in The Teenage Mind
– the internal experience of the young adult
In response to Mark Banschick’s September Psychology Today post, “The Intelligent Divorce,” there is no such thing. Divorce is bad, plain and simple. I am a psychologist with an excellent education and the daughter of a divorce. In school, I read everything I could get my hands on, academic and anecdotal. I talked to everyone I knew, young and old. I talked to people who stayed in unhappy marriages. I talked to people who had married multiple times. From scientific articles to Hemingway on divorce, no source was overlooked. Believe me, there is no such thing as an intelligent divorce.
During the 70s, when the psychological literature first discussed the effects of divorce on children, the general view was that divorce doesn’t have to harm children. But, it does. Children, even intelligent ones or older ones, often think it is their fault. There is a lot of self blame. Grades suffer. I lost my motivation in school. My grades went down. Not studying was a form of rebellion, anger, and apathy. I really didn’t care what became of me. Perhaps, the kid is stuck with a depressed mother who can’t leave her room, clean up the kitchen, or take the child to school. This child is ashamed to invite friends home from school and friendships suffer. My brother couldn’t play Little League because there was no one to drive him to games. Extra-curricular activities suffer.