Divorce and separation can have a significant impact on family relations. The breakdown of a marriage or partnership can cause feelings of grief, anger, and resentment, which can lead to conflicts and strained relationships within the family.
For children, the divorce, or separation of their parents can be a difficult and confusing experience. They may feel a sense of loss and abandonment, as well as guilt and responsibility for the situation. Children whose parents have divorced receive less emotional, financial, and practical support. This can lead to behaviour problems, such as aggression or withdrawal, and can affect their relationships with their parents and siblings.
Wallerstein and colleagues conducted a 25-year study that followed children who were 2 to 18 years old at the time of the divorce into adulthood. The study found that children had difficulties growing up, and had a troubled adolescence. They had trouble establishing long-term adult relationships with people of the opposite sex, which led to fewer marriages and a higher rate of divorce. The most vulnerable children were the youngest ones.
Parents may also experience difficulties in their relationships with their children following a divorce or separation. They may struggle to co-parent effectively, leading to conflicts and misunderstandings. This can also cause resentment and bitterness, as parents may feel that their ex-partner is not meeting their parental responsibilities or treating their children fairly.
Siblings may also be impacted by the divorce or separation of their parents. They may feel caught in the middle of their parents’ conflicts. They may struggle to navigate the changes in their family dynamic. This can lead to feelings of irritation and jealousy, as well as difficulty in maintaining relationships with both parents.
Overall, divorce and separation can have a profound impact on family relations. It can cause conflicts and behaviour problems. This can lead to difficulties in maintaining healthy and supportive relationships within the family. It’s important for family members to communicate openly and honestly, and to seek support and guidance, in order to navigate these challenges.