TEENAGERS & DIVORCE
Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 02:32PM
Site Administrator in Counseling Articles

By Dennis Rozema

Q. My husband and I have threatened divorce for years. I have stayed with him because I wanted my son, who is now 15, to have a two parent family. I am now seriously considering leaving my husband, and am wondering what kind of reactions I can expect from my son.

A. How your son will react depends a lot on your son and how he sees the divorce of his parents. Divorce is a loss and the same feelings of grief, anger, fear, and quilt that are felt with other losses are typical with divorce. Much of the research shows that boys tend to react more severely than girls, but more importantly, the severity of reactions depends mostly on how it is presented and then played out.

At 15, your son knows that his parents marriage has not been perfect. If your explanations are from both of you at once and are calm, honest, and nonjudgmental, he will do much better than if you both try to use him for your own support against each other.

Regarding the issue of staying together for your son's sake, there is no easy answer. Marital tension can be so deleterious to the emotional well being of the children that divorce can bring them relief. On the other hand, marital and family counseling can be effective in resolving the marital problems, thus preserving the two-parent. Should you decide to pursue a divorce, I would be interested in hearing your son's point of view as to the value of staying together for the sake of the children versus divorce. Good luck with your decision.

Article originally appeared on Divorce Online | Divorce Resources | Legal, Financial & Counseling | State Statutes (http://www.divorceonline.com/).
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