Andrew Root—Why Divorce Calls Children’s Existence into Question

Posted by Kendall Harmon

I don't wish to diminish the psychological and economic impact of divorce. But if we truly are relational beings, then divorce is centrally an issue not of psychology nor of economics but of ontology—an issue of our very being. It therefore feels a little like being erased, like losing our being in the deep divide that separates our divorcing parents.

When a young person is informed of her parents' divorce, it might be that her deepest questions are about her being: How can I be at all now that Mom and Dad aren't together? Now that they are two, she is unavoidably divided. She has one room at Mom's and another at Dad's, one schedule at Dad's and another at Mom's. As philosopher Martin Heidegger said, we have our being in our practical way of living, in our actions. And now post-divorce, because this young person's action and living is divided, so too is her very being. Her parents are seeking to reverse, to go back, to be as if the two never became one. But she can't do this because she belongs (in the very material of her person that acts with and for them) to both of them.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilyPsychology* TheologyAnthropology

Posted August 4, 2012 at 8:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Milton Finch wrote:

Petty darn good article!  I posted it over to my Facebook page.  Thank you!

August 4, 5:40 pm | [comment link]
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