Yes, divorce happens, you just get on with it. But there can be scars, as new research indicates, and children need support
I was 11 when my parents separated. A “bad age”, people sometimes say, in that sagacious tone, when the topic comes up. It rarely does any more, because to have divorced parents is unexceptional these days.
A “broken home” (file this term in the glossary along with “bad age” and “child of divorce”) leaves an indelible mark on a person, we are told. Yet alongside the many false assumptions peddled about the impact of absent or single parents on childhood, there are also pieces of research about divorce that are worthy of our attention. The latest, from the Institute of Education, suggests that parental separation is more likely to harm the mental health of children if they are aged at least seven when the split occurs. It looked at 6,245 children and young people in the UK and found that minors aged between seven and 14 at the time of the split exhibited a 16% rise in emotional problems such as anxiety and depressive symptoms and an 8% increase in conduct disorders.
Divorce is lonely for all involved, especially children. Having counselling can change everything
Actor Anna Faris has volunteered to officiate at her ex’s wedding. Isn’t that going a bit far?
As if it’s not enough for famous people to have better skin, better bodies and better houses than the rest of us, it seems these days they are also liable to demonstrate how much better they are at getting in and out of relationships. “Conscious uncoupling” is a celebrity-endorsed attitude towards separation, made famous by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin. The aim is to be as generous and reasonable as possible about the end of the affair, in both public and private.
The current queen of gracious divorcees is Anna Faris, who poured out her happiness about ex-husband Chris Pratt’s engagement to Katherine Schwarzenegger on Instagram this week, saying, “I’m so happy for you both!!” before offering to perform the wedding ceremony herself (ostensibly a genuine proposition, given that she is an ordained minister).
Research shows a 16% rise in emotional problems and 8% rise in conduct disorders
Parental separation is more likely to harm the mental health of children if they are aged at least seven when the split occurs, but appears to have no effect on the risks of them getting ill if they are younger, research has found.
The research, involving 6,245 children and young people in the UK, is the first British study to explore the links between couple separation or divorce and the impact on the mental wellbeing of children. Family break-up was already known to be one of several childhood experiences that can lead to young people developing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
The Bezoses will probably settle their divorce quietly. But I hope MacKenzie fights for a share of their assets that is consonant with her contributions
This week, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie announced that they are divorcing. Each is one-half of the world’s richest couple, thanks to Amazon, making their divorce potentially one of the most complicated. It needn’t be: MacKenzie should walk away with a clean half.
This is already the law in Washington state, where the couple lives (they have other residences as well, but Amazon is headquartered in Seattle). In “community property” states like Washington, any assets accumulated during the marriage are communal and divided 50-50 if the marriage ends. The Bezoses have been married for 25 years, before Jeff Bezos started Amazon, making most of the family wealth communal.
It is easy to vilify the one who has been unfaithful, says Annalisa Barbieri, but they are often firing a distress flare on a relationship that’s already in trouble
My parents divorced when I was five. I still remember the night they sat me and my sisters down, and Dad told us that he and Mum didn’t love each other any more. I remember clinging on to his hand as he walked down the stairs on the day he left home, and afterwards crying to my mother late at night about how I missed him.
I am now in my mid-20s. When I was a teenager, Mum told me they divorced because he had been unfaithful. She said he had been under a lot of pressure at work, but that when her father died, she needed to support her mother, and my father felt he wasn’t getting the emotional help he needed.
Despair about the political process sometimes mirrors relationships. Perhaps start reparation round the dinner table?
Christmas can put stress on couples at the best of times: John Lewis ads and idealised memories from the Christmas of childhood hang over us. Now, in addition to the pressure to create a perfect Christmas, ignoring the credit card balance and calorie counting, couples are also likely to have to negotiate their way through at least one extended family Brexit debate.
According to a 2016 poll of 300 relationship counsellors, one in five of them reported clients had mentioned the EU referendum and the decision to leave as an issue in their relationship. When one partner wants “leave” and the other “remain”, how safe is it to embark on carving up the turkey together? And, forgive the glib interpretation, who’s left holding the giblets?