Is Divorce Immature and Selfish? | Dr. Christine Carter

Is Divorce Immature and Selfish?


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Last week, the best-selling author and popular blogger Penelope Trunk declared divorce “immature and selfish.” She claimed divorce is “nearly always terrible for kids” (and “your case is not the exception”); that it is a sign of mental illness (specifically, of Borderline Personality Disorder); and that it is something that “dumb people” do at higher rates than well-educated ones.

Trunk tends to base most of her writing, for her blog and for national media outlets like CNN, on pretty solid scientific research, so I was surprised by this post. That said, she’s most famous for blogging about highly personal and controversial topics, and so this might be, in part, a publicity stunt.

Unfortunately, her post is freaking out thousands of people who are doing their best to raise happy and well-adjusted children. My former husband even asked me, in a panicky whisper outside of our teacher conference, if our own much-deliberated and highly-agonized-over divorce could have damaged our kids in ways we were not yet seeing several years out.

Is Trunk correct? Is it usually better for kids to have unhappily married parents who stay together? Or, are there some cases where divorce is actually better for kids than remaining married? Read this post to find out.

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  • Alexandra

    This really angered me.  I know my kids are better off since my ex husband and I got divorced.  It is very complicated for them now and there are difficult times often, however, I firmly believe that they would be far worse off if we had stayed together.  Kids are also much more resilient than we give them credit for.  Kids of divorce learn coping skills which will serve them well for the rest of their lives.