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Julia Austerman Women and Psychology April 5 2001 Portrait of an American Divorce I was married by a judge I should have asked for a jury -- Groucho Marx As little girls most women dreamed of the perfect wedding the perfect husband and the perfect marriage yet in recent history this dream has been shattered for many One common statistic is that out of ten American marriages five divorce and two remain unhappy As divorce is difficult for childless women women with children have a much more precarious position When women are left to a slight disadvantage with divorce not only to deal with the emotional loss of a marriage yet also the financial and legal difficulties Women are more often then not caught in a trap created by gender expectations making it more difficult to readjust their already difficult divorce When marriages do not work out there is one of only two solutions to stay together for the sake of the children or to divorce for the sake of themselves Many are fearful of divorce concerned that it may emotionally damage their child These worries are unfounded While single parent households hold the stigma of unbalanced and unhealthy living environments the case is generally not so Many households with single mothers who are the wage earners have been found to have a healthier family life and produced better adjusted children then unbroken homes Kessler 1975 Also a sizable study by Louise Despert concluded that children in homes with much conflict suffer more then children from broken homes Yet studies have shown that children living in happy broken homes are better off then children who live in unhappy homes where the parents are still married Taves 1968 Studies have shown that the emotional loss of a spouse due to divorce is similar to the loss of a deceased spouse In the time immediately following a divorce
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