Marriage is part of human life but has a lot of challenges that come from differences and conflicts between spouses. Most of the times solutions and new commitments are embraced to maintain the relationship; however some, marriages get to a point where one or both the spouses cannot remain in the marriage and considers divorce. At this point, the couples might involve their children in their conflicts, or they might become spectators of the disagreements that have gone beyond privacy. The trauma from the incidents before and after the divorce impacts their lives differently. It diminishes future competency of the child on important aspects of life like family, religion, school marketplace and government. Divorce permanently weakens a family and the relationship between parents and children. In this paper, the discussion is about the impact divorce causes to children and how it affects their future marital life with reference to communication privacy management theory.
Sometimes divorce can be healthy is it prevents vices like deaths if the partners were to stay together. However, a challenge arises on how the children are to survive its effects and the impact it will cause to future relationships (Oliver, 2015). Studies show that many parents have forced themselves to remain in their marriages despite not liking each other, and when asked why they will rather stay together despite the differences and dislikes, most of them said they do not want to bad examples to their children and beside they want them to have both father and mother care and love (Mandemakers & Kalmijn, 2014). Divorce is an issue of not looked at well, and solutions made effectively, the future generation is bound to have a lot of problems (Oliver, 2015). Psychological effects and trauma from divorce introduce massive changes in their lives and how they perceive marriage. The daily absence of the father while living with the mother, or daily absence of the mother while living with the father affects the child mentally, especially if the child has a friend or a neighbor that has care, love, and support from both parents.
Divorce is a global challenge, and many solutions have been raised to help marriages last and live happily. One of the solutions bound to help marriages is communication privacy management (CPM) theory. The theory was first introduced in 2002 by Sandra Petronio. It is evidence-based and ensures a dependable understanding when making decisions and how they should be disclosed and protected as private information. The theory focuses on the kind of relationships people have with one another through communicative texts such as on social media, face-to-face interactions and in groups (Oliver, 2015). Moreover, the theory is also based on communicative-social behavioral perspectives and necessarily not a legal point of view. Communication privacy management theory illustrates that privacy is sustainable and not paradoxical through privacy management systems people use in everyday life. In the case of divorce, the theory is very crucial to the way the single parent talk to the children about the other parent, as it will determine her future relationships like marriage.
A research study showed that most of the single mothers who discloses to their daughter the reasons they divorced (especially if the father was abusive) ends up hating men and prefers celibacy to marriage in their future lives and, and if they marry the will not give their best in their marital life (Oliver, 2015). In this case, the theory might have failed in the marriage of the parents, but if the mother had advised her daughter accordingly she could have had a different perspective and even have a good marital life in the future (Kalmijn, 2015). However, it is not a guarantee that the child will have a successful marriage even if she is advised well because the child might be too choosy and could end up with a bad spouse (Kalmijn, 2015). For instance, a girl whose father was a narcissist and abusive would rather choose a loyal but alcoholic husband.
Divorce has a lot of impact on the children that will make them never to appreciate life as they supposed to appreciate (Kalmijn, 2015). The research further shows that these children are likely to have more positive attitudes towards divorce and fairly negative attitudes towards marriage relationship. The negative attitude towards marriage is the source of decreased commitment to romantic relationships that in turn causes lower relationship quality (Robila & SpringerLink, 2014). Moreover, divorce can also influence the future sexual behavior of these children making them compromise their emotions and relational stability. The concerns here relate to the story of a certain lady who was asked the reason why she fears getting married despite her wish of having her own family, she said she is not sure if anyone would like to marry a person that will carry additional baggage of trauma of being raised by a single parent due to divorce.
According to the research, relationships of children from divorced parents fail due to challenges like trust issues, hesitancy toward marriage, acceptance of divorce and cohabitation are due to intergenerational transmission of divorce. Parental divorce is one of the causes of low trust among children, and when they carry it to their relationships; they often become less affectionate to their spouses (Kalmijn, 2015). An adult male child of a divorced marriage shows more ambivalence that his counterparts from intact families when in a relationship, even though he might have invested a lot of money and tangible goods on her relationship (Oliver, 2015). Same to men, women also share this ambivalence in their relationships. Women even demonstrate more doubt, conflict, and lack of faith in their spouse’s benevolence and tend to value less the importance of commitment in her marriage. Consequently, unwed teen mothers with fears of divorce and rejection seem to retain negative attitudes towards men as instilled by the divorce of their parents.
The research focuses on parents as being the role model of their children marriages. The research argues that most of the children model their relationships according to the relationship of their parents, and are therefore likely to experience the same challenges their parents faced in their relationships (Kalmijn, 2015). For instance, if the marriage did not respect and value communication privacy management theory, they will also not respect and value the theory. The relationships of the victims of divorce also fail because they were deprived of the opportunity to learn relationship skills that are important for establishing successful marriages (Mandemakers & Kalmijn, 2014). For example, the research highlights how children that have grown up from divorced families use negative and destructive strategies to solve their marital conflicts. Moreover, they have different perspectives on marriage; they do not consider it a life-long endeavor. The research goes further to say that these victims consider divorce as an option at first sight of conflicts and differences in their new marriages. The case is opposed to their peers who had were raised from intact and loving families, as most of them might the conflicts to normal challenges in marriage life.
Divorce destroys a child psychologically and physically (Mandemakers & Kalmijn, 2014). After the divorce, the single parent often has a hard time trying to shape her broken child to accept and adapt to a new lifestyle. During this time, it is very important for the parent to employ communication privacy management theory since what he or she says if what will make or break the child (Robila & SpringerLink, 2014). If the parent discloses everything and talks ill about the other parent the child will live to hate that parent and probably her sex, and if she calm her down maturely as a responsible parent the child might have a different perspective and take life normal and even feel free to meet the other parent. Moreover, Post-divorce periods also call for more attention and a close parent-child interaction (Mandemakers & Kalmijn, 2014). The single parents are advised to be close to their children, and they should not let them be on their own for long hours as they might become more traumatized especially if the child loved the other parent and has been forced to live with the one he or she loved less.
The theory prefers divorced parents to keep the reasons for their separations secret from their children. However, it reaches a time when the child becomes unbearable because he or she wants to know what made her parents separate (Kalmijn, 2015). Disclosing the reason for divorce is also good for certain ages and not any age since at some ages the child could be still learning her identity and the identity between her and the parent. When disclosing the reasons, the parent is advised to at least employ communication privacy management theory even if he or she is unable to go by its policies of keeping the reasons secret (Oliver, 2015). For example, parents who were divorced because of infidelity can tell her child that they divorced because the other partner was not making her happy. The claim here is fairly innocent and straightforward and will make the child less stressed because of the divorce. Likely the child will learn that marriage requires happiness and if she is married she try and bring happiness into their marriage to prevent such like happenings (Robila & SpringerLink, 2014). At this point, going against the theory has helped the child to accept the post-divorce challenges, and she will make a good spouse.
From the above discussion, divorce is vice that can destroy children if they do not help well to overcome their experience and make good and responsible adults in their future lives. Divorce creates a different perspective on how the children of the victims will embrace and cope up with their marital life. Due to this, communication privacy management theory was introduced to help parents handle their difference privately without involving their children. A certain research study on the impact divorce causes to children urged parents that when they have concluded separating, they should make their children know that they still have a connection to their care, love, and commitment to cover up the shame of divorce and related challenges. Parents should try to different ways to better their marriages and make them last their entire lives as they vow during weddings to save their children from the shame and consequences caused by divorce. Fighting divorce has many merits because divorce can be hereditary or and cause of abusive marriages.
Butler, L. H., & Lee, K. S. (January 01, 2015). Marriage and Family in Context. Journal of Pastoral Theology.
Kalmijn, M. (2015). Relationships between fathers and adult children: the cumulative effects of divorce and repartnering. 36, 737-759.)
Mandemakers, J.J., & Kalmijn, M. (2014). Do mother’s and father’s education condition the impact of parental divorce on child well-being?. (Social Science Research 44 (2014).)
Oliver Arránz Becker. (October 01, 2015). The Impact of Union Dissolution and Divorce on Adolescents’ and Adults’ Relationships with their Parents. Comparative Population Studies, 40, 3.)
Robila, M., & SpringerLink (Online service). (2014). Handbook of Family Policies Across the Globe. (Springer eBooks.) New York, NY: Springer New York.
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