A popular Netflix series called Harry & Meghan was released last month. In the series Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share details about their high-profile love story and the difficulties they have had with the Royal Family. In the second episode as they were both reflecting on their childhoods, Harry said, “It is such a huge responsibility as a human being that if you bring a child into the world, you should do everything you possibly can do to make the world a better place for them”. They both echo the thought that they do not want to make the same mistakes their parents made with them.
Harry observes that most kids who are the product of divorced parents have similar experiences regardless of their status in life. I have found this to be true in working with children and adults. When Meghan was 12 years old, she had to write a poem about her life for a school assignment.
Here is the poem.
“Two houses, two homes
Two kitchens, two phones
Two couches where I lay
Two places where I stay
Moving, moving here and there
From Monday to Friday, I’m everywhere
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that bad
But often times it makes me sad.
I want to live that nuclear life
With a happy Dad and his loving Wife
A picket fence, a shaggy dog
A fireplace, with a burning log
But it’s not real, it’s just a dream
I cannot cry or scream
So here I sit with cat number three
Life would be easier if there were two of me”
Meghan memorized the poem and thirty-plus years later she still recites it from memory. The poem beautifully reflects and demonstrates what children are walking through and feeling when Mom and Dad divorce. Frequently people tell me, kids are resilient, and they will be fine. Will they? Follow the science and look at the statistics. Divorce changes the life trajectory of children. The impact is immediate and long-lasting. Divorce represents a loss of stability for children as it affects them physically, psychologically, and academically. The statistics are conclusive that when your final answer is divorce, you are not aligning with Harry’s thoughts on doing everything possible to make the world a better place for your kids. It just does not happen. I am not suggesting that anyone should stay in an abusive marriage or even a bad marriage. But I do believe that before you divorce, you should consider your children. Then do everything humanly possible to save your marriage and keep your family intact.