Steve Biddulph says, ‘love grows the brain’. Steve is right but love is one of those commodities that is in desperately short supply in the homes that many children inhabit.
Currently one in three marriages fail. The rate is higher for second and third marriages.
People say that kids are better off when unhappy parents divorce, but the social sciences show that the reverse is the case. If parents stick out an unhappy marriage, in five years time the majority of them admit to having a happy marriage.
An article called “The True Impact of Divorce on Children”, compiling the results from a survey said that:
Divorced parents are often in denial about how badly the break-up has damaged their children, a survey has found.
More than three quarters believed their children had “coped well” – even though just 18 per cent of youngsters said they were happy with the situation.
Many parents fail to notice that their children are turning to drink and drugs, or even considering suicide, the poll found. Some were insensitive enough to break the news of the divorce to their children by text.
One in five of the children polled felt there was no point confiding in either their mother or father because they were “too wrapped up in themselves”…
One in 20 had turned to alcohol and one in nine had deliberately wounded themselves. A further 6 per cent had considered suicide, while two of those polled had tried to kill themselves.
Almost a third described themselves as devastated by divorce, while one in 12 thought that it meant their mothers and fathers “didn’t love them” and had “let them down”.
But despite the damage wrought by their parents splitting, few children felt able to speak openly and honestly about their emotions…
Meanwhile, just 5 per cent guessed their children blamed themselves for the split – even though 13 per cent of youngsters admitted feeling this way. One in ten parents thought their offspring were actually “relieved” they had left their partner…
In many cases, they never returned. Almost a quarter of youngsters said that they had not seen their father since the split.
Children of divorce lose out in every way. According to the statistics they suffer higher rates of addiction, mortality, poverty, suicide, incarceration and higher rates of mental health problems. Fatherlessness is the by-product of family breakdown which is exacerbated by our current family law system that is still essentially antagonistic to fathers.
Fatherlessness often has fatal affects; “A child living with a single mother is 14 times more likely to suffer serious physical abuse than is a child living with married biological parents. A child whose mother cohabits with a man other than the child’s father is 33 times more likely to suffer serious physical child abuse.
So what, as fathers, are we to do with all this information?
It’s simple really, “The greatest thing a father can do for his children is to love his wife”. Admittedly, this is easier said than done, but it can be done if you are willing to admit your need of help. Better still, actively working on loving your wife will really work. Finding ways to improve your marriage such as doing a marriage course, reading books and doing fatherhood courses that are marriage friendly all add up to making a great marriage.
Michele Weiner-Davis author and founder of www.divorcebusting.com said “Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is another thing altogether. It requires skills — relationship skills. We learn about relationships as we grow up and unfortunately, most of us didn’t have great role models…
The good news is that today, there are marriage education classes couples can take to improve their Relationship IQs. Couples can transform an unhappy or ho-hum marriage into a great one…
You don’t have to just stay together for the sake of the kids; get happy for the sake of the kids! It will be a gift for a lifetime.”
Warwick, how is that Marriage Stick Kit Course going that you are doing with your wife? I thought you’d never ask.
Read all about it in ‘All You Need is Love’.
Read ‘All You Need is Love’ this week because we all need to discover ways to fill our families with more love because love doesn’t only grow the brain, it grows our children too.
Yours for more love
PS. The good news is that you can sign up to do the first module of The Marriage Kit for free.
If you want to continue, it will cost $200 but that is far better than spending $50,000 on divorce lawyers. Marriage education is a great investment in more ways than one.