Sources of Stress in Divorce
Restructuring the family:
- Household chores. Tasks such as cleaning, cooking, and shopping must be managed. Each parent may have to assume tasks formerly shared by two adults, a situation that may feel overwhelming.
- Family finances. Financial arrangements often must be reworked, adding considerably more stress and tension between parents. Finances may become a leading source of anger.
- Parenting roles. If one parent is the main wage earner and the other the main caretaker, each may have to cover both roles after a divorce. Parents must answer various childcare questions: Who will stay home with a sick child? Who will leave work early to take a child to the dentist?
- Relationships with extended family and friends. Interaction with extended family and friends must be reconsidered. Family members may take sides, disrupting relationships and removing potential sources of guidance and comfort.
Changing identity. Divorce is a crisis that affects a person’s identity. Individuals no longer occupy the role of husband or wife. At the same time, they must rethink changes in their roles as parents, workers, and caretakers. People often are caught off guard by the need to reconsider such questions such as “Who am I?” and “What do I want to do with my life?”