Tell Ruth the Truth

This is a moderated blog is a project of the Ruth Institute. Have a story to share? We're listening.

The Effects of Divorce on Children's Mental Health

An Australian shares some heart-wrenching stories about the effects of divorce on children's mental health from cases he has seen first-hand:

Our son has a nine-year-old friend, who also has an 11-year-old brother. Their parents are no longer together. On weekends, the nine-year-old goes to his father's, who has a new love interest. She has two children from a previous marriage. My son's friend cries at school and particularly on Fridays when he knows he must go to his father's house. The 11-year-old brother does not go because he yells and flat-out refuses. Our son's friend is often upset, shy, and becomes very reactive to many things.

The other story is about a 53-year-old man with a 38-year-old Chinese wife he met online while teaching in China. He has three children from a previous marriage, one an autistic boy who is unable to talk. His children have very little to do with him, and they are angry at him for having a wife 15 years younger than himself and for leaving his previous wife. His autistic son, after being with his father, has very poor behavior. Where he is taken care of, they report he now has a much worse temper and other anger issues. The children call him selfish and want little to do with him except for catching up briefly at Christmas and birthdays.