Today, divorce is commonplace, but there was a time several decades ago when divorce was considered socially taboo and couples were encouraged to always stay together “for the sake of the children.”
Now we know that whether or not divorce is harmful to children depends largely on how it is handled by their parents. We also know that toxic marriages can cause more harm than good to children. There are several ways that children suffer when their parents have a bad marriage; here are four of the most common:
1. Chronic anxiety.
Conflicts in a marriage are internalized by children, leaving an emotional imprint that never goes away. When children are raised in a conflict-filled home, they always feel anxious and tense — and the long-term result is typically ongoing emotional problems like depression and anxiety.
Warring parents diminish a child’s sense of security and inner peace, often putting them at direct odds with their own impulses. They crave love, but reject closeness; they want friends, but choose to be isolated. A child will internalize their parents’ conflict, which hinders their own emotional development.
3. Fear of intimacy.
Children raised in a dysfunctional household typically have problems with getting close to others for fear of being hurt. Even if they do manage to have an intimate relationship, they are always on guard for an unprovoked attack. When a conflict does happen — a normal occurrence in any intimate relationship — they will either run away or imitate their parents’ aggressive behavior.
4. Mood disorders.
Children who grow up in a house full of conflict lose their sense of hope and optimism and come to expect the worst in any interaction with others. This often leads to mood problems like depression, substance abuse, or even personality disorders.
Your legal team at Koenig|Dunne is here to provide you with guidance and advice regarding all of the issues that you will face throughout the divorce process.