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Divorce: Is it the Kids' Fault?

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Balthazar Getty, A-Rod and Madonna are the latest celebs on the brink of divorce--and have you noticed all of them happen to have young kids? Begs the question: Does having kids contribute to a higher divorce rate? We talked to Rabbi Sherre Hirsch to find out.


Is it just us, or does it seem like young kids are a recipe for marital disaster? Balthazar Getty's recent affair with Sienna Miller caused some major commotion because he is married with four young children. After rumors of an alleged affair, Balthazar stated: "In light of the fact that many pictures have surfaced in print and on the Internet, which has caused myself and my family great embarrassment, I felt it necessary to at least acknowledge publicly that, yes indeed my wife and I have separated and I will not be commenting any further." OK, he may or may not be a "cheater", but why do so many marriages fail when the children are young? (Britney Spears, Denise Richards--the list goes on...)

Rabbi Sherre said that the divorce rate is definitely higher in couples with young kids, and it's a common trend she sees in her community. She believes couples get into trouble because:
1. Young kids take time away from the husband, who used to come first. Most of a woman's time is now given to the child.
2. There is little time left for dating and sex.
3. The average couple with young kids has sex one time a month. This dramatically affects the marriage.
4. The husband feels completely neglected and ends up leaving or "acting out" by having an affair: "Rarely," Rabbi Sherre says, "do we see women leave. Most of the time, the husbands leave."

What can we do to protect our family and our marriage?
1. The most important relationship in the family is the one with your spouse. A great marriage means a great family. The best thing you can do is put your husband in the number-one spot.
2. Keep the sex up...even if you don't always feel like it.
3. Do some communal activities with the family: volunteer, go to church or synagogue, do something for those in need. Families gain perspective this way.
4. Spend an hour and a half each week together without the kids: take a walk, meet your husband at work for lunch, go for a bike ride. No kids. Period. You don't have to have a "date night," just spend some quality time together.

For more tips from Rabbi Sherre, visit her site

Rabbi Sherre Hirsch is a mother of three and the author of We Plan, God Laughs. She offers non-denominational spiritual advice.

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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 23, 2008, 12:16 PM

Wrong again MomLogic. Marrying an immature a**hole is the recipe for maritial disaster.

jackie July 23, 2008, 2:32 PM

it makes a lot of sense to me. It is SO super stressful to have a young kid and more than one is even worse. It’s hard to keep a relationship nurtured. These tips are great. I sure hope i can keep it together in my marriage!

NannyJanof5 July 24, 2008, 9:34 AM

You are assuming that the mom is a stay at home mom that can just please her man in any way any time….what about the working mothers who have young children that have the responsiblity of daycare, housework, cooking, cleaning, bathing, etc. Why is always the woman’s job to keep it all together…marriages are made up of two people as are the children…why not advise the man to start taking some responsibility for HIS family and if they were as busy helping their wives with the nurturing of the kids and the day to day running of the household they wouldn’t have time to be looking elsewhere. Then maybe the woman won’t be too tired to have a little fun with her man!!!!

Mary July 24, 2008, 10:00 AM

I don’t agree at all, and believe that the majority of divorce’s are caused by
A. Cheating Spouses
B. Lack of Maturity
C. Money problems, instead of ours,its mine
D.Obession with pornography
E. Abuse of some sort
F. Being trapped into marriage. Stating pregnancy when not pregnant, or deliberately becoming pregnant, or some one elses child.
I do not think that young children are the reason for so many divorces, because usually the couples decide to have children after marriage. However if the couple is immature, or any above occurs then divorce could result.

Mary July 24, 2008, 10:04 AM

I do not think that children are to blame, because there are too many other factors to consider. These include the immaturity of the couple, cheating spouses, money problems of not ours but mine, and various types of abuse. Was any of these couples actually asked about cheating?

MJ July 24, 2008, 10:25 AM

Oh you are no off the mark!!!
Your ideas are what cause so many problems with children during and after the divorce.
Parents are adults and they are the ones who should be making mature choices. The children are the victims of their parents’ decisions.

blurb October 17, 2008, 8:04 PM

To Mary - I think you must have a long string of very unhappy experiences; I truly feel sorry for you. I think the majority of divorces occur because marriage takes work and people take their marriages for granted & stop working at it. They don’t dress up for each other the way they used to, they don’t compliment each other the way they used to, they don’t buy the little inexpensive gifts they used to buy just to say I love you - the way they used to - it’s all become a boring grind. I think they also stop respecting each other & talk to each other in way they would never have done while they were dating. But I DON’T think it’s because they have small children!!!

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:16 AM

Very interesting info, i’m waiting for more !!! Keep updating your site and you will have a lot o readers

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