Children bear the brunt of a failed marriage. But it is also true that children suffer when they are being raised in a dysfunctional family. … Sometimes a divorce is necessary to protect the children. Nevertheless, divorce is such a serious step, both parents must try to weigh the consequences. --Father John Catoir, The Dilemma of Divorced Catholics
Each year nearly two million children in the United States undergo the trauma of their parents’ divorce. As physicians Jennifer Lewis and William Sammons, authors of Don’t Divorce Your Children, write, “During the process of divorce children suffer multiple losses.” These include:
-parents who are often sad, distracted or angry, and unable to give them the affection and attention they once had;
-the possible loss of home and school through moving to a new location;
-accommodating their new life situation;
-fear of abandonment and fear that if their parents stopped loving each other, they can also stop loving them;
-and the loss of much of their childhood as they take on new responsibilities.
“Parents in turmoil are bound to have children in turmoil,” says Msgr. Patrick Armshaw, a pastor who has seen many marriages break up. He underscores the rights of children of divorce, saying, “They need to be protected from the residue of their parents’ one-time marriage.” Continues Msgr. Armshaw, “That is, the fear, anger, insecurities and sometimes self-blame they may be feeling.. They need to be disciplined positively, to be educated and given opportunities to make good decisions for their own futures.”
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