The Psychology of Everyday Life:Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage


How important is it to stay together for the children’s sake?

Most research shows that children benefit from divorce when their parents’ marriage was highly acrimonious or when there was domestic violence, severe alcoholism, or other highly problematic behavior. Not all marriages are worth saving. However, given that the divorce rate reached an estimated peak of 50 percent by 1990, it is reasonable to conclude that many of those marriages could have been saved if both partners had been more committed to working out problems and persevering through the hard times. As there are clear negative effects of divorce for both adults and children, we can conclude that divorce should not be taken lightly. Couples should try to save their marriages; they should work on improved conflict resolution and seek out couples’ therapy if necessary. However, these efforts may not succeed and couples may choose to end their marriage anyway. If parents decide on divorce, it is incumbent on them to proceed through the divorce process in a thoughtful and emotionally controlled way. If they do not, they cause unnecessary emotional pain for their children.


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