The books just keep coming: Collaborative Divorce,Happy Divorce,The Good Karma Divorce, The Creative Divorce. Reading the articles and books, you might get the idea that The Good Divorce is a sacrament, not a disaster…
[So why are they wrong?]
Heartache, financial loss and time detangling bring irreparable setbacks. Lots of spouses get dumped. Eighty percent of U.S. divorces “are unilateral, rather than truly mutual decisions,” notes researcher Maggie Gallagher. Still, healthy people can wade through the hurt and make the best of the situation.
That doesn’t ameliorate the damage. Children, who never have a say in their parents’ parting, become collateral damage and dismissed with the dubious phrase “kids are resilient.” Judith Wallerstein, whose landmark 25-year study of divorced families convinced her of its ongoing harm, found that “many of these . . . children forfeited their own childhoods as they took responsibility for themselves, their troubled, overworked parents; and their siblings.” The trauma peaks in adulthood, she cautions, undermining love, sexual intimacy and commitment.