union of two people who found something that unites them, makes them similar, then it is some drastic difference that draws them apart. Thus, marriage depends on the ability to settle differences through conversation or frequent contemplation on the things that unite two people.
- Chicago (A-D)
- Chicago (N-B)
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ESSAY; Moscow's China Card
By William Safire
- Sept. 8, 1986
Every decade or so, China undergoes a political convulsion. In 1948-49, the Communists threw out the Kuomintang; in 1956, Mao's ''Great Leap Forward'' plunged the country into a depression; in 1966, the Cultural Revolution to purify the party brought on a new Dark Ages; in 1976-78, we saw Mao's would-be radical successors, the ''Gang of Four,'' replaced by pragmatic Deng Xiaoping.
Now we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the death of Mao, and some Pekingologists would have us believe that this decade's upheaval will not come.
Mr. Deng, at 82, has provided for his succession, we are assured: it's all set for Hu Yaobang and Zhao Ziyang to succeed him, with Hu Qili of the next generation right behind. Not to worry, goes the current Edgar Snow-job: China's new era of ''commutalism,'' communism with a capitalist face, will march undisturbed into the next millennium.
I wonder. Maybe the conventional wisdom will prove right for once. But for argument's sake, let's look at what is happening in China through a different set of glasses, seeking truth from facts.
Fact number one is that a wave of materialism is sweeping across the billion people of China. After a generation of repression, good ol' greed is back in the saddle, and an I'm-all right-Deng attitude permeates the new entrepreneurs.
As a longtime expositor of the virtue of greed in powering the engine of social progress, I cannot cluck-cluck at this. But there is a difference between the materialism of the Chinese on Taiwan, who are accustomed to free enterprise, and the lust for the good life of available goods on the mainland, where a terrible thirst has been a-building.
Let us assume that the outburst of materialism in China leads to some reaction: that some spoilsport faction emerges to summon up the ghost of Mao's ideological purity, and that this new gang of fortyish Outs finds its way back in. It is at least a possibility.
I think that shrewd old Deng is well aware of this possibility. That is why, despite his ostentatious rejection of personal cultdom, he is preparing his most dramatic assault on the memory of Mao. That father of the revolution startled the world by breaking with the Soviet Union; Mr. Deng, playing a revisionist Lenin to Mao's Marx, wants to startle the world and overwhelm internal opposition by a rapprochement with Moscow.
Accordingly, fact two: He has abandoned his demand that Russia move back its huge army from the Chinese border, thereby double-crossing his own Army leaders. He has forgotten his requirement that Soviet forces be withdrawn from Afghanistan, thereby double-crossing his Westernish ally, Pakistan.
All Mr. Deng now asks of the Russians is that they try to squeeze their Vietnamese clients to pull out of Cambodia. Of course they'll try - ''best efforts'' is an easy promise - and since the Vietnamese are notoriously independent, Moscow cannot be blamed for not succeeding. Result: Mr. Deng takes the salute from atop the wall in Red Square.
That reestablishes his Communist credentials, defanging hard-left opposition at home. And it is Middle Kingdom orthodoxy; I suspect Chinese agents in the U.S. supply the K.G.B. with intelligence, just as Peking permits our Big Ears on its soil to overhear Kremlin transmissions. Chinese policy has always been to play the barbarians against each other.
This theory would also explain fact three: Mr. Gorbachev's seizure of a U.S. newsman as hostage. It is no coincidence that this particular hostage selection follows China's arrest and expulsion of a reporter for a U.S. newspaper. The Soviet leader, advised by Anatoly Dobrynin, must have known that this slap in the face would jeopardize a summit - and went ahead with his calculated humiliation, similar to Mr. Nixon's mining of Haiphong harbor before his Moscow summit in 1972.
Because the Russians now have the prospect of a pilgrimage to Moscow by Mr. Deng, they can taunt the U.S. President with impunity. As Mr. Dobrynin probably predicted, Mr. Reagan is reduced to begging for the hostage's release, in effect volunteering testimony to a Soviet court, in his eagerness to crown his Presidency with a peacemaking summit.
Now Mr. Gorbachev can hang tough, holding a show trial and thereby delaying negotiations with the U.S. until the Deng visit - or can graciously accede to the Reagan plea, thereby establishing his dominance. And the overconfident Mr. Reagan never suspected, as he sat down to summit poker, that this time the China card was in his opponent's hand.