Did you know that the first working Monday back after the Christmas break is dubbed ‘Divorce Day’ by divorce solicitors and law firms? This is when new divorce enquiries reach a peak.

Divorce rate falling

According to recent divorce statistics by the ONS, 42% of heterosexual marriages in England and Wales end in divorce. This appears high but the trend is reducing!

Several reasons for this are:

  • ‘Try before you buy’ with more people is cohabiting before committing to marriage.
  • Getting married a lot later in life. The average marriage age is 36 and is rising. Older people tend to have a better mature view of relationships and know what they want from it.

Divorces still happen regardless of what age the couple got hitched or how long they were married. Interestingly in 62% of cases, the wife initiated divorce proceedings, and, this trend is increasing.

Common reasons for divorce

The most common reason cited for divorce is “unreasonable behaviour”. This can be anything from a lack of emotional support or physical intimacy to domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse, regardless of who perpetrates it, has long term consequences. The physical scars will fade over time however the emotional scars can last a lifetime. In my POST XXXX, I cover the aftermath of domestic abuse, specifically focusing on how the abused can quickly regain control of their mind, life, health and wellbeing.

The fallout

Every marital conflict is uniquely defined by family dynamics, individual personalities, cultural and societal expectations.

Divorces are not confined to the parting couple and have wide knock-on effects. They can be particularly brutal where children are involved. Their emotional wellbeing turned upside down, forced to directly or indirectly choose sides between the battling parents, and, left believing they are at fault for initiating the dispute.

This leaves children stressed mentally and physically. It is not uncommon for them to experience anxiety, depression, and, other behavioural and physical disorders. The longer the disputes lasts, the deeper the effect.

Children of divorced parents

Children of divorced parents show lower levels of oxytocin — the ‘love or bonding/hormone’. Oxytocin is a neuro-hormone and plays a major role in helping us bond with others, directing our social behaviours and emotional attachments. Low levels of Oxytocin has also been found in those affected by anxiety, depression and other stress-induced mental trauma.

The children can experience deeper effects of separation anxiety. As adolescents and then adults, they are likely to experience major trouble forming attachments, and, more susceptible to mood disorders and substance abuse. As parents themselves, compared to those whose parents remained married, are likely to:

  • show less parental sensitivity and warmth,
  • overreact to situations and
  • resort to increased use of punishment.

Way forward

We are not questioning the relevance of divorce for incompatible adults. Our aim is to bring to light the sobering realisation of the impact of divorce on children.

There are different types of therapies that can be called upon to smooth the path in divorcing families. At Edensgate, we focus on helping each member of the family to express their emotions and not bottle them up. And, provide them with the ‘emotional tools’ to establish a positive foundation for their emotional wellbeing.

Lastly, as we say to our clients, “You have already taken your first step to recovery by taking time to read this article. Now continue the brave intent and take the second step by reaching out and give us a call/email”.


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