Defining the Issue
Regardless of the premises and the gravity of consequences, divorce is always a devastating event. The ones who usually suffer are the kids of those two people who decided to split up. For the most part, we cannot blame just one person out of the couple for the fact of divorce. Relationships commonly work out in a way which makes both people wrong instead of justifying one’s delinquency, adultery, or anything that is hazardous for their marriage. The key problem of divorces in America is that they are too easy to obtain (Willet and Larson). This means that if you suddenly decided to break up and get out of the marriage, you can do it in several simple steps. There are no limitations or critical restrictions that would stop one from leaving the family even if it is a sudden change of mood or a fleeting insult. Often, parents forget that their actions have a momentous impact on their children and divorce is not and should never be an exception. While the couple battles over the size of their egos, their children repeatedly stand alone in the dark and are exposed to the hazard of growing up in a single-parent family (Willet and Larson). The debate between the two sides reflects the attitudes of two dissimilar women toward the divorce process and its upsides and downsides. Regardless of the outcome of the discussion, they both provide relevant thoughts on the problem of divorce and single parent families. It is vital to take into consideration both opinions before making conclusions and reaching the verdict regarding the issue.
Two Sides of the Debate
According to Willet, the existing approach to marriage and divorce can be characterized as egocentric. She states that we want to be happy, but we do not always know (or want) to pay the price of it (Willet and Larson). Willet believes that it would be reasonable to introduce a program responsible for a more sophisticated process of divorce. The key idea of this approach is that will eliminate judges and lawyers from the procedure that should only be curated by the spouses themselves (Willet and Larson). Willet claims that we tend to forget about what makes our children happy while pursuing our own materialistic and egocentric goals. By doing this, we take away rightful childhood from the kids and disregard their opinions and feelings (Willet and Larson). Willet fought for her marriage herself so she understands that not every marriage can or should be saved. On the other hand, she also believes that the emotional, financial, and social aspects of the impact should not be left hanging (Willet and Larson). Instead, Willet proposes to save marriages because by doing it we will save children as well. She believes that a normal family should consist of a mother, father, and their children. Men should not be redundant, and infidelity should not be justified (Willet and Larson). Willet focuses on the importance of the Parental Divorce Reduction Act and claims that the majority of American families are affected by the stereotype that the only savior for a distressed family is divorce. According to her point of view, we should fight for our marriages and do whatever it takes in order to restore the faith in humanity (Willet and Larson).
Larson, on the other hand, believes that divorce may make certain situations safer. As said by Larson, any given divorce should not be perceived as unnecessary due to numerous factors that influence marriage (Willet and Larson). She supports no-fault divorce laws and claims that this option helped to reduce the number of female suicides and domestic violence. Moreover, Larson believes that Willet disregarded one of the most critical shifts in the modern society – single motherhood (Willet and Larson). She does not promote divorce but believes that cohabitation might be one of the answers. Therefore, Larson wants to focus on saving all children, not only those who were affected by divorce (Willet and Larson).
Accordingly, one of the aspects that she takes into consideration is good parenting. Larson believes that even covenant marriage is not the answer due to the unpopularity of the latter (Willet and Larson). Making the divorce process harder is also not the answer because this will lead to cohabitation and frauds. Instead of the Parental Divorce Reduction Act, Larson promotes the collaborative law and mediation. Her suppositions are based on the statement that parenting practice is hugely affected by the court process (Willet and Larson). Larson thinks that a bad marriage impacts the child just as much as a divorce does, so it is easier to get a divorce and transiently cohabit afterward. This may sound wrong, but the point is that unhappy parents cannot create an environment full of happiness for their children (Willet and Larson). Occasionally, divorce leads to a more contented life simply because the pressure of a toxic marriage is eliminated. The thing is, only those within a marriage should have the right to decide whether they want a divorce or not.
Divorce has always been associated with negative consequences (Emery 399). I believe that both of the debaters actually have a point, so it is not reasonable to team up with just one speaker. Personally, I would stick to Willet’s opinion regarding the fact that we should fight for the marriage and to Larson’s view concerning the idea that sometimes we should get a divorce in order to get out of a toxic marriage that affects the children in the first place. The idea of collaboration and mediation has become firmly established, so it is only right to make the best use of it and its collaborative directionality (Marlow 6). Nonetheless, I do not promote divorce and consider it to be the last resort when it comes to solving the problems within a family. Spouses should respect each other and be careful when making decisions regarding their break up because the ultimate devastating effect of the divorce may have irreparable consequences for the health of the child (Everett 103). When discussing the issue of a potential divorce, we may also take into consideration one of the variables that is often disregarded by the major public. The divorce rates among the children of divorced parents are much higher than those of the children from full families (Fine 94). In due course, it is important to keep calm and collected throughout the whole divorce process if you decided to split up definitively and irrevocably. Regardless of what happens next, in order to carry on successfully and be there for their children, one should exercise and meditate as much as possible (Feuer 23). To conclude, I believe that divorce is not necessarily the best option to solve problems within a family, but if it is inevitable, one should be ready for it, both mentally and physically.
Emery, Robert E. Cultural Sociology of Divorce: An Encyclopedia. SAGE, 2013.
Everett, Craig A. Children of Divorce: Developmental and Clinical Issues. Haworth Press, 2013.
Feuer, Nicole. 37 Things I Wish I’d Known Before My Divorce. Balboa Press, 2014.
Fine, Mark A. Handbook of Divorce and Relationship Dissolution. Psychology Press, 2014.
Marlow, Florence. Handbook of Divorce Mediation. Springer, 2013.
Willet, Beverly, and Vicki Larson. “When Divorce is a Family Affair.” The New York Times, The New York Times, Web.