How Divorce Affects Children


How does divorce in one generation affect the next. Some points to consider:


When Dad and Mom Divorce, It Makes it Easier for the Next Generation to Follow Suit


Abraham struggled with deception on two separate occasions. Isaac, just a few chapters later, followed in the footsteps of his father (Genesis 12:11-20, Genesis 20:1-2, and Genesis 26:6-7 ). Not too long after that, Jacob is seen deceiving his own father Isaac (Genesis 27:18-19).​

David fought many a battle in his life in which he won a valiant victory. Yet, on one occasion, he fought a battle with his flesh in which he was surprisingly not the victor. This defeat took place when he committed adultery with Bathsheeba (II Samuel 11:1-5). Interestingly enough, David had a son called Solomon that was also a king, and his downfall was in part due to women (I Kings 11:1-2).

​No doubt, more is caught than taught, and children are more likely to go in the direction that you lead rather than the direction you point.
​I like to encourage parents to ask themselves this question:

“Do we want our children to have the type of marriage that we currently have?”

If not, then it is yet another reason to seek the Lord, call upon His name, and seek out godly wisdom and advice.​


In Years to Come


One day, you will be sitting at a family reunion and you will either rejoice or have regret over the state of your children and grandchildren. In my book on anger, Angry Without a Cause, I said that the best time to have an affect upon your grandchildren is while you are rearing your own. Though there is no magic potion to ensure that all will be perfect in generations to come, I have found that the more work you do now as a parent usually means the less work that you and your children will have to do at a later time.

why stay married

​When divorce and dysfunction occur in one generation, it helps to desensitize the next to their ill effects. Many children are not given much of a chance to develop an emotional appetite for love, respect, and peace in the home as they have been spoon-fed with anger, hostility, and separation during their childhood. This is detrimental in that many of our children view divorce and dysfunction as a very normal part of life. In my view, once this occurs, the cycle of divorce will easily perpetuate itself for generations to come until some dad or mom down the road establishes a new, spirit-led normal in Christ.

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Posted in Divorce

2 comments on “How Divorce Affects Children
  1. Ty.S says:

    I have been considering divorce. If anyone has advice and guidance I would love some because I have been fighting back and forth. I am sorry this will be long but I have been having trouble finding help and am pretty desperate.
    Why? I’ve had it. I feel like I’ve given everything and that I just have no more left to give. Our past was very abusive. He forced me into drugs and was extremely violent and abusive sexually and mentally. We cleaned up and I thought all our problems would be solved. We decided to get married. We planned a wedding in two weeks after a month of being sober. I was pregnant by the next month. I chose to be the one to support the family and he be the stay at home parent. He is diagnosed psychotic-bi polar-depressant- with a paranoid mind set- and anti social behavior. I have recently found out about emotional abuse and the common link between personality disorders and the abuse cycle and see how I have been a victim of it. We have been married for 4.5 years and I still do most of the cooking and cleaning even though he is the stay at home parent and manages to find at least 4 hours a day to play video games. He thinks playing LESS games and cleaning some here and there or every couple of weeks is enough and he is doing the best he can and I expect too much out of him. Since our marriage I have been dealing with worse and worse depression, anxiety and panic attacks. I have had 3 break downs since we have been married which each time I tried to talk to him about and begged him for help which he turned on me and refused to see what he was doing or change what he was doing. My 2nd break was last year which I told him I was losing faith in him and learning to not rely on him. He said “well that’s your choice”. I am currently in my 3rd break down. It started because we decided to have another child. When I was relieved that the test was negative I explained to him that I think I was having second thoughts and needed to think things over. He became angry and told me that I had already said yes and couldn’t take it back so I agreed and yes to sex but told him that I felt violated and that i would be regretful if I was pregnant which he told me “well you said yes”. Next test I took was positive. After that I was becoming depressed because I wanted to clean out the baby room which he was not wanting to help me with. He finally asked why I was depressed and I explained to him that I really wanted to clean the room and it was really important to me but I didn’t know how to approach him in a way where he would not get mad. He got upset and told me all the reasons why the room was fine and I was silly to ask him to move his stuff into the shed outside. Depression got worse. During this time one thing we were working on was being more sexually open. This has been a HUGE issue because he used to beat me so bad and has made me feel so insecure with him. I have been uncomfortable with sex with him for a long time now. He kept telling me and telling me how he was ok and open with masturbation and even did it himself occasionally. One night I felt comfortable enough to do it and like we had talked about told him the next morning. It was Easter and our son was opening his basket. My husband flipped out and said horrible horrible things to me. Made me feel so awful and degraded and told me how I have screwed everything up right in front of our son ( I later found out our neighbor had been at the door also and I am sure she heard). This was where I snapped. I lost it. I have been spiraling down since and it was 4 months ago. It wasn’t until I made him go to counseling with me and mentioned I was thinking about separating that he was wanting to change anything. For years he told me I didn’t need a counselor because he could tell me everything the counselor was going to say. Now all a sudden he says he understands everything so clearly and the counselor made all the difference and the thought about losing his family and he is doing all these sweet things and trying to do everything right and wants to work on the relationship. Today he made our son french toast for breakfast and cried about how much he likes playing games with me and bought an XBox so we could play together. He’s all of a sudden become very attached and almost overly affectionate. This is what he does every time I’ve had it though. He gets all sweet and pathetic and pulls at my heart stings and gets all sentimental and sad and has this break through in his thinking, but it never lasts. I read this is part of the abuse cycle and it almost seems like a mania episode or something. I told him I feel trapped and I don’t think it’s healthy to feel this way. He said “well you made the vows”.About having the baby he says “well you were prob already pregnant by that time anyways”. I feel if I leave he will not do anything to support himself or learn to be independent. Do I take his word for it again and believe things will be different and give another chance and put my emotional well being at risk again? I am so sick or hurting like this. I have spent thousands paying off his child support and unpaid medical bill and feel like I have been paying to be miserable. He is good and nice to our son. Should I finally put my foot down and stop disrespecting myself and just say “NO! I’ve given enough of my well being and you have not protected it or taken care of it?”

    • Have you considered checking in with a local church? They often are able to help on a free or a donation basis. They also may be resources that you are unaware of in your particular community.

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

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