The worth of.. [Part 2 – Divorce]
What is life worth when you are homeless or a refugee? What is life worth when you must go to a food bank every week or when you have bulimia or anorexia nervosa? What is life worth when you stare death in the face? Or the other way around, what is life worth when it is over but you have to keep going for only a little while?
In the series “the worth of.” I will go on a search.
Part 2. The worth of life: divorce
When they were arguing again, I went downstairs. I was already awake anyways. My mother had said the following to my father countless of times: I will leave you if you keep doing this. That day came. I can still see my father leaving the house with his weekend bag. He never came back. Much too soon after a new man came into my mother’s life. I was so angry. Not even divorced yet and she was already onto a different man. The first years of me and my younger brother of five years saw our dad barely. He held up in a cottage in a holiday resort. It has been six years now. My dad has a new girlfriend whom I don’t like and my mom remarried another man with whom I am always fighting.
About 1 in 3 marriages fail. As a result, many kids experience their parents divorcing, about 70.000 kids per year. Divorce is accompanied by many changes. It severely changes a kid’s daily life. Two residences, moving sometimes, when you are with one, you are missing the other. This is the practical side. The emotional consequences are much worse. They have to deal with a lot tension, sometimes with arguments, and their safe haven falling away. Many kids feel abandoned.
More kids are not living in a house with both their mother and their father. Data from the CBS shows that during the 20 years this number has risen from 400.000 to 600.000. Almost a quarter of these parents chose to co-parent. Living at two places takes a lot out of a child. Research shows that this choice is not suitable during all the phases of a child’s life: co-parenting seems to work for younger kids, babies and toddlers not included. Above thirteen and fourteen years old it becomes harder. Traveling between houses and adapting to different home atmospheres is very stressful to teenagers. This is because kids at that age are starting to create their own life in the form of a circle of friends, and jobs, etc. These kids are much happier when they can explore the world from steady home base.