Understandably, divorce for financial reasons is one of the chief causes cited by couples in marital dissolution cases. While there are several major areas of conflict that can result in husbands and wives separating, today's global economic crises have pushed money problems to the top of the charts. A global recession, escalating unemployment rate, consumer credit card debt, rampant foreclosures, and a trillion-dollar national deficit in the United States are all contributing the demise of many marriages. Most couples cannot handle the pressures of losing a home, getting laid off, or dodging bill collectors. The frustration of not having enough cash to make ends meet can drive even happily married couples to distraction. Husbands and wives who divorce because of money woes are quickly becoming as commonplace as those who separate due to adultery. "Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbor" (Proverbs 19:4).
In the United States, the national rate of unemployment is nearly 9.5 percent; but the world's bountiful bread basket is slowly but surely dwindling. Added to the high unemployment rate is the reluctance for banks to lend money and the inability of homeowners to sell at a profit. Low housing prices and high unemployment is a recipe for disaster, as many couples fighting to stay afloat are losing the battle. When the threat of poverty comes knocking at the door, husbands and wives who are not rooted and grounded in the Word may begin to fight and bicker over the bills. To make matters worse, working wives with stay-at-home husbands may face resentment from a spouse who is used to bringing home the bacon. As couples divorce for financial reasons, the traditional family unit is also being undermined.
Homes broken by divorce for financial reasons can also have a negative impact on the economy. An abandoned wife and children may be forced to rely on public assistance for housing, food, or health care. Departments of Family and Children's Services nationwide may realize a considerable increase in the number of applications for food stamps, subsidized housing or health care for single parents with dependent children who are products of a failed marriage. Most divorced women cannot earn a sufficient income to fully support themselves or the kids. Even with alimony or child support payments, a mother who chooses to divorce or separate may wind up in a more precarious position than when the family was intact.
According to the Bible, divorce for financial reasons is not justifiable. "It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery" (Matthew 5:31-32). "And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife" (I Corinthians 7:10-11). Clearly, in the eyes of God the only legitimate reason to divorce is because of fornication, or having sex outside the marriage. God is well able to rectify a financial problem without couples resorting to marital dissolution.
In an effort to find solutions to money woes, spouses may try to secure out-of-town jobs or voluntarily enlist in the military or national guard. Long distance employment may help to relieve some of the pressure of indebtedness, but cost husbands and wives the satisfaction of living under the same roof. Long term separations can also lead to divorce for financial reasons, as out-of-town employment or military deployment erodes the marital relationship and places an additional strain on the family, especially when children are involved.
While some couples may feel that divorce for financial reasons is their only solution, there are remedies. Husbands and wives dealing with money problems should exhaust all avenues of debt resolution before sacrificing their marriage. Consumer credit counselors can help clear up delinquent charge accounts. Creditors may settle for a fraction of the original debt as a payoff. Lenders, like banks or other financial institutions, may also agree to restructuring auto loans or refinancing mortgages at a lower interest rate. Selling distressed properties at a short sale is another remedy for reducing debt and salvaging damaged credit. Short sales allow a homeowner to find a suitable buyer to purchase a home that is on the verge of foreclosure subject to lender approval. The homeowner avoids foreclosure on the property and can keep their credit intact.
Couples seriously considering divorce for financial reasons may also try liquidating assets, selling gold jewelry, or downsizing to avoid separation. Cashing in on annuities, certificates of deposit, stocks or bonds may provide extra funds to meet existing needs. An employer savings plan might also be a resource for emergency expenses like unpaid hospital bills or past due mortgages. Some companies will buy broken gold jewelry on the Internet, local stores, or pawn shops. But sellers should beware of fly-by-night operations and deal only with reputable companies when selling precious metals. Finally, to avoid divorce for financial reasons, downsizing may offer some immediate relief. Moving from an expensive home to a more affordable apartment or condominium can offer families a viable solution to the housing market crisis. For families living in urban areas with mass transit, downsizing vehicles or selling the family car and relying on city buses or subway transit can cut costs considerably. In spite of a money crisis, couples should exhaust all avenues of debt resolution before deciding to divorce. Ending a marriage is not a solution for financial woes and may, in fact, compound money problems.
How Divorce Affects HealthUnderstanding how divorce affects health may be a deterrent to those contemplating marital dissolution. While a bad marriage can be damaging mentally, emotionally and physically, a divorce can wreak havoc with overall well being. Because the lives of husbands and wives are so intimately intertwined, when couples experience conflict it can be just as debilitating as a dreaded disease or death. Ending what should have been a lifelong union can be especially traumatic on the partner who is a victim of adultery. Feelings of betrayal, rejection, and unworthiness can not only lead to emotional trauma but also physical problems. Prolonged mental anguish may cause migraine headaches; an inability to concentrate, insomnia, or even hair loss. Going through a marital breakup, whatever the cause, is an opportunity to find God and allow Him to bear every burden. "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you" (I Peter 5:6-7).
Individuals who undergo the stress of marital dissolution may also discover how divorce affects health when suffering from depression, suicidal thoughts, and loss of appetite, which can contribute to dramatic weight loss. Losing weight means that an ex-spouse is also losing nutrients; and those lost nutrients can not only impact mental health, but also lead to nerve, tissue and muscle damage, especially the heart. Heart muscles need iron-rich blood for proper functioning; but a nutrient-poor starves tissues and muscles. Just as cardiovascular problems may arise from malnutrition, brain function is also adversely impacted by a lack of food. Headaches, short-term memory loss, fatigue, sleeplessness, or anxiety may all result. Over an extended period of time, hair and tooth loss, a lack of muscle tone, and a poor complexion may all become evidence of how divorce affects health. Many females cease to have regular menstrual cycles due the emotional stress of divorce. Medical doctors may prescribe medication to restore regular hormonal cycles and iron supplements to replace vital nutrients. Doctors may also prescribe antidepressants and complementary alternative medicine, such as light therapy, aromatherapy, and physical exercise to deter emotional stress.
Many ex-husbands and ex-wives may also gain excessive weight due to emotional overeating; and a weight gain of twenty or thirty pounds can impact other systems in the body. How divorce affects health may become abundantly obvious as added pounds put pressure on the skeletal, digestive and cardiovascular systems, while divorcees mourn the loss of a loved one. Consuming a high-carb, high-starch diet of comfort foods, such as ice cream, cookies, cakes, and pies only adds to the dilemma of how divorce affects health. As weight is gained around the midsection, stress is added on the bones of the hips, knees, and back. An individual carrying weight in excess of twenty to fifty pounds might experience arthritic pain, muscle spasms, lower back pain, and fallen arches.
The sad part about how divorce affects health is ex-spouses may be so emotionally distraught that their physical appearance and well being goes completely unnoticed. Food becomes a panacea for the pain of marital breakup as former mates try to forget the anguish of finding themselves suddenly single. Because the breakup of a marriage can cause the loss of friends and family, newly divorced men and women may find themselves isolated. Formerly outgoing husbands and wives may turn into couch potatoes, preferring to nurse a large pizza in the relative comfort and seclusion of home rather than venture out to meet new friends. Becoming more disheveled in appearance and a lack of exercise only cause a vicious cycle of weight gain, low self-esteem, isolation and fear of trying to find happiness again.
Regardless of how divorce affects health, there is a remedy. To avoid the devastating emotional and physical impact of marital dissolution, ex-spouses must try to move past the hurt and pain of rejection and begin building a new life alone. Spiritual renewal, volunteerism, and social interaction help eradicate feelings of loneliness, depression, and eating disorders. Joining a divorce recovery program at a local church or organization may help speed the process. Professional counselors and clergymen can help those who are hurting find a reason to live again. Getting involved in social work can also ease marital woes. Many times people can endure painful personal situations better by giving themselves to the less fortunate. Volunteering at a local shelter, delivering meals to the sick and shut-in, or visiting nursing homes and senior citizen centers can make an ex-spouse feel more useful and fulfilled. Becoming too busy to sit and think about personal problems can be the best start toward recovery.
Spiritual renewal is a God-sent method to regain good mental, emotional and physical health. Newly divorced men and women should understand that the burden of overcoming marital woes does not have to be carried alone. God has the answer for every problem, including the dissolution of marriage. Ex-spouses should search for a good Bible-teaching church where they can develop a new support system of other believers, people who will pray and intercede as the process of recovery from a marital breakup ensues. Consistent prayer, Bible study and Christian fellowship are vital for spiritual renewal. As former mates discover how divorce affects health and adopt habits to circumvent poor well being, they will become strengthened in mind, body and soul. "But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen" (I Peter 5:10-11).