Many parents worry about how divorce might impact their children. Some impacts may be immediate as children cope with the changes presented by divorce. However, some impacts may take longer to appear.
If you are considering divorce, you may secretly wonder if your divorce may impact your child’s future marriage. Unfortunately, the answer is not straightforward.
In some situations, divorce may be more likely
Under certain circumstances, children with divorced parents may be more likely than children with married parents to experience divorce. This is because children of divorce are more likely to marry other children of divorce. When two children of divorce are married, the relationship is statistically more likely to end in divorce than if only one person in the couple has divorced parents.
The reason for this trend is not clear
One possible explanation for this is that children of divorce may not learn the same lessons about commitment that children of married parents learn. Genetics could also explain this trend.
A third possible explanation points to the lack of social acceptance some children of divorce may feel, which could negatively impact their social relationships when growing up. This explanation may also indicate why the prevalence of divorce among children of divorce is becoming less common over time.
In the 1970s children of divorce were about twice as likely as children with married parents to experience their own divorce. Now children of divorce are only about 1.2 times as likely to divorce. This could be because divorce became less stigmatized as it became more common, so it had less and less effect on children of divorce over the years.
Divorcing parents can take steps to help kids cope
However, the precise effect of parental divorce on a specific child can be unpredictable, and may be influenced by a variety of factors. These factors can include your child’s personality, non-parental role models, parents’ post-divorce romantic lives, class, exposure to parental conflict and exposure to successful conflict-resolution techniques, among others.
Although you probably do not want to risk negatively impacting your child, staying together for the sake of your child may not be the healthiest option. If you want to end an unhappy or high-conflict marriage, there are effective strategies you can adopt to help your child cope with your divorce. Many children of divorce grow up to be well-adjusted adults, and many go on to eventually experience successful marriages of their own.