With the rise in frequency of divorce over past decades, there are now many adults getting married who grew up with divorced parents. They may have heard that having divorced parents increases the odds that they, too, will get divorced, and they want to know what this means for their future. Are they really more likely to split up just because of what their parents did in their own relationship?
While studies vary, some cast doubt on this oft-cited statistic. For instance, one study claimed that high conflict levels within the family unit actually played a larger role than divorce itself. Examples of conflict include:
- Verbal or physical abuse
- Frequent disagreements and arguments
- Stress regarding money
If a child grew up in a home with a lot of conflict, their own divorce odds were higher. Why is this? Obviously, every situation is unique, but it could be that they experienced so much conflict when they were younger that, at the first signs of similar conflict in their own marriage, they decided to end things. They did not want to go through it all again.
Are you getting divorced?
Regardless of the results of these studies — many have correlated parental divorce with divorce for adult children, after all — what is clear is that your upbringing can impact your family life in the future. It is not all about what you choose to do. If these influences, on either you or your spouse, have led to the decision to get divorced, be sure you know what legal steps to take.