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Email of the Day: The Effects of Divorce Last a Lifetime

By Dr. Laura on October 5, 2023
A home is split in half with a single figure standing on one side while a tall and small figure hold hands

I am living proof that divorce has a long-lasting effect on children. My parents divorced when I was 8 years old. My father disappeared and we didn’t re-connect until I was 16.


When I was 19, I married a boy I had been sneaking around with since I had been 11 and he was 15. The marriage was annulled after 8 months when he found a new girlfriend. It’s a miracle I never got pregnant.


My now-husband has ADHD. One of our inside jokes is he thanks me for not killing him, and we laugh. At our last anniversary, when he thanked me once more for not killing him, I told him tearfully, β€œYou always say that, but the truth is, in MY world men leave. So thank you for not leaving me.” Until that point, I had never voiced my fear that I felt it was inevitable he would leave, because that’s what men do. Forty years of a good, strong marriage, and I was still that 8-year-old child waiting to be abandoned.


Thank you for your continual affirmation that kids need their dads and that kids don’t just bounce back from divorce. The effects of divorce last a lifetime.




The Effects of Divorce Last a Lifetime


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