April 4, 2020
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How Religion Affects Divorce Decisions | Dads Divorce | Divorce News

According to research from the National Divorce Decision-Making Project, religion and spirituality are often on the minds of many men and women who are considering divorce. Many couples struggle with the decision whether to stay married because of their religious beliefs even though everything else tells men they should leave. Steven Harris is a clinician and professor of family social science and director of the Couple and Family Therapy program at the University of Minnesota. Based on interviews he conducted with individuals considering divorce, Harris said it’s common for people to struggle with what he called the dilemma of religious beliefs. On one hand, these individuals know they’re not happy in their marriages but they have to reconcile that desire to divorce with their personal religious beliefs. Many people are very concerned about offending God. That they had taken their vows very seriously and now to find themselves at this place where they never imagined themselves being, that it was a tough struggle and kind of that calling out and that kind of reminder that hey you made this this vow for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. That was the thing that kind of tugged at a lot of the people. In addition to their own individual spirituality, Harris said it’s common for people to worry about how their divorce will affect their social networks within their church community. One of the ways that they felt like their religious community was going to have to start siding up. Are they going to side with me or are they going to side with my spouse, my partner, on the reasons for divorce. Some people even talked about the the judgmental nature of the religious community. One guy said it’d probably be easier on me to rob a bank – I’d probably find more acceptance in my religious community if I robbed a bank and tried to come back and stay an active member in my church community than if I were to get divorced. We really frown upon divorce so knowing that the church membership would struggle with this idea to divorce, the decision to divorce, and then trying to figure out how do I go about this decision knowing I’m going to lose a major part of my my social network, which was connected to my religious observance. For more articles on the relationship between religion and divorce visit DadsDivorce.com. That’ll do it for another episode. I’m Shawn Garrison, editor of DadsDivorce.com, thank you for watching.

Jean Kelley