This research study focuses on divorce because it is one of the most complicated aspects of a marriage. The study about divorce will help understand the causes, impacts and remedies for this issue. The research focuses on the psychological aspects of divorce because there are many explanations put forward by many psychologists. Divorce has varying psychological aspects in relation to different individuals because of differences in personalities. Sources for the results of this study comprise books, journals, personal experiences and websites. The results of the research indicate that divorce has different causes and consequences depending on various personality traits of couples. The study also points out how an individual can cope with a divorce situations to prevent adverse psychological impacts. The research is an important step in investigating psychological aspects of divorce, and it will help find solutions and strategies of avoiding divorces.
According to Wilson (2009), the termination of a marital union is what can best describe the term “divorce”. It involves canceling of responsibilities and reorganizing legal duties that have concerned a marriage; hence, dissolving bonds of matrimony between married spouses is under the rule of laws that govern a marriage under the Matrimonial Act. The primary reasons for a divorce are the lack of independence, personality clash, and insufficient sex. It requires a rigorous legal process that involves the issues of alimony, child custody, and child support, parenting time, division of debts, and the distribution of property.
Self-Assessment: Barnes-Vulcano Rationality
The Barnes-Vulcano rationality helps to assess the degree to which a belief is true to an individual. In my assessment about the cause of a divorce using the BVRT test, I had a score of 139 in the category of the lack of communication as the major cause. The score implies that the main cause of my divorce is communication. When the latter fails, the marital union is always bound to fail too. For a good relationship to survive, each party must be free to express his or her feelings regarding personal issues. By a matter of fact, each person is brought up in a different environment by different individuals. Therefore, character traits differ to the disadvantage of the other individual (Wilson, 2009). A lot of people suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder, whereby a person has got a sense of own importance and completely lacks empathy for others. The disorder causes a lot of problems in many aspects of life, be it at school or work, in financial affairs and mostly marriages. A narcissistic person is disappointed or unhappy most of the time, if not admired or a special favor is not accorded to the individual. A marriage requires tolerance due to conflicting personality traits and behaviors. If any conflict is to arise, communication is important. Issues like planning or raising children, money management, job opportunities, and religion must be solved through a healthy dialogue and communication (Noller, 2002, p. 33).
Financial issues are another reason for a divorce, but I did not have a high score in the BVRT test. My score was 130, and this implies that the result is negative. They can be due to budget problems, unavoidable debts because of a bad spending habit of an individual, and a reduced or low income. When a couple struggles to survive due to low finances, it will indeed lead to a conflict in the marriage and finally a divorce. Another common cause of the latter is cheating or infidelity. When one partner realizes the other is not faithful in the relationship, it will breed hatred and the need for separation. There is also the feeling of betrayal and insecurity due to a significant probability of getting sexually transmitted infections and HIV. Infidelity also lowers the self-esteem of an individual and the social standing of both parties (Wilson, 2009, p. 45).
Narcissistic Personality and Divorce
People with the narcissistic personality disorder are more likely to become victims of a divorce as compared to others. They have arrogant traits of character, need for admiration, and the lack of empathy for other people. The traits of a narcissistic personality do not provide an ample environment for creating relationships. Narcissistic people are self-centered, demanding, and manipulative, and it makes them unsuitable for a marriage. In most cases of divorce, one of the partners has characteristics of a narcissistic personality. The narcissistic personality disorder is a natural characteristic, and, therefore, it is very difficult for an individual to change. Most of the divorces, involving people with the narcissistic personality disorder, are influenced by very petty issues that can be solved through a dialogue. Narcissistic people always believe that they hold the best opinion, but it is not possible in a marriage because partners are expected to listen to each other and make decisions collectively. Women are more affected by the narcissistic disorder than men are. In most cases when a man has such a disorder, the marriage has a higher chance of surviving than in situations when a woman is a victim.
After a couple has divorced, a wide range of effects will certainly occur. However, they will differ depending on personal circumstances of each party. As it has been mentioned earlier in the essay, men, women, and children suffer from consequences and effects of divorce differently. In most cases, the couple experiences sadness, anger, guilt, anxiety, low self-esteem, loneliness, and isolation. The above feelings are unavoidable after a divorce has been filed to the time of its completion. It also adds other roles and responsibilities in case there are children to be cared for. In the process of divorce, being a tedious legal procedure, lawyers must be used. Expenditures will eventually lead to financial losses, as both spouses will have spent money on legal matters before dividing their property. Hence, both parties will lower their standards of living. As a result, children suffer psychologically more as they lack parental guidance (Wilson, 2009, p. 56). They cannot make choices of their own relating to the question with which parent they are going to live. They also suffer from prejudices on the part of those children who come from a family with both parents.
Social Thinking and Social Influence
Divorce has an impact on social thinking. One of the social influences of divorce is that children also undergo psychological problems. Most of them have problems in choosing the parent to stay with. Children may also face psychological problems as communication between parents and children reduces. The relationship of children with other people in society changes because they isolate themselves from the public. They stop performing their routine chores in society. A divorce may affect the children’s marital life, whereby they will not feel comfortable in any marriage. Ladies fear getting married because of the challenges they have seen from the example of their divorced parents. Young men are very brutal, and this makes their marriage life very complicated (Noller, 2002, p. 68).
Psychology and Physical Health of the Divorced Partners
A divorce has a significant impact on the psychological and physical health of the affected couples. Due to modern life hassles, frustrations, demands and deadlines, stress caused by a divorce has a significant effect on the couple concerned, though it is sometimes important as it helps a person to perform under pressure and gives motivation for one to do his or her best. The best way to overcome stress due to a marriage breakup is recognizing the signs and symptoms associated with it. In most cases, stress due to a divorce is divided into four major types, namely, cognitive, emotional, physical, and behavioral. The most common is emotional, which includes instability, agitation, feeling of being overwhelmed, and depression. The major cognitive stress symptom is constant worrying, memory problems, pessimism, and a poor judgment. It is not easy when a divorce happens. The breakup of marriage will trigger unsettling feelings and lots of pain. Divorces do not only represent a loss, but shared dreams and commitments are also shattered. When people are faced with a divorce, it is good to recognize different feelings, take a break and share feelings with a family and friends, as they are the best to assist and help get through these stressful moments. Divorcing couples should also have knowledge of the locus of control as in many cases, a divorce is an event that one single individual cannot control. It is an external locus of control (Myers, 2004, p. 78).
Coping up with a divorce is not an easy task. Marriages involve many sacrifices on the part of the two partners, and, therefore, the divorce will be one of the most complicated incidences in their life. One of the strategies of coping with stress is having psychological counselling. A person should get counselling from a marriage expert to reduce stress that comes because of a breakup. The two partners must get an advice on how to interact with children and withstand pressure from society and relatives (Lerner, 2009, p. 97).
Self-Assessment and Monitoring
The most crucial method of coping up with stress is assessing and monitoring oneself through the divorce period. One of the mechanisms to assess and monitor oneself is trying to accept the divorce. Most people suffer from it because they do not accept that their marriage has come to an end. Women and men will try to fight for their marriage through legal or physical battles, but these will only worsen the situation. Psychologists argue that a person must be given adequate time to think about his or her decision without any external influence. Partners should stay away from each other so that they can reduce the effects of the divorce (Amos, 2002, p. 134).
Another strategy of coping with the divorce effects is communication. It is very effective in solving any kind of disputes. Partners who have gone through a divorce should find time for each other so that they can ease their mutual pain. A divorced couple can be in a love relationship without living together. Instead of a divorce, most partners may chose separation. Most of the problems in marriages arise because of the daily interaction between the wife and husband (Wilson, 2009, p.63). Communication between divorced people helps them to look back at their differences, and this can give them ideas about living together in a happy life. Most divorces arise because some partners do not understand each other well, and this is a very serious challenge for most families. The most important thing for all married people is to understand their partners, and this can be achieved through communication only.
Self-Disclosure: Friendship and Love
When faced with a divorce, it is good to perceive it in a healthy way with different feelings, give oneself a break and share feelings with a family and friends, as they are the best to assist to get through a trying moment. Divorcing couples should also have knowledge of the locus of control as in many cases, a divorce is an event that one single individual cannot be able to control. It leads to social avoidance and social distress; this is mainly because society judges the divorced couple harshly by blaming them why they have not managed to preserve the marriage (Clarke-Stewart & Brentano, 2006). As far as personal experiences are concerned, self-monitoring has helped me to cope with the divorce situation, as I understand that human beings must differ in ideas. It has helped me to regulate my behavior to accommodate to social situations and avoid distress and social avoidance. I try to do my best in the situation I have found myself in by utilizing my time and energy in meaningful activities.