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Advice on divorce and children


sisterlynch
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I'll be honest here - while I have no problems with agreeing that a boyfriend or second husband could be more likely to abuse chlidren, the detailed statistics I've researched (pages and pages) break it down to much deeper levels than this, to the heavier factors of age and economic condition - ie, the amount of stress typical in a single parent household as opposed to a two parent household, and the age being a factor in how prepared mothers are for parenting. The majority of single parent abusers were age 21 and under, no differentiation statistically is made as to whether they were ever married or not. Social background was another key factor, how the parents themselves were raised and the environment they grew up in.

 

Is it better to raise children in a stable two parent household? Of course. I don't think anyone would argue that. Unfortunately, most divorces aren't from stable households, but ones where at least verbal conflicts have already escalated - and it's a short step from there to verbal abuse, and to neglecting the children's needs in the midst of upheaval.

 

It comes down to weighing carefully which is in the better interests of the children, and while divorce should never be an "easy out" for just being bored or disillusioned with being married, there can be a point where it's the lesser of the evils than staying in a relationship where there's enough turmoil their needs are already being unaddressed, and where they witness verbal and/or physical violence by their parents. And children tend to be much more aware of problems between their parents than the parents believe.

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There is little stigma attached to divorce and much attached to child abuse, and if we are a country that cares for its children than we should encourage people to do what is best for the children. Most people only look at their own short term goals when they make the choice to have an affair or not, but the lasting pain for the spouse can be unbarable at times of stress, like around the holidays.

 

Why would only parents who are 21 or younger be more likely to abuse their children -- because they are running away from a household where they received abuse?? People of all ages can be abusive emotionally and physically. What does age have to do with it?? Do pedaphiles grow up and say to themselves, I no longer like young girls or boys? I don't know where you got that information!

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The information was statistical, and compiled from the child abuse statistics from various enforcement agencies for the government in both the US and Canada (I can find the links again, it was three acrobat files, about 40 pages apiece, since prevention and educational measures were also explored). The theoretical correlation was that many young and especially young and single parents are less equipped to cope with parenthood and the stresses thereof, especially ones without a supportive family network who were suddenly "on their own" with a child to care for when they may not have matured themselves. Like a baby with colic that screams all night leading to no sleep, stress about being able to feed and clothe the child, amongst other stresses; infant abuse and death were most common in young single mothers, these were just some of the reasons postulated when the correlations were made with age, sex, and economic/social position for different types of abuse. This was actually completely in opposition to sexual abuse (this was for physical abuse only) which was found more likely with older children, more likely with a close male friend or relative in the case of girls, and more likely with a friend or stranger with boys. A lot of it does make some sense - I know my daughter had colic, and many a night I cried right along with her because I was so insanely tired and nothing I did worked to calm her - I can't even imagine what it would have been like dealing with it on my own, and very young.

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I think The Morrigan is simply quoting the age population that the study indicated was more likely to be abusers. She is not saying only people under 21 abuse children. This is no different than saying that most pedofiles are male. That doesn't mean there are NO females, it simply means that statistics indicate a very heavy bias toward males.

 

The problem with any study is it is difficult to sort through all the factors that make up an issue. It is not as simple as saying "divorce leads to child abuse". In the study you indicated, that is not the conclusion. The conclusion is that an abused child is typically in a single parent home living with their mother. That does not mean their parents were ever married in the first place.

 

I do agree that it is better for a child to be raised in a healthy two parent household. However I don't agree that it is better to be raised in a very unhealthy two parent household instead of a healthy single parent household. If a husband is beating his wife, but hasn't hit the kids (so no child abuse is occurring) - the kids are still WAY better off in a single parent household with mom.

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I totally agree with the colic issue. My husband used to leave me almost every weekend to play soccer, I finally had to insist that he needed to stop playing because it was eating into my alone time. I never ever had some time to myself and he was driving all over with his friends to games and in addittion there was always time drinking beer with them too. Of course he had to make a big deal out of me making him quit, but we are still together, and that is what counts. Not that we have had disagreements which every living human being has.

 

Don't you think things would have been different for us if our husbands had left us in times of crisis rather than taken on the more responsible role of listening to others when the time came. Don't you feel that our own children would have been in a greater danger had we had to go looking for a mate with a child in toe, wouldn't our options be much reduced by this??

 

The more that people allow others who are all ultimately strangers to rule the lives of themselves and their offspring, the more risky their behavior is. More risky behavior allows you to come in contact and not see the difference between those who are offenders and those who aren't. If I had been abused as a child then I would either fear all men or expect to be abused by them and they would sense this in me. To a normal man, I would look like I couldn't make a commitment. To an offender, I would look like bait. Does this make sense??

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How many people would tell a wife to stay with an abusive marriage, that is not what i am getting at. There seems to be a culture of divorse going on right now and I am frightened for the future. Why do people make such rash desisions and then live their life like a victim? So many people say I married young or I had my child young, but these are ultimately excuses for wanting to live like there is no tomorrow.

 

Raise your hand if you've had an affair!! Supposedly 60% of men and 40% of women have had an affair. These were quoted by a psychology professor so I don't have an exact reference, but judging by the people that I am aware of, I would bet that is correct.

 

What leads up to those statistics and what they mean for the future frightens me. That is all.

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That is very true. I just point out that statistics can be deceiving and are frequently manipulated by governments, authors, lobbyists, etc to prove their point. It is SO common for people to quote a statistic, yet leave out a major assumption or condition of the study. This lets to an incorrect conclusion based on a flaw in the quotation of the statistic. That is all I meant by my topic.

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I have to agree as far as the affair/divorce being a problem - though I suppose I see part of it as the "me me me" thing that seems to have infected some of my peers. Out of 4 couples my husband and I were friendly with - myself and one other wife were literally the only ones who HADN'T had an affair. And yes, that was enlightening, and not in a particularly good way. On the plus side, they're all still married. On the minus side, at least a few of them I know weren't considering their kids in the equation. The reasons varied, and mostly masked deeper problems and issues, but there's ways to handle things, and ways that just make more problems for everyone involved. I have yet to come accross anyone who has had an affair who was happy with the outcome, whether they stayed together or divorced, in the long run.

 

I'm currently separated, but my husband is going and has been going to counseling, and has stayed involved with the kids. And I have no plans to look for anyone else - I live with my dad, who is disabled, so I take care of him as well as my kids, and there's no way I have the time or energy to invest in building a relationship without taking time away from them, which is where my first priority HAS to be, to me. I think maybe that's part of the problem - setting priorities and responsibilities, and sticking with them. My dad didn't ask to break his hip or develop early onset alzheimers, my kids didn't ask their dad to develop emotional issues and anger issues that made staying in the same householda worse situation than moving out, they're blameless, and while I don't think it's possible to have them affected not at all, it should be as little as possible, with their welfare and security uppermost. There's days it's beyond frustrating and depressing and no little overwhelming, but unfortunately, adding more complications certainly isn't going to help with that!

 

Back on topic - at least among some of my friends, it seems to be considered less of a "stigma" to admit to infidelity - and in at least two of the guy's cases, they pretty much FLAUNT it to the others. I'm not sure how that came about, though from what my husband has said, part of it can come from the "accepted behavior" of many of the guys on sea duty, he's not prone to exaggeration, and told me more than half the married guys didn't consider themselves married at sea.

 

If I had been abused as a child then I would either fear all men or expect to be abused by them and they would sense this in me. To a normal man, I would look like I couldn't make a commitment. To an offender, I would look like bait. Does this make sense??

 

It does, in that both the abuser and victim seem to fall back into old habits more easily - the abuser ending up with someone who will accept the abuse, and the victim accepting and even making excuses for it. Your reactions to someone with those tendencies would be "appropriate" for them to see you as a potential "match" and from what I've seen, this is a hard cycle to break.

 

Hmm, at what point do we determine a relationship to be abusive, apart from the obvious physical or sexual abuse? It gets tricky, so I'll be interested to hear what your thoughts are here!

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