I am divorced. Many single women have shared the same story. As soon as they
are divorced other women in the ward approach them and tell them to stay away
from my husband. If it were not for being able to attend a singles ward I would
be inactive. I can't bear to attend church and sit alone while everyone
else sits with their families.
IMAN, I agree, getting married should be the hardest part of the process. My
kids' dad and I divorced over 30 years ago. After decades of inactivity, I
found myself remarried, and again, separated. The first time, I was a young mom
of four, and when my separation, then divorce, were known, all but one of my
friends in RS seemed to have lost my phone number. I felt as if I'd become
invisible. No one was rude, just "busy". And since I never drove,
activity wasn't a choice I really could make. Looking back, maybe I could
have let the Bishop know to keep sending me Home Teachersor VT. I had much to do
in those days, and not much money to do it with. I felt like an outlier, so I
just stayed away. That's one reason people go inactive, especially if they
already feel like they don't fit in, and divorced adults can feel that way;
as the article pointed out, no one knows what to say. But how's this;
"Stuff happens, I guess!" There's really nothing else to say...
Single best thing to remember regarding religiousness and children following
divorce ? Don't be judgmental, and don't fall into the portraying or
projecting of the guilt of either parent. Kids will figure out what happened
through time as they watch their parents' actions. There's no need to
educate or reinforce to any one as to the actual or perceived failings of either
party. I've seen so much stereotyping and falsehood spread about things in
divorce, I think this garbage was worse on the kids than the actual parental
separation. When they saw it for what it was, it undermined the religious
education that could have been going on. Let children know that it is their own
future and choices they need to focus on, and encourage them to live their own
lives to good principles. They'll sort the rest out. All men are not
cheaters and porn addicts, and all women are not angels - but let them all try
to be decent parents with their kids to their best ability. They need
reinforcement of their own worth too, divorce is a massive shattering of
confidence to rebuild from.
@Celebrate Life: We most certainly can and should expect "children raised in
a war zone to believe that the gospel is the path to peace." The gospel of
Jesus Christ was the only thing that was a constant for me during the
dissolution of my parents' marriage. Without my testimony, and without the
companionship of the Holy Ghost to bring me peace, I would have been lost. Out
of my parents' eight children, 3 drifted away from church activity.
Interestingly enough, the ones that clung to gospel teachings and stayed true to
covenants of the LDS faith are the most financially, mentally, and educationally
well-off. I was ruminating on this dichotomy this morning, before I even read
the article, and feeling gratitude for the strength and peace the gospel brings.
You infer that any intelligent child would be able to discern the hypocrisy
between what he has been taught and what he has experienced. I contend that any
intelligent child can learn to discern between true and eternal principles and
the foibles and failings of imperfect parenting.
I have an aunt who divorced her adulterous husband oh, 80's or early
90's. Of her children not one has strayed from the LDS faith. They have all
remained the utmost of strong. One works for the church in the curriculum
department. Another has been or is presently in a bishopric. There are some very
strong mothers out there that can thwart the bad example of the children's
father. Those women are to be applauded. Especially when for 20+ years they
themselves stay strong... I think that is the key... The mother must emulate the
faith in spite of the divorce and continue going strong and the children are
more likely to follow suit with her than follow in his footsteps... Now, if the
mother herself is the stray sheep that is when kids are more likely to fall
away. I have an example of each on one side of the family.
I can fully understand why the children of divorce are less religious. I am a
divorced father and take my children to church when they are with me. But
let's be realistic here, when primary is full of singing songs and talking
about eternal families and they know that their family is not an eternal family
how are they supposed to feel. They feel left out and excluded. This is no fault
of their own but it affects them deeply. As the divorce rate in the church
continues to increase the church is going to have to emphasize the individual
more and the family less or we will continue to struggle keeping the children of
divorce as active, believing members.
This was written by Deseret News staff but cites only non-Mormon divorcees and
national studies? Mormons get divorced. They do so in increasing numbers, which
is why I assume the editorial staff thought it was worth putting one of the
remaining reporters to work on the story. So which is it? A rehash of third
party news sources, or a shameful and intellectually dishonest way to talk about
a very real and growing local problem. The LDS community, the author and Deseret
News are better than this.
We cannot expect children who are raised in a war zone to believe that the
gospel is the path to peace, no matter how carefully they have been taught.
Their intelligence discerns the hypocrisy and the disconnect between what they
have been taught and what they have experienced. We need to have patience,
understanding, and much compassion for children who have experienced divorce and
all the confusion that brings.
When I got divorced I had several Mormon men approach me and ask how I made the
final decision to divorce cause they wanted to but didn't dare.Mormon
men instantly became my friends while Mormon women treated me like I had an std,
was malnourished and smelled bad.Personally, I feel this article is spot
on.... If you have never been divorced, you can't even imagine what
it's like.... divorce is worse than death, you just can't bury the
M A J O R flaw in the article/study. It doesn't control for the
religiosity of the previous generation. In general, more religious parents have
more religious kids. For this study to make any sense, that fact has to be
ignored. They're not investigating the religiosity of the parents -
they're assuming that populations of those whose parents divorced and those
that didn't were exactly the same prior to the event they're using to
explain everything - the divorce. But, it's highly likely that
those who divorce and those who don't - on average - do not have the same
religiosity. I think they'd find that more religious people have fewer
divorces. This would c0mpletely gum-up any conclusion they're trying to
If this is the example others are supposed to follow... it is no
wonder people cannot adhere to a false expectation.
I have three good friends going through divorce right now. In all three cases,
the husbands' selfishness and self-absorbedness is the cause. 2 are
involved in porn and affairs, and the third has decided that his wife just
isn't good enough for him - she doesn't keep the house clean enough,
meet his needs well enough, blah blah blah. Without wondering if he ever does
much for her.All of them have children. Just makes you wonder what
is going through their heads. Someday they are going to realize what an impact
their actions have had on the kids. Articles like this are good and timely for
the rest of us, so that we can help support them. I know from personal
experience with family members that divorce isn't a one time event. The
effects are lifelong and potentially devastating.
Getting married is far to easy. Too many young people marry (due to social and
religious pressure) without a full understanding of what being married really
means. Making marriage more difficult to attain would be a good first step in
reducing the divorce rate. If someone had to (figuratively speaking) walk
through a bed of hot coals to get married I believe the people who did marry
would take the responsibilty far more seriously and chose their partners more
After my children's mother decided the "free love" scene of the
1960's was more appealing than keeping her covenants, one child has taken
up running to satisfy her spiritual needs for her and her children. The other
child has returned to his LDS roots, is in leadership positions and a Temple
marriage. It all depends on the strength of the individual.
How about if we look at how divorce affects kids ability to turn into good an
productive members of society. I understand that many feel that how
"religious" they turn out is the goal of parenting.But a
misguided goal.Good and religious are not synonymous, nor are they
exclusive. Do you really expect kids or young adults to rally
around a religion that they don't believe?I think that too many
parents put undue pressure on kids to be "religious" while missing the
Ghost Writer - In a perfect world we would go to church focusing on what we can
give, not vice versa. However, a single mom with dependent children of course
looks for a church that can help her fill the deficit she faces – no
spouse. My husband's mother joined the LDS church with such an aim in
mind, and it proved fruitful. Despite having no father in the home to model
anything for him, her son (my husband) served a mission, married in the temple
and has become an incredible dad himself to our sons. I give full recognition
to the Bishops, other leaders and ward members of her ward who could see and
understand this, and who graciously went the extra mile to help her and her
I believe that the high divorce rate is symptomatic of our increasingly
self-absorbed culture. People who divorce can always justify the breakup, but
they also always gravely underestimate the damage the divorce will do to the
children involved and by extension to society. We're in denial. That being
said, anyone who approaches their church from the posture of "What can this
church do for me," misses the point of the gospel -- We should go to church
focussing on what we can give, not what we will get.
In addition to divorce, there are other things that are negatively affecting the
religiosity of our youth. The critical thinking training they get in college
certainly doesn't help them stay religious. We also are allowing too many
of our youth to find out about the real origins of our religions. The fact that
religions have a history of covering up child abuse, mistreating women, and
fostering racial inequality also has had a negative affect on the religiosity of
our youth. There is a lot more we should be doing to help our youth stay
religious in addition to encouraging people in bad marriages to stay together.
BYU Track Star: The author, I think, is telling about the odds of children
being religious after their parents divorce, which is dismal, because they feel
that they are left behind - by everyone around them. And the example of the
failed marriage sticks in their minds are their own personal failure - which it
isn't, but they still feel like failures. An abusive relationship that is
terminated should be a relief - no one deserves to be abused. Abusers can be
rehab'd and changed. Sometimes people marry the 'wrong person'
and they can start over. Yes, the abused can still love and forgive, but they
don't have to necessarily live with the abuser to feel peace, sometimes
that is the only way to feel peace and safety.
If I am to understand the thesis of this article, the author is saying
don't get divorced because it will cause your children to be less
religously observant. How sad. How depressing! If your spouse physically or
verbally abuses you: Suck it up and turn the other cheek. Bless them and tell
them that you love them. You are modeling behavior for your kids. You are
modeling behavior that it is okay to be in an abusive relationship/marriage.
Loving your abusive partner unconditionally will pay off in the eternities.
Imagine an eternity with an abusive partner. Pass me some more Zoloft
Religion could do better, but honestly, In many cases, those that divorce must
first divorce themselves from their religious convictions first. Fwiw, My ward has a HUGE percentage of divorcees, due ot the high-density
housing in our ward boundaries. We try out best to be inclusive of all,
regardless their family situation. But it is a huge challenge because so many
single sisters (especially, though we have some single dads with kids) cannot
make ends meet, often don't have vehicles (or even driver's licenses),
and are unemployed (or have very low-paying jobs with no child support from the
EX) due to the need for special needs with their children. All these challenges
leave them feeling dependent on our ward, but you can only depend on something
for so long without it eroding your sense of self-worth. Further
because housing is often temporary, or they run out of money to afford rent, we
only have them with us for a short period of time, which makes fellowship
EXTREMELY difficult. It takes time to make friends, and they simply don't
have any to spare.It can be quite devastating, despite our best
efforts to help.
Religion fails miserably here. Single moms are branded with the scarlet letter
in our society. Kids' prayers aren't answered in a divorce, are they?
And they've been told god has a plan for them...is this part of it?