Rising Divorce Rates the Need for and Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Rising Divorce Rates

The Need for and Purpose of the Project

The Sub-problems

Couples Therapy

Prevention Therapy

Impact of Divorce on Children

Chapter 5-Conclusions, Summary and Recommendations,

The Need for and the Purpose of the Project

Divorce has become popular throughout the many years it has existed and divorce rates continue to increase. More than a million people a year get a divorce (Tucker-Ladd 35). Young couples are more commonly known to get a divorce, than those who have been married for two or three years (35). Forty percent of men and fifty percent of women are divorced before that age of thirty (35). About fifteen to twenty percent of people ages 35 to 55 are now currently divorced (35). About twenty percent of marriages last less than fifteen years (35). Recent statistics say that sixty-five to seventy percent of new marriages will fail (35).

There is one thing in this world which you must never forget to do. Human beings come into this world to do particular work. That work is their purpose, and each is specific to the person. Of you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about. If you remember everything else and forget your true work, then you will have done nothing in your life" (qtd. In Tucker-Ladd 35).

In order to reduce the number of divorces that happen each year, married couples must learn to effectively communicate with one another. These interpersonal communications skills should begin before the marriage vows are taken and should last until "death do us part."

As statistics prove, divorce rates have skyrocketed over the last half-century. Divorce has now become universal, changing rapidly through time (Berry 1). The reasoning for this is probably because if the familiarity of divorce throughout the world. People are being divorced up to six times before they actually settle down (2). Divorce is accepted. It is looked at by many as a decision of choice made by those who feel they made a mistake. For those couples without children, divorce usually ends up with a small amount psychological distress (Herman 10). Divorced couples that have children grieve twice as hard because they not only grieve for themselves, but for their children as well (11). Many times couples may feel embarrassment and shame because they feel that they have failed (10). Any situation with stress-related factors can lead to depression (10-11).

To avoid becoming a divorce statistic couples must learn how to communicate with one another. Communications is the foundation of every relationship (Tannen, 32). During interpersonal communications it is necessary that the participants reach a mutual understanding of what message each other is trying to convey (Tannen, 33). This mutual understanding is vital to sustaining a functional relationship. As with any relationship, marriage is not different. Each member of a martial dyad must have clearly defined and understood communication and interaction between its members (Tannen, 32-33). Bad communication in a relationship can cause many misunderstandings and troubles.

If good communication is easily attain, than the United States would not have nearly 50% divorce rate (Tannen, 32).

The purpose of this discussion is to explore the manner in which counseling can aid in the development of communications skills of married couples. First we will evaluate the use of couple counseling and the many methods that can be used. Then we will explore preventative counseling and the ways in which it increases a couples' ability to communicate. Lastly we will explore the impact of divorce on children including issues of abandonment and their perceptions of divorce.

Statement of the Problem

Couples have a responsibility to one another before they get married to make sure that they are ready to make such a commitment. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the causes of increased divorce rates and determine if marriages are ending because of lack of communication skills between partners. Good interpersonal communication is the key to a lasting relationship (Tannen, 32). Communication is the central medium through which couples initiate romantic relationships, build upon those relationships, address their problems and generally live out their relationships, good communications skills are vital part of a successful marriage (Burleson, Kunkel, and Birch, 262). By going through some type of communication skills training before marriage, couples can hope to learn how to interact with one another and hopefully eliminate the possibility of divorce (Markman, Stanley, and Blumberg, 18).

The Sub-problems

The First Sub-problem is to evaluate marriage counseling to determine if couples should seek counseling before and during marriage to ensure that they have the proper communication skills needed to make their marriage succeed.

The Second Sub-problem is to evaluate the immediate effects divorce has on children.

The Hypotheses

The First Hypotheses is communication skills training with couples before marriage would decrease the high divorce rate.

The Second Hypotheses is a poor relationship between spouses leads to a lack of rapport (trust & confidence) which inhibits communication.

Definitions and Abbreviations of Terms

Interpersonal Communication is face-to-face passing, giving or sending of information by touch, words, or signals.

Marriage is a formal and legal relationship, governed by rules and established through ritual that recognizes an enduring sexual union and the legitimacy and status of its issue.

Marriage is the institution under which a man and woman become legally united on a permanent basis.

Divorce is the termination of marriage. Though marriage is usually marked by ritual, divorce rituals, beyond the use of a prescribed formula, are rare. Divorce is an important topic (closely related to property rights and inheritance) in religious systems of law.

Divorce, in simple terms, is a legal separation from one's spouse, ending a marriage between two people by law. The first divorce ever recorded took place in Massachusetts, in 1639 (Berry 1). The woman was awarded with the divorce decree after the court learned that the husband already had a wife. The husband was then fined, imprisoned and finally banished to England during this Puritan time period (1)

Chapter 2



The purpose of this research project is to evaluate the relationship between poor interpersonal communication and how it leads to divorce. The number one problem reported in interpersonal relationships is communication (Cavin, 1). The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) released a study last year identifying the top five reasons people get divorced: financial difficulties, poor communication, lack of commitment, mid-life crisis or major change in priorities, and marital infidelity. They have also identified several other important reasons of marriage failure, such as physical abuse, substance abuse or gambling. This chapter of the project will include information from the literary search on divorce and communication, marriage counseling, and how divorce affects children, emotions and finances.

The need for marriage counseling

Pre-martial counseling helps reduce the risk somewhat and can prevent many bad marriages. It depends on what kind of counseling, though. Some studies indicate that counseling given, as part of "Community Marriage Polices" in certain cities is extremely effective, according to American Divorce Reform. In a control group of couples, those who received an education program dealing with communication, relationship expectations and sexual relationship enhancement demonstrated more positive communication during conflict discussion tasks than did the couples who received no counseling (Calvin, 2). Furthermore, one year later, the couples who received communication training reported fewer problems than they did before the program (Calvin, 3).

Many people are embarrassed to seek counseling or feel that there isn't anything that can help the relationship, but that is so untrue. Seeking outside help gives a third person's view of the problem (Markman, Stanley, & Blumberg, 38). It is much easier for a trained professional to look at the problems from an objective point-of-view and offer techniques or strategies for the couple to work on that can do a world of good. The therapist never takes sides. He or she treats the married couple equally, and teaches them to listen to each other effectively. Getting professional help can make a world of difference in a marriage and it only makes sense to give it a try before getting a divorce (Markman, Stanley, & Blumberg, 38).

Divorce has traumatic effects on children

According to American for Divorce Reform, "divorce greatly increases two- or three-fold, the incidence of all kinds of bad effects on children of divorce, including psychological problems, juvenile delinquency, suicide, lack of education, and teen motherhood.

Problems arise from conflict during and after divorce more than from conflict during the marriage. Problems persist into early adulthood and affect the marriage and mating choices of children of divorce. Adults and children are at much more increased risk for mental and physical problems due to marital distress than if they were not to have a divorce at all.

The double threat of marital conflict and divorce has led to a generation of United States children at great risk for poverty, health problems, alienation, and antisocial behavior (National Center for Health Statistics, 1997). Children living with a single parent or adult have a…

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