According to psychoanalyst Judith Wallerstein, founder of the Center for the Family in Transition in Corte Madera, Calif., the impact of broken homes lasts well into adulthood.
Dr. Wallerstein recently wrote her third book on the effects of divorce on children. In The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study, she asserts that destroyed marriages affect children for life. Continuing her long-term study of the lives of 130 people who were 3 to 18 when their parents divorced, she concludes that divorce abruptly ends childhood, makes children depressingly lonely and can prematurely hurtle them into a tumultuous adolescence.
"But it's in adulthood that children of divorce suffer the most," she says. By the time they reach their 30s, only half have stable, productive personal lives.
What sort of problems do they face? Repeated failure and heartbreak in adult relationships are common, she says. Not knowing what kind of person they are looking for and having a pessimistic outlook from the start, they are likely to enter into relationships that are doomed as soon as they begin. Even when relationships are good, many expect disaster and find it impossible to handle inevitable conflicts.
When we better understand the long-term consequences on society and children, the innocent victims of divorce, we can better understand why God tells us He hates divorce. (Sources: USA Weekend, Malachi 2:16.)