Divorce is a phenomenon, widely presented in modern society. It is likely that this function is only good in a divorce (Lasch). It is estimated by the American sociologist and psychologist Constance Ahrons that every thirteen seconds one pair separates in the world. Each year, more than one million families divorce in the U.S. alone. Out of every two couples that get married, one is getting divorced in a year. None of them, as a rule, wants to divorce. As a rule, they are agonizing for years, claiming that it was the most difficult time in their lives. It can be assumed that according to the personal stress index, divorce takes second place, after the death of a spouse. This is extraordinarily painful experience which greatly influences our life (Ahrons, 1989).
Divorce is often interpreted as a tragedy, as it brings the negative consequences, especially those for children. At the same time, the most forward-thinking researchers consider divorce as the means to help prevent conflicts. In general, scientists are unanimous in recognizing divorce as a controversial social and moral phenomenon, which plays a vital role in society and single family existence.
The social consequences of divorce are quite diverse. The most unpleasant consequence of divorce for both society and the state is a decrease in performance or function of the family? simply speaking – reducing fertility. And this is quite a serious problem in the present situation. Rupture of relationships complicates normal relations between generations and have very negative impact on the socialization of the younger generations, passing on the spiritual and cultural traditions, be attached to the cooperation, education and the properties of such qualities as altruism, collectivism and humanism.
It is clear that the norms and patterns of behavior in a single-parent family must not serve as an example for the youth. Although, there may be exceptions. The basic idea of creating and shaping the future of the family is obtaining by young people in the family of the parents: roles, responsibilities and rights, support and sympathy, involvement in a joint family labor, a common household, family recreation and entertainment.
One-parent family – is small group where there is no traditional system of relationships: mother – father, mother – the children, the father – the children, the children – grandparents and so on. In single-parent family psychological climate is disturbed, for it greater isolation from the outside world is typical. Most often one-parent family – the mother with one, at least two children. And the consequences of divorce in this family is the fulfillment by mother many unusual features and roles. In single-parent family children often have a very one-sided and feminized education.
According to psychologists, the main factor that causes the growth in the number of divorces is the increased independence of women. Women earlier and more strongly feel dissatisfaction with their marriages, but that does not mean that the final decision of divorce is easily accepted by them. According to the U.S. statistics, except for the age period of 15 – 19 years, men are more likely to divorce than women (Coontz, 2006).
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It is noteworthy that women are more inclined to consider as the reason of divorce financial difficulties, drinking and weakening of family values, and men – rather new hobby, incompatibility and tedium of family life.
Divorce creates new problems to which couples often are not ready. This is the problem of building relations between the former husband and wife, as well as those with children. Former spouses are jealous of each other and try to hurt their ex-husband or ex-wife, and to set up other people against him/her, seeking to assert themselves, etc. Many divorced people suddenly face the negative reactions of the society they live in. In the future, this may lead to a critical aggravation of the already tense situation.
For many people, divorce is the apparent loss of familiar social relations. Those who at the time of marriage almost did not support their own independent relationships with friends can be in deep emotional crises after divorce. The loss of social relationships creates a feeling of loneliness, which in turn, can lead to a dramatic escalation of problems and conflicts (Instone-Brewer, 2001).
The end of the marriage relationship – it’s not just a change in family status of the individual, it involves a change in the entire way of life – economic, social, sexual. It is reflected even in daily habits such as sleeping and eating, and legal casuistry accompanying division of property and other procedures related to the divorce, with the will and the right of entry into the heritage, further complicates the situation.
Depression experienced by a person after a divorce, can be more severe and longer than in the case of the death of a spouse. Friends and relatives of the divorced person rarely express sympathy and support. Almost all parents in a divorce do not understand, criticize, blame or accuse the right of their children to failure. Relatives often refer to the desire to get a divorce, as a whim, despite the obvious, devastating both spouses conflicts. Their intervention become additional stress in the experience of the process of divorce and often complicates it, especially for a woman.
Children are deeply affected even by the fact of divorce. Usually, the child perceives the situation of family breakdown as the one when the parent leaves him or her. Subconsciously, a child makes the idea of himself or herself as the one who once was given up, so that it can later manifest insecurity and low self-esteem. Moreover, the child begins to perceive the relationships between people as unstable, unreliable, and those that at any time can break down. Such experiences of the child do not disappear even when the parents try to maintain friendly relations (Hughes, 2009).
Unfortunately, the former spouses are often set up a child against each other, making even greater psychological discomfort divorce to wounded soul of a child, for which the greatest happiness is the fact of the presence of both parents. Instilling a sense of hostility to the father (or mother), parents instil in the child aggressive, unfriendly, depression, resentment, etc. Manipulation of a child has no justification, and certainly turn against those who sowed it.
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To avoid divorce, people need to understand that the family – it’s not just living together, but also a solution to many problems, mutual aid and self-giving, and sometimes sacrifice.
Most of the contradictions that arise between spouses can be resolved without resorting to such a drastic remedy of divorce. Often the view that divorce will bring real relief and help resolve all the difficulties and problems – just a naive mistake. Generally, a person has their own problems in themselves and in new relations they appear with greater force (Johnson, Amoloza & Booth, 1992).
In the arsenal of legal means virtually there are no radical measures that could help to solve the family conflict. Everything is in the power of people and their ability to find common ground, to avoid unwanted incidents. In most cases, the family situation could be improved by either of the spouses themselves, if they had made every effort to preserve the family, or by a professional – a psychologist.
Preparation of young people for marriage and for the future family life is an integral part of the general education of the younger generation. Currently it was thought that a young man of a certain age is ready to create a family. However, numerous sociological, educational, and psychological researches proved that this is not true and the feeling of boys and girls that they are ready for marriage and family formation should be the goal of teaching and social work (Adams & Coltrane, 2006).
Undoubtedly, divorce is a serious social and psychological problem that requires special attention. Divorce in the family is both the consequence of the contradictions that take place between the spouses and the difficulties that arise in the society, in the family as a social institution and in each single family, causing new difficulties that appear in the process of divorce and result in the inability to adapt to the situation.
The consequences of divorce, it is not only the deterioration of stability of the material and the of the life situation of divorced spouses, but loneliness, violation of generally accepted standards of behavior, including drug and alcohol abuse, depressed mood, deterioration of health, feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, alienation, the decrease in activity and disability. It follows that the divorce is mostly associated with only negative mental effects. The problem of divorce for most of people poured into the problem of loneliness that most directly is linked to depression and even psychosis.
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This way we can easily see the results of the social consequences of divorce:
a) a significant part of divorced men and women for a while are not able, as well as have no the desire to remarry, there are some divorced women with children who are not getting married at all;
b) divorced women do not tend to have children, and this is a very negative effect on the demographic processes;
c) as a result of divorce the number of one-parent families is increasing, so there are more children being raised by one parent;
d) fatherlessness with the living father increases the likelihood of antisocial behavior among adolescents, affects their academic performance;
e) divorce creates situations that can cause nervous and psychological disorders both in parents, and children;
f) social-psychological problem of loneliness is crucial to many people.
Of course, it requires special consideration of both the causes and the effect. Thus, these issues require further consideration and further study.