Fighting among parents affects children in different ways. Teenagers typically
feel inclined to get involved, while younger children respond by internalizing
their feelings. Often these repressed feelings manifest later in a child’s
life in the form of anxiety or depression.
Unfortunately, growing up among marital discord is not an atypical situation
for most American children, and often the discontent ends in divorce.
The effects divorce can have on a child are many, ranging from problems
related to neglect, health, behavior, learning capacity, drug abuse, crime,
Beyond the effects listed above, divorced families are more likely to struggle
financially than two-parent households. Even families that did not struggle
before find themselves in a difficult financial position after a divorce.
Commonly, these financial issues follow the children of divorce into their
adult lives, as children whose parents divorce are likely to earn less
money in adulthood.
A good deal of the emotional toll divorce takes on a child is a direct
result of how the parents themselves deal with the friction in their marriage,
and how it manifests in their relationship with their children. Accordingly,
a good way to avoid the pitfalls of marital conflict is to communicate
openly and fairly with your spouse about the relationship, including open,
fair discourse about topics like each other’s needs, forgiveness,
household responsibilities and emotional and physical intimacy. For particularly
trying issues like unfaithfulness, sexual frustration and verbal abuse,
seeking the help of a professional can help provide perspective to these
difficult conversations. Though uncomfortable, resolving tension in a
relationship is the most important thing a parent can do for the future
well being of their children.
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