A T H O L I C
F A M I L Y
SERVICE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CATHOLIC FAMILIES
Myths on Divorce
Myth 1: Living together
before marriage ('trial marriage') leads to longer-lasting
To many people it seems obviously true; you often hear
it said that the commitment to marriage after living
together will only happen when the couple know that
they are right for each other. Conventional marriage,
they say, is much more chancy.
the facts say otherwise. Couples who lived together
before marriage are 60% more likely to be divorced after
from Central Statistical Office CD-ROM 'Social Trends'
: Those who divorce learn from their bad experience
and marry much more wisely the second time around .
It's another myth that seems reasonable to most people.
Surely people will be more mature the second time round
and end up in a happier marriage.
the facts say otherwise. Marriages of couples previously
divorced are twice as likely to end in divorce than
source as above
: A divorce is better for the children - the conflicts
in a bad marriage are too upsetting for them
Another myth that seems reasonable to most people. But
the facts are clear: "The outcomes for children
in 'high conflict' intact families more closely resembled
those for children in 'low conflict' intact families
than those in [divorced] families". Whilst no-one
denies that parental conflict is bad for children, the
evidence shows that divorce makes things even worse.
The University of Exeter: Exeter Family Study 1994.
: The divorce makes a 'clean' break from conflicts so
everyone can settle down and rebuild their lives
"The experience of most children whose parents
divorce is of increased conflict over an extended period".
The advent of new 'partners', conflicts over access
rights of the father or mother all mean conflicts can
source as above.
nice summary is also provided by the Centre for Family
Research at Cambridge University:
"Children whose parents have divorced were on average
less emotionally stable, left home earlier and divorced
or separated more frequently ... The critical thing
seems to be children's awareness that parents have,
through choice, separated and for many this means a
parent choosing to leave them."
5: The children would prefer it if their fighting parents
would split up
"When children are asked what they would like they
almost always say they only want one thing, that their
parents should stay together".
Data source Centre for Family Research at Cambridge
always encourage response to our articles on modern
myths. We would be especially interested in any US data
relevant to the topic. Feel free to Send your views
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Francis de Sales, patron saint of
journalists, pray for us
US, Father a spirit of wisdom and
insight, so that we may know the great
hope to which we have been called.
peace and harmony reign among all
the dwellers on the earth.
those who exercise the ministry of
authority in the service of their
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all those consecrated to you together
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us, O God, to fill up in our own flesh
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our families and benefactors grant
the blessing of everlasting life.
ever mindful of your mercy, exalt
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the world from its slavery to corruption,
to share in the glorious freedom of
the children of God.