Citation
The postdivorce adjustment cycle

Material Information

Title:
The postdivorce adjustment cycle
Creator:
Reid, Kevin, 1934-
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xix, 358 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Child support ( jstor )
Divorce ( jstor )
Divorced status ( jstor )
Husbands ( jstor )
Marriage ( jstor )
Mothers ( jstor )
Questionnaires ( jstor )
Remarriage ( jstor )
Spouses ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Divorce ( lcsh )
Divorced mothers -- Florida -- Miami-Dade County ( lcsh )
Remarriage ( lcsh )
City of Gainesville ( local )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1983.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 340-357).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Kevin Reid.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
030468273 ( ALEPH )
ACN3317 ( NOTIS )
11628227 ( OCLC )

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Full Text











THE POSTDIVORCE ADJUSTMENT CYCLE


BY


KEVIN BEID

























A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DCCTCB OF PHILOSOPHY



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1983































Copyright 1983

by

Kevin Reid





























DEDICATED TO


Eugene Frank and Mary Alice Monti

and their

Extended Family


Barbara Jean

Danny

Kevin

Euqenie


Sharon

Rachelle


Thelma

Joe

Vickie

Van


L














ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


In the preparation for this study there was nothing out

of the ordinary. Its completion, however, which took three

and a half years, was very difficult because of a baffling

and persistent illness. Because of this circumstance a

greater debt of gratitude is owed to those who had the

patience, courage and goodness to support and encourage me

through its completion.

The greatest debt is owed to Dr. Gerald Leslie, because

of the dual and difficult roles he played with so much

talent and heart. As chairman of my academic committee he

was always an inspiring and guiding light. But more

importantly, it was his understanding and encouragement as

a friend which enabled me to continue with this survey to

its conclusion.

My association with Dr. Joseph Vandiver and Dr. Charles

Frazier was not as close as with Dr. Leslie. But to them a

special debt of gratitude is owed for their unfailing

kindness and encouragement through the years. Dr. John

Henretta was a true friend in need. when I was overwhelmed

with the task of analyzing the data, it was he who guided

every step, and brought it to completion. I wish to thank

all the members of my committee for their guidance,

erudition, and expertise.








My fellow graduate students offered several valuable

suggestions and their unfailing friendship. The staff in

the sociology office was always prompt, efficient and

gracious. To each of then I as very grateful.

It is impossible to thank Dr. Erlinda Collante, M.D.,

adequately, for her professional help, understanding and

encouragement through these difficult years. She is a model

physician.

To all my friends I an deeply grateful. However, three

deserve special thanks for their valuable suggestions and

help: Joan Canal, Rose Fulcher, and Frank Reid.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS


PAGE


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .

LIST OF TABLES .

LIST OF FIGURES .

ABSTRACT . .


CHAPTER


I. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM AND INTRODUCTION .


The Research Problem ..
The Postdivorce Adjustent Cycle ...
Goode's Study .. .
Replication and Updatinq .
Overview of Marriaqe and Divorce in America
The Happy Family Myth .
Divorce in Colonial America .
Divorce in the Early Years of Our Nation
Increase in Number and Bate of Divorce .
Distribution of Divorce in America .
Region .
Ethnicity and Religion .
Race ... .
Economic Status .
Age at Marriage .. .
Summary .


II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 16


Introduction .. .
Divorce at the Beginning of the Twentieth
Century .
The First Divorce Study and its Dual Type
Successors .
Social Demographic Studies .
Key Findings of Several Surveys .
In-Laws ..
Visiting Kin .
Homoganmy ...


. 16


. 17


. iv

. xiii



. xvii


~I


. .









Homoqamy by age and marital status 28
Homoqamy by Social Status 29
Homoqamy by Race 30
Homoqamy by reliqicn .. 31
Detailed Outlines of Studies of Divorce and Its
Consequences 33
Willard Waller. The Cld Love and the New
(1930/1967) .. 33
William J. Goode. After Divorce (1956) 34
Method . 34
Findings 35
R.W. Weiss. Marital Separation (1975a). .. 38
Spanier and Casto. Adjustment to Divorce
(1979a) 42
Method 42
Findings 43
Conclusions .43
Kohen et al. Divorced Mothers (1979) 44
Method 44
Findings 44
Identified problems 45
Kressel et al. Professional Intervention in
Divorce (1979) 46
Findings . 46
Conclusion 49
Divorce Source cf Trauma 50
Disruptions in Her Personal Life 54
Disruptions in Her Sex Life 57
Disruptions in Her Social Life 61
Disruptions in Her Financial Status 63
Legal Process Source cf Trauma 65
The Adversary System ... 5
No-Fault Divorce .... 69
Trauma Peak Precedes Divorce Decree 71
Creative Divorce 73
Cycle of Divorce 74
Cycle of Readjustment .. .76
Theoretical Framework 79
Factors in the Divorce Decision and Process 79
Advantages of This Conceptual Framework 83
Hypotheses ...... 84
Summary 85

III. METHODOLOGY . 87

Introduction .. 87
Research Population 87
Survey Sample 88
Data Collection .. 89
Response Rate 91
Data Analysis o 92
Field experiences .... 93
Summary . 101


vii









IV. BACKGROUND AND SELECTED MABITAI VARIABLES OF
RESPONDENTS .... 103

Introduction .. 103
Background Variables .. 103
Age . 103
Race and Country of Birth .. 133
Religion . 105
Education 106
Work During Earriae and Now 107
Type of Employment Durinq Marriage and Now 110
Marital Variables .. 113
Times Divorced .. 113
Lived Together 114
Age at Marriage .. 115
Age at Divorce and Length of Marriage 115
Summary .. .. 115

V. THE ANTECEDENTS AND CAUSES OF DIVORCE 117

Introduction ... 117
The Antecedents of Divorce .. ... 117
Who Suggested Divorce? 117
Who Insisted on Divorce? 118
Serious Consideration of Divorce 119
Marriage Counseling 120
Final Separation 120
Divorce Discussions ... 122
Agreements 123
Approval of the Marriage ... 124
Force and Violence in the Family 127
The Causes of Divorce .. 130
Personal Causes of Divorce 130
The Main Causes of Divorce 132
The Most Important Causes of Divorce 137
Index of Seriousness of Causes of Divorce 139
Marital Problem Clusters 142
Interpersonal Relationship 143
Monogamy . 145
Economic Consumption 147
Careerism .. 148
No Love Nor Communication 149
Summary . 151

VI. ACTIVITIES DURING MARRIAGE AND AFTER DIVORCE 153

Introduction 153
Shared Activities During the Marriage .. 153
Going Out Together ......... 154
Shared Recreational Activities 154
Activities and Interests After Marriage Break-
up . 155


viii









Activities Immediately after the Marriage
Break-up 156
Respondents' Current Activities and
Interests .. 157
Prejudice and Discrimination Experienced by
Divorced Mothers ... 160
Attitudes Towards Remarriage Of Divorced
Mothers Not Remarried 161
Dating . 162
Thinking of c marriage 162
Living Together .. 163
Matchmaking by Parents and Friends 165
Summary . 165

VII. SPOUSES' FEELINGS AFTER DIVORCE 168

Introduction 168
Ill Feelings for Ex-usbnds ........ 169
Communication With Ex-Husband 171
Dating Ex-Husband 171
Continued Interest in Ex-Husband 172
Respondents' Guilt Feelings 172
Remarrying Ex-Husbands 173
Perceived Changes in Ex-Spouses 173
Ex-Husband Was in Love 174
Respondent Was in Love 175
Current Feelings of Ex-Spouses for Each Other 175
Ex-Husbands Remarried 177
Summary . 178

VIII. DIVORCE AND FINANCES .. 181

Introduction 181
Respondents' Work Records 182
Respondents' Incomes ... 183
Ex-Husbands' and New Husbands' Incomes 184
Alimony and Child Support .. 185
Average Weekly Financial Resources 1387
Summary . 193

IX. THE CHILDREN OF DIVORCE 195

Introduction . 195
Number of Offspring 195
Ages of Offspring 196
Custody of the Children 197
Visiting Rights 198
Children's Feelings for their Fathers 199
Child Support ... 200
Working Mothers and Child Care 202
Dating and Child Care 203
Mothers' Lives Restricted by Children .... 203
Mothers without Custody of Children .. 204
Summary . 205









X. THE TRAUMA AND TRIUMPH IN DIVCRCE 207

Introduction . 207
Former and Present Approaches to the Trauma of
Divorce . 207
Negative Effects in the Divorce Cycle 211
Incidence of Positive Effects in the Divorce
Cycle .. 214
Balance of Effects 215
The Most Important Effects in the Divorce
Cycle . 221
Index of Most Significant Effects in the
Divorce Cycle .. 223
The Trauma-Triumph Scale .. 228
Comments .. .. .. .. 234
Summary .. .. 237

XI. REMARRIAGE .. .. 240

Introduction 240
Number of Remarriages 240
Remarriages Compared with Former Marriages 240
Birthplace of New Husbands ... 242
Education, Occupation, and Income of New
Husbands 242
The Children of Divorce and Remarriaqe 244
Summary ... ... 2U4

XII. PERSONAL COMMENTS OF RESPONDENTS 246

Introduction .. 246
The Causes of Divorce 247
Lack of Communication 248
Early Marriage .. 250
Non-support 251
The Marriage Penalty 251
Children and Divorce .... 252
Respondents' Assessments of Divorce .. 255
Divorce Was a Trauma .. 255
Divorce Was Both Trauma and Triumph 257
Divorce Was a Triumph 258
The Postdivorce Adjustment Cycle .. .. 260
Three Special Problem Areas 261
Cessation of the Pair-Relationship 261
No Recoqaition of Women's Independence and
Talents. .. ........ 262
The Divorcee Seen as Sex-object 264
Respondents' Assessments of Marriage 265
Recommendations Offered 267
Respondents' Attitudes Towards Survey 267
Divorce: A Source of Growth and Discovery 268









XIII. FINDINGS COMPARED .

Introduction .
Methodology . .
Data Collection .
Place of data collection .
Data collection mode .
Population .
Sample . .
Background and Selected Marital Variables of
Respondents .
Age . .
Age at Marriage .
Times Divorced .
Length of Marriage and Age at Divorce .
Race and Country of Birth .
Religion . .
Church Attendance .. .....
Education, Work Records, and Incomes Compared
Education Attained by Respondents and Their


Ex-Busbands .
Ex-Huskands' Work Records
Ex-Husbands' Incomes .
Respondents' Work Records
Respondents' Incomes .
Alimony and Child Support
The Antecedents of Divorce
Who suggested Divorce? .
Stability of Decision .
Counseling before Divorce .
The Causes of Divorce .
Drinking--Any Mention .
Desertion .
Relatives, Conflict with .
Triangle--Another Woman


* S *
* a

* a a .
* a .
* a a S a

* a a a


The Complex--"Drinking, Gambling, Helling
Around" .
Miscellaneous .
Nonsupport .
Consumption .
Values--Harmony and Integrity of Values and
Behavior .
Authority: Dominance over Wife .
Home life: Lack of Affect for Home and
Occupants .
Personality .
Additional Causes .
The Trauma and Triumph of Divorce .
Prejudice and Discrimination .
Remarriage .
The Children of Divorce .
Child Custody .
Children's Feelings for their Fathers .


269

269
270
270
270
270
271
271

272
272
272
273
273
274
275
276
277

277
279
280
281
284
288
290
290
291
292
294
295
295
296
296

296
297
298
298

298
299

299
299
300
303
310
311
313
314
314









APPENDIX . 316

BIBLIOGRAPHY . 340

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . 358


xii















LIST OF TABLES


TABLE PAGE

1. Country of origin of Ex-Spouses .. 104

2. Religious Affiliation of Ex-Spouses 106

3. Education of Respondents and Their Ex-Husbands 107

4. Employment of Respondents During marriage and Now 109

5. Type of Employment of Ex-Spouses During Marriage 111

6. Type of Employment During Marriage and Now 112

7. Times Divorced and Cohabitation 114

8. Who First Suggested and Later Insisted on Divorce 119

9. lime of Final Separation 121

10. Approval and Disapproval of the Marriages 125

11. Incidence of Violence Between Spouses 127

12. Type of Violence Between Spouses .. 128

13. The Main Causes of Divorce in Ranked Order 135

14. The Host Important Causes of Divorce in Ranked
Order . 138

15. Index of Seriousness of Causes of Divorce 140

16. Recreational Activities Shared by Spouses .. 155

17. Activities and Interests Immediately After Break-up 156

18. Recreational Activities During Marriage and Now 158

19. Activities after Marriage Break-up and Now 159

20. Type or Source of Prejudice and Discrimination 160


xiii








21. Feelings Towards Ex-Husbands at Divorce and Now 170

22. Reactions to Husbands' Falling in Love 174

23. Current Feelings of Ex-Spouses for Each Other 176

24. Respondents' Work Records During Marriage and Now 183

25. Weekly Incomes of Ex-Husbands and Present Husbands 184

26. Ex-Husbands Ordered to Pay Alimony and Child
Support . 186

27. Frequency of Alimony and Child Support Payments 186

28. Respondents' Available Money for Weekly
Expenditures . 188

29. Assessment of Weekly Money Available .. 188

30. Period of Superior Financial Security 190

31. Offspring of Respondents 196

32. Ages of Offspring . 196

33. Parents' Opinions of Child Support Payments 201

34. Mothers' Lives Restricted by Children .. 204

35. Negative and Positive Effects During Divorce Cycle 213

36. The Most Important Effects of the Entire Cycle 222

37. Index of Most Significant Effects Thrcuqh Divorce 224

38. Index For Entire Cycle 225

39. Bivariate Equation of Level of Trauma-Triumph 232

40. Multiple Regression Equations of Trausa-Triumph 233

41. Stratified Samples of Goode's and Reid's Surveys 271

42. Respondents' Ages at Marriage .. 272

43. Racial Characteristics 274

44. Religious Preference/Affiliation of Respondents 275

45. Church Attendance of Respondents 276

46. Education of Respondents 278


xiv








47. Education of Ex-Husbands .. 278

48. Nork Records of Ex-Husbands .. 279

49. Respondents' Work Records During Marriage 281

50. Respondents' Work Records at Data Collection 283

51. Respondents' Earnings at Data Collection 24

52. Respondents' Total Available Honey Per Week Now 285

53. Ex-Husbands' Incomes and Respondents' Total
Finances . 287

54. Ex-husbands Enjoined to Pay Child Support 289

55. Frequency of Child Support Payments by Ex-Husbands 290

56. Who First Suqqested Divorce? 291

57. Stability of Decision to Divorce 291

58. Type of Counselor Consulted 292

59. The Causes of Divorce 301

60. Indices of Divorce Trauma and Adjustment 305

61. Comparison of Divorce Trauma Findings .. 309

62. Remarriage and Living Together 311

63. Distribution of Children 313

64. Children's Feelings towards Their Fathers 315


xv















LIST OF FIGURES


FIGURE PAGE

1. Personal Causes of Divorce 131

2. Causes of Divorce and Marital Problem Clusters 143

3. Level of Trauma and Adjustment in Divorce Cycle 220

4. The Divorce Trauma-Triumph Scale 230

5. Levels of Divorce Trauma In Goode's (1956) Survey 308


xvi














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



THE POSTDIVORCE ADJUSTMENT CYCLE


By


Kevin Reid


August, 1983


Chairman: Gerald R. Leslie
Major Department: Sociology



This survey is a modified replication of William J.

Goode's After Divorce (1956). Our research population was

English-speaking mothers, divorced and living in a large

southern metropolitan area. Drawing from courthouse

records, we used a stratified sample (N=203) of those

divorced 2, 6, 12, and 24 months, to trace the divorce

trauma during the two years after divorce. Questionnaires

were mailed to the subjects who had been traced by phone,

and who had consented to participate. Both descriptive and

inferential statistics were used in analyzing the data.

The respondents' age range was 22-62 years. Three-

quarters of them had been divorced once, and most of the


xvii








rest had been divorced twice. The marriages had lasted from

1-40 years. By the time of the survey, 13.30 per cent had

remarried, and 16.73 per cent were cohabiting with men.

These two proportions together equalled the remarrieds in

Goode's study. Divorce brought sharp reductions in the

respondents' financial resources. This was reversed by

remarriage but not by cohabitation.

The data on causes of divorce indicated that the

interpersonal relationship between husband and wife was the

most serious problem, followed by problems associated with

monogamy, economics, and wife's career. Profoundest trauma

occurred at the initial stage where the parties were

seriously considering divorce. Serious trauma continued

through the divorce decree. By two months after the decree,

significant adjustment had occurred, and this level

continued through six months after the divorce. By one year

after divorce another, more significant, adjustment had been

attained. No further adjustment was evident at the two-year

point. The majority of the respondents experienced moderate

trauma, a minority, little or none, and a smaller minority,

profound trauma. Overall, it seems that trauma has abated

since the end of World War II, when Goode collected his

data.

The respondents were predominantly Protestants, Catholics

and Jews, with the remainder belonging to "other" churches,

or to none at all. The least trauma was experienced by Jews


xviii









and "others," while the greatest trauma was suffered by

those with the following combination of characteristics.

(1) Prior to the divorces, their husbands fell in love with

other women. (2) They received child support every month.

(3) They received relatively larqe amounts in child support.


xix














CHAPTER I
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM AND INTRODUCTION



The Research Proble

This survey is a study of the divorce adjustment cycle as

it was experienced by a sample of divorced mothers.

Partners involved in divorce are faced with the termination

of their marriages and the need to build a new way of life.

Consequently, the divorce process involves a twofold problem

necessitating two distinct adjustments which overlap to

varying degrees (Spanier and Casto, 1979a:213). The two

adjustments, both of which are quite complex, are as

follows.

1. Adjustment to the dissolution of the marriage. This

adjustment contains legal, social and emotional dimensions.

The legal dimension involves dealing with the legal process

and personnel, making property and support settlements and

determining child custody. The social dimension

necessitates informing and coping with individuals in one's

social network, such as family, friends and business and

other acquaintances. The emotional dimension includes feel-

ings about the former spouse, such as love, hate,

ambivalence, regret and guilt; feelings about marriage, such

as regret, failure and bitterness; and feelings about








oneself, such as failure, depression, lowered self-esteem

and self-confidence, and quilt.

2. Adjustment to a new life style. This adjustment

arises out of the need to build a new life. This can

involve finding a new home, living on less money

(typically), managing a budget, getting a job or applyiuq

for welfare. One has to come to grips with single

parenthood or limited visits with the children, depending on

who gets custody. New friends have to be found and new

relationships established. New feelings such as fear,

loneliness, frustration and inadequacy must be adjusted to,

as well as possible positive feelings of freedom, happiness

and increased self-esteem.



The Postdivorce Adjustment Cycle

The divorce adjustment cycle, which is comprised of the

very complex twofold adjustment outlined above, is the

research topic of this study. Specifically, this complex

process of adjustment whereby partners in divorce disenqaqe

from one lifestyle and build a new one will be examined and

traced as it has been experienced by mothers who have been

divorced 2 to 24 months. This enables us to focus directly

on the postdivorce adjustment cycle during the two critical

years following divorce.








Goode's Study

William J. Goode conducted the first such study in the

late 1940s in Detroit to investigate the problems

encountered by mothers in the divorce process. He published

his findings in 1956 in a volume titled After ivorBe.

Goode's study, besides being a major work which has stood

the test of time, was also a very timely one, having been

conducted during the peak of the high postwar divorce rate.



Replication and Updating

This present study attempts to be a modified replication

of Goode's After Divorce (1956). It is appropriate that

another such study be made now in view of the steadily

escalating divorce rate of the past two decades.

During the past quarter century since Goode published his

study, many social changes and movements have developed in

our society, not least amonq them being the increased

incidence of divorce, the women's liberation movement, the

increased participation of women in the workforce, the

phenomenon of living together and no-fault divorce

legislation. This study is a partial replication of Goode's

study with modifications in response to the social situation

of today. Our findings will be compared in detail with

Goode's.








Overview of Marriage and Divorce in aeEica

Ever since the arrival of the first white settlers on the

shores of North America the institution of marriage and the

family has endured and evolved through a multitude of

changes and vicissitudes in the new world. This statement

in no way implies that this institution was non-existent

among the American natives who preceded--and survived--tae

arrival of the settlers. Indeed, in view of the

universality of the family, there is no doubt that it was

already a pervasive institution. Lack of knowledge is the

reason why it is impossible to comment on the forms it took

among the American Indians.

Much has been written on marriage and family life among

the settlers, the colonists, the revolutionists and

royalists, and the hordes of immigrants of the nineteenth

century (Demos, 1970; Greven, 1970; Lockridqe, 1966; Norton,

1971; Hersberg, 1971). The changes accompanying and

following the industrial revolution have received special

attention in the literature; and in the present century two

world wars and the great depression, along with the

urbanization of our population, and the explosion of

technology, have not left marriage and family life

unaffected (Calhoun, 1945; Furstenberg, 1966; Chafe, 1972;

Gordon, 1973). One special area of family life, the black

family, has become an arena for scholarly debate (Frazier,

1939; Fogel and Engerman, 1974; Genovese, 1974).








The Happy Family Myth

Not all that has been written is accurate and objective.

It is now recognized, for instance, that there has been a

strong tendency to idealize the colonial family (Lantz et

al., 1968; Lantz et al., 1973; Seward, 1973). The image of

that family as the locus of deep and enduring happiness for

all its members (and there were always many memberst,

uncomplicated by stress from within, or assaults and

magnetic attractions from without, has been labeled by

William J Goode as "the classical family of Western

nostalgia" (Goode, 1956:3).

James A Michener, in his historical novel, gCesapegAe

(1978), deftly portrays the fragility and vulnerability ot

marriage throughout our entire history as he reviews the

conflicts, horror and violence as well as the heroism and

achievement that accompanied the building of our nation.

From the outset there was disruption of marriages by death

from starvation and disease; then came marauding attacks

from outraged, dispossessed Indians. There were brawls and

lynchings; desertions resulting from poverty--and opulence.

There were new frontiers to be conquered where males far

outnumbered females, which caused many social problems.

There were divergent and conflicting expectations, values,

and norms among the members of a very pluralistic society in

which change and instability were pervasive. These and many

other factors militated against the stability of marriage

and family living and caused much heartbreak and trauma.








Divorce in Colonial America

The Puritans who dominated in Massachusetts were

Calvinists and held that marriage was a civil contract which

could be dissolved by secular authorities, for reasons of

adultery, desertion or cruelty (Cott, 1976:589). Any one of

these reasons sufficed for men to get a divorce. Women were

not entitled to divorce on grounds of adultery alone; only

if it was accompanied by desertion or failure to provide was

the husband's adultery grounds for divorce.

Cott states that while divorce records froa the

seventeenth century are "probably incomplete," there is

evidence that even by then civil authorities had already

granted some divorces. Calhoun (1945) found records of 25

divorces granted in Massachusetts between 1639 and 1682.

Through almost the entire eighteenth century (1692-1786),

only 122 wives and 101 husbands filed 229 divorce petitions

in Massachusetts (six wives petitioned twice) (Cott,

1976:593).

The southern and middle colonies were stricter in their

attitudes towards divorce. There the Church of England held

sway and it did not recognize absolute divorce; it permitted

only separation from bed and board for adultery and cruelty.

But even separations were not granted in the southern

colonies because no church courts were ever established to

grant them.








However, desertions did occur, as the following

indicates. Lantz examined eighteenth century colonial

newspapers for advertisements "renouncing debts or

announcing desertion on the part of a husband or wile"

(Lantz, 1976:12). He found a relatively hiqh incidence of

such advertisements during the preindustrial era.

Furthermore, he reported that "in all states throughout the

entire century it was the husband in more than 95 per cent

of the cases who was responsible for placing the ad, not the

wife. .. It was the husband who stated that his wife left

hi. This picture of female discontent is certainly at

variance with the usual picture of early American women"

(Lantz, 1976:16).

Since desertions took place as a practical recourse,

stringent divorce laws may, historically, have been as

ineffectual in assuring marital stability as Rheinstein

(1971) claimed they have been in modern times. This is not

to suggest that marital instability was as common back then

as it is today. Nomen, in general, lacked the alternative

economic resources that would permit them to obtain rewards

outside of marriage.



Divorce in the Early Years of Our Nation

The last quarter of the eighteenth century saw women

successfully petitioning for divorce on grounds of adultery.

Indeed, more women than men began to petition for divorce on

all grounds (Scanzoni, 1979:25).








Cott (1976:606) argues that the new willingness of male

officials to respond to woaen's grievances was not out of

repugnance for the sexual double standard, but was

politically motivated. Leaders of the infant republic felt

that the "sexual vices" of the English had led to their

general "corruption" and that America must avoid that fate

by insisting on the letter of Puritan morality, that is

sexual fidelity by both partners.



Increase in Number and Rate of Divorce

Statistics on the incidence of divorce in the United

States began to be available around 1860, close to a hundred

years after the birth of the nation. The trend reflected in

these figures shows a steady increase throughout the past

century, with some fluctuations: sharp peaks following war

years, and valleys during economic depressions.

The peaks in the divorce rate following war result in

part from the high number of wartime marriages that are

hurriedly contracted after only short acquaintance. Under

ordinary circumstances marriages between spouses who do not

know each other well are a poor bet. During wartime, this

is made worse by enforced lengthy separation, which can

adversely affect even the best of marriages. Besides, many

lonely spouses are thrown together with persons of the

opposite sex under conditions favorable to extramarital

involvement. Finally, the strains of postwar reunions are

often great and partners may fail to readjust.








The valleys or dips in the divorce rate during

depressions are easily explained in economic terms.

Securing a divorce costs money, and many cannot afford it

during a depression. Further costs are involved in

establishing separate households, division of properties,

and making provision for the children. This financial

hardship prevents many from splitting up, but this is only

temporary. Divorce rates rise rapidly after depressions.

The increase in both the number and rate of divorces is

indicated by the following statistics. In 1860 there were

fever than 8,000 divorces in all of the United States. By

1900 there were 55,000 and in 1974 there were over 950,000

divorces. Part of the increase in numbers results simply

from the growth in population, but part also comes from a

climbing divorce rate as the following figures indicate.

In 1867 the rate was 0.3 divorces per 1,000 population.

By 1920 it had grown to 1.6; in 1946 it ballooned to 4.3

during the postwar peak. After a decline during the

fifties, it began to rise again in the sixties, and by 1974

the rate stood at 4.4, breaking the postwar peak. Since

then, it has inched up steadily: in 1975 it lumped to 4.7;

in 1977 it reached 5.0 and in 1978 it edged up to 5.2

(National Center for Health Statistics, 1979). In 1979 it

increased to 5.4, and in 1980 it subsided to 5.3 (U.S.

Bureau of the Census, 1981).








Today, divorce in our society is a pervasive social

phenomenon, having steadily increased, as indicated, in

numbers and proportion over the past twenty years. In 1956

it was estimated that "the experience of divorce is likely

to occur to one-fifth to one-sixth of the men and women in

this country who live out the average life span" (Goode,

1956: 11). In 1975, that estimate, based on up-to-date

data, was placed at one-third (England and Kunz, 1975;

Glick, 1975). In 1977, the chance of a first marriage

ending in divorce was almost two in five, or 38 per cent, a

rate seven times greater than that of 1900, and twice that

of 1958 (Population Reference Bureau, 1977b).

Divorce is now so widespread in our society it appears

that many divorced persons no longer tend to revert to the

status and behavior of the unmarried, but are drawn together

into a semi-separate social order, and within it have

created the pattern of sexual behavior that meets their

special needs. Hunt and Hunt (1979:134), drawing from a

very large availability sample (N=984), state that, age for

age, the separated and divorced represented in their study

are now at least as sexually active as married people,

whereas in Kinsey's time divorced people were distinctly

less active.








Distribution of Divorce in A aerjca

Region, religion, race, ethnicity, economic status and

age at marriage are among the chief variables influencing

the distribution of divorce in the United States.



legion

Divorce rates vary by region: They are lowest in the

northeast, followed by the northcentral region, then by the

south, and finally, by the west. Growing up on a farm is

associated with greater stability, while couples residing in

large cities are more divorce prone.



Ethnicity and Religion

Ethnic and religious composition of the population are

undoubtedly factors in the regional variation. Instability

is higher among Protestants than among Catholics, and

Catholics are over-represented in northern and eastern

sections of the country (Glick, 1963). The lowest

separation rates are found among Jewish women and the

highest among Episcopalians (Ross and Sawhill, 1975), and

the divorce rate is lowest among Irish Catholics (Mindel and

Habenstein, 1977).

Even more important than religious affiliation is degree

of religious commitment. People who attend church regularly

maintain more stability in marriage than those who do not

(Levinger, 1966; Goode,1968; Bumpass and Sweet, 1972).








These facts suggest that community norms vary

systematically with residential environment, and that social

and religious restraints are important in determining who

divorces and who does not.



Race

The data on divorce rates by race are surprisingly

inadequate. Very fragmentary data on divorce for the period

1939 through 1950 suggest that divorce rates may have been

higher among whites than among blacks until 1942, when the

relationship appears to have been reversed, and the black

rates came to average 20 per cent higher than those of

whites (Leslie, 1982:557). A sample survey of 22,000

households by the Bureau of the Census, 1957, confirmed that

greater percentages of blacks than whites had experienced

divorce. Some 19.8 per cent of nonwhite sales and 19.9 per

cent of females reported that they had experienced a

divorce. The corresponding percentages among whites were

14.1 and 16.7. For 1970 it has been estimated that the

nonwhite divorce rate was about one and a half times higher

than the white rate (Ross and Sawhill, 1975:70).



Economic Status

At least five major studies have documented that there is

generally a negative correlation between socioeconomic

status and divorce rates, regardless of the criterion of






13

socioeconomic status used (Schroeder, 1939; Kephart, 1955;

Monahan, 1953; Goode, 1956; Hillaan, 1962). Ross and

Savhill (1975) through very careful multivariate analysis in

a longitudinal panel study tried to identify which aspect oL

socioeconomic status is most important. Is it successful

role performance of the husband relative to social

expectation? or is it the constraint imposed by the

accumulation of assets? Or is it a "pure" income effect,

whereby the strains associated with having insufficient

funds break up the marriages?

Using history of unemployment as an indicator of a

husband's inability to provide for his family, they found

this to be more important than anything else. Separation

rates are twice as high among families where the husbands

experienced serious unemployment over the past three years.

They found that it is the husband's performance as a

breadwinner, relative to expectations in his own social

group, that is relevant, rather than absolute level of

income. Surprisingly, being highly successful is just as

destabilizing as being highly unsuccessful. This suggests

that the stability of income may be more important than

level of income in explaining marital stability. They found

no "pure" income effect.

Finally, the greater the family's assets, the less likely

it is that a separation will occur. Perhaps these assets

increase the cost of dissolving a marriage, or possibly







14
couples who inherit or accumulate wealth are more averse to

taking risks; or perhaps assets act as a buffer offsetting

temporary declines in income.

Another finding that supports the fact that there is no

"pure" income effect comes from the increase of females in

the workforce--aany of them married. Marriages with income

from the wife's work are less stable, and other things held

constant (including husband's income), a one thousand dollar

increase in the wife's earning is associated with a one

percentage point increase in separation rates. When wives

are less financially dependent on their husbands, the

economic benefits of marriage and the cost of separation are

lower for thea.



Age at Mar ijag

Age at marriage is especially critical. A marked decline

is found in the proportion of marriages ending in divorce or

separation as the age at first marriage increases. In

general, those who marry while they are still in their teens

are three or four times as likely to divorce as those who

marry in their mid-twenties (Ross and Sawhill, 1975:40).

Those who marry young or because of premarital pregnancy may

reduce the time spent searching for appropriate, like-minded

mates, and say also marry at a time when their values and

expectations are still undergoing rapid changes, thus

increasing the risk that these values will later diverge








(Levinger, 1966; Hicks and Platt, 1970; Bumpass and Sweet,

1972). Further, those who marry young typically have less

education and more limited occupational opportunities--

variables strongly associated with marital disruption.

Somewhat paradoxically, although marital satisfaction

tends to decline with increasing duration, so too separation

rates decline. On the average, an additional ten years of

marriage reduces the separation rate by three percentage

points. This may be due to the increased investment in the

marriage, the decreased supply of alternative partners, the

shorter time left to enjoy other lifestyles, the inertia of

aging, or various other reasons.



Summary

Prior to the industrial revolution in the United States

and the birth of our nation, divorce was not unknown, but

rare. However, there is evidence that some wives deserted,

as did some husbands also. This indicates that marital

stability was not universal prior to the legitimation of

divorce throughout our land. Indeed, also, we may quess

that there was much unhappiness in marriage, painfully

endured because of no escape.

Divorce has become widespread and more accepted,

socially, over the past 25-30 years. However, in spite of

this, divorce continues to be a painful experience for most

parties involved, necessitating difficult and complex

readjustment.














CHAPTER II
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE



Introduction

The first part of this chapter, the review of the

literature of divorce is divided into five segments as

follows:

1. Divorce at the beginning of the twentieth century.

This will be historical rather than substantive in nature,

indicating the role played by social scientists in allayinq

public alarm over widespread divorce.

2. A brief report on the first study made on divorce and

on the two distinctive, yet parallel types of studies that

grew out of it.

3. An assessment of the social demographic studies on

divorce.

4. An outline of key findings of several surveys. These

surveys isolated various variables relevant to marital

adjustment and stability. Aaong these variables are in-

laws, kin and homoqamy.

5. A detailed outline of Waller's epochal study (1930)

and its successor, Goode's After Divorce (1956), followed by

similar outlines of recent studies on divorce and its

consequences for the partners involved.






17
The later parts of this chapter will deal expressly with

the trauma experienced by divorced mothers, the difficulties

arising from the legal process of divorce, and the

postdivorce adjustment cycle. The chapter concludes with a

brief outline of the theoretical framework and hypotheses

for this study.



Divorce _atthe Beginninq of the Twentieth Century

It was during the last two decades of the nineteenth

century that the divorce rate began to increase rapidly. In

1880 there was one divorce for every 21 marriages; in 1900

there was one divorce for every 12 marriages, and in 1909,

one divorce for every nine marriages. This dramatic

increase at the end of the century stimulated widespread and

strong public alarm (O'Neill, 1973:252). Resultant efforts

to arrest the spread of divorce by legal means took two

forms: (1) state campaigns to amend local laws, and (2)

repeated attempts to achieve uniform marriage and divorce

laws either through a constitutional amendment or through

the voluntary enactment of uniform codes by all the states

(Blake, 1962).

These efforts reached their peak in 1906 when President

Theodore Boosevelt was persuaded to request a new census

study of marriage and divorce, and the interest aroused by

this led Governor Pennypacker of Pennsylvania to call a

national conference to draft model uniform legislation on







18
these subjects. The congress net twice, once in Washinqtou

to appoint committees, and again in Philadelphia to ratify

the proposed statutes. Despite the widespread approval

which met these efforts, few states adopted their model

statutes.

The twentieth century literature on divorce is both

voluminous and varied. A study by Fred Plog and Paul

Bohannan (1967) (NIHH Grant No. MH06551) of articles indexed

under "Divorce" and 'Alimony" in The Beader'_s guide to

Periodical Literature 1900-1965, reported that the highest

number of articles on these two subjects was published in

1905, and that there has been a general decline in number

since then. Notable has been the steep decline of articles

dealing with religious attitudes toward divorce, and the

increase in articles dealing with postdivorce problems and

children of divorce (Bernard, 1968:301).

"In the earliest years of our society divorces were

generally abhorred by the people, and couples who sought

them were considered to be morally defective" (Sirjamaki,

1353:164), and this is reflected in the literature at the

beginning of this century which focused primarily on

religious attitudes towards divorce. These religious

attitudes were at once both negative and strong. The

Bible's stricter teachings on divorce were quoted and

requoted as the unassailable foundation of opposition to

divorce.






19
Although divorce had political, psychological, and other

dimensions, the increase of divorce was usually seen as a

moral and social problem. The opponents of divorce

invariably regarded it as both immoral and antisocial. The

attack hinged on the common belief that divorce destroyed

the family, the foundation of society and civilization.

Felix Adler (1915:15) vent one step further when he insisted

that divorce menaced "the physical and spiritual existence

of the human race." Blame for the divorce situation was

placed on the rising tide of individualism menacing all

progressive societies, while Adler as early as 1890 was

tracing the whole ugly business back to Rousseau's "false

democratic ideals."

Although most leading sociologists believed in divorce,

Charles A. Ellwood did not, and this future president of the

American Sociological Society also attributed divorce to

excessive individualism (Ellwood, 1913). William Graham

Sumner, renowned sociologist, and destined also to become

president like Ellwood, also opposed divorce, on grounds

that it was radically changing the family.

Apart from these two exceptions, social scientists

performed a crucial service in coping with the public's fear

of the social consequences of divorce. The first man of

stature to defend divorce was Carroll W. Wright, U.S.

Commissioner of Labor Statistics and a self trained social

scientist, who, at the National Unitarian Convention in 1891







20
publicly declared himself for liberal divorce laws. A few

years later he wrote:

The pressure for divorce finds its impetus outside
of laws, outside of our institutions, outside of
our theology; it springs from the rebellion of the
human heart against that slavery which binds in
the cruelest bonds human beings who have by their
haste, their want of wisdca or the intervention of
friends, missed the divine purpose as well as the
civil purpose of marriage. (Bright, 1900:176)

But it was not until 1904 that a leading professionally

trained social scientist joined the fight. George E.

Howard, an eminent historian and sociologist in his massive

A History of Hatrimonial Institutions (1904), and in

subsequent writings, tried to show how the divorce rate was

the product of forces which were dramatically improving

American society, namely, industrialism and urbanization.

Within a few years, Wright and Howard were joined by an

army of social scientists, including most of the leading men

in the field. By 1908, when the American Sociological

Society devoted its third annual meeting to the family, the

majority of the sociological opinion was solidly on the side

of divorce. The high point of the meeting was Howard's

address which he titled: "Is the Freer Granting of Divorce

an Evil?" He was attacked by Samuel Dike and Walter George

Smith, a prominent Catholic lawyer who advocated stricter

divorce laws. But they lost out. Theirs was the faintly

anachronistic rhetoric of a discredited tradition of social

criticism. On Howard's side were E.A. Ross, Elsie Clews

Parsons and James Lichtenberqer, as well as other leading






21

scientists. As a profession then, sociology was committed

to a positive view of divorce at a time when virtually all

other organized groups in the country were opposed to it.



The First Divorce Study and its Dual Type of successorss

The first major study of divorce in the United States was

that by James P. Lichtenberger (1909). In this work he

traced the rise in the divorce rate from 1867 through 1906.

His study treated divorce as a growing social problem in our

society. He examined divorce in primitive society and

indicated its modification in recent history. He saw as

especially important the transformation of society through

"our unprecedented economic development, our unparalled

achievements in social progress, and our remarkable

transition in ethical and religious views" (Lichtenberqer,

1909:19). Lichtenberger and the sociologists who followed

him concentrated on divorce as a social problem and paid

little or no attention to the aftermath of divorce.

Viewing divorce as a social problem, sociologists

searched eagerly to identify the sources or causes of the

problem. In general, two approaches have been used in

research on the causes of divorce: the psychological and

the sociological approaches. Edmund Berqler (1948) in

Divorce Won't Help represented the most extreme form of the

psychological approach. He insisted that some people are

incapable of sustaining a marital relationship. Divorce and







22
remarriage mean only replaying the same mistakes over again.

The basic flaw which brought about the divorce could be

remedied only by psychoanalysis. The alleged basic flaw

could range from moderate neurosis to a full-blown

psychosis. So all who were divorced were classified as

neurotics or psychotics.

Lewis Terman and Paul Wallin (1949) developed a similar

school of thought when they introduced the concept of

marital aptitude. Some people, they asserted, are quite

normal in most aspects, but they lack the interests and

aptitude for domesticity. An instrument for measuring

marital aptitude was developed and used. Among the subjects

studied, those who rated low on marital aptitude had a

higher divorce rate than those who rated high.

Both Bergler and Terman looked to the individual for

causes, and found them. By contrast, sociologists following

the cue from Burgess and Cottrell looked for causes in the

relationship itself in what has been called the "team

factor" (Bernard, 1968:13). Hoaogamy and heteroqamy were

among the variables they emphasized.

The two approaches, although quite different, were not

mutually exclusive. Bergler, besides looking at the

individual, looked also at the relationship, but he insisted

that it was impossible for one partner to be normal, because

neurotics had an unerring instinct to seek and find as mates

the neurotics they needed for their own neuroses. Burgess






23

and Cottrell also looked at the individuals, but from the

perspective of socialization and background variables.

Researchers from both schools were looking for factors which

made some people "divorce-prone"; they just looked for

different things.

Both schools found evidence to support their assertions.

Records showed (and still do) that among the divorced

mortality, morbidity, mental illness and suicide rates were

higher than for the widowed and married. Further evidence

of lack of marital aptitude was found in unsuccessful

remarriages, which seemed to support Berqler's dictum

directly. This kind of research was far from comforting for

the divorced. It increased their sense of personal

inadequacy and failure, and added to the trauma.

The evidence used by Bergler and Terman is now recognized

as flawed. First, it was based on persons currently in the

status of divorce excluding all who were remarried. Second,

in reporting the failures among the remarried, it did not

report the successes among them. Most divorced persons

remarry and consequently are not represented in the

population currently in the divorced status. And although

the divorce rate for remarriages is higher than for first

marriages a majority of remarriages are successful (Bernard,

1956: 108-113). This effectively undercuts the position

held by the psychological school.







24
By contrast, the explanations given by the sociological

school of thought carried no personal stigma. The marriage

failed because the team was wronq--the partners were teamed

up badly. Given congenial or suitable partners they would

be able to sustain a stable marriage. This stance of the

sociological school of thought has been helpful in

reassuring those going through the pain of divorce.

Besides, it has aided in improving the attitude towards

divorce of society in general thus making the divorced more

easily accepted by society, and the phenomenon of divorce

itself better understood.



Social Demographic Studies

For the family sociologist, the foundation of divorce

research has been the social demographic study. The primary

thrust of these studies has been the examination of such

variables as length of marriage, age at marriage, education,

occupation, residence, religion and race of spouses as

factors relating to the occurrence of divorce. Typical of

post WWII studies of this nature are those by Jacobson

(1950), Ackerman (1963), Bernard (1966), and Bumpass and

Sweet (1972). The findings have been remarkably consistent

and have succeeded in isolating significant variables of

importance, some of which have been outlined in Chapter I,

and others that are to be presented in the next section.

Their usefulness was considerably enhanced by the Bumpass






25

and Sweet research which made use of multivariate analyses

to shed light on the relative importance of these variables

(Tropf, 1980:2).



Key Findings of Several Surveys

In-Laws

Studies have found that relationships between younq

couples and their parents on both sides are a source of

strain. A brief summary of pertinent findings follows.

Judson T. Landis (1947) studying 409 happily married

couples, found that 10 per cent of them had unsatisfactory

in-law relationships even after 20 years of marriage. John

L. Thomas (1956) studying 7000 broken Roman Catholic

marriages, found that trouble with in-laws was the most

frequent cause of breakup during the first year of marriage.

Evelyn Duvall (1954) studied a national random sample of

5020 people who were married from between a few weeks to

more than 40 years. She found that 75 per cent of her

respondents reported one or more in-law problems. Blood and

Wolfe (1960) in a study of 909 Michigan families reported a

negative correlation between frequency of reported in-law

trouble and duration of marriage. Fifteen per cent reported

in-law trouble during the honeymoon, and the percentage

decreased steadily thereafter.

It would seem that in-law adjustment is a rather

important part of total marital adjustment. Landis (1946)








in his study of 409 couples married for approximately 20

years, found that couples who reported no trouble with in-

laws from the beginning were more likely to report having

very happy marriages: 52 per cent characterized their

marriages as "very happy," and 34 per cent claimed they had

"happy" marriages. Landis and Landis (1968) in a study of

544 couples in the early years of marriage found that 67 per

cent of those who reported excellent adjustment to in-laws,

also reported their marriages to be excellent. Only 18 per

cent of those with in-law trouble reported having very happy

mariages.

Research indicates that in-law troubles occur mostly

between wives and their mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

Duvall (1954) found that over one-third of 1337 respondents

said that the mother-in-law relationship was the most

difficult. Ninety per cent of these complaints came from

wives. So it is the husband's mother, rather than the

wife's mother who is the focus of the trouble. Landis and

Landis (1968) had similar findings on mothers-in-law with

the additional information that trouble with sisters-in-law

was the next most frequent, and trouble with fathers-in-law

was relatively rare. Similar results were found by Wallia

(1954) and Thomas (1956).

Komarovsky (1964) in a study of 58 working-class

marriages found, further, that husbands with less than a

high school education have as such difficulty with their

mothers-in-law as their wives do.








So, in summary, it has been found that wives report

mother-in-law trouble most frequently and characterize it as

the most serious in-law trouble. Next comes sister-in-law

trouble, again reported by wives. Rarely do husbands report

in-law trouble, outside those husbands with very little

education. These husbands seen to have as much mother-in-

law trouble as do their wives.



Visiting Kia

Studies by Axelrod (1956), Greer (1956), Bell and Boat

(1957), Blumberg and Bell (1959), and Toneh (1967) found

that about 50 per cent of families see their relatives at

least once a week, and that an additional 25 per cent of

then see them about once a month. Blood (1969) in a study

of 731 married women in Detroit tested for relationships

between frequency of interaction with kin and marital

adjustment. He found that interaction with kin up to once a

week is associated with good adjustment, but more frequent

interaction seems to be detrimental to marital adjustment.



omoQqaAm

Hundreds of studies have been done on homogamy. They

embrace homogany by age and marital status, social status,

religion, ethnic affiliation, race and a host of other

social and personal characteristics (Leslie, 1982: 400).

The following presents briefly some of the relevant studies

and their findings.







28
Hoaoqaay by age and marital status. Most Americans marry

young. Further, 75 per cent of all first marriages occur

within three or four years on either side of 21 (Mogey,

1965). Homogasy in age at marriage can be seen in the facts

that brides on the average are 2.5 years younger than their

grooms and in 10 per cent of all cases they are the same

age.

Homoqamy by age holds in all groups that have been

studied. Hollingshead (1951) compared the ages of black and

white couples in first and remarriages. In all four types

and within both races, the correlations were high. Glick

and Landau (1950) verified age homogamy at the various

levels ranging from laborers to professionals.

Further, age is related to whether people are marrying

for the first time or remarrying (Bowerman, 1956). First,

single persons as marriage partners are younger, on the

average, than persons who have been married. Among the

previously married, widows are older than divorcees.

Secondly, as men get older they marry increasingly younger

women. Finally, those who are remarrying do not differ

significantly in the age difference from the mates who are

marrying for the first time.

A number of early studies found age at marriage to be

related to marital happiness, with marriages under 20 being

the most likely to be unhappy (Terman, 1938; Burgess and

Cottrell, 1939; Landis and Landis, 1968). The same patterns






29

were found between age and divorce rates. Young marriages

are the least stable (Locke, 1951; Monahan, 1953; Landis and

Landis, 1968; Bumpass and Sweet, 1972). The reason for

these patterns lies in the fact that age is related to

emotional and social maturity (Burchinal, 1959b; Bshelman,

1965); those who marry after age 20 are less likely to be

rebelling against their parents, are less likely to be

forced into marriage by pregnancy (Burchinal, 1959a; Bacon,

1974), are less likely to be broken up by in-laws, and

encounter fever financial difficulties than those who are

younger.


Homoqany by Social Status. Early studies found mired

evidence of hoaogaay by social status. Burgess and Wallin

(1943) found that 1000 engaged couples tended to choose

partners from social backgrounds similar to their own.

Centers (1949), using a national sample, found that men and

women marry persons from their own occupational level more

than from any other level; however less than 50 per cent do

so. In Connecticut, Hollinqshead (1951) found that men and

women tend to marry individuals from the same class of

residential area and from the same educational level.

However, Hunt (1940) found scant evidence of status homoqamy

in marriages in Massachusetts. Leslie and Richardson (1956)

studied students who married while at college. They found

only a slight tendency towards homoqamy among students who

married an individual they had known at home prior to







30
college, and none at all among couples who met and married

at college. Coombs (1962) had similar findings at the

University of Utah.

These data suggest that status homoqamy may be declining

with the years, at least in some segments of the population.

This is supported by data on 5442 women from the 1970

National Fertility Study. Using education as the measure of

social status, Bumpass and Sweet (1972) found in this study

that marital disruption rates did not differ significantly

between homogamous and heteroqamous marriages unless tae

differences in background were large. Disruption rates were

highest for college females who had married high school

drop-outs.


Hoaogany by Race. The norms against interracial

marriages have been the strongest, and it was not until the

1967 Supreme Court decision that miscegenation ceased to be

unlawful. Perhaps less than one per cent of all marriages

are interracial, but these draw much interest and attention.

Studies by Burma (1952), Golden (1953), and Pavela (1964)

found that couples in interracial marriages tend to be

older, that they may have been married before, and that they

have histories of rejection by parents and their own social

group.

Interracial marriages are widely believed to be doomed to

failure. Studies of war bride marriages (Strauss, 1954),

and black-white marriages by Golden (1953), Pavela (1964)








and Smith (1966) did not bear this out however.

Nevertheless, more recent national data on black-white

marriages indicate that these are more likely to end in

divorce than either hosoqamous black or homogamous white

marriages. These data indicate that 90.00 per cent of the

white marriages and 78.00 per cent of the black marriages

that took place in the 1950s were still intact in 1970,

compared with only 63.00 per cent of the black husband-white

wife marriages, and 47.00 per cent of the white husband-

black wife marriages (Carter and Glick, 1976:414-415).


Homoqaay by religion. Studies of religious homoqamy have

shown wide variation in intermarriage rates. In New York

City, Heiss (1960) found 18 per cent of Jews, 24 per cent of

Catholics, and 34 per cent of Protestants to be

intermarried. Burchinal and Chancellor (1962) found

individual aixed-aarriage rates in Iowa to range trom 9 to

24 per cent. In general, the larger the proportion a

religious group is of the community, the lower the inter-

marriage rate and vice versa. Intermarriage also varies

inversely with the cohesion of the ethnic group.

Intermarriage rates rose in the 1960s and the 70s, partly

due to Pope Paul VI permitting Catholics to get married by

noncatholic ministers, and his dispensing with the promises

the noncatholic traditionally signed, promising to bring up

the children Catholic.







32
Studies show divorce rates to be lowest among Catholics

and Jews, somewhat higher among Protestants, higher still in

mixed marriages, and highest of all where there is no

religious affiliation (Landis, 1949; Bumpass and Sweet,

1972). Burchinal and Chancellor (1963) produced one of the

more definitive studies of divorce in interfaith marriages,

in the state of Iowa, using data from a seven-year period.

Controlling for age and social status, they partly confirmed

the results of earlier studies, and partly called those

findings into question. They confirmed that the divorce

rate in homogamous Catholic marriages was lower than in

marriages where Catholics were married to Protestants.

However, the differences were considerably reduced. They

concluded that the smaller differences did not justify

generalizations of considerably greater difficulties

awaiting Catholics who marry outside their faith, provided

the person they married belonged to a Protestant

denomination. Further, the researchers discovered that,

while homoqamous Catholic marriages had the highest survival

rate, a number of other homoqamous and mixed marriage types

had survival rates nearly as high. Besides, the data

indicated that the marital survival rates were influenced

more by age at marriage and social status than by the fact

of religious differences. Marital stability was

consistently greater among marriages involving older brides,

and higher SES couples.






33

Detailed Outlines of Studies of Divorce and Its Conseguences

Willard Waller. The Old Love and the New (1930/1967)

This was a significant work when originally published and

remains important to the present day. This is so, first of

all, because Waller focused on the social-psychological

consequences of divorce for the parties involved, and the

implications these consequences miqht have. Secondly, his

work was a break with the writings on the family that had

preceded it, and that had been in voque, writingss that

still possessed historical and evolutionary preoccupations.

By shifting the inquiry aller was ahead of his time

and anticipated a major development in family sociology

which is current today" (Lantz, 1967:v). Waller focused on

divorce as an event in an individual's life history. He

explored how the status of the divorcee was defined and what

this status involved. He perceived that divorce meant

change, and this in turn implied crisis, disorganization,

and reorganization. He emphasized the persistence of the

habits of married life, and the modifications demanded of

the divorcee to build a new life.

Waller used the case study method. In using this method,

Waller "felt that he would arrive at a better understanding

of the divorcee by an intensive study of a few cases than by

collecting facts about many" (Waller, 1967:316). Thirty-

three cases were included. "Of these perhaps five were

studied with a thoroughness approaching that of the study







34

which a psychoanalyst aakes. On ten more cases fairly

complete subjective documents were obtained, and a

reasonably good insight into the subjects' minds was .

obtained In the remaining cases incomplete subjective

accounts, or complete narratives were obtained. In

addition there were available a number of psychoanalytic

cases in which divorce was one of the major problems. .

A few more women than men were among those thoroughly

studied" (Baller, 1967:317). Waller's findings will be

discussed and compared later with those of Goode's (1956).



William J. Goode. After Divorce (1956)

For twenty-six years after T_ 0Q14 Love AU the
New appeared no other research on postdivorce
adjustment was reported. Following WWII, however,
the divorce rate rose sharply, and experiences
with personal problems following divorce became
more common. Goode undertook a study of the
adjustment of divorced women in Detroit. Goode
reported that he "assigned two budding librarians
to summarize all the research literature on
postdivorce adjustment. No such body of
work existed, other than Willard Waller's The ld
Love a4d the New." In many respects, Goode's
research was based on Waller's. Since the Goode
investigation in 1956, there has been a slow
growth in the research literature on the aftermath
of divorce. However, Goode's work remains as the
successor to the Waller study. (Farber, 1967:XXI)


Method. In this study Goode investigated 425 divorced

mothers in metropolitan Detroit, who were between the ages

of 20 and 38 years at the time of their divorces. They

were divided into four groups or cohorts by length of time

divorced: those divorced 2, 8, 14 and 26 months. Data were








collected by interviewers who administered a lengthy

questionnaire to each respondent. In addition to examiininq

background and marital variables, he also probed the causes

of divorce and the adjustment process.


Findings. Here we will confine ourselves to a comparison

and discussion of Goode's findings which parallel those of

Waller. In each case a summary of Waller's findings will be

given first, followed by Goode's. Other findings of

Goode's will be dealt with later.

1. Friends. Waller paid such attention to the role of

friends in the postdivorce adjustment. Prior to divorce, he

sugqqested, friends assist in redefining the marital

situation as an intolerable one. Thus, they contribute to

the final decision to end the marriage. After divorce,

friends help relieve ambivalence over the divorce. Goode

found that, in general, the husband's friends were

indifferent towards the divorce, while the wife's friends

generally approved. Hence, Waller's assertion was supported

by the data on women but not on men.

Waller next said that the divorcee frequently breaks

completely with the friends which he/she had during the

marriage, giving two reasons for the break; (a) the

divorcee is an oddity amonq married couples, (b) the

divorcee must reorganize his/her sex life, and seeks the

company of those in a similar marital condition. This

breaking away from friends fosters feelings of alienation







36

and isolation, and so multiplies the problems of personal

adjustment. Goode found partial support for this assertion.

He found that regardless of religion, race, or age at

divorce, about half of the divorced women retained their

former friends. This tendency was strongest amonq the

upper-class. However, when the divorcee was in love with

another man prior to the divorce, she tended to drop her old

friends. Further, he found that his respondents made new

friends. Of those not remarried about one in six mentioned

new friends, and almost one-third of all the women said they

retained their old friends and made new ones.

2. Sex Adjustment. Smaller perceived that in divorce,

the "sex impulse is reduced to its crudest form robbed

of all glamor and romance and perhaps purposefully cheapened

and degraded" (Maller, 1967:56). One way to cheapen sex is

to become promiscuous. Goode did not question his

respondents specifically about their sex problems, but he

gave a sex interpretation to this question: "Have you ever

been in a social situation in which you felt someone thought

less of you when he or she found out that you were

divorced?" Thirty per cent said "yes"; these respondents

were mostly under 24 years of age. Goode interpreted this

difference to indicate a greater risk of the younger women

being regarded as "loose" although they actually were not.

3. Economic Adjustment. Waller contended that the

female faces greater economic hardships than the male. He






37

saw the woman as needing money immediately without time or

resources to invest in a long-term career, "aud worried

about how she is going to live." Goode found that those

women who were unable to work full-time were experiencing

financial difficulties. About half of his respondents who

had not yet remarried were living on reduced incomes.

Remarried women, however, were considerably better off

financially than they had been in the former marriages.

Consistent with Waller's view, Goode's findings suqqest taat

for women, divorce involves downward mobility, but this can

be reversed by remarriage.

4. Role of the Divorcee. Waller suggested that the

divorcee who has been "cast away" by her spouse, first of

all regards herself as a failure, and secondly, tries to

reassert control over her former spouse. To Waller, divorce

was not merely dropping a mate; it was a crisis, evoking

profound changes in life organization. Goode found that the

trauma of divorce was greatest among those women whose

husbands took the initiative in divorce. Overall, he found

that the divorcees most prone to trauma or crisis were those

who did not want the divorce, those over 30 years of age,

those who had been married 10 years or more, and those uno

felt ambivalent about divorce.

5. Reaarriage. Waller speculated that remarriages could

go either way. He believed that an unhappy marriage which

ends in divorce may have disastrous personality effects,









preventing successful adjustment in reaarriaqe. Further,

lingering feelings for the former mate, coupled with fear of

losing the present mate, would also be sources of problems

in adjustment. On the other hand, he believed that the

experience gained in the former marriage could produce

insight, tolerance and "progressive liberation from .

infantile love objects." Besides, when the first marriage

represented a rebellion against a parent, or was "so bad

that any comparison must inevitably favor the second,"

remarriage might entail fewer problems (Waller 1967:159).

Goode found that about 90 per cent of his remarried

respondents regarded the remarriage as much better than the

first marriage. This was possibly misleading. Many of

these women may have been still in the honeymoon phase, or

perhaps they felt they had to make good claims for their

remarriage. We now know that while remarriages seem to be

almost as satisfactory as first marriages, they are not as

stable as first marriages. In 1978, the proportion of first

marriages ending in divorce was 38 per cent, and for

remarriages it was 44 per cent (Population Beference Bureau,

1978).



B.W. Weiss. Marital Separation (1975a).

This study is strictly qualitative in nature and focuses

primarily on the emotional impact of marital separation.

Weiss derived his data from his Seminars for the Separated






39

during the three years beqinninq in 1971. The seminars were

established by the Harvard Laboratory of Community

Psychiatry where recently divorced persons (both male and

female) came for an educational program of eight evening

meetings. The meetings were half instructional and half

group discussion. It was mostly people with college

educations who took part. About 150 recently separated

individuals participated in the program.

Several participants said that even though their

marriages had become unhappy, thoughts of ending them made

them anxious, and even terrified. This may have resulted

from the fact that their marriages afforded them security if

not happiness.

Others reported that after the separation, occasionally

they felt impelled by anxiety to reestablish contact witL

their former spouses. Most participants continued to feel

drawn to the spouses even when a new satisfactory

relationship had been established. The exceptions were

mostly those who left their marriages for new relationships

which they already had established.

The marital bond that keeps drawing ex-spouses back to

each other seems unrelated to liking, admiration or respect.

Even those who disparaged their spouses felt drawn to them.

This bond may be likened to the imprinting that takes place

in the animal world, and in its persistence resembles the

attachment bond of children to their parents described by

Bowlby (1969).







40

The loss of attachment can be seen as the primary cause

of the "separation distress" syndrome described by Parkes

(1972). It involves thinking more of the lest figure, and

an urge to reestablish contact, as well as anger and quilt

over the loss. Present also is an "alarm reaction"

including hyperalertness, great restlessness and feelings of

fear and panic. Difficulties in sleeping and loss of

appetite ensue.

In contrast, some experienced euphoria and greater self-

confidence and self-esteem. They may become more active and

outgoing than they had been. However, typically this

euphoria alternated with distress.

Separation distress which involves pining for the ex-

spouse fades with time. If a new attachment has not been

established at this point, the distress is replaced by

loneliness which does not revolve around any lost figure,

but feeds on a vaguely developed image of a satisfying

relationship that would allay the loneliness. This

loneliness often carries the feeling that there is nobody in

the world who could provide that relationship, and

frequently the lonely person feels an emptiness inside.

Since loss of attachment causes pain, anger is a natural

reaction, and this is directed against the former spouse

regardless of which one initiated the separation.

Separating spouses may be angry with each other not only

because they blame the other for their distresses, but also






41

because of genuine conflicts of interest over division of

property, support payments, custody of children and

visitation. Anger toward the ex-spouse can become intense

and lead to murderous fantasies. Some feel their anger is

justified, and may be willing to act to hurt the other. But

others feel the anger as alien to their genuine selves, and

try to disown it. Yet, even in the case of the most

enraged, suppression of positive feelings rarely seems

complete.

Because of the continued attachment and simultaneous

anger, intense ambivalence sets in. Manaqinq this

ambivalence becomes a problem. Some suppress the positive

feelings, others repress the negative feelings; and some

manage by alternating the feelings they express, or by

compartmentalizing their feelings.

Ambivalence makes separated individuals uncomfortable

with any resolution of their separation. Reconciliation may

result not only in relief at the ending of separation

distress, but also in dismay at the return of an

unsatisfactory relationship. The decision to proceed with

divorce may also have mixed implications: gratification

over a painful relationship being terminated, but also

sorrow that the spouse will be irretrievably lost. This

ambivalence probably is the reason why lawyers who

specialize in divorce work sometimes complain that their

clients do not seem to know their own minds (O'Gorman,

1963).









S.anier and Casto. _Adjustment to Divorge (iL99a)

The authors point out at the outset that, with few

exceptions (e.g. Goode, 1956), the data dealing with the

problems spouses have in adjusting to separation and divorce

are drawn from clinical case studies, and research on

persons who attend discussions and other counseling programs

(e.g. Weiss, 1975a). In this study, four hypotheses were

examined pertaining to (1) the effects of lingering

attachment to the former spouse, (2) the degree of social

interaction outside the home, (3) the role of dating

relationships, and (4) the relative effects of sudden and

unexpected separations.


method. The research, conducted in the fall of 1976,

consisted of lengthy, unstructured interviews with 50

individuals who had filed for divorce within the preceding

two-year period. Their names were secured from the public

records in Centre County, Pennsylvania. Contact by phone

was established with 37 per cent of the persons whose names

were drawn, Of those contacted, 61 per cent agreed to be

interviewed, comprising 28 females and 22 sales, all white,

from the working, middle and upper-middle classes. The aqe

range was 21 to 65 years, with a mean of 36 years. Thirty-

two of the respondents were divorced at the time of the

interview, and the remaining 18 were separated.






43

findings. (1) Most respondents expressed resentment over

their experiences with the legal system. (2) The children

were the catalysts for some of the major adjustment

problems. (3) Friends, relatives and acquaintances were

generally supportive. (4) The degree of initial emotional

upset was a function of how unexpected the separation was,

and of the respondent being opposed to it. (5) Economic

adjustment was the only area in which sex differences were

found. The large majority of men reported they were at

least as well off financially after the separation, but for

the women, the opposite was true. (6) Respondents reported

growing away from close friends, especially when these

friends were shared by the other spouses. (7) There was a

strong positive correlation between participation in

heterosexual relationships and successful adjustment.


Conclusions. Creating a new life style appears to be

more crucial to overall adjustment than successfully copiaq

with the dissolution of the marriage. Painful reactions to

marital dissolution, such as feelings of regret, attachment,

and bitterness towards the spouse, actually may increase

over time through failure to create new relationships. Some

respondents who reported few problems immediately after

separation and who, in some cases, reported that separation

had made them feel free, excited, or eager about life for

the first time in years, were at the time of the interview

very despondent and showing signs of separation anxiety. In









every instance, these respondents were having major

economic or social difficulties. The difficulties that

individuals encounter may vary greatly, depending on the

circumstances surrounding the dissolution of their

marriages, the support they receive as they make the

transition, and the nature of the postmarriage lifestyle.

Children, parents, friends, former spouses, representatives

of the legal system, and dating partners all play important

roles in the lives of the recently separated.



Kohen et al. Divorced Mothers (1979)


Method. This study was conducted to uncover the costs

and benefits of being a divorced mother. The research,

conducted in 1974, consisted of lengthy open-ended

interviews with 30 Boston-area mothers who had at least one

child under 16 years of age living with them, and who had

been divorced or separated from one to five years.

Potential respondents were located through institutional

sources, such as youth agencies and organizations for single

parents. Quotas were imposed to assure that no group was

over-represented in relation to the Boston-area population.


Findings. Even though respondents undergoing the crisis

during the first year immediately following separation were

eliminated, the findings in major areas such as changes in

income, proportion wishing to remarry, and types of problems

encountered, were consistent with those of Goode's (1956).






45

Identified problems. (1) The predivorce average income

reported was $12,500. This fell to $6,100 after the divorce

or separation. This resulted from (a) little or no support

from the husband, and (t) job and sex discrimination. In

1974 women working full-time throughout the year earned

only 57 per cent of that earned by their sale counterparts

(Sawhill,1975). (2) The divorced mother, while legally head

of the house, is not socially legitimated for this role,

with resulting intrusions and difficulties from and with

authorities and others. (3) In family life, the

responsibilities formerly shouldered by both parents now

must be borne all alone. (4) They were conscious of the

stigma of being "fair game" sexually.

The respondents reported the following advantages. (1)

They were better off with their lower income, because they

had full control of it. (2) Without a husband, the

organization of life was often easier, and the expenditure

of energy less. (3) Gaining control over "social time" is

like gaining control over money: they have less, but they

can decide how to spend it (Stein, 1976). (4) They reported

improved self-concept resulting from successfully mastering

decision-making and new tasks.







46

Kressel et al. Professional Interventioiorc (179)

The goal of this study was to identify the primary

obstacles to a constructive divorcing process and to shed

light on the psychological and interpersonal experience of

those who divorce. Of particular interest was the role of

the professional in helping to produce a cooperative climate

between the spouses, and to secure an acceptable divorce

agreement. This review will be restricted to the

latter--the role of the professional. The research

consisted of lengthy, unstructured interviews with 59

professionals, including 21 psychotherapists, 21 clergy, and

17 lawyers. It was an exploratory study with no attempt at

systematic sampling. Instead, highly expert practitioners

were located through professional organizations, personal

contacts, and referrals by previous respondents.


Findings. (1) There is much similarity in the roles

assumed by psychotherapists and clergy in divorce. Mainly,

they help with the difficult decision of whether to divorce

or not, and, less commonly, help negotiate the terms of the

settlement. When people seek help with a marital problem,

they are more likely to approach a clergyman than a

psychotherapist (Gurin, Veroff, and Feld, 1960). The

clergy's work occurs either as part of congregational

responsibilities, or in connection with religious courts of

divorce or annulment. (2) Lawyers are most frequently

consulted by the divorcee because divorce is the end of one






47

legal contract and the beginning of another. (3) Although

the lawyers' role in divorce is the most clearly structured,

leading one to expect highest consensus among them, just

the opposite was found. A high level of consensus was

found among therapists and clergy, while lawyers commonly

differed on important issues. (4) This difference among

attorneys resulted from the stresses inherent in their work,

and they used various mechanisms, such as the following, to

cope with the stresses. (a) Act as Undertaker. This

metaphor rests on two assumptions. First, the job is

essentially thankless and messy, and second, the clients are

in a state of emotional "derangement." The words of one

respondent were characteristic: "I represent

psychotic people. All my clients are neurotic, some of them

actually psychotic. If mine aren't, the other side is."

(b) Act as Mechanic. This is a pragmatic, technically

oriented stance. It assumes that clients are capable of

knowing what they want. (c) Act as Mediator. This is

oriented toward negotiating a compromise, with emphasis on

cooperation among all parties. (d) Act as Social Worker.

This stance centers around a concern for the clients'

postdivorce adjustment and overall social welfare. (e) Act

as Therapist. This involves active acceptance of the fact

that the client is in a state of emotional turmoil. (i) Act

as Moral Agent. Here, neutrality is rejected by the

attorney, and he assumes that he should not hesitate to use








his sense of right and wrong. This is widely used when

children are involved.

Four major goals are shared by all three professional

groups. (1) Establish a working alliance. Here again the

lawyers are different. They are likely to be partisans in

the conflict, whereas therapists and clergy are likely to

aspire to the role of mediator. (2) Diagnosis. The first

and most important question here for all three groups is:

Is this marriage truly headed for divorce? (3) Improve the

emotional climate. Here all three groups appeal to self-

interest, the children, and to the norms of fair-play.

However, here the lawyers were narrower in their

orientation than the others. ,(4) Decision-making and

planning. First the decision must be made whether to

divorce or not. If the decision is yes, then they endeavor

to reach a fair settlement. According to the respondents,

typically only one partner has definitively decided to

divorce, and the other has not. Here the professionals must

"orchestrate the motivation to divorce" (Kressel and Deutch,

1977:424), based on the fundamental assumption that a

constructive divorce process is unlikely if both partners

are not ready to end the marriage.

The clergy differed from the other two groups in this

area of decision making and planning on three salient

points. (a) An emphasis on the concrete and practical. The

clergy emphasized the importance of providing immediate






49

monetary assistance when necessary, and of referring their

clients to therapists and lawyers when indicated. (b)

Accomplishing the religious divorce or annulment. Judaism

and Roman Catholicism have highly formalized divorce and

annulment procedures. Fcr the rabbis and Catholic priests,

involvement in such procedures is the most distinctive and

difficult aspect of their role in divorce. (c) A hiqhtened

concern with postdivorce adjustment. The most organized

efforts to cope with the postdivorce adjustment period were

described by priests and lay respondents working in centers

for divorced Catholics. In these centers, crisis

intervention services, similar to the model established by

Alcoholics Anonymous, were offered: a reference group of

similar others, frequent social contacts, an accepting

religious community, limited individual counseling, group

activities for children, religious group rituals, and

workshops on special problems (e.g. dating, sex and family

relationships).


Conclusion. The lawyer-run adversary system is not

working. Perhaps the most likely alternative is some form

of mediation akin to that employed in labor-management

disputes.








Divorce Source of Trauaa

The widespread general belief that divorce tends to be

a painful, crisis producing, traumatic experience for the

partners is widely substantiated in the literature (Goode,

1949, 1956; Hetherinqton et al., 1976a, 1976b; Spanier and

Casto, 1979a, 1979b; Weiss, 1975a; Hunt and Hunt, 1979).

The earliest social analyst of this phenomenon was Willard

Waller who, using the analytic approach on a small number of

persons, identified the personal ill effects of divorce as

shock, ambivalence to oneself and one's partner, and much

frustration and unhappiness. Involved too, of course, is

the disruption of established sexual patterns on both the

physical and emotional levels (Waller, 1930/ 1967). His

conclusion was that there are many aspects and states of

reorganization which the divorcee must qo through at this

crucial period. They are (1) reorqanizinq one's lovelife,

(2) mending of wounded pride, (3) rechannelinq of habits,

(4) reorganizing of social relationships, (5) facing

economic consequences, and (6) ending rebellion.

Generally divorce is a traumatic psychological,

emotional, and social experience which adversely affects the

individuals involved. Landis and Landis (1968) added that

the divorce process involves pain and qrief over the loss

of one's spouse, especially when one does not want the

divorce to take place. Burqess (1926) and Christenseu

(1950) stated that some find divorce to be a shattering







51

experience, while others do not find it to be so disturbing,

and others find relief.

Haqerty found in his study on divorce at Brigham Younq

University that "many had felt strong trauma in the early

divorce period. With some this feeling decreased .

during the divorce process and then increased again during

the postdivorce readjustment period" (Haqerty, 1961:49).

The most systematic field study to date was conducted by

Goode (1956). He found that about 37 per cent of the

respondents showed little increase in difficulties after

divorce. However, in about two-thirds of the cases, there

was definite evidence of a significant increase in personal

difficulties.

Albrecht (1980) in a study conducted in eight Rocky

Mountain states had similar findings among his 200 female

respondents. Twenty-seven per cent characterized their

divorce experience as traumatic or a nightmare, and an

additional 40 per cent reported it as stressful. Only a

mere 13 per cent described it as relatively painless. The

following factors were identified as contributing to the

trauma. (1) The legal process itself (see Spanier and

Anderson, 1979). (2) The pain and anguish felt by the

children. (3) Financial strain. (4) A feeling of personal

failure. This last factor was the most widespread, having

been mentioned by one-third of the respondents.








Most people regard marriage as a permanent commitment,

and despite the prevalence of divorce, when marriage breaks

up, this is seen by the partners as a personal failure, and

this feeling seems to be a key factor in the trauma and

stress felt by divorced persons.

Eliot (1948) expressed the view that since divorce is

generally a traumatic experience for the individual

involved, full recovery is unusual. This view regarding

recovery is no longer tenable. Recent studies indicate that

recovery from the trauma of separation and divorce seems to

take from two to four years, with the average being closer

to four than to two (Weiss, 1975a:236; Hunt and Hunt,

1979:58). Understandably, those who have had an ongoing

extramarital relationship, or who developed a new

relationship immediately after separation, suffer least

trauma (Baschke, 1976; Hunt and Hunt, 1979).

Separation and divorce cause major changes in one's way

of life, and all major changes cause stress (Holmes and

Rahe, 1967; Selye, 1976). It is no coincidence that the

separated and the divorced have higher rates of suicide,

accidents, and physical illnesses than married people do

(Glick, 1976a:16; Gove, 1973). Further, separated women and

men are 8 and 12 times as likely, respectively, as married

women and men to be hospitalized for mental illness.

These statistics along with those from many other sources

(see Bloom et al., 1979) show that the link between marital






53

disruption and a great variety of illnesses and disorders is

stronger for men than for women. However, the evidence was

rather unsystematic until recent studies attempted to deal

more systematically with the effects of marital disruption

on both parents and children. Perhaps that partly accounts

for the fact that most of the literature on the problems

faced by the separated and divorced focuses on divorced

women, rather than men.

Apparently the assumption was that marital disruption is

more stressful for women than men. Further, in the

overwhelming majority of cases, the divorcing mothers

receive custody of the children, thereby being burdened wit1

further responsibility, and, possibly increased stress.

Another partial explanation may be found in the increased

interest in the chanqinq roles of women. Lastly,

undoubtedly this emphasis on women results from the

precedent set in Goode's study. Beplication of his work is

the prime reason why this present study focuses exclusively

on the reports of divorced mothers.

For the mother who goes through a divorce, life is often

turned upside down. Fondest dreams, hopes and ideals ace

shattered. Intimate bonds with another are broken,

relationships with children are changed, friendship patterns

are disrupted, new living arrangements must be made,

employment must be found, often for the first time, and on

and on. Separation and divorce cause significant








disruptions in four major spheres of the divorcee's life,

namely the personal, sexual, social and economic.



Disruptions in Her Personal Life

The literature contains numerous reports indicating that

the newly divorced are likely to suffer some amount oi

personal disorganization, anxiety, unhappiness, loneliness,

low work efficiency, increased drinking, and other personal

problems (Gurin, Veroff and Feld, 1960; Rose and Price-

Bonham, 1973; Weiss, 1976a, 1976b). Goode found that the

divorce was preceded by a long period of conflict and

serious decision-making lasting an average ot two years.

The protracted conflict effectively destroyed the love

relationship between the spouses, and replaced it with

unhappiness, anxiety, and a sense of failure. His

respondents reported serious causes for the conflict and

eventual divorce, among which were the following: (1) 33

per cent complained of nonsupport, (2) 22 per cent,

excessive dominance by the husband, (3) 30 per cent,

drinking, (4) 29 per cent, personality problems, (5) 25 per

cent, poor home life, (6) 16 per cent, involvement witn

other women. They were so affected by the long and painful

experience that they suffered from poorer health, greater

loneliness, difficulties with sleep, work and eating, and

having fewer friends during the divorce process and for

lengthy periods afterwards.






55

Bohannan (1970) by contrasting the enqaqement and wedding

on the one hand, with divorce on the other, offers keen

insight into the pain and rejection of divorce. One or the

reasons it feels so good to be engaged and newly married is

the rewarding sensation that, out of the whole world you

have been selected. One of the reasons that divorce feels

so awful is that you have been de-selected. It punishes

almost as much as the engagement and wedding are rewarding.

Blanck and Blanck (1968) pointed out that since marriage

is a primary relationship involving more facets of an

individual's personality than perhaps any other adult

relationship, its termination represents the loss of a qraat

number of satisfactions.

If the divorcee is ccamitted to her religion, probably

the religious dimension of her personal life will be

seriously disrupted. In many cases the wedding took place

in church with a minister, rabbi or priest presiding, and

"until death doth us part" was an integral part of the

marriage vows. These vows reenforce the personal conviction

that the marriage would bring happiness and fulfillment.

Breaking these vows can be a source of stress for her.

Further, she is likely to experience feelings of quilt and

failure as she interacts with her friends at church because

of her awareness that she has failed to uphold in her

marriage the ideals of her church, regardless of what

denomination she belongs to. Churches are strong proponents







56

of the sanctity and permanence of marriage, and in face of

this, her quilt and failure feelings may lead to alienation

from her church and her friends there. This is most likely

if she is Catholic because of the following.

In general, Protestants and Jews tend to be tolerant and

accepting of divorce. The latter emphasize that a hate-

filled marriage has lost the sanctity of the Law, and

divorce should be permitted in such a case. However, before

divorce is assented to, the rabbi is obliged to use all

means available through counseling and other aids to remedy

the situation and save the marriage (Gordis, 1967). The

Catholic Church is strongly opposed to divorce ante faqctua

and strongly asserts this position in its laws, official

documents and teachings. Besides, it makes widespread use

of Pre-Cana and Cana conferences, Marriage Encounter, and

other group sessions to reenforce its position and to

promote marital fidelity and fulfillment. For these reasons

the active Catholic who gets a divorce will probably

experience a stronger sense of alienation from her church

and its members than the non-Catholic divorcee. While it is

true that the Catholic Church's attitude towards divorce

post factum is one of tolerance and guarded sympathy, and

that much can be done by the local priest for the

reconciliation of the divorcee (Salter, 1969), it is quite

likely that many such remain unreconciled with the church.








Disruptions in Her Sex Life

Sexual relations between husband and wife are regarded as

a vital part of marriage:

our counselors, clinicians, and clergy join with
the layman in emphasizing that coital
relationships with orgasm for both partners are a
vital and necessary part of life--a goal to be
achieved and maintained. This message is repeated
ad infinitua in marriage manuals and articles in
popular magazines. (Gebhard, 1970:90)

But with divorce that is all changed. Established sex

patterns with her husband are of course disrupted on both

the physical and emotional levels. Some individuals

suppress or repress all sexual desire, and this may be

accompanied by bitterness towards all males. By contrast,

some become relatively promiscuous partly to avenge their

spouses, or to reassure themselves that they are still

desirable. In cases where one's self-image is shattered

promiscuity may arise from the desire to punish and degrade

oneself further (Waller, 1930/1967; Kirkpatrick, 1963).

This is substantiated by Hunt and Hunt (1979). They

reported that 7 or 8 per cent of formerly married womea

became refuserss," neither seeking nor accepting sexual

involvements for several years after separation and divorce,

and sometimes, permanently. This may result from moral and

religious convictions, but much more often, it is the result

of some internal disorder such as fear--fear of males, of

sexual inadequacy and frigidity, of sex itself--or the

inability "to fall out of love" with the former spouse, to







53

sever the marital emotional ties. This last situation is

scarcely ever permanent. Of course, there are always some

who are incapacitated by chronic illness, disease and

advanced old age.

Secondly, there are the "abusers" who comprised about 5

per cent of female respondents. These use sex in ways taat

perpetuate their internal problems and keep them alienated

from others, regardless of how many physical contacts they

have. They use sex as an analgesic, a pain killer that

gives passing relief from their sense of failure or

undesirability, or as an intoxicant to contract their

chronic low self-esteem or depression; or as a punishment

used vicariously against the former spouses. Some of tne

"abusers" remain stuck here while others outgrow this phase

with an increased sense of self-worth and respect for

others, and learn to appreciate sex as an important part of

a legitimate and healthy relationship, and thus join the

"users."

The users typically go through three phases as follows.

(1) Ego-repair. Frequently the trauma of divorce leaves one

with an inadequate self-image, and "dead from the waist

down." Initial sexual encounters give assurance ot self-

worth and abilities. (2) Exploration. Having sex with a

new partner scarcely ever is the same as sex in marriage,

either on the physical or emotional level, and many find

that the new experiences have a type of excitement never






59

experienced in marriage. This can lead to exploration of

techniques and partners. (3) Reconstruction. This, the

final stage, may be entered after either or both of the

above, or indeed, directly without having to go throuqL

either of them. Here, sex is used as an integral part or a

loving, caring relationship which, if successful and

lasting, leads to remarriage. If not, the search for a new

partner is resumed, a search which may be repeated a number

of times before satisfaction and confidence are achieved,

and commitment to a new marriage takes place.

Corroboration for the disruption of existing sexual

patterns on one hand, and the substantially widespread use

of sex by partners in divorce, on the other, can be found in

two studies on problems closely allied to the sexual

difficulties experienced during the divorce process. The

first deals with the cessation of marital intercourse.

Edwards and Booth (1976) found that marital coitus had

ceased for a definable period (median eight weeks) in one-

third of a random sample of 365 spouses in intact marriages,

who were relatively young and had been married an average of

11 years. They found that 32 per cent of the males and 36

per cent of the females reported such a cessation. Among

those reporting cessation of intercourse, 42 per cent of the

males and 35 per cent of the females reported marital

discord as the cause. This was by far the most common

reason given, followed by illness, decreased interest in







60

sex, and surgery. Since marital coitus is discontinuous on

such a widespread scale in intact marriages, and since

marital discord is the chief cause, it is justifiable to

assume that usually intercourse between spouses ceases early

in the divorce process, which typically is frouqht with

conflict.

The other study worth mentioning is by Rindfuss and

Bumpass (1977). They report that a recent Current

Population Survey indicates that about 8 per cent of the

births to twice-married women in recent cohorts occurred

between the dates of their divorces and remarriaqe (U.S

Bureau of the Census, 1974). Many of these babies may have

been conceived in the former marriages, but at the same time

this estimate underestimates the extent of childbearing

during marital disruption because it excludes births between

separation and divorce. Actually a quarter of remarried

women in the 1970 National Fertility Study (Byder and

Westoff, 1971) reported a birth during a period of marital

disruption. Possible explanations of these pregnancies are:

(1) they were a "last chance" effort to save the marriaqgs,

(2) they were caused by future spouses, or (3) they were

fathered by someone else. The effects of these births on

the postdivorce trauma and adjustment merit serious study as

there is no relevant information to date.

Paul Gebhard (1970) published his findings on the sexuia

activity of women whose marriages had been disrupted. His






61

most salient findings were the following. (1) The majority

of women whose marriages had ended engaged in sexual

intercourse while divorced, separated or widowed. (2) These

women most commonly began postmarital intercourse within one

year after the end of the marriages. (3) The averaqc

frequency varied from 36 to 73 times a year up to the age of

40, after which there was a marked decrease. (4) The

divorced exceeded the widows in terms of the per cent wao

had postmarital relations, the frequency of these relations,

and the speed with which such relations were begun after the

end of the marriages.



Disruptions in Her Social Life

The divorcee is apt to find herself like the "fifth

wheel" in social situations with former friends. Lantz et

al. (1968) asserted that married and engaged women regard

the divorcee as a threat to their relationships with their

husbands or fiances. Ploscowe (1955) expressed the opinion

that many men think that the divorced woman can be sexually

seduced more easily, since they assume she is now sexually

inactive while they know she is sexually experienced. Weiss

(1975a) and Hunt and Hunt (1979) found much supporting

evidence of this attitude among sales. Divorcees, in

consequence, feel an urgent need to make new friends, and

these are frequently found among the ranks of other

divorcees who have shared experiences (Hunt and Hunt, 1979).






62

Kirkpatrick (1963) stated that to the divorcee, society

seems to be an alien and lonely place, and that sae usually

desires to escape from those things which remind her of her

former husband, or rushes headlong into frenetic

activities. Some prefer to isolate themselves and nurse

their hurt egos in private, while others return to their

families of orientation, seeking the comfort they received

as children.

Albrecht (1980) found that his female respondents

reported dropping their memberships in clubs and

organizations, and increasing their interaction with

relatives--a change in their social lives away from

organizations and back towards their families of

orientation.

Many established social patterns of behavior are

effectively disrupted by divorce, requiring the divorcee to

develop new patterns. The pair relationship is broken

making it necessary to learn to function and live alone

again without the companionship of a spouse. Further, she

may be socially inhibited from revealing her true feelings

if she is bitter, confused or profoundly hurt, and finds

herself forced, as Mowrer (1935) and Horney (1950) pointed

out, to play roles that are undesirable and repelling.








Disruptions in Her Financial Status

In Goode's study, the ensuing financial situation after

the divorce was not perceived as a significant problem by

those mothers who had remarried. However, those who had not

remarried reported financial problems. On the average,

those divorced women had almost as such income, from all

sources, as their ex-husbands had earned. In sharp contrast

to these findings of the late forties, recent data indicate

that objective financial reality for divorced mothers in the

70s was indeed very grim. Single-parent families headed oy

a woman had only half the income, cn the average, of single-

parent families headed by a man, and a mere third of the

income enjoyed by husband-wife families (U.S. Bureau of ta~

Census, 1973). This coincides with more recent data on the

overall picture of the earnings of men and women. In 1977

the median weekly earnings of women were $156, compared with

$253 for men (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1978).

Albrecht's findings (1980) indicate that divorced women's

perceptions of their current income coincide wita the facts.

Two-thirds of his female respondents reported that their

incomes following divorce were significantly lower than

before it. In spite of the passage of time, a mere 7 per

cent of them were able to report a higher postdivorce

income. Consequently, the divorcee is likely to have to

live on a much smaller income than she was accustomed to

during her marriage, and perhaps have to learn to handle her

personal finances herself for the first time in her life.








The number and ages of the children influence the

divorced mother's financial status (Landis and Landis 1968)

and in the majority of cases, child support and alimony are

inadequate for the needs of the divorcee and her children.

The trauma of this experience is often increased by the fact

that she failed to anticipate it realistically (Groves and

Groves, 1947). Many such mothers who never worked before

find it necessary to make a belated entry into the

workforce. Further, their financial situation is often made

worse by difficulty in establishing credit.

Blair (1969) found that the levels of adjustment aiter

divorce were significantly related to Rodqers' (1964) and

Rowe's (1966) stages of the family life cycle. Adjustment

was most difficult for divorcees in Stage VI, at which point

all the children were still living with the divorcee.

Adjustment was least difficult in Stage VII, when the

children were being launched, and the youngest child who was

living with the divorcee was over 20 years of age. This

finding suqqests that the family life cycle stage, rather

than the number of children, may be a more accurate

indicator of adjustment after the divorce.

Approximately 60 per cent of all divorces involve minor

children; "around 1 million children a year suffer through

the dissolution of their families" ("Children of Divorce,"

1980:58). Divorce often produces trauma in these children.

This is especially so when the children believed that their






65

parents were happily married. On the other hand, where the

marriage was obviously unhappy, the children often

experience relief when the divorce takes place (Landis,

1960).



Legal Process Source of Trauma

The Adversary System

Until a decade ago the adversary system of divorce was

used and is still in wide use today. This process tends to

generate strife and bitterness because one of the partners

is accused of wrongdoing, and the attorneys of both parties

seek to get the best possible settlements for their

respective clients. Virtually all authorities agree that

such of the vindictiveness which traditionally has been

associated with divorce is traceable to the hostilities tnat

are engendered by the divorce process (Leslie 1982:565).

Spanier and Anderson (1979) conducted in-depth interviews

with 205 people in Pennsylvania who had been separated 26

months or less. Over half of their respondents indicated

dissatisfaction with the legal process includingq the laws,

judges, attorneys, etc.) and 84 per cent desired change in

the Pennsylvania law, still usinq the adversary system

exclusively. These respondents experienced a wide range of

problems with the legal system, most of them centering

around the attorneys. One-third of them found their

attorneys no help at all, half of them believed the







66

attorneys' fees were outrageous or too high, and 29 per cent

of them were advised by their attorneys to do things which

were calculated to aggravate their spouses. They suggested

such things as not paying bills, not speaking to the other

spouse, taking money out of the savings account, and moving

out of the house. The study strcnqly suqqests that the

adversary system encourages collusion and dishonesty.

Significant numbers reported lying in hearings and using

trumped-up statements in court which were to their own

advantage and damaging to the spouse.

Under the adversary system of divorce, roundsd" for

divorce have to be presented. About 52 per cent of all U.S.

divorces have been granted on legal grounds of physical or

mental cruelty. Mental cruelty is an umbrella category

which includes suspicion, jealousy, untruthfulness, and

vague subjective complaints (Levinger, 1966). About 23 per

cent of divorce cases were granted on qrcunds of desertion,

4 per cent for non-support, and about 1 per cent for

adultery. Needless to say, these legal rounds for divorce

are not necessarily the real causes of divorce, and may uot

coincide with the causes perceived by the spouses involved.

Studies have found little relationship between statutory

grounds for divorce and the actual causes of marital

failure (Harmsworth and Minnis, 1955; Mowrer, 1924; Stetson

and Wright, 1975).








In a study of 600 couples filing for divorce in

Cleveland, Ohio, Levinqer (1966) reported on the causes

presented by the divorcing couples. Overall, wives'

complaints were twice as numerous as husbands'. They

complained 11 times more frequently than husbands about

physical abuse, four times more often about financial and

drinking problems, and three times more than husbands about

verbal abuse.

Only in three categories did husbands complain more

frequently than the wives: sexual incompatability, in-law

trouble, and excessive demands. Mental cruelty was brought

up most frequently by both sexes: 40 per cent of the

females and 29.7 per cent of the males mentioned it. Next

came neglect of home and children: 39 per cent of the

females and 26.2 per cent of the males singled tais cut.

Financial problems and physical abuse tied as the third most

widespread complaint from the females: 36.3 per cent of

them listed both. By comparison, only 8.7 per cent of the

males referred to financial problems and a mere 3.3 per cent

complained of physical abuse. This last figure on physical

abuse raises some questions in view of the fact that other

studies have found that up to one-third of families in whica

violence is used report physical hitting by the wife

(Gelles, 1972).

As might be expected many more females (26.5 per cent)

than males (5 per cent) complained of spouses with drinking







68

problems. In the matter of infidelity, 24 per cent of the

females and 20 per cent of the males accused their spouses

of this.

Levinger found that complaints differed across

socioeconomic lines. In general, spouses in tae middle-clasa

were more concerned with psychological and emotional

interaction, while those in the lower-class mainly mentioned

financial problems, and the physical actions of their

partners. This coincides with Galbraith's observation:

"In a poor society, not only do economic considerations

dominate social attitudes but they rigidly specify the

problems that will be accorded priority" (Galbraith,

1964:117). Further, Maslow (1954) stated that each human

desires to fulfill a variety of needs and postulated the

following categorical order in which they can be gratified.

(1) Subsistence needs of hunger, thirst, and other

physiological requirements. (2) Needs for safety and

protection from external harm. (3) Needs for love, belouq-

inqness and inter-personal warmth. (4) Needs for esteem and

respect from other persons. (5) Only after the above are

satisfied to a minimal extent can the individual seek to

achieve self-actualization.

Levinger concludes that even in the U.S. a large

proportion of married couples are so heavily engaged with

coping to satisfy the needs of the first and second levels

(subsistence and safety), that they are unable to worry








about the achievement of mature love or interpersonal

respect, not to speak of that rare quality of self-actual-

ization. Verbal therapies may be not merely unsuccessful,

but largely irrelevant to the needs of individuals striving

at the basic level during and after the divorce process.

Komarovsky (1964) and Rubin (1976) had similar findings

in their studies of working-class couples. In these

marriages they found little attention given to such

qualities as sharing, communication, and intimacy. Their

most important marriage goals were being able to provide a

reasonably good living and "being good to the children."



No-Fault Divorce

As a better and more realistic approach to divorce and to

reduce the trauma involved, Florida and California

implemented no-fault divorce laws in the early 70s (Nye and

Berardo, 1973). Since then over half of the American states

have adopted various forms of no-fault divorce laws (Wriaht

and Stetson, 1978). In general, these new laws dropped the

term "divorce" and substituted "dissolution of marriage," to

be granted because of the irremediable breakdown of the

marriage.

Under no-fault laws either spouse can be required to pay

alimony, and the court can require either or both to

contribute to the support of minor children. In California,

since its law went into effect, a significantly smaller







70
percentage of women with young children have been receiving

alimony than formerly (Bunt and Bunt, 1979:209). However,

it is unclear if this is the result of the new laws or

simply the continuation of an already existing trend,

because a national survey in 1975 found that only one out

of every seven separated or divorced women had been awarded

alimony or maintenance--half as many as in 1939 (Bryant,

1975:41)

The no-fault divorce laws would appear to be more liberal

than those of the adversary system, making it easier for

parties to obtain divorce. But that does not mean that the

no-fault laws led to higher divorce rates. Indeed, making

divorce laws more restrictive or more liberal has appeared

to have had little effect on the divorce rate (Abel, 1973;

Wright and Stetson, 1978). Besides, it has been claimed

that strict laws have failed to restrict climbing divorce

rates because those seeking divorces have been able to

manipulate the laws and the legal system (Blake, 1962;

Spanier and Anderson, 1979). Bheinstein (1971) argued that

perjury, falsification of evidence, and unnecessary

animosity and hardship, rather than a lowering of the

divorce rate, have been the outcome of the adversary system.








Trauma Peak Precedes Divorce Decree

Existing data indicate that the period of greatest trauma

for the couples is not at the time of the divorce itself.

Goode's respondents indicated that the worst time was at the

final separation. In Albrecht's study (1980) they

characterized the period of final decision as the most

difficult. This was a period of increasing conflict between

the spouses, forcing them to choose divorce as an

alternative to a bad relationship.

This is consistent with the findings of Brown et al.

(1976) who, during in-depth interviews with a sample of

divorcees living in the Boston area, found that a

significant majority of those women reported that things

were "easier now" compared with the period prior to the

divorce. It would seem that despite the problems faced by

the divorcees in heading a family all alone, and in trying

to provide for it on reduced resources, they consider their

lot better than what they had to endure during the final

stages of their marriages.

Anyhow, typically by the time the divorce actually takes

place, at least the very worst is over. The individuals

work through the trauma by drawing on their own inner

resources, and with help from their own families and

friends, and sometimes from professionals too.

After divorce they move steadily towards dating and then

remarriage. Goode (1956) found that 54 per cent of mothers








who had been divorced two years had remarried. Hunt and

Hunt (1979) found that divorcees in recent years had become

more cautious about entering new love relationships and

remarriages, probably because the spiraling divorce rate

caused wariness towards remarriage. They found that only 40

per cent of all divorcees had remarried within tree years

after the divorce. This may be partially explained by the

current phenomenon of living together.

During the 1970s living together became a widespread

social phenomenon, especially among college students. In

1979 there were over two and a half million Americans living

together without being married. This was more taan double

the number reported in 1970 (U.S. Bureau of the Census,

1980). Very few studies of this phenomenon among non-

college student populations have been conducted. One such

study collected data from a nationwide random sample of 2510

men between the ages of 20 and 30 years (Clayton and Voss,

1977). The authors concluded that cohabitation may be a

prelude to marriage for some persons. For others,

especially those who have experienced unsatisfactory

marriages, cohabitation may be a temporary or permanent

alternative to remarriage. So this phenomenon may partially

explain the apparently slower rate of remarriage among

divorcees in recent years.

Another explanation may be found in the "marriage

penalty" tax law. It was created in 1969 by Congress waen






73

it revised the tax laws to reduce a sizeable penalty imposed

on single taxpayers, but the correction created a new

problem. The tax on the combined income of a husband and

wife with comparable salaries is considerably higher than it

would be if the earners were single and reported their

incomes separately.

Under the law, marriage can cost $391 for a couple making

$20,000 a year. If the couple jointly earns $60,000, the

"marriage penalty" amounts to $3,654.

To get around paying the extra tax, some married
couples have gotten divorced, some singles live
together out of wedlock, and some who find
cohabitation morally uncomfortable have postponed
wedding plans. ("Tax laws may end profits gained
by 'living in sin.'" 1981:12A)



Creative Divorce

Many authors for many years have been pointing out that

although divorce is costly from a social and psychological

standpoint, it is undesirable and indeed impossible for

couples to remain married in all cases (Llewellyn, 1933;

MacIver, 1937; Bee, 1959; Udry, 1966; and Woable, 1966).

Consequently, divorce can be a positive, beneficial

experience offering a legitimate escape from an intolerable

situation and an avenue to a new life in remarriage or

mature singlehood. Even when divorce is a traumatic

experience it can be transformed into a creative process.

A creative divorce is essentially the beginning of
a journey of self-discovery and development,
triggered by the crisis of separation, that can go
on for as long as you live. The elements of a








creative divorce are found in even the earliest
stages of separation when you recognize and
appreciate the "seeds beneath the snow," those
early signs of the undiscovered person that was
buried in your marriage. (Krantzler, 1973:236)



Cycle of Divorce

Divorce is a very complex and prolonged experience as

well as a painful one. That is because so many things are

happening at once in the process. These various components

of the complex experience can come in different orders and

in varying intensities, and they are the more painful and

puzzling for the individual because our society is not yet

equipped to handle any of them well.

Bohannan (1970) identified six main components in the

divorce experience, components which he calls overlapping

experiences. They are as follows. (1) The emotional

divorce which centers around the problem of the

deteriorating marriage. (2) The legal divorce based on

grounds. (3) The economic divorce which deals with aoney

and property. (4) The coparental divorce which deals with

custody, single-parent homes and visitation. (5) The

community divorce surrounding the changes of friends and

community that every divorcee experiences. (6) The psychic

divorce, dealing with the problems of regaining individual

autonomy.

Further comment on these six components will be confined

to the first and last on the list. These two, the emotional






75

divorce and the psychic divorce, merit fuller explanation

because they shed much light on the postdivorce adjustment

cycle, which is central in this dissertation. Besides, the

other four components have been amply elaborated on

already.

Emotional divorce is likely to be the first visible stage

of a deteriorating marriage. This occurs when the partners

withold positive emotions and displace them with negative

ones. They may continue to work together as a social team,

but their attraction and trust for each other have

disappeared. The natural and healthy "qrowinq apart" of the

stable married couple is very different from this. As

marriages mature, the spouses grow in new directions, but

they also develop bonds of growing interdependence. With

emotional divorce, people do not grow together as they grow

apart. Instead they become mutually antagonistic and grate

on each other. Conflicts erupt over real or perceived

issues, and sometimes they are afraid to fight over the real

issues, but instead, through displacement, fight over the

two major socially accepted issues: sex and money.

Finally comes the psychic divorce. It is usually the

last and always the most difficult. Bohannan (1970) stated

that he could not find a word sufficiently strong or precise

enough to describe the difficulty of the psychic divorce

process. Weiss (1975a) uses the term "imprinting." The

phenomenon of imprinting in the animal world is well








documented. Something analogous takes place between

spouses, and the ensuing bonds are extremely hard to sever

definitively. Each partner to the ex-marriage must turn

himself or herself again into an autonomous social

individual completely independent of the former spouse.

Further, people who are married tend to become socially part

of a couple or a family and lose the habit of seeing

themselves as individuals. As they are faced with the need

to become autonomous again they are probably afraid and feel

unable to cope, and are certainly lonely. This partly

explains the widespread phenomenon experienced by

researchers of divorce: the tendency of divorcees to

indulge in "instant intimacy," pouring out their most

intimate troubles to a perfect stranger as a catharsis. The

grief has to be worked out alone without benefit of

traditional rites. In divorce one is very much on one's

own.



Cycle of Readjustment

Waller and Hill (1951) proposed a general theory of

readjustment which postulated four stages of reaalustment

through which divorcees progress: (1) breaking old habits,

(2) beginnings of reconstruction of life, (3) seeking new

love objects, and (4) readjustment completed.

Blair (1969) found that three-fourths of her divorcee

respondents had attained a medium level of adjustment and






77
that breaking old habits was the longest and most difficult

stage in the cycle. They completed the four stages of

adjustment not in the order listed by Waller and Hill, but

in the following sequence: (1) beginnings of reconstruction

of life, (2) seeking new love objects, (3) breaking old

habits, and (4) readjustment completed. These stages will

be described now in this empirical sequence.

1. Beginnings of reconstruction of life. Readjustment

involves a painful mourning process which is filled with

memories of the past. The divorcee begins to emerge from

the stage of regression in which she first found herself

when sex expression on the adult, socialized level was

blocked. This emergence may involve some degradation of

sex, and promiscuity. Some few remain blocked at this level

but the majority progress as they find solace for their ego

wounds. The divorcee re-forms her social world to meet her

new circumstances. The world organized for dual

participation no longer accommodates her conveniently and

she must alter her associations somewhat and form new

friends. With great pain new habits begin to be formed.

After the shock of loss, she may not care to go on living at

first, but she does go on living. She must eat, sleep,

shop, and work alone. For a time these activities are

meaningless, empty, and painful. She may find herself

unburdening her secrets and troubles in casual contacts

because of the pain of lost intimacy.







78

2. Seeking new love objects. At this stage, in the area

of sex the divorcee is no longer seeking an outlet for her

blocked sex life, but searches for a new love obiect--one to

love and to be loved by as before. This may involve a

series of affairs which gradually approach or even surpass

the nature and intensity of the one that has been broken.

One's daily tasks begin to take on meaning again even though

a certain amount of mourning still endures.

3. Breaking old habits. Habits, especially those laden

with emotion and based on close intimacy, prove to be quite

difficult to be broken. Part of the difficulty lies in the

fact that the regular routine of daily living must go on,

and these actions--sitting down to breakfast, deciding what

to cook, solving problems, etc.--all bring back memories of

the former spouse, because he was part of or central to

these activities. This gives rise to poignancy and grief

over and over again. Even when it seems that one has gotten

over it, some insignificant object or action, or meeting an

old friend can trigger it all again. It is like a chronic

illness that comes and goes but keeps going on and on.

(4) Readjustment completed. The mourning process is

terminated, and unsettling memories eventually cease.

Sexual readjustment is complete in that one has found a new

meaningful love object or arranged one's sex life in some

other way in mature adulthood which no longer causes

conflict. Habits take on a new meaning and are organized






79

into a new life. A strain of consistency exerts itself into

the personality. A new life organization and a new

philosophy of life emerge. Readjustment is complete.



Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework for this survey is based on

Lee's theory of migration in terms of push and pull factors

(Lee, 1966). First, Lee defined migration broadly as a

permanent or semi-permanent change of residence. No

restriction was placed by Lee upon the distance of the move

nor upon the voluntary or involuntary nature of the act, and

no distinction was made between external and internal

migration. Since divorce involves permanent or semi-

permanent change of residence for at least one of the

spouses (except in the instance when both continue to live

under the same roof after divorce) divorce can be included

in Lee's broad definition of migration. Besides the process

of physical movement there is also, of course, the departure

and re-entry or relocation in both the social and socio-

physical sense.



Factors in the Divorce Decision and Process

The factors which enter into the decision to divorce and

the process of divorce may be categorized under four

headings. (1) Endogenous factors associated with the

marriage itself, which is the point of origin. (2)







80
Exogenous factors associated with divorce and after, which

form the destination. (3) Intervening obstacles and

facilitating networks and resources. (4) Personal factors.

In every marriage there are many endogenous factors which

act to hold the spouses together in the marriage, and still

other endogenous factors which tend to separate them. There

are still others to which spouses are essentially

indifferent. Some of these factors affect most people in

the same way, while others affect different people in

various ways. Thus fulfillment and happiness would tend to

keep the spouses together, whereas serious continuous

conflict would tend to repel them away from each other. By

contrast, protectiveness would be viewed positively by a

dependent type spouse, but negatively by an autonomous type.

Turning now to the destination, divorce and after, a

spouse may perceive positives and negatives there which are

called exogenous factors. Autonomy, professionalism,

further education and similar factors would be seen as pull

factors. Lower income, greater responsibility, loneliness

and similar considerations could be seen as repelling

factors.

Needless to say, all factors that serve as push and pull

forces at the locus of origin--marriage, and

destination--divorce and after, are precisely understood

neither by sociologists nor the spouses themselves. Like

Bentham's calculus of pleasure and pain, the calculus of the








push and pull factors at the origin and destination is

always inexact.

However, this important difference between the factors at

the locus of origin and destination needs to be noted. The

factors at the locus of criqin are present, pressing and

well perceived by the spouse involved. But the factors at

destination are distant, in the future, and somewhat

uncertain. This uncertainty can cause either fear or

excitement depending on one's personality.

While divorce may result from a comparison of the

endogenous factors at origin and the exoqenous factors at

destination, a simple calculus of the plusses and minuses

does not bring about the decision to divorce. The balance

in favor of the move or decision must be enough to overcome

hesitancy and fear to act.

Further, between the two points or loci there stands a

set of intervening obstacles which must be overcome. Amonq

these obstacles are the legal divorce process, custody of

children and property settlements, and community norms

counter to divorce. These obstacles differ from state to

state, individual to individual, and community to community.

Overcoming these obstacles can be made easier by

facilitating networks and resources, such as good friends, a

helpful attorney, professional aid, and financial resources.

Finally, there are many personal factors which facilitate

or retard the decision to divorce. One such important




Full Text
THE POSTDIVOBCE ADJUSTMENT CYCLE
BY
KEVIN BEID
A DISSEHTATION PRESENTED TC THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN
PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1983

Copyriqht 1983
by
Kevin Beid

DEDICATED 10
Eugene Frank and Mary Alice Monti
and their
Extended Family
Barbara Jean
Danny
Kevin
Sharon Thelaa
Eachelle Joe
Vickie
Euqenie
Van

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
In the preparation for this study there was nothing out
of the ordinary. Its completion, however, whicn took three
and a half years, was very difficult because of a nafflinq
and persistent illness. Because of this circumstance a
greater debt of gratitude is owed to those vno had tne
patience, couraqe and goodness to support and encouraqe me
through its completion.
The qreatest debt is owed to Dr. Gerald Leslie, because
of the dual and difficult roles he played with so much
talent and heart. As chairman of my academic committee he
was always an inspiring and quidinq light. But more
importantly, it was his understanding and encouragement as
a friend which enabled me to continue with this survey to
its conclusion.
My association with Dr. Joseph Vandiver and Dr. Charles
Frazier was not as close as with Dr. Leslie. But to them a
special debt of gratitude is owed for their unfailing
kindness and encouragement through the years. Dr. Jonn
Henretta was a true friend in need. When I was overwhelmed
with the task of analyzing the data, it was he who guided
every step, and brought it to completion. I wish to thank
all the members of my committee for their guidance,
erudition, and expertise.
IV

My fellow graduate students offered several valuable
suggestions and their unfailing friendship. The staff in
the sociology office was always prompt, efficient and
gracious. To each of them I am very grateful.
It is impossible to thank Dr. Erlinda Collante, M.D.,
adeguately, for her professional help, understanding ani
encouragement through these difficult years. She is a model
physician.
To all my friends I am deeply grateful. However, three
deserve special thanks for their valuable suggestions and
help: Joan Canal, Hose Fulcher, and Frank Reid.
»
v

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv
LIST OF TABLES xiii
LIST OF FIGURES xvi
ABSTRACT ii
CHAPTER
I. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM AND INTRODUCTION
The Research Problem
The Postdivorce Adjustment Cycle
Goode's Study ..........
Replication and Updatinq . .
Overview of Marriaqe and Divorce in America . .
Tne Happy Family Myth
Divorce in Colonial America . .
Divorce in the Early Years of Cur Nation . .
Increase in Number and Rate of Divorce . . .
Distribution of Divorce in America
Reqion
Ethnicity and Reliqion
Race
Economic Status
Aqe at Marriaqe ........
Summary
II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
1
1
2
3
3
4
5
b
7
8
1 1
11
11
12
12
14
15
16
Introduction 1o
Divorce at the Beqinninq of the Twentieth
Century .17
The First Divorce Study and its Dual Type of
Successors 21
Social Demoqrapbic Studies ..... 24
Key Findinqs of Several Surveys ........ 25
In-Laws ............ 25
Visitinq Kin 27
Homoqainy 27
vi

Homoqamy by aqe and marital status ... 28
Homcqamy by Social status 29
Homoqamy by Race 30
Homoqamy ty reliqicn 31
Detailed Outlines of Studies cf Divorce and Its
Consequences 33
Willard Waller. The Cld Love and the New
(1930/1967) 33
William J. Goode. After Divorce (1956) ... 34
Method ........ 34
Findinqs ....... 35
R.W. Weiss. Marital Separation (1975a). . . 38
Spanier and Casto. Adjustment to Divorce
(1979a) 42
Method 92
Findinqs ..... 43
Conclusions 43
Kohen et al. Divorced Mothers (1979) ... 44
Method 49
Findinqs 44
Identified problems ...45
Kressel et al. Professional Intervention in
Divorce (1979) ..46
Findinqs 46
Conclusion 49
Divorce Source cf Trauma 50
Disruptions in Her Personal Lire 54
Disruptions in Her Sex Life 57
Disruptions in Her Social Life 61
Disruptions in Her Financial Status .... 63
Leqal Process Source cf Trauma .65
The Adversary System ...o5
No-Fault Divorce 69
Trauma Peak Precedes Divorce Decree 71
Creative Divorce 73
Cycle of Divorce 74
Cycle of Readjustment ...... 76
Theoretical Framework ...... 79
Factors in the Divorce Decision and Process 79
Advantaqes of This Conceptual Framework . . 83
Hypotheses ... .......84
Summary 85
III. METHODOLOGY ...... 87
Introduction 87
Research Population 87
Survey Sample 88
Data Collection 89
Response Rate 91
Data Analysis ........... 92
Field experiences ...93
Summary 101
vii

IV. BACKGROUND AND SELECTED MABI1AI VARIABLES OF
RESPONDENTS 103
Introduction 103
Backqround Variables 103
Aqe 103
Race and Country of Birth 103
Reliqion 105
Education 10ó
Work Durinq Marriaqe and Now ....... 107
Type of Employment Durinq Marriaqe and No* 110
Marital Variables .............. 113
Times Divorced 113
Lived Toqether 114
Aqe at Marriaqe 115
Aqe at Divorce and Lenqth of Marriaqe . . 115
Summary ...... 115
V. THE ANTECEDENTS AND CAUSES CF DIVORCE 117
Introduction 117
The Antecedents of Divorce 117
Who Suqqested Divorce? 117
Who Insisted on Divorce? 118
Serious Consideration of Divorce 119
Marriaqe Counselinq ..... 120
Final Separation ..... 120
Divorce Discussions 122
Aqreements ..... .... 123
Approval of the Marriaqe 124
Force and Violence in the Family 127
The Causes of Divorce 130
Personal Causes of Divorce 130
The Main Causes of Divorce 132
The Most Important Causes of Divorce .... 137
Index of Seriousness of Causes of Divorce . . 139
Marital Problem Clusters 142
Interpersonal Relationship 143
Monoqamy 145
Economic Consumption ..... 147
Careerism 143
No Love Ncr Communication 149
Summary 151
VI. ACTIVITIES DURING MARRIAGE AND AFTER DIVORCE . . . 153
Introduction 153
Shared Activities Durinq the Marriaqe .... 153
Goinq Out Toqether 154
Shared Recreational Activities 154
Activities and Interests After Marriaqe Break¬
up 155
viii

Activities Immediately after the Marriage
Break-up 156
Respondents* Current Activities and
Interests ............. 157
Prejudice and Discrimination Experienced by
Divorced Mothers 160
Attitudes Towards Remarriage Of Divorced
Mothers Net Remarried 161
Dating 162
Thinking cf Eemarriaqe . 162
Living Toqether 163
Matchmakinq by Parents and Friends .... 165
Summary ......... 165
VII. SPOUSES' FEELINGS AFTER DIVORCE 166
Introduction 168
Ill Feelings for Ex-Hustnds 163
Communication With Ex-Husband 171
Datinq Ex-Husband .... 171
Continued Interest in Ex-Husband ..... 172
Respondents' Guilt Feelinqs 172
Remarrying Ex-Husbands ..... 173
Perceived Changes in Ex-Spouses 1 73
Ex-Husband Was in Love 174
Respondent Was in Love 175
Current Feelinqs of Ex-Spouses for Eacn Other 175
Ex-Husbands Remarried 177
Summary 178
VIII. DIVORCE AND FINANCES 181
Introduction ........... 181
Respondents* Work Records 182
Respondents' Incomes .. 183
Ex-Husbands' and New Husbands' Incomes . . . 184
Alimony and Child Support 185
Average Weekly Financial Resources 137
Summary 193
IX. THE CHILDREN OF DIVORCE 195
Introduction 195
Number of Offspring 195
Ages of Offspring 196
Custody of the Children 197
Visiting Rights ....... 198
Children's Feelinqs for their Fathers .... 199
Child Support 2 00
Working Mothers and Child Care 202
Dating and Child Care 203
Mothers' Lives Restricted by Children .... 203
Mothers without Custody of Children ..... 204
Summary 205
IX

X. 1HE TBAUHA AND T2IUMFH IN DIVCBCE 207
Introduction 207
Former and Present Approaches to the Trauma of
Divorce ................ 207
Negative Effects in the Divorce Cycle .... 211
Incidence of Positive Effects in the Divorce
Cycle 214
Balance of Effects 215
The Most Important Effects in the Divorce
Cycle 221
Index of Most Siqnificant Elfects in the
Divorce Cycle ..... 223
The Trauma-Triumph Scale 226
Comments 234
Summary .... ..... 237
XI. BEM AEBIAGE 240
Introduction 240
Number ofEemarriaqes 240
Bemarriaqes Compared with Former Marriaqes . 240
Birthplace of New Husbands 242
Education, Occupation, and Income of New
Husbands 2 42
The Children of Divorce and Remarriaqe . . . 244
Summary 244
XII. PERSONAL COMMENTS CF BESPONDEN1S 246
Introduction 246
The Causes of Divorce 247
Lack of Communication 248
Early Marriaqe 250
Non-support 251
The Marriaqe Penalty 251
Children and Divorce ..... 252
Respondents1 Assessments of Divorce 255
Divorce Was a Trauma 255
Divorce Was Both Trauma and Triumph . . . 257
Divorce Was a Triumph 258
The Postdivorce Adjustment Cycle 260
Three Special Problem Areas 261
Cessation of the Pair-Relationship .... 261
No fiecoqaition of Women's Independence and
Talents 262
The Divorcee Seen as Sex-object 264
Respondents’ Assessments of Marriaqe .... 265
Recommendations Offered ..... 2o7
Respondents' Attitudes Towards Survey .... 267
Divorce: A Source of Growth and Discovery . 263
x

XIII. FINDINGS COMPOSED 269
Introduction 269
Methodoloqy 270
Data Collection 270
Place of data collection 270
Data collection mode 270
Population 271
Sample 271
Background and Selected Marital Variabj.es of
Respondents 272
Age ............ 272
Age at Marriage 272
Times Divorced 273
Lenqth of Marriaqe and Age at Divorce . . 273
Race and Country of Birth 274
Religion 275
Church Attendance 276
Education, Work Records, and Incomes Compared 277
Education Attained by Respondents and Their
Ex-Husbands 277
Ex-Husbands1 Work Records 279
Ex-Husbands' Incomes 280
Respondents' Work Records . 231
Respondents' Incomes . 284
Alimony and Child Support 268
The Antecedents of Divorce 290
Who suggested Divorce? 290
Stability of Decision 291
Counseling before Divorce 292
The Causes of Divorce 2 94
Drinkinq--Any Mention 295
Desertion 295
Relatives, Conflict with 296
Triangle--Another Woman . 296
The Complex—"Drinkinq, Gambling, Hellinq
Around" 29b
Miscellaneous 297
Nonsupport 298
Consumption 298
Values—Harmony and Integrity of Values and
Behavior 293
Authority: Dominance over Wife 299
Home life: Lack of Affect for Home and
Occupants 299
Personality 299
Additional Causes 300
The Trauma and Triumph of Divorce 303
Prejudice and Discrimination 310
Remarriage 311
The Children of Divorce 313
Child Custody .314
Children's Feelings for their Fathers . . 314
xi

APPENDIX 316
BIBLIOGSAPHY ....... . 340
BI0G8APHICAL SKETCH 358
xii

LIST OF TABLES
TABLE PAGE
1. Country of Origin of Ex-Spouses 104
2. Religious Affiliation of Ex-Spouses 106
3. Education of Respondents and Their Ex-Husbands . . 107
4. Employment of Respondents During Karriaqe and Now 109
5. Type of Employment of Ex-Spouses During Marriage . 111
6. Type of Employment Durinq Marriage and Now .... 112
7. Times Divorced and Cohabitation 114
8. Who First Suggested and Later Insisted on Divorce 119
9. Time of Final Separation 121
10. Approval and Disapproval of the Marriaqes .... 125
11. Incidence of Violence Between Spouses 127
12. Type of Violence Between Spouses 123
13. The Main Causes of Divorce in Hanked Order .... 135
14. The Most Important Causes of Divorce in Ranked
Order 138
15. Index of Seriousness of Causes of Divorce .... 140
16. Recreational Activities Shared by Spouses .... 155
17. Activities and Interests Immediately After Break-up 156
18. Recreational Activities Durinq Marriaqe and Now . 158
19. Activities after Marriage Break-up and Now .... 159
20. Type or Source of Prejudice and Discrimination . . 160
xiii

21. Feelings Towards Ex-Husbands at Divorce and Now . 170
22. Reactions to Husbands' Falling in Love 174
23. Current Feelings of Ex-Spouses for Each Other . . 176
24. Respondents' Work Records Curing Marriaqe and Now 183
25. Weekly Incomes of Ex-Husbands and Present Husbands 184
26. Ex-Husbands Ordered to Pay álimony and Child
Support 186
27. Frequency of Alimony and Child Support Payments . 186
28. Respondents' Available Money for Weekly
Expenditures 188
29. Assessment of Weekly Money Available . . 188
30. Period of Superior Financial Security 190
31. Offspring of Respondents 196
32. Ages of Offspring 19b
33. Parents' Opinions of Child Support Payments . . . 201
34. Mothers' Lives Restricted by Children 204
35. Negative and Positive Effects During Divorce Cycle 213
36. The Most Important Effects of the Entire Cycle . . 222
37. Index of Most Significant Effects Thrcuga Divorce 224
38. Index For Entire Cycle 225
39. Bivariate Equation of Level of Trauma-Triumph . . 232
40. Multiple Regression Equations of Trauma-Triumph . 233
41. Stratified Samples of Goode’s and Reid's Surveys . 271
42. Respondents' Aqes at Marriaqe 272
43. Racial Characteristics .. 274
44. Religious Preference/Affiliation of Respondents . 275
45. Church Attendance of Respondents 276
46. Education of Respondents 278
xrv

47. Education of Ex-Husbands 278
4 8. Work Records of Ex-Husbands 279
49. Respondents’ work Becords Durinq Marriage .... 281
50. Respondents' Work Becords at Data Collection . . . 283
51. Bespondents' Earnings at Data Collection 284
52. Bespondents' Total Available Money Per leek Now . 285
53. Ex-Husbands' Incomes and Bespondents' Total
Finances ..... 287
54. Ex-husbands Enjoined to Pay Child Support .... 289
55. Frequency of Child Support Payments by Ex-Husbands 290
56. Who First Suggested Divorce? 291
57. Stability of Decision to Divorce 291
58. Type of Counselor Consulted 292
59. The Causes of Divorce 301
60. Indices of Divorce Trauma and Adjustment 305
61. Comparison of Divorce Trauma Findings 309
62. Remarriage and Livinq Together 311
63. Distribution of Children 313
64. Children's Feelings towards Their Fathers .... 315
xv

LISI OF FIGURES
FIGURE PAGE
1. Personal Causes of Divorce 131
2. Causes of Divorce and Harital Problem Clusters . . 143
3. Level of Trauma and Adjustment in Divorce Cycle . . 220
4. The Divorce Trauma-Triumph Scale 230
5. Levels of Divorce Trauma In Goode's (1956) Survey . 308
xvi

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Deqree of Doctor of Philosophy
I
THE POSTDIVORCE ADJUSTMENT CYCLE
By
Kevin Beid
Auqust, 1983
Chairman: Gerald R. Leslie
Major Department: Socioloqy
This survey is a modified replication of William J.
Goode's After Divorce (1956). Our research population was
English-speaking mothers, divorced and liviaq in a larqe
southern metropolitan area. Drawing from courthouse
records, we used a stratified sample (N=203) of those
divorced 2, 6, 12, and 24 months, to trace the divorce
trauma durinq the two years after divorce. Questionnaires
were mailed to the subjects who had been traced by phone,
and who had consented to participate. Both descriptive and
inferential statistics were used in analyzinq the data.
The respondents' age ranqe was 22-62 years. Three-
quarters of them had been divorced once, and most of the
XVII

rest had been divorced twice. Tne marriaqes had lasted from
1-40 years. By the time of the survey, 13.30 per cent had
remarried, and 16.73 per cent were cohabitinq with men.
These two proportions toqetker equalled the remarrieds in
Goode's study. Divorce brouqht sharp reductions in the
respondents' financial resources. This was reversed by
remarriaqe but not by cohabitation.
The data on causes of divorce indicated that the
interpersonal relationship between husband and wife was the
most serious problem, followed by problems associated with
monoqaay, economics, and wife's career. Profoundest trauma
occurred at the initial staqe where the parties were
seriously considerinq divorce. Serious trauma continued
throuqh the divorce decree. By two months after the decree,
significant adjustment had occurred, and this level
continued throuqh six months after the divorce. By one year
after divorce another, more siqnificant, adjustment had been
attained. No further adjustment was evident at the two-year
point. The majority of the respondents experienced moderate
trauma, a minority, little or none, and a smaller minority,
profound trauma. Overall, it seems that trauma has abated
since the end of World War II, when Goode collected his
data .
The respondents were predominantly Protestants, Catholics
and Jews, with the remainder belonqinq to "other” churches,
or to none at all. The least trauma was experienced by Jews
xviii

and "others,'1 while the qreatest trauma was suffered by
those with the following combination of characteristics.
(1) Prior to the divorces, their husbands fell in love with
other women. (2) They received child support every month.
(3) They received relatively large amounts in child support.
xix

CHAPTER I
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM AND INTRODUCTION
The Research Problem
This survey is a study of the divorce adjustment cycle as
it was experienced by a sample of divorced mothers.
Partners involved in divorce are faced with the termination
of their marriaqes and the need to build a new way of life.
Consequently, the divorce process involves a twofold problem
necessitatinq two distinct adjustments which overlap to
varyinq deqrees (Spanier and Casto, I979a:213). The two
adjustments, both of which are quite complex, are as
f ollows.
1. Adjustment to the dissolution of the marriaqe. This
adjustment contains leqal, social and emotional dimensions.
The leqal dimension involves dealinq with tne leqal process
and personnel, makinq property and support settlements and
determininq child custody. The social dimension
necessitates informinq and copinq with individuals in one's
social network, such as family, friends and business and
other acquaintances. The emotional dimension includes feei-
inqs about the former spouse, such as love, hate,
ambivalence, reqret and quilt; feelinqs about aarriaqe, such
as reqret, failure and bitterness; and feelinqs about
1

2
oneself, suca as failure, depression, lowered self-esteem
and self-confidence, and quilt.
2. Adjustment to a new life style. This adjustment
arises out of the need to build a new life. This can
involve findinq a new home, livinq on less money
(typically), manaqinq a budqet, qettinq a iob or applying
for welfare. One has to come to qrips with single
parenthood or limited visits with the children, dependinq on
who qets custody. New friends have to be found and new
relationships established. New feelings such as fear,
loneliness, frustration and inadequacy must be adjusted to,
as well as possible positive feelinqs of freedom, happiness
and increased self-esteem.
The Postdivorce Adjustment Cycle
The divorce adjustment cycle, which is comprised of the
very complex twofold adjustment outlined above, is the
research topic of this study. Specifically, this complex
process of adjustment whereby partners in divorce disengaqe
from one lifestyle and build a new one will be examined and
traced as it has been experienced by mothers who have been
divorced 2 to 24 months. This enables us to focus directly
on the postdivorce adjustment cycle durinq the two critical
years following divorce.

3
Goode's Study
William J. Goode conducted tne first such study in the
late 1940s in Detroit to investigate the problems
encountered by mothers in the divorce process. He published
his findinqs in 1956 in a volume titled At ter Divorce.
Goode's study, besides beinq a ma-jor work which has stood
the test of time, was also a very timely one, havinq been
conducted durinq the peak of the hiqh postwar divorce rate.
Replication and Updating
This present study attempts to be a modified replication
of Goode's After Divorce (1956). It is appropriate that
another such study be made now in view of tne steadily
escalating divorce rate of the past two decades.
Durinq the past quarter century since Goode published his
study, many social changes and movements have developed in
our society, not least among them beinq the increased
incidence of divorce, the women's liberation movement, the
increased participation of women in the workforce, the
phenomenon of livinq toqether and no-fault divorce
legislation. This study is a partial replication of Goode's
study with modifications in response to the social situation
of today. Our findinqs will be compared in detail with
Goode's

4
Overview of Marriage and Divorce in America
Ever since the arrival of the first white settlers on the
shores of North America the institution of marriaqe and the
family has endured and evolved throuqh a multitude of
chanqes and vicissitudes in the new world. This statement
in no way implies that this institution was non-existent
amonq the American natives who preceded—and survived—tne
arrival of the settlers. Indeed, in view of the
universality of the family, there is no doubt that it was
already a pervasive institution. Lack of knowledqe is the
reason why it is impossible to comment on the forms it took
amonq the American Indians.
Much has been written on marriaqe and family life amonq
the settlers, the colonists, the revolutionists and
royalists, and the hordes of immiqrants of the nineteenth
century (Demos, 1970; Greven, 1970; Lockridqe, 1966; Norton,
1971; Hersberq, 1971). The chanqes accompanyinq and
foilowinq the industrial revolution have received special
attention in the literature; and in the present century two
world wars and the qreat depression, alonq with the
urbanization of our population, and the explosion of
technoloqy, have not left marriaqe and family life
unaffected (Calhoun, 1945; Furstenberq, 1966; Chafe, 1972;
Gordon, 1973). One special area of family life, the black
family, has become an arena for scholarly debate (Frazier,
1939; Foqel and Enqerman, 1974; Genovese, 1974).

5
The Happy Family hvth
Not all that has been written is accurate and objective.
It is now recognized, for instance, that there has been a
strong tendency to idealize the colonial family (Lantz et
al., 1968; Lantz et al., 1973; Seward, 1973). The image of
that family as the locus of deep and enduring happiness for
all its members (and there were always many members!),
uncomplicated by stress from within, or assaults and
magnetic attractions from without, has been labeled by
William J Goode as "the classical family of Western
nostalgia" (Goode, 1956:3).
James A Michener, in nis historical novel, Chesapeake
(1978), deftly portrays the fragility and vulnerability of
marriage throughout our entire history as he reviews the
conflicts, horror and violence as well as the heroism and
achievement that accompanied the building of our nation.
From the outset there was disruption of marriages by death
from starvation and disease; then came marauding attacks
from outraged, dispossessed Indians. There were brawls and
lynchings; desertions resulting from poverty—and opulence.
There were new frontiers to be conguered where males far
outnumbered females, which caused many social problems.
There were divergent and conflicting expectations, values,
and norms among the members of a very pluralistic society in
which cnange and instability were pervasive. These and many
other factors militated against the stability of marriage
and family living and caused much heartbreak and traueia.

Divorce in Colonial America
6
The Puritans who dominated in Massachusetts were
Calvinists and held that marriaqe was a civil contract whicn
could be dissolved by secular authorities, for reasons of
adultery, desertion or cruelty (Cott, 1976:569). Any one of
these reasons sufficed for men to get a divorce. Women were
not entitled to divorce on grounds of adultery alone; only
if it was accompanied by desertion or failure to provide was
the husband's adultery grounds for divorce.
Cott states that while divorce records from the
seventeenth century are "probably incomplete," taere is
evidence that even by then civil authorities had already
granted some divorces. Calhoun (1945) found records of 25
divorces granted in Massachusetts between 1639 and 1682.
Through almost the entire eighteenth century (1692-1786),
only 122 wives and 101 husbands filed 229 divorce petitions
in Massachusetts (six wives petitioned twice) (Cott,
1976:593).
The southern and middle colonies were stricter in their
attitudes towards divorce. There the Church of England held
sway and it did not recognize absolute divorce; it permitted
only separation from bed and board for adultery and cruelty.
But even separations were not granted in the southern
colonies because no church courts were ever established to
grant them

7
However, desertions did occur, as the following
indicates. Lantz examined eighteenth century colonial
newspapers for advertisements "renouncing debts or
announcing desertion on the part of a husband or wire"
(Lantz, 1976:12). He found a relatively high incidence of
such advertisements during the preindustrial era.
Furthermore, he reported that "in all states throughout the
entire century it was the husband in more thau 95 per cent
of the cases wno was responsible for placing the ad, not the
wife. ... It was the husband who stated that his wife left
him. . . . This picture of female discontent is certainly at
variance with the usual picture of early American women"
(Lantz, 1976:16).
Since desertions took place as a practical recourse,
stringent divorce laws may, historically, have been as
ineffectual in assuring marital stability as Rheinstein
(1971) claimed they have been in modern times. This is not
to suggest that marital instability was as common back then
as it is today. Women, in general, lacked the alternative
economic resources that would permit them to obtain rewards
outside of marriage.
Divorce in the Sarly Years of Our Nation
The last guarter of the eighteenth century saw women
successfully petitioning for divorce on grounds of adultery.
Indeed, more women than men began to petition for divorce on
all grounds (Scanzoni, 1979:25).

o
Cott (1976: 606) arques that the new willinqness of male
officials to respond to women's qrievances was not out of
repuqnance for the sexual double standard, but was
politically motivated. Leaders of the infant republic felt
that the "sexual vices" of the Enqlish had led to their
qeneral "corruption" and that America must avoid that fate
by insistinq on the letter of Puritan morality, that is
sexual fidelity by both partners.
Increase in Number and Bate of Divorce
Statistics on the incidence of divorce in the United
States beqan to be available around I860, close to a hundred
years after the birth of the nation. The trend reflected in
these fiqures shows a steady increase throuqhout the past
century, with some fluctuations: sharp peaks followinq war
years, and valleys durinq economic depressions.
The peaks in the divorce rate followinq war result in
part from the hiqh number of wartime marriaqes that are
hurriedly contracted after only short acquaintance. Under
ordinary circumstances marriaqes between spouses who do not
know each other well are a poor bet. Durinq wartime, this
is made worse by enforced lenqthy separation, which can
adversely affect even the best of marriaqes. Besides, many
lonely spouses are thrown toqether with persons of the
opposite sex under conditions favorable to extramarital
involvement. Finally, the strains of postwar reunions are
often qreat and partners may fail to read-just.

9
The valleys or dips in the divorce rate durinq
depressions are easily explained in economic terras.
Securing a divorce costs money, and many cannot afford it
durinq a depression. Further costs are involved in
establishing separate households, division of properties,
and making provision for the children. This financial
hardship prevents many from splitting up, but this is only
temporary. Divorce rates rise rapidly after depressions.
The increase in both the number and rate of divorces is
indicated by the following statistics. In 1860 there were
fewer than 8,000 divorces in all of the United States. By
1900 there were 55,000 and in 1974 there were over 950,000
divorces. Part of the increase in numbers results simply
from the qrowth in population, but part also comes from a
climbing divorce rate as the following fiqures indicate.
In 1867 the rate was 0.3 divorces per 1,000 population.
By 1920 it had grown to 1.6; in 1946 it ballooned to 4.3
during the postwar peak. After a decline durinq the
fifties, it began to rise aqain in the sixties, and by 1974
the rate stood at 4.4, breaking the postwar peak. Since
then, it has inched up steadily; in 1975 it lumped to 4.7;
in 1977 it reached 5.0 and in 1978 it edqed up to 5.2
(National Center for Health Statistics, 1979). In 1979 it
increased to 5.4, and in 1980 it subsided to 5.3 (U.S.
Bureau of the Census, 1981).

10
Today, divorce in our society is a pervasive social
phenomenon, havinq steadily increased, as indicated, in
numbers and proportion over the past twenty years. In 1956
it was estimated that Mthe experience of divorce is likely
to occur to one-fifth to one-sixth of the men and women in
this country who live out the average life span" (Goode,
1956: 11). In 1975, that estimate, based on up-to-date
data, was placed at one-third (Enqland and Kunz, 1975;
Glick, 1975). In 1977, the chance of a first aarriaqe
endinq in divorce was almost two in five, or 38 per cent, a
rate seven times qreater than that of 1900, and twice that
of 1958 (Population fieference Bureau, 1977t).
Divorce is now so widespread in our society it appears
that many divorced persons no lonqer tend to revert to the
status and behavior of the unmarried, but arc drawu toqether
into a semi-separate social order, and within it have
created the pattern of sexual behavior that meets tneir
special needs. Hunt and Hunt (1979:134), drawing from a
very large availability sample (N=984), state that, aqe for
aqe, the separated and divorced represented in their study
are now at least as sexually active as married people,
whereas in Kinsey's time divorced people were distinctly
less active

11
Distribution of Divcrce in America
Region, religion, race, ethnicity, economic status and
age at marriage are among the chief variables influencing
the distribution of divorce in the United States.
Region
Divorce rates vary by region: They are lowest in the
northeast, followed by the northcentral region, then by the
south, and finally, by the west. Growing up on a farm is
associated with greater stability, while couples residinq in
large cities are more divorce prone.
Ethnicity and Religion
Ethnic and religious composition of the population are
undoubtedly factors in the regional variation. Instability
is higher amonq Protestants than among Catholics, and
Catholics are over-represented in northern and eastern
sections of the country (Glide, 1963) . The lowest
separation rates are found among Jewish women and the
highest among Episcopalians (Ross and Sawhill, 1975), and
the divorce rate is lowest amonq Irish Catholics (¿lindel and
Habenstein, 1977).
Even more important than religious affiliation is degree
of reliqious commitment. People who attend church regularly
maintain more stability in marriaqe than those wao do not
(Levinger, 1966; Goode,1968; Bumpass and Sweet, 1972).

12
These facts suqgest that community norms vary
systematically with residential environment, and that social
and reliqious restraints are important in determining who
divorces and who does not.
Race
The data on divorce rates by race are surprisingly
inadequate. Very fragmentary data on divorce for the period
1939 throuqh 1950 suqgest that divorce rates may have been
hiqher among whites than among blacks until 1942, when the
relationship appears to have been reversed, and the black
rates came to average 20 per cent higher than those of
whites (Leslie, 1982:557). A sample survey of 22,000
households by the Bureau of the Census, 1957, confirmed that
greater percentages of blacks than whites had experienced
divorce. Some 19.8 per cent of nonwhite males and 19.9 per
cent of females reported that they had experienced a
divorce. The corresponding percentages amoaq whites were
14.1 and 16.7. For 1970 it has been estimated that the
nonwhite divorce rate was about one and a half times higher
than the white rate (Ross and Sawhill, 1975:70).
Economic Status
At least five major studies have documented that there is
generally a negative correlation between socioeconomic
status and divorce rates, regardless of the criterion of

13
socioeconomic status used (Schroeder, 19J9; Kephart, 1955;
Monahan, 1953; Goode, 1956; Hillman, 1962). Boss and
Sawhill (1975) throuqh very careful multivariate analysis in
a longitudinal panel study tried to identify which aspect of
socioeconomic status is mcst important. Is it successful
role performance of the husband relative to social
expectation? or is it the constraint imposed by the
accumulation of assets? Or is it a "pure" income effect,
whereby the strains associated with having insufficient
funds break up the marriages?
Using history of unemployment as an indicator of a
husband's inability to provide for his family, they found
this to be more important than anything else. Separation
rates are twice as high among families where the husbands
experienced serious unemployment over the past three years.
They found that it is the husband's performance as a
breadwinner, relative to expectations in his own social
group, that is relevant, rather than absolute level of
income. Surprisingly, being highly successful is gust as
destabilizing as being highly unsuccessful. This suggests
that the stability of income may be more important than
level of income in explaining marital stability. They found
no "pure" income effect.
Finally, the greater the family's assets, the less likely
it is that a separation will occur. Perhaps these assets
increase the cost of dissolving a marriage, or possibly

14
couples who inherit or accumulate wealth are more averse to
taking risks; or perhaps assets act as a buffer offsetting
temporary declines in income.
Another findinq that supports the fact that there is no
"pure" income effect comes from the increase of females in
the workforce—many of them married. Marriaqes with income
from the wife's work are less stable, and other things held
constant (including husband's income), a one thousand dollar
increase in the wife's earninq is associated with a one
percentage point increase in separation rates. Wnen wives
are less financially dependent on their husbands, the
economic benefits of marriaqe and the cost of separation are
lower for them.
Age at Marriage
Aqe at marriaqe is especially critical. A marked decline
is found in the proportion of marriaqes ending in divorce or
separation as the aqe at first marriaqe increases. In
qeneral, those who marry while they are still in tneir teens
are three or four times as likely to divorce as those who
marry in their mid-twenties (Ross and Sawhill, 1975:40).
Those who marry young or because of premarital pregnancy may
reduce the time spent searching for appropriate, like-minded
mates, and may also marry at a time when their values and
expectations are still undergoing rapid changes, thus
increasing the risk that these values will later diverge

15
(Levinqer, 1966; Hicks and Platt, 1970; Bumpass and Sweet,
1972). Further, those who marry younq typically have less
education and more limited occupational opportunities—
variables stronqly associated with marital disruption.
Somewhat paradoxically, althcuqh marital satisfaction
tends to decline with increasinq duration, so too separation
rates decline. On the averaqe, an additional ten years of
marriaqe reduces the separation rate by three percentage
points. This may be due to the increased investment in the
marriaqe, the decreased supply of alternative partners, the
shorter time left to enjoy ether lifestyles, the inertia of
aginq, or various other reasons.
Summary
Prior to the industrial revolution in the United States
and the birth of our nation, divorce was not unknown, but
rare. However, there is evidence that some wives deserted,
as did some husbands also. This indicates that marital
stability was not universal prior to the leqitimation of
divorce throuqnout our land. Indeed, also, we may quess
that there was much unhappiness in marriaqe, painfully
endured because of no escape.
Divorce has become widespread and more accepted,
socially, over the past 25-30 years. However, in spite of
this, divorce continues to be a painful experience for most
parties involved, necessitating difficult and complex
readjustment.

CHAPTEB II
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Introduction
The first part of this chapter, the review of the
literature of divorce is divided into five segments as
f ollows:
1. Divorce at the beginning cf the twentieth century.
This will be historical rather than substantive in nature,
indicating the role played by social scientists in allaying
public alarm over widespread divorce.
2. A brief report on the first study made on divorce and
on the two distinctive, yet parallel types of studies that
grew out of it.
3. An assessment of the social demographic studies on
divorce.
4. An outline of key findings of several surveys. These
surveys isolated various variables relevant to marital
adjustment and stability. Among these variables are in¬
laws, kin and homogamy.
5. A detailed outline of Waller's epochal study (1930)
and its successor, Goode's After Divorce (1956), followed by
similar outlines of recent studies on divorce and its
consequences for the partners involved.
16

17
The later parts of this chapter will deal expressly with
the trauma experienced by divorced mothers, the difficulties
arisinq from the leqal process of divorce, and the
postdivorce adjustment cycle. The chapter concludes witn a
brief outline of the theoretical framework and hypotheses
for this study.
Divorce at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
It was durinq the last two decades of the nineteenth
century that the divorce rate beqan to increase rapidly. In
1880 there was one divorce for every 21 marriages; in 1900
there was one divorce for every 12 aarriaqes, and in 1909,
one divorce for every nine marriages. This dramatic
increase at the end of the century stimulated widespread and
strong public alarm (O'Neill, 1973:252). Resultant efforts
to arrest the spread of divorce ty legal means took two
forms: (1) state campaigns to amend local laws, and (2)
repeated attempts to achieve uniform aarriaqe and divorce
laws either throuqh a constitutional amendment or through
the voluntary enactment of uniform codes by all the states
(Blake, 1962).
These efforts reached their peak in 1906 when President
Theodore Roosevelt was persuaded to request a new census
study of marriage and divorce, and the interest aroused by
this led Governor Pennypacker of Pennsylvania to call a
national conference to draft model uniform legislation on

18
these subjects. The congress met twice, cnce iu Washington
to appoint committees, and again in Philadelphia to ratiry
the proposed statutes. Despite the widespread approval
which met these efforts, few states adopted their model
statutes.
The twentieth century literature on divorce is both
voluminous and varied. A study by Fred Plog and Paul
Bohannan (1967) (NIMH Grant No. MH06551) of articles indexed
under "Divorce" and "Alimony" in The Reader *s Guide to
Periodical Literature 1900-1965, reported that the highest
number of articles on these two subjects was published in
1905, and that there has been a general decline in number
since then. Notable has been the steep decline of articles
dealing with religious attitudes toward divorce, and the
increase in articles dealing with postdivorce problems and
children of divorce (Bernard, 1968:301).
"In the earliest years of our society . . . divorces were
generally abhorred by the people, and couples who sought
them were considered to be morally defective" (Sirjamaki,
1353:164), and this is reflected in the literature at the
beginning of this century which focused primarily on
religious attitudes towards divorce. These religious
attitudes were at once both negative and strong. The
Bible's stricter teachings on divorce were quoted and
reguoted as the unassailable foundation of opposition to
divorce

19
Althouqh divorce had political, psycholoqical, and other
dimensions, the increase of divorce was usually seen as a
moral and social problem. The opponents or divorce
invariably reqarded it as both immoral and antisocial. The
attack hinqed on the common belief that divorce destroyed
the family, the foundation of society and civilization.
Felix Adler (1915:15) went one step further when he insisted
that divorce menaced "the physical and spiritual existence
of the human race." Blame for the divorce situation was
placed on the risinq tide of individualism menacinq ail
proqressive societies, while Adler as early as 1890 was
tracinq the whole uqly business back to Rousseau's "false
democratic ideals."
Althouqh aost leadinq socioloqists believed in divorce,
Charles A. Ellwood did not, and this future president of the
American Socioloqical Society also attributed divorce to
excessive individualism (Ellwood, 1913). William Graham
Sumner, renowned socioloqist, and destined also to become
president like Ellwood, also opposed divorce, on grounds
that it was radically chanqinq the family.
Apart from these two exceptions, social scientists
performed a crucial service in copinq with the public's fear
of the social consequences of divorce. The first man of
stature to defend divorce was Carroll W. Wriqht, U.S.
Commissioner of Labor Statistics and a self trained social
scientist, who, at the National Unitarian Convention in 1891

20
publicly declared himself for liberal divorce lavs. A few
years later he wrote:
The pressure for divorce finds its impetus outside
of lavs, outside of our institutions, outside of
our theoloqy; it sprinqs from the rebellion of the
human heart aqainst that slavery which binds in
the cruelest bonds human beinqs who have by their
haste, their want of wisdom or the intervention of
friends, missed the divine purpose as well as the
civil purpose of marriaqe. (Wriqht, 1900:176)
But it was not until 1904 that a leadinq professionally
trained social scientist -joined the fiqht. Georqe E.
Howard, an eminent historian and socioloqist in his massive
A History of Matrimonial Institutions (1904), and iu
subsequent writinqs, tried to show how the divorce rate was
the product of forces which were dramatically improvinq
American society, namely, industrialism and urbanization.
Within a few years, Wriqht and Howard were -joined by an
army of social scientists, includinq most of the leadinq men
in the field. By 1908, when the American Socioloqical
Society devoted its third annual meetinq to the family, the
majority of the socioloqical opinion was solidly on the side
of divorce. The hiqh point of the meetinq was Howard's
address which he titled: "Is the Freer Grantinq of Divorce
an Evil?" He was attacked by Samuel Dike and Walter Georqe
Smith, a prominent Catholic lawyer who advocated stricter
divorce laws. But they lost out. Theirs was the faintly
anachronistic rhetoric of a discredited tradition of social
criticism. On Howard's side were E.A. Ross, Elsie Clews
Parsons and James Lichtenberqer, as well as other leadinq

21
scientists. As a profession then, socioloqy was committed
to a positive view of divorce at a time when virtually all
other organized qroups in the country were opposed to it.
The First Divorce Study and its Dual Type of Sgccessor s
The first major study of divorce in the United States was
that by James P. Lichtenberqer (1909). In this work he
traced the rise in the divorce rate from 1867 through 1906.
His study treated divorce as a growinq social problem in our
society. He examined divorce in primitive society and
indicated its modification in recent history. He saw as
especially important the transformation of society through
"our unprecedented economic development, our unparalled
achievements in social proqress, and our remarkable
transition in ethical and religious views" (Lichtenberqer,
1909:19). Lichtenberqer and the socioloqists who followed
him concentrated on divorce as a social problem and paid
little or no attention to the aftermath of divorce.
Viewinq divorce as a social problem, socioloqists
searched eagerly to identify the sources or causes of the
problem. In general, two approaches have been used in
research on the causes of divorce: the psychological and
the sociological approaches. Edmund Berqler (1948) in
Divorce Hon* t Help represented the most extreme form of the
psychological approach. He insisted that some people are
incapable of sustaining a marital relationship
Divorce ana

22
remarriaqe mean only replaying the same mistakes over aqain.
The basic flaw which brought about the divorce could be
remedied only by psychoanalysis. The alleged basic flaw
could ranqe from moderate neurosis to a full-blown
psychosis. So all who were divorced were classified as
neurotics or psychotics.
Lewis Terman and Paul Wallin (1949) developed a similar
school of thought when they introduced the concept of
marital aptitude. Some people, they asserted, are quite
normal is most aspects, but they lack the interests and
aptitude for domesticity. An instrument for measuring
marital aptitude was developed and used. Among the subgects
studied, those who rated low on marital aptitude had a
higher divorce rate than those who rated hiqh.
Both Bergler and Terman looked to the individual for
causes, and found them. By contrast, sociologists following
the cue from Burgess and Cottrell looked for causes in the
relationship itself in what has teen called the "team
factor" (Bernard, 1968:13). Homoqamy and heterogamy were
amonq the variables they emphasized.
The two approaches, although quite different, were not
mutually exclusive. Bergler, besides lookinq at the
individual, looked also at the relationship, but he insisted
that it was impossible for one partner to be normal, because
neurotics had an unerring instinct to seek and find as mates
the neurotics they needed for their own neuroses. Burgess

23
and Cottrell also looked at the individuals, but from tae
perspective of socialization and background variables.
Researchers from both schools were looking for factors which
made some people "divorce-prone"; they -just loosed for
different things.
Both schools found evidence to support their assertions.
Records showed (and still do) that amonq the divorced
mortality, morbidity, mental illness and suicide rates were
hiqher than for the widowed and married. Further evidence
of lack of marital aptitude was found in unsuccessful
remarriages, which seemed to support Berqler’s dictum
directly. This kind of research was far from comforting for
the divorced. It increased their sense of personal
inadequacy and failure, and added to the trauma.
The evidence used by Berqler and Terman is now recoqnized
as flawed. First, it was based on persons currently in the
status of divorce excludinq all whc were remarried. Second,
in reportinq the failures amonq the remarried, it did not
report the successes amonq them. Host divorced persons
remarry and consequently are not represented in the
population currently in the divorced status. And although
the divorce rate for remarriages is higher than for first
marriaqes a majority of remarriaqes are successful (Bernard,
1956: 108-113). This effectively undercuts the position
held by the psychological school.

24
By contrast, the explanations qiven by the sociological
school of thought carried no personal stiqma. The marriage
failed because the team was wronq—the partners were teamed
up badly. Given congenial or suitable partners they would
be able to sustain a stable marriaqe. This stance of the
sociological school of thouqht has been helpful in
reassurinq those going through the pain of divorce.
Besides, it has aided in improving the attitude towards
divorce of society in general thus makinq the divorced more
easily accepted by society, and the phenomenon of divorce
itself better understood.
Social Demographic Studies
For the family sociologist, the foundation of divorce
research has been the social demographic study. The primary
thrust of these studies has been the examination of such
variables as length of aiarriaqe, age at marriage, education,
occupation, residence, religion and race of spouses as
factors relating to the occurrence of divorce. Typical of
post WWII studies of this nature are those by Jacobson
(1950), Ackerman (1963), Bernard (1966), and Bumpass and
Sweet (1972). The findinqs have been remarkably consistent
and have succeeded in isolating significant variables of
importance, some of which have been outlined in Chapter I,
and others that are to be presented in the next section.
Their usefulness was considerably enhanced by the Bumpass

25
and Sweet research which made use of multivariate analyses
to shed light on the relative importance of these variables
(Tropf , 1980:2).
Key Findings of Several Surveys
In-Laws
Studies have found that relationships between younq
couples and their parents on both sides are a source of
strain. A brief summary of pertinent findinqs follows.
Judson T. Landis (1947) studying 409 happily married
couples, found that 10 per cent of them had unsatisfactory
in-law relationships even after 20 years of marriaqe. John
L. Thomas (1956) studyinq 7000 broken Homan Catholic
marriages, found that trouble with in-laws was tne most
frequent cause of breakup during the first year of marriage.
Evelyn Duvall (1954) studied a national random sample of
5020 people who were married from between a few weeks to
more than 40 years. She found that 75 per cent of her
respondents reported one or more in-law problems. Blood and
Wolfe (I960) in a study of 909 Michigan families reported a
negative correlation between frequency of reported in-law
trouble and duration of marriaqe. Fifteen per cent reported
in-law trouble during the honeymoon, and the percentage
decreased steadily thereafter.
It would seem that in-law adjustment is a rather
important part of total marital adjustment. Landis (1946)

26
in his study of 409 couples married for approximately 20
years, found that couples who reported no trouble with in¬
laws from the beginning were more likely to report having
very happy marriaqes: 52 per cent characterized their
marriaqes as “very happy,” and 34 per cent claimed they had
"happy” marriaqes. Landis and Landis (1968) in a study of
544 couples in the early years of marriaqe found that 67 per
cent of those who reported excellent adgustment to in-laws,
also reported their marriaqes to be excellent. Only 18 per
cent of those with in-law trouble reported having very happy
mariages.
Research indicates that in-law troubles occur mostly
between wives and their mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Duvall (1954) found that over one-third of 1337 respondents
said that the mother-in-law relationship was the most
difficult. Ninety per cent of these complaints came from
wives. So it is the husband's mother, rather than the
wife's mother who is the focus of the trouble. Landis and
Landis (1968) had similar findings on mothers-in-law with
the additional information that trouble with sisters-in-law
was the next most frequent, and trouble with fathers-in-law
was relatively rare. Similar results were found by Wallin
(1954) and Thomas (1956).
Komarovsky (1964) in a study of 58 working-class
marriaqes found, further, that husbands with less than a
hiqh school education have as much difficulty with their
mothers-in-law as their wives do.

27
So, in summary, it has been found that wives report
mother-in-law trouble most frequently and characterize it as
the most serious in-law trouble. Next comes sister-in-law
trouble, aqain reported by wives. Barely do husbands report
in-law trouble, outside those husbands with very little
education. These husbands seem to have as much mother-in-
law trouble as do their wives.
Visiting Kin
Studies by Axelrod (1956) , Greer (1956) , Bell and Boat
(1957), Blumberq and Bell (1959), and Tomeh (1967) found
that about 50 per cent of families see their relatives at
least once a week, and that an additional 25 per cent of
them see them about once a month. Blood (1969) in a study
of 731 married women in Detroit tested for relationships
between frequency of interaction with kin and marital
adjustment. He found that interaction with kin up to once a
week is associated with qocd adjustment, but more frequent
interaction seems to be detrimental to marital adjustment.
Homoqamy
Hundreds of studies have been done on homoqamy. They
embrace homoqamy by aqe and marital status, social status,
religion, ethnic affiliation, race and a host of other
social and personal characteristics (Leslie, 1982: *400).
The following presents briefly some of the relevant studies
and their findings.

28
Homoqamy by age and marital status. Most Americans marry
young. Further, 75 per cent of all first marriages occur
within three or four years on either side of 21 (Mogey,
1965). Homoqamy in age at marriage can be seen in the facts
that brides on the averaqe are 2.5 years younger tnau their
qrooms and in 10 per cent of all cases they are the same
aqe.
Homoqamy by aqe holds in all groups that have been
studied. Hollingshead (1951) compared the ages of black and
white couples in first and remarriaqes. In all four types
and within both races, the correlations were high. Glick
and landau (1950) verified age homoqamy at the various
levels ranginq from laborers to professionals.
Further, age is related to whether people are marrying
for the first time or remarrying (Bowerman, 1956). First,
single persons as marriage partners are younqer, on the
average, than persons who have been married. Amonq the
previously married, widows are older than divorcees.
Secondly, as men qet older they marry increasingly younger
women. Finally, those who are remarrying do not differ
significantly in the age difference from the oates who are
marrying for the first time.
A number of early studies found age at marriaqe to be
related to marital happiness, with marriages under 20 being
the most likely to be unhappy (Terman, 1938; Burgess and
Cottrell, 1939; Landis and Landis, 1968). The same patterns

29
were found between aqe and divorce rates. Younq marriaqas
are the least stable (Locke, 1951; Monahan, 1953; Landis and
Landis, 1968; Bumpass and Sweet, 1972). The reason for
these patterns lies in the fact that aqe is related to
emotional and social maturity (Burchinal, 1959b; Sshelman,
1965); those who marry after aqe 20 are less likely to be
rebellinq aqainst their parents, are less likely to be
forced into marriaqe by preqnancy (Burchinal, 1959a; Bacon,
1974), are less likely to be broken up by in-laws, and
encounter fewer financial difficulties than those who are
younqer.
Homogaay by Social Status. Early studies found mixed
evidence of homoqamy by social status. Burqess and Wallin
(1943) found that 1000 enqaqed couples tended to choose
partners from social backqrounds similar to their own.
Centers (1949), usinq a national sample, found that men and
women marry persons from their own occupational level more
than from any other level; however less than 50 per cent do
so. In Connecticut, Hollinqshead (1951) found that men and
women tend to marry individuals from the same class of
residential area and from the same educational level.
However, Hunt (1940) found scant evidence of status homoqamy
in marriaqes in Massachusetts. Leslie and Hichardson (1956)
studied students who married while at colleqe. They found
only a sliqht tendency towards homoqamy amonq students wno
married an individual they had known at home prior to

30
colleqe, and none at all among couples who met and married
at college. Coombs (1962) had similar findinqs at the
University of Utah.
These data suggest that status hoaoqamy may be declining
with the years, at least in some seqments of tne population.
This is supported by data on 5442 women from the 1970
National Fertility Study. Usinq education as the measure of
social status, Bumpass and Sweet (1972) found in this study
that marital disruption rates did not differ significantly
between homogamous and heteroqamous marriages unless tae
differences in background were larqe. Disruption rates were
hiqhest for college females who had married hiqh school
drop-outs.
Hoaoqaay by Race. The norms aqainst interracial
marriages have been the strongest, and it was not until the
1967 Supreme Court decision that misceqenation ceased to be
unlawful. Perhaps less than one per cent of all marriages
are interracial, but these draw much interest and attention.
Studies by Burma (1952), Golden (1953), ana Pavela (1964)
found that couples in interracial marriaqes tend to be
older, that they may have been married before, and that they
have histories of rejection by parents and their own social
group.
Interracial marriages are widely believed to be doomed to
failure. Studies of war bride marriages (Strauss, 1954) ,
and black-white marriages by Gclden (1953), Pavela (1964)

31
and Smith (19oó) did not bear this out nowever.
Nevertheless, more recent national data on blac*.-wnite
marriaqes indicate that these are more likely to end in
divorce than either homogamous black or nomoqaaous white
marriaqes. These data indicate that 90.00 per cent of the
white marriaqes and 78.00 per cent of the black marriaqes
that took place in the 1950s were still intact in 1970,
compared with only 63.00 per cent of the black husband-white
wife marriages, and 47.00 per cent of the white nusbaud-
black wife marriaqes (Carter and Glick, 1976:414-415).
Homogamy by religion. Studies of reliqious homoqamy have
shown wide variation in intermarriaqe rates. In New York
City, Heiss (1960) found 18 per cent of Jews, 24 per cent of
Catholics, and 34 per cent of Protestants to be
intermarried. Burchinal and Chancellor (1962) found
individual mixed-marriaqe rates in Iowa to ranqe from 9 to
24 per cent. In general, the larqer the proportion a
religious qroup is of the community, the lower the inter¬
marriaqe rate and vice versa. Intermarriage also varies
inversely with the cohesion of the ethnic group.
Intermarriage rates rose in the 1960s and the 70s, partly
due to Pope Paul VI permitting Catholics to get married by
noncatholic ministers, and his dispensing witn the promises
the noncatholic traditionally signed, promising to bring up
the children Catholic.

Studies show divorce rates to be lowest amonq Catholics
and Jews, somewhat higher among Protestants, higher still in
mixed marriages, and hiqhest of all where there is no
religious affiliation (Landis, 1949; Bumpass and Sweet,
1972). Burchinal and Chancellor (1963) produced one of the
more definitive studies of divorce in interfaith marriages,
in the state of Iowa, using data from a seven-year period.
Controlling for age and social status, they partly confirmed
the results of earlier studies, and partly called those
findinqs into question. They confirmed that the divorce
rate in homogamous Catholic marriages was lower than in
marriaqes where Catholics were married tc Protestants.
However, the differences were considerably reduced. They
concluded that the smaller differences did not -justify
generalizations of considerably greater difficulties
awaiting Catholics who marry outside their faith, provided
the person they married belonqed to a Protestant
denomination. Further, the researchers discovered that,
while homoqamous Catholic marriaqes had the hiqhest survival
rate, a number of other homoqamous and mixed marriaqe types
had survival rates nearly as hiqh. Besides, the data
indicated that the marital survival rates were influenced
more by aqe at marriaqe and social status than by the fact
of religious differences. Marital stability was
consistently qreater among marriaqes involving older brides,
and higher SES couples.

Detailed Outlines of Studies of Pivorce and Its Conseguences
Willard Waller. The Old Love and the Hew (1930/1967)
This was a significant work when oriqinally published and
remains important to the present day. This is so, first of
all, because Waller focused on the social-psychological
consequences of divorce for the parties involved, and the
implications these consequences aiqht have. Secondly, his
work was a break with the writings on the family that had
preceded it, and that had been in voque, "writinqs that
still possessed historical and evolutionary preoccupations.
By sniftinq the inquiry . . . Waller was ahead of his time
and anticipated a major development in family sociology
which is current today" (Lantz, 1967:v). Waller focused on
divorce as an event in an individual's life history. He
explored how the status of the divorcee was defined and what
this status involved. He perceived that divorce meant
chanqe, and this in turn implied crisis, disorganization,
and reorganization. He emphasized the persistance of the
habits of married life, and the modifications demanded of
the divorcee to build a new life.
Waller used the case study method. In usinq this method.
Waller "felt that he would arrive at a better understanding
of the divorcee by an intensive study of a few cases than by
collecting facts about many" (Waller, 1967:31b). Thirty-
three cases were included. "Of these perhaps five were
studied with a thoroughness approaching that of the study

34
which a psychoanalyst makes. ... On ten more cases fairly
complete subjective documents were obtained, and a
reasonably good insiqht into the subjects' minds was . .
obtained. ... In the remaining cases incomplete subjective
accounts, or complete narratives were obtained. ... In
addition there were available a number of psychoanalytic
cases in which divorce was one of the major problems. . .
A few more women than men were amonq those thoroughly
studied" (Waller, 1967:317). Waller's findings will be
discussed and compared later with those of Goode's (1956) .
William J. Goode. After Divorce (1956)
For twenty-six years after The Old Love ajjd the
New appeared no other research on postdivorce
adjustment was reported. Following WWII, however,
the divorce rate rose sharply, and experiences
with personal problems following divorce became
more common. Goode undertook a study of the
adjustment of divorced women in Detroit. Goode
reported that he "assigned two buddinq librarians
to summarize all the research literature on
postdivorce adjustment. ... No sucn body of
work existed, other than Willard Waller's The Old
Love and the New." In many respects, Goode's
research was based on Waller's. Since the Goode
investigation in 1956, there has been a slow
qrowth in the research literature on the aftermath
of divorce. However, Goode's work remains as the
successor to the Waller study. (Farber, 1967:XXT)
Method. In this study Goode investigated 425 divorced
mothers in metropolitan Detroit, who were between the ages
of 20 and 38 years at the time of their divorces. They
were divided into four groups or cohorts by length of time
divorced: those divorced 2, 8, 14 and 26 months. Data were

35
collected by interviewers who administered a lengthy
questionnaire to each respondent. In addition to examining
background and marital variables, he also probed the causes
of divorce and the adjustment process.
Findings. Here we will confine ourselves to a comparison
and discussion or Goode's findinqs which parallel those of
Haller. In each case a summary of Waller's findinqs will be
qiven first, followed by Goode's. Other findinqs of
Goode's will be dealt with later.
1. Friends. Haller paid much attention to the role of
friends in the postdivorce adjustment. Prior to divorce, he
suqqested, friends assist in redefining the marital
situation as an intolerable one. Thus, they contribute to
the final decision to end the marriage. After divorce,
friends help relieve ambivalence over the divorce. Goode
found that, in general, the husband's friends were
indifferent towards the divorce, while the wife's friends
generally approved. Hence, Haller's assertion was supported
by the data on women but not on men.
Haller next said that the divorcee frequently breaks
completely with the friends which he/she had during the
marriaqe, qiving two reasons for the break; (a) the
divorcee is an oddity amonq married couples, (b) the
divorcee must reorganize his/her sex life, and seeks the
company of those in a similar marital condition. This
breaking away from friends fosters feelings of alienation

36
and isolation, and so multiplies the problems of personal
adjustment. Goode found partial support for this assertion.
He found that regardless of reliqion, race, or aqe at
divorce, about half of the divorced women retained their
former friends. This tendency was stronqest among the
upper-class. However, when the divorcee was in love with
another man prior to the divorce, she tended to drop her old
friends. Further, he found that his respondents made new
friends. Of those not remarried about one in six mentioned
new friends, and almost one-third of all the women said they
retained their old friends and made new ones.
2. Sex Adjustment. Haller perceived that in divorce,
the "sex impulse is reduced to its crudest form . . . ronbed
of all glamor and romance and perhaps purposefully cheapened
and deqraded" (Haller, 1967:56). One way to cheapen sex is
to become promiscuous. Goode did not question his
respondents specifically about their sex problems, but he
qave a sex interpretation to this question: "Have you ever
been in a social situation in which you felt someone thouqut
less of you when he or she found out that you were
divorced?" Thirty per cent said "yes"; these respondents
were mostly under 24 years of aqe. Goode interpreted this
difrerence to indicate a greater risk of the younqet women
being regarded as "loose" although they actually were not.
3. Economic Adjustment. Haller contended that the
female faces greater economic hardships than the male. He

37
saw the woman as needinq money immediately without time or
resources to invest in a long-term career, "and worried
about how she is going tc live." Goode found that those
women who were unable to work full-time were experiencing
financial difficulties. About half of his respondents who
had not yet remarried were livinq on reduced incomes.
Remarried women, however, were considerably better off
financially than they had been in the former aarriaqes.
Consistent with Waller's view, Goode's findings suqqest taat
for women, divorce involves downward mobility, but this can
be reversed by remarriage.
4. Role of the Divorcee. Waller suqqested that the
divorcee who has been "cast away" by her spouse, first of
all regards herself as a failure, and secondly, tries to
reassert control over her former spouse. To Waller, divorce
was not merely droppinq a mate; it was a crisis, evoking
profound changes in life organization. Goode found that the
trauma of divorce was qreatest among those women whose
husbands took the initiative in divorce. Overall, he found
that the divorcees most prone to trauma or crisis were those
who did not want the divorce, those over 30 years of age,
those who had been married 10 years or more, and those wno
felt ambivalent about divorce.
5. Remarriaqe. Waller speculated that remarriaqes could
go either way. He believed that an unhappy marriaqe which
ends in divorce may have disastrous personality effects.

33
preventing successful adjustment in remarriage. Further,
linqeriuq feelings for the former mate, coupled with fear or
losing the present mate, would also be sources of problems
in adjustment. On the other hand, he believed that the
experience gained in the former marriage could produce
insight, tolerance and "progressive liberation from .
infantile love objects." Besides, when the first marriage
represented a rebellion against a parent, or was "so bad
that any comparison must inevitably favor the second,"
remarriage miqht entail fewer problems (Haller 1967:159).
Goode found that about 90 per cent of his remarried
respondents regarded the remarriage as much better than the
first marriage. This was possibly misleading. Many of
these women may have been still in the honeymoon phase, or
perhaps they felt they had to make good claims for their
reoarriaqe. He now know that while remarriaqes seem to be
almost as satisfactory as first marriages, they are not as
stable as first marriages. In 1978, the proportion of first
marriages ending in divorce was 38 per cent, and for
remarriages it was 44 per cent (Population Beference Bureau,
1978) .
R. W. Weiss. Marital Separation (1975a).
This study is strictly qualitative in nature and focuses
primarily on the emotional impact of marital separation.
Heiss derived his data from his Seminars for the Separated

39
durinq the three years beqinninq in 1971. The seminars were
established by the Harvard Laboratory of Community
Psychiatry where recently divorced persons (both male and
feaale) came for an educational proqram of eiqht eveninq
meetinqs. The meetinqs were half instructional and half
qroup discussion. It was mostly people with colleqe
educations who took part. About 150 recently separated
individuals participated in the proqram.
Several participants said that even thouqh their
aarriaqes had become unhappy, thouqhts of endinq them made
them anxious, and even terrified. This may have resulted
from the fact that their marriaqes afforded them security if
not happiness.
Others reported that after the separation, occasionally
they felt impelled by anxiety to reestablish contact with
their former spouses. Most participants continued to feel
drawn to the spouses even when a new satisfactory
relationship had been established. The exceptions were
mostly those who left their marriaqes for new relationships
which they already had established.
The marital bond that keeps drawinq ex-spouses back to
each other seems unrelated to likinq, admiration or respect.
Even those who disparaqed their spouses felt drawn to them.
This bond may be likened to the imprintinq that takes place
in the animal world, and in its persistance resembles the
attachment bond of children to their parents described by
Bowlby (1969)

40
The loss of attachment can be seen as the primacy cause
of the "separation distress" syndrome described by Parkes
(1972). It involves thinking more of the lest figure, and
an urge to reestablish contact, as well as anger and quilt
over the loss. Present also is an "alarm reaction"
including hyperalertness, great restlessness and feelings of
fear and panic. Difficulties in sleeping and loss of
appetite ensue.
In contrast, some experienced euphoria and greater self-
confidence and self-esteem. They may become more active and
outgoing than they had been. However, typically this
euphoria alternated with distress.
Separation distress which involves pining for the ex¬
spouse fades with time. If a new attachment has not been
established at this point, the distress is replaced by
loneliness which does not revolve around any lost figure,
but feeds on a vaguely developed image of a satisfying
relationship that would allay the loneliness. This
loneliness often carries the feelinq that there is nobody in
the world who could provide that relationship, and
frequently the lonely person feels an emptiness inside.
Since loss of attachment causes pain, anqer is a natural
reaction, and this is directed aqainst the former spouse
reqardless of which one initiated the separation.
Separating spouses may be anqry with each other not only
because they blame the other for their distresses, but also

41
because of genuine conflicts of interest over division or
property, support payments, custody of cnildren and
visitation. Anger toward the ex-spouse can become intense
and lead to murderous fantasies. Some feel their anqer is
justified, and may be willinq to act to hurt the other. But
others feel the anqer as alien to their qenuine selves, and
try to disown it. Yet, even in the case of the most
enraqed, suppression of positive feelinqs rarely seems
complete.
Because of the continued attachment and simultaneous
anqer, intense ambivalence sets in. Manaqinq this
ambivalence becomes a problem. Some suppress the positive
feelinqs, others repress the neqative feelinqs; and some
manaqe by alternating the feelinqs they express, or by
compartmentalizing their feelinqs.
Ambivalence makes separated individuals uncomfortaule
with any resolution of their separation. Heconciliation may
result not only in relief at the endinq of separation
distress, but also in dismay at the return of an
unsatisfactory relationship. The decision to proceed with
divorce may also have mixed implications: gratification
over a painful relationship beinq terminated, but also
sorrow that the spouse will be irretrievably lost. This
ambivalence probably is the reason why lawyers who
specialize in divorce work sometimes complain that their
clients do not seem to know their own minds (O'Gorman,
1963) .

42
Spanier and Casto. Adjustment to Divorce (1979a)
The authors point out at the outset that, with few
exceptions (e.q. Goode, 1956), the data dealinq with the
problems spouses have in adjustinq to separation and divorce
are drawn from clinical case studies, and research cn
persons who attend discussions and other ccunselinq proqrams
(e.q. Weiss, 1975a). In this study, four hypotheses were
examined pertaininq to (1) the effects of linqerinq
attachment to the former spouse, (2) the deqree of social
interaction outside the home, (3) the role of datinq
relationships, and (4) the relative effects of sudden and
unexpected separations.
Method. The research, conducted in the fall of 1976,
consisted of lenqthy, unstructured interviews with 50
individuals who had filed for divorce within the precedinq
two-year period. Their names were secured from the public
records in Centre County, Pennsylvania. Contact by phone
was established with 37 per cent of the persons whose names
were drawn. Of those contacted, 61 per cent aqreed to be
interviewed, comprisinq 28 females and 22 males, all white,
from the workinq, middle and upper-middle classes. The aqe
ranqe was 21 to 65 years, with a mean of 36 years. Thirty-
two of the respondents were divorced at the time
interview, and the remaininq 18 were separated.
of the

43
Findings. (1) Most respondents expressed resentment over
their experiences with the leqal system. (2) The children
were the catalysts for some of the major adjustment
problems. (3) Friends, relatives and acquaintances were
generally supportive. (4) The deqree of initial emotional
upset was a function of how unexpected the separation was,
and of the respondent beinq opposed to it. (5) Economic
adjustment was the only area in which sex differences were
found. The large majority of men reported they were at
least as well off financially after the separation, but for
the women, the opposite was true. (6) hespcndents reported
growing away from close friends, especially when these
friends were shared by the other spouses. (7) There was a
strong positive correlation between participation in
heterosexual relationships and successful adjustment.
Conclusions. Creating a new life style appears to be
more crucial to overall adjustment than successfully copinq
with the dissolution of the marriaqe. Painful reactions to
marital dissolution, such as feelinqs of reqret, attachment,
and bitterness towards the spouse, actually may increase
over time throuqh failure to create new relationships. Some
respondents who reported few problems immediately after
separation and who, in some cases, reported that separation
had made them feel free, excited, or eaqer about life for
the first time in years, were at the time of the interview
very despondent and shewing signs cf separation anxiety. In

44
every instance, these respondents were havinq maior
economic or social difficulties. The difficulties that
individuals encounter may vary qreatly, dependinq on the
circumstances surroundinq the dissolution of their
marriaqes, the support they receive as they make the
transition, and the nature of the postmarriaqe lifestyle.
Children, parents, friends, former spouses, representatives
of the leqal system, and datinq partners all play important
roles in the lives of the recently separated.
Kohen et al. Divorced Bothers (1979)
Method. This study was conducted to uncover the costs
and benefits of beinq a divorced mother. The research,
conducted in 1974, consisted of lenqthy open-ended
interviews with 30 Boston-area mothers who had at least one
child under 16 years of aqe livinq with them, and who had
been divorced or separated from one to five years.
Potential respondents were located throuqh institutional
sources, such as youth aqencies and orqanizations for sinqle
parents. Quotas were imposed to assure that no qroup was
over-represented in relation to the Bostcn-area population.
Findings. Sven though respondents undergoing the crisis
duriuq the first year immediately followinq separation were
eliminated, the findinqs in maqor areas such as changes in
income, proportion wishinq to remarry, and types of problems
encountered, were consistent with those of Goode's (195t>) .

45
Identified problems. (1) The predivorce average income
reported was $12,500. This fell to $6,100 after the divorce
or separation. This resulted from (a) little or no support
from the husband, and (1) job and sex discrimination. In
1974 women working full-time throughout the year earned
only 57 per cent of that earned by their male counterparts
(Sawhill,1975). (2) The divorced mother, while legally head
of the house, is net socially legitimated for this role,
with resulting intrusions and dificulties from and with
authorities and others. (3) In family life, the
responsibilities formerly shouldered by both parents now
must be borne all alone. (4) They were conscious of the
stigma of being "fair game" sexually.
The respondents reported the following advantages. (1)
They were better off with their lower income, because they
had full control of it. (2) Without a husband, the
organization of life was often easier, and the expenditure
of energy less. (3) Gaining control over "social time" is
like gaining control over money: they have less, but they
can decide how to spend it (Stein, 1976). (4) They reported
improved self-concept resulting from successfully mastering
decision-making and new tasks.

46
Kressel et al. Professional Intervention in Divorce (1979)
The qoal of this study was to identify the primary
obstacles to a constructive divorcinq process and to shed
liqht on the psycholoqical and interpersonal experience of
those who divorce. Of particular interest was the role of
the professional in helpinq tc produce a cooperative climate
between the spouses, and to secure an acceptanle divorce
aqreement. This review will be restricted to the
latter—the role of the professional. The research
consisted of lenqthy, unstructured interviews with 59
professionals, includinq 21 psychotherapists, 21 clerqy, and
17 lawyers. It was an exploratory study vita no attempt at
systematic samplinq. Instead, hiqhly expert practitioners
were located throuqh professional organizations, personal
contacts, and referrals by previous respondents.
Findings. (1) There is much similarity in the rcles
assumed by psychotherapists and clerqy in divorce. Mainly,
they help with the diffucult decision of whether to divorce
or not, and, less commonly, help negotiate the terms of the
settlement. When people seek help with a marital problem,
they are more likely to approach a clerqyman than a
psychotherapist (Gurin, Veroff, and Feld, I960). The
clergy's work occurs either as part of congregational
responsibilities, or in connection with reliqious courts of
divorce or annulment. (2) Lawyers are most frequently
consulted by the divorcee because divorce is the eng of one

47
legal contract and the beginning of another. (3) Although
the lawyers' role in divorce is the most clearly structured,
leading one to expect highest consensus among them, -just
the opposite was found. A high level of consensus was
found among therapists and clergy, while lawyers commonly
differed on important issues. (4) This difference among
attorneys resulted from the stresses inherent in their work,
and they used various mechanisms, such as the following, to
cope with the stresses. (a) Act as Undertaker. This
metaphor rests on two assumptions. First, the -job is
essentially thankless and messy, and second, the clients are
in a state of emotional "derangement." The words of one
respondent were characteristic: "I represent
psychotic people. All my clients are neurotic, some of them
actually psychotic. If mine aren't, the other side is."
(b) Act as Mechanic. This is a praqmatic, technically
oriented stance. It assumes that clients are capable oi
knowing what they want. (c) Act as Mediator. This is
oriented toward negotiating a compromise, with emphasis on
cooperation among all parties. (d) Act as Social Worker.
This stance centers around a concern for the clients'
postdivorce adjustment and overall social welfare. (e) Act
as Therapist. This involves active acceptance of the fact
that the client is in a state of emotional turmoil. (r) Act
as Moral Agent. Here, neutrality is rejected by the
attorney.
and he assumes that he should not hesitate to use

48
his sense of riqnt and wrong. This is widely used when
children are involved.
Four major qoals are shared by all three professional
groups. (1) Establish a workinq alliance. Here aqaia tae
lawyers are different. They are likely to be partisans in
the conflict, whereas therapists and clerqy are likely to
aspire to the role of mediator. (2) Diaqnosis. The first
and most important question here for all three qroups is:
Is this marriage truly headed for divorce? (3) Improve the
emotional climate. Here all three qroups appeal to self-
interest, the children, and to the norms of fair-play.
However, here the lawyers were narrower in their
orientation than the others. ,(4) Decision-makinq and
planning. First the decision must be made whether to
divorce or not. If the decision is yes, then they endeavor
to reach a fair settlement. Accordinq to the respondents,
typically only one partner has definitively decided to
divorce, and the other has not. Here the professionals must
"orchestrate the motivation to divorce" (Kressel and Deutch,
1977:424), based on the fundamental assumption that a
constructive divorce process is unlikely if both partners
are not ready to end the marriaqe.
The clerqy differed from the other two qroups in this
area of decision makinq and planning on three salient
points. (a) An emphasis cn the concrete and practical. The
clerqy emphasized the importance of providing immediate

49
monetary assistance when necessary, and of referring taeir
clients to therapists and lawyers when indicated. (b)
Accomplishing the religious divorce or annulment. Judaism
and Homan Catholicism have highly formalized divorce and
annulment procedures. For the rabbis and Catnolic priests,
involvement in such procedures is the most distinctive and
difficult aspect of their role in divorce. (c) A hiqhtened
concern with postdivorce adjustment. The most organized
efforts to cope with the postdivorce adjustment period were
described by priests and lay respondents working in centers
for divorced Catholics. In these centers, crisis
intervention services, similar to the model established by
Alcoholics Anonymous, were offered: a reference group of
similar others, frequent social contacts, an accepting
religious community, limited individual counseling, group
activities for children, reliqious group rituals, and
workshops on special problems (e.g. datinq, sex and family
relationships).
Conclusion. The lawyer-run adversary system is not
workinq. Perhaps the most likely alternative is some form
of mediation akin to that employed in labor-management
disputes.

50
Divocce Source of Traurna
The widespread general belief that divorce tends to be
a painful, crisis producing, traumatic experience for the
partners is widely substantiated in the literature (Goode,
1949, 1956; Hetherinqton et al., 1976a, 1976b; Spanier and
Casto, 1979a, 1979b; Weiss, 1975a; Hunt and Hunt, 1979).
The earliest social analyst of this phenomenon was Willard
Mailer who, using the analytic approach on a small number of
persons, identified the personal ill effects of divorce as
shock, ambivalence to oneself and one's partner, and much
frustration and unhappiness. Involved too, of course, is
the disruption of established sexual patterns on both the
physical and emotional levels (Waller, 1930/ 1967). His
conclusion was that there are many aspects and stages of
reorganization which the divorcee must go throuqn at thrs
crucial period. They are (1) reorganizing one's lovelife,
(2) mending of wounded pride, (3) rechannelinq of habits,
(4) reorganizing of social relationships, (5) facing
economic consequences, and (6) endinq rebellion.
Generally divorce is a traumatic psychological,
emotional, and social experience which adversely affects the
individuals involved. Landis and Landis (1968) added that
the divorce process involves pain and grief over the loss
of one's spouse, especially when one does not want the
divorce to take place. Burgess (1926) and Christensen
(1950) stated that some find divorce to be a shattering

51
experience, while ethers do not find it to he so disturbing,
and others find relief.
Haqerty found in his study on divorce at Briqham Younq
University that "many had felt stronq trauma in the early
divorce period. With some this feelinq decreased ...
during the divorce process and then increased again during
the postdivorce readiustment period" (Haqerty, 1961:49).
The most systematic field study to date was conducted by
Goode (1956). He found that about 37 per cent of the
respondents snowed little increase in difficulties after
divorce. However, in about two-thirds of the cases, there
was definite evidence of a significant increase in personal
difficulties.
Albrecht (1980) in a study conducted in eiqht 2ocky
Mountain states had similar findinqs among his 200 female
respondents. Twenty-seven per cent characterized their
divorce experience as traumatic or a niqhtmare, and an
additional 40 per cent reported it as stressful. Only a
mere 13 per cent described it as relatively painless. The
following factors were identified as contributing to the
trauma. (1) The legal process itself (see Spanier and
Anderson, 1979). (2) The pain and anguish felt by the
children. (3) Financial strain. (4) A feeling of personal
failure. This last factor was the most widespread, having
been mentioned by one-third of the respondents.

52
Most people regard marriaqe as a permanent commitment,
and despite the prevalence of divorce, when marriage breaks
up, this is seen by the partners as a personal failure, and
this feeling seems to be a key factor in the trauma and
stress felt by divorced persons.
Eliot (1948) expressed the view that since divorce is
generally a traumatic experience for the individual
involved, full recovery is unusual. This view regarding
recovery is no longer tenable. fiecent studies indicate that
recovery from the trauma of separation and divorce seems to
take from two to four years, with the average being closer
to four than to two (Weiss, 1975a:236; Hunt and Hunt,
1979:58). Onderstandably, those who have had an ongoing
extramarital relationship, or who developed a new
relationship immediately after separation, suffer least
trauma (Baschke, 1976; Hunt and Hunt, 1979).
Separation and divorce cause major changes in one's way
of life, and all major chanqes cause stress (Holmes and
Bahe, 1967; Selye, 1976). It is no coincidence that the
separated and the divorced have hiqher rates of suicide,
accidents, and physical illnesses tnan married people do
(Glick, 1976a:16; Gove, 1973). Further, separated women and
men are 8 and 12 times as likely, respectively, as married
women and men to be hospitalized for mental illness.
These statistics alonq with those from many other sources
(see Bloom et al., 1979) show that the link between marital

disruption and a qreat variety of illnesses and disorders is
stronqer for men than for women. However, the evidence was
rather unsystematic until recent studies attempted to deal
more systematically with the effects of marital disruption
on bota parents and children. Perhaps that partly accounts
for the fact that most of the literature on the problems
faced by the separated and divorced focuses on divorced
women, rather than men.
Apparently the assumption was that marital disruption is
more stressful for women than men. Further, in the
overwhelminq majority of cases, the divcrcinq mothers
receive custody of the children, thereby beinq burdened with
further responsibility, and, possibly increased stress.
Another partial explanation may be found in che increased
interest in the chanqinq roles of women. Lastly,
undoubtedly this emphasis on women results from the
precedent set in Goode's study. fieplication of ais work is
the prime reason why this present study focuses exclusively
on the reports of divorced mothers.
For the mother who qoes throuqh a divorce, life is often
turned upside down. Fondest dreams, hopes and ideals are
shattered. Intimate bonds with another are broken,
relationships with children are chanqed, friendship patterns
are disrupted, new livinq arrangements must be made,
employment must be found, often for the first time, and on
and on. Separation and divorce cause significant

disruptions in four major spheres of the divorcee’s life,
namely the personal, sexual, social and economic.
Disruptions in Her Personal Life
The literature contains numerous reports indicating that
the newly divorced are likely to suffer some amount of
personal disorganization, anxiety, unhappiness, loneliness,
low work efficiency, increased drinkinq, and other personal
problems (Gurin, Veroff and Feld, 1960; Hose and Price-
Bonham, 1973; w’eiss, 1976a, 1976b). Goode found that the
divorce was preceded by a lonq period of conflict and
serious decision-aakinq lasting an averaqe of two years.
The protracted conflict effectively destroyed the leve
relationship between the spouses, and replaced it with
unhappiness, anxiety, and a sense of failure. His
respondents reported serious causes for the conflict and
eventual divorce, among which were the followinq; (1) 33
per cent complained of nonsupport, (2) 22 per cent,
excessive dominance by the husband, (3) 30 per cent,
drinkinq, (4) 29 per cent, personality problems, (5) 25 per
cent, poor home life, (6) 16 per cent, involvement witn
other women. They were so affected by the lonq and painful
experience that they suffered from poorer health, greater
loneliness, difficulties with sleep, work and eating, and
havinq fewer friends during the divorce process and for
lengthy periods afterwards.

55
Bohannan {1970) by contrasting the engagement and wedding
on the one hand, with divorce on tne ether, offers keen
insight into the pain and rejection of divorce. One oí the
reasons it feels so good to be engaged and newly married is
the rewarding sensation that, out of the whole world you
have been selected. Gne of the reasons that divorce feels
so awful is that you have been de-selected. It punishes
almost as much as the engagement and wedding are rewarding.
Blanck and Blanck (1968) pointed out that since marriage
is a primary relationship involving more facets of an
individual’s personality than perhaps any other adult
relationship, its termination represents the loss of a great
number of satisfactions.
If the divorcee is committed tc her religion, probably
the religious dimension of her personal life will be
seriously disrupted. In many cases the wedding took place
in church with a minister, rabbi or priest presiding, and
•'until death doth us part'1 was an integral part of the
marriage vows. These vows reenforce the personal conviction
that the marriage would bring happiness and fulfillment.
Breaking these vows can be a source of stress for her.
Further, she is likely to experience feelings of guilt and
failure as she interacts with her friends at church because
of her awareness that she has failed to uphold in her
marriage the ideals of her church, regardless of what
denomination she belongs to. Churches are strong proponents

bo
of the sanctity and permanence of marriaqe, and in face of
this, her quilt and failure feelinqs may lead to alienation
from ner church and her friends there. This is most likely
if she is Catholic because of the followinq.
In qeneral, Protestants and Jews tend to be tolerant and
acceptinq of divorce. The latter emphasize that a hate-
filled marriage has lost the sanctity of the Law, and
divorce should be permitted in such a case. However, before
divorce is assented to, the rabbi is obliqed to use all
means available throuqh counselinq and other aids to remedy
the situation and save the marriage (Gordis, 1967). The
Catholic Church is strongly opposed to divorce ante factum
and stronqly asserts this position in its laws, official
documents and teachings. Besides, it makes widespread use
of Pre-Cana and Cana conferences, Marriage Encounter, and
other group sessions to reenforce its position and to
promote marital fidelity and fulfillment. For these reasons
the active Catholic who gets a divorce will probably
experience a stronger sense of alienation from her church
and its members than the non-Catholic divorcee. While it is
true that the Catholic Church's attitude towards divorce
post factum is one of tolerance and quarded sympathy, and
that much can be done by the local priest for the
reconciliation of the divorcee (Salter, 1969), it is quite
likely that many such remain unreconciled with the church.

Disruptions in Her Sex Lite
Sexual relations between husband and wife are reqarded as
a vital part of marriage:
our counselors, clinicians, and clerqy join with
the layman in emphasizing that coital
relationships with crqasm for both partners are a
vital and necessary part of life—a goal to be
achieved and maintained. This messaqe is repeated
ad infinitum in marriage manuals and articles in
popular magazines. (Gebhard, 1970:90)
But with divorce that is all changed. Established sex
patterns with her husband are of course disrupted on both
the physical and emotional levels. Some individuals
suppress or repress all sexual desire, and this may be
accompanied by bitterness towards all males. By contrast,
some become relatively promiscuous partly to avenge their
spouses, or to reassure themselves that they are still
desirable. In cases where one's self-imaqe- is shattered
promiscuity may arise from the desire to punish and deqrade
oneself further {Waller, 1930/1967; Kirkpatrick, 1963).
This is substantiated by Hunt and Hunt (1979). They
reported that 7 or 8 per cent of formerly married women
became "refusers,” neither seeking nor accepting sexual
involvements for several years after separation and divorce,
and sometimes, permanently. This may result iro® moral and
religious convictions, but much more often, it is the result
of some internal disorder such as fear—fear of males, of
sexual inadequacy and frigidity, of sex itself--or the
inability "to fall out of love" with the former spouse
to

sever the marital emotional ties
This last situation is
scarcely ever permanent. Of course, there are always some
who are incapacitated by chronic illness, disease and
advanced old aqe.
Secondly, there are the "abusers" who comprised about 5
per cent of female respondents. These use sex in ways that
perpetuate their internal problems and keep them alienated
from ethers, reqardless of how many physical contacts they
have. Tney use sex as an analqesic, a pain killer that
qives passinq relief from their sense of failure or
undesirability, or as an intoxicant to conteract their
chronic low self-esteeai or depression; or as a punishment
used vicariously aqainst the former spouses. Some of tne
"abusers" remain stuck here while others cutqrow this phase
with an increased sense of self-worth and respect for
others, and learn to appreciate sex as an important part of
a leqitimate and healthy relationship, and thus join the
"users."
The users typically qo thrcuqh three phases as follows.
(1) Eqo-repair. Frequently the trauma of divorce leaves one
with an inadequate self-imaqe, and "dead from the waist
down." Initial sexual encounters qive assurance of self-
worth and abilities. (2) Exploration. Haviaq sex with a
new partner scarcely ever is the same as sex in marriaqe,
either on the physical or emotional level, and many find
that the new experiences have a type of excitement never

experienced in marriage. This can lead to exploration of
tecnaiques and partners. (3) Reconstruction. This, the
final staqe, may be entered after either or both of the
above, or indeed, directly without having to qo throuqh
either of them. Here, sex is used as an integral part or a
lovinq, caring relationship which, if successful and
lastinq, leads to remarriage. If not, the search for a new
partner is resumed, a search which may be repeated a number
of times before satisfaction and confidence are achieved,
and commitment to a new marriage takes place.
Corroboration for the disruption of existing sexual
patterns on one hand, and the substantially widespread use
of sex by partners in divorce, on the other, can be found in
two studies on problems closely allied to the sexual
difficulties experienced during the divorce process. The
first deals with the cessation of marital intercourse.
Edwards and Booth (1576) found that marital coitus had
ceased for a definable period (median eight weeks) in one-
third of a random sample of 365 spouses in intact marriages,
who were relatively young and nad been married an average of
11 years. They found that 32 per cent of the males and 36
per cent of the females reported such a cessation. Among
those reporting cessation of intercourse, 42 per cent of the
males and 35 per cent of the females reported marital
discord as the cause. This was by far the most coarot,
reason given, followed by illness, decreased interest in

sex, and surgery. Since marital coitus is discontinuous on
suca a widespread scale in intact marriages, and since
marital discord is the chief cause, it is -justifiable to
assume that usually intercourse between spouses ceases early
in the divorce process, which typically is brought with
conflict.
The other study worth mentioning is by Bindfuss and
Bumpass (1977). They report that a recent Current
Population Survey indicates that about 8 per cent of the
births to twice-married women in recent cohorts occurred
between the dates of their divorces and remarriage (U.S
Bureau of the Census, 1974) . Many of these babies may have
been conceived in the former marriages, but at the same time
this estimate underestimates the extent of childbearing
during marital disruption because it excludes birtns between
separation and divorce. Actually a guarter of remarried
women in the 1970 National Fertility Study (Byder and
Westoff, 1971) reported a birth during a period of marital
disruption. Possible explanations of these pregnancies are:
(1) they were a "last chance" effort to save the marriages,
(2) they were caused by future spouses, or (3) they were
fathered by someone else. The effects of these births on
the postdivorce trauma and adjustment merit serious study as
there is no relevant information to date.
Paul Gebhard (1970) published his findings on the sexuux
activity of women whose marriages had been disrupted. His

61
most salient findings were the following. (1) The majority
of women whose marriages had ended engaged in sexual
intercourse while divorced, separated or widowed. (2) These
women most commonly legan postmarital intercourse within one
year after the end of the marriages. (3) The average
freguency varied from 36 to 73 times a year up to the age of
40, after which there was a marked decrease. (4) The
divorced exceeded the widows in terms of the per cent who
had postmarital relations, the frequency of these relations,
and the speed with which such relations were bequn after the
end of the marriages.
Disruptions in Her Social Life
The divorcee is apt to find herself like the "fifth
wheel" in social situations with former friends. Lantz et
al. (1968) asserted that married and engaged women regard
the divorcee as a threat to their relationships with their
husbands or fiances. Ploscowe (1955) expressed the opinion
that many men think that the divorced woman can be sexually
seduced more easily, since they assume she is now sexually
inactive while they know she is sexually experienced. Meiss
(1975a) and Hunt and Hunt (1979) found much supporting
evidence of this attitude among males. Divorcees, in
consequence, feel an urgent need to make new friends, and
these are frequently found among the ranks of other
divorcees wqo have shared experiences (Hunt and Hunt, 1979).

62
Kirkpatrick (1963) stated that to the divorcee, society
seems to be an alien and lonely place, and that sne usually
desires to escape from those thinqs which remind iter of her
former husband, or rushes headlonq into frenetic
activities. Some prefer to isolate themselves and nurse
their hurt eqos in private, while others return to tneir
families of orientation, seekinq the comfort they received
as children.
Alnrecht (1980) found that his female respondents
reported droppinq their memberships in clubs and
orqanizations, and increasinq their interaction with
relatives—a chanqe in their social lives away from
orqanizations and back towards their families of
orientation.
Many established social patterns of behavior are
effectively disrupted by divorce, requirinq the divorcee to
develop new patterns. The pair relationship is broken
makinq it necessary to learn to function and live alone
aqain without the companionship of a spouse. Further, she
may be socially inhibited from revealinq her true feelinqs
if she is bitter, confused or profoundly hurt, and finds
herself forced, as Mowrer (1935) and Horney (1950) pointed
out, to play roles that are undesirable and repellinq.

Disruptions in Her Financial Status
In Goode's study, the ensuinq financial situation after
the divorce was net perceived as a significant problem by
those mothers who had remarried. However, those who had not
remarried reported financial problems. Cn the averaqe,
those divorced women had almost as much income, from all
sources, as their ex-husbands had earned. In sharp contrast
to these findings of the late forties, recent data indicate
that objective financial reality for divorced motners iu the
70s was indeed very qrim. Single-parent families headed ny
a woman had only naif the income, cn the averaqe, of single-
parent families headed by a man, and a mere third of the
income enjoyed by husband-wife families (Ü.S. Bureau of tae
Census, 1973). This coincides with more recent data on the
overall picture of the earnings of men and women. In 1977
the median weekly earnings of women were ¿156, compared with
$253 for men (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1973).
Albrecht's findings (1980) indicate that divorced women's
perceptions of their current income coincide witn the facts.
Two-thirds of his female respondents reported that their
incomes following divorce were siqnificantly lower than
before it. In spite of the passaqe of time, a mere 7 per
cent of them were able to report a higher postdivorce
income. Consequently, the divorcee is likely to have to
live on a much smaller income than she was accustomed to
during her marriage, and perhaps have to learn to handle her
personal finances herself for the first time in her life.

64
The number and aqes of the children influence the
divorced mother's financial status (Landis and Landis 1968)
and in the majority of cases, child support and alimony are
inadequate for the needs of the divorcee and her children.
The trauma of this experience is often increased by the fact
that she failed to anticipate it realistically (Groves and
Groves, 1947). Many such mothers who never worked before
find it necessary to make a belated entry into the
workforce. Further, their financial situation is often made
worse by difficulty in establishing credit.
Blair (1969) found that the levels of adjustment after
divorce were significantly related to Rcdqers' (1964) and
Rove's (1966) stages of the family life cycle. Adjustment
was most difficult for divorcees in Stage VI, at wnich point
all the children were still living with the divorcee.
Adjustment was least difficult in Staqe VII, when the
children were being launched, and the younqest child who was
living with the divorcee was over 20 years of age. This
finding suqgests that the family life cycle stage, rather
than the number of children, may be a more accurate
indicator of adjustment after the divorce.
Approximately 60 per cent of all divorces involve minor
children; "around 1 million children a year suffer through
the dissolution of their families" ("Children of Divorce,"
1980:58). Divorce often produces trauma in these children.
This is especially so when the children believed that their

parents were happily married. Cn the ether hand, where the
marriage was obviously unhappy, the children often
experience relief when the divorce takes place (Landis,
1960) .
Legal Process Source of Trauma
The Adversary System
(Jntil a decade aqo the adversary system of divorce was
used and is still in wide use today. This process tends to
generate strife and bitterness because one of the partners
is accused of wrongdoing, and the attorneys of both parties
seek to get the best possible settlements for their
respective clients. Virtually all authorities agree that
much of the vindictiveness which traditionally nas been
associated with divorce is traceable to the hostilities tnat
are engendered by the divorce process (Leslie 1982:565).
Spanier and Anderson (1979) conducted in-depth interviews
with 205 people in Pennsylvania wno had been separated 26
months or less. Over half of their respondents indicated
dissatisfaction with the legal process (including the laws,
judges, attorneys, etc.) and 84 per cent desired chanqe in
the Pennsylvania law, still usinq the adversary system
exclusively. These respondents experienced a wide ranqe of
problems with the leqal system, most of them centerinq
around the attorneys. One-third of them found their
attorneys no help at all, half of them believed the

66
attorneys' fees were outrageous cr too high, and 29 per cent
of them were advised by their attorneys to do things which
were calculated to aqqravate their spouses. They suggested
such thinqs as not payinq bills, not speakinq to tne otner
spouse, takinq money out of the savings account, and moving
out of the house. The study strcnqly suqqests that the
adversary system encouraqes collusion and dishonesty.
Significant numbers reported lyinq in hearinqs and using
trumped-up statements in court which were to their own
advantaqe and damaqinq tc the spouse.
Under the adversary system of divorce, "grounds" for
divorce have to be presented. About 52 per cent of all U.S.
divorces have been granted on leqal grounds of physical or
mental cruelty. Mental cruelty is an umbrella category
which includes suspicion, jealousy, untruthfulness, and
vaque subjective complaints (Levinqer, 1966). About 23 per
cent of divorce cases were qranted on qrcunds of desertion,
4 per cent for non-support, and about 1 per cent for
adultery. Needless to say, these leqal grounds for divorce
are not necessarily the real causes of divorce, and may not
coincide with the causes perceived by the spouses involved.
Studies have found little relationship between statutory
qrounds for divorce and the actual causes of marital
failure (Harmsworth and Minnis, 1955; Mowrer, 1924; Stetson
and Wright, 1975).

67
In a study of 600 couples filinq for divorce iri
Cleveland, Ohio, Levinqer (1966) reported on the causes
presented by tae divotcinq couples. Overall, wives'
complaints were twice as numerous as husbands'. They
complained 11 times more frequently than husbands about
physical abuse, four times more often about financial and
drinkinq problems, and three times more than husbands about
verbal abuse.
Only in three cateqories did husbands complain more
frequently than the wives: sexual incompatability, in-law
trouble, and excessive demands. Rental cruelty was brouqht
up most frequently by both sexes: 40 per cent of the
females and 29.7 per cent of the males mentioned it. Next
came neqlect of home and children: 39 per cent of the
females and 26.2 per cent of the males sinqled tais cut.
Financial problems and physical abuse tied as the third most
widespread complaint from the females: 36.3 per cent of
them listed both. By comparison, only 8.7 per cent of the
males referred to financial problems and a mere 3.3 per cent
complained of physical abuse. This last fiqure on physical
abuse raises some questions in view of the fact that other
studies have found that up to one-third of families in whicn
violence is used report physical hittinq by the wife
(Gelles, 1972).
As rniqht be expected many more females (26.5 per cent)
than males (5 per cent) complained of spouses with drinkinq

ó 8
problems. In the matter of infidelity, 24 per cent of the
females and 20 per cent of the males accused their spouses
of this.
Levinqer found that complaints differed across
socioeonomic lines. In qeneral, spouses in tue middle-class
were more concerned with psycholoqical and emotional
interaction, while those in the lower-class mainly mentioned
financial problems, and the physical actions of their
partners. This coincides with Galbraith's observation;
"In a poor society, not only do economic considerations
dominate social attitudes but they riqidly specify the
problems that will be accorded priority" (Galbraith,
1964:117). Further, Maslcw (1954) stated that eacn human
desires to fulfill a variety of needs and postulated the
followinq cateqorical order in which they can be qratified.
(1) Subsistence needs of hunqer, thirst, and other
physioloqical requirements. (2) Needs for safety and
protection from external harm. (3) Needs for love, belonq-
inqness and inter-personal warmth. (4) Needs for esteem and
respect from other persons. (5) Only after the above are
satisfied to a minimal extent can the individual seek to
achieve self-actualization.
Levinqer concludes that even in the U.S. a large
proportion of married couples are so heavily engaged with
copinq to satisfy the needs of the first and second levels
(subsistence and safety),
that they are unable to worry

69
about the achievement of mature love or rater personal
respect, not to speak of that rare quality or selr-actual-
izaticn. Verbal therapies may be not merely unsuccessful,
but larqely irrelevant to the needs of individuals strivinq
at the basic level durinq and after the divorce process.
Komarovsky (1964) and Bubin (1976) had similar findinqs
in their studies of workinq-class couples. In these
marriaqes they found little attention qiven to such
qualities as sharinq, communication, and intimacy. Their
most important aarriaqe qoals were beinq able to provide a
reasonably qood livinq and "beinq qocd to the children."
No-Fault Divorce
As a better and more realistic approacu to divorce and to
reduce the trauma involved, Florida and California
implemented no-fault divorce laws in the earl7 70s (Nye and
Berardo, 1973). Since then over half of the American states
have adopted various forms of no-fault divorce laws (Wriqht
and Stetson, 1978). In qeneral, these new laws dropped the
term "divorce" and substituted "dissolution of marriaqe," to
be qranted because of the irremediable breakdown of the
marriaqe.
Under no-fault laws either spouse can be required to pay
alimony, and the court can require either or both to
contribute to tne support of miner children. In California,
since its law went into effect,
a siqnificantly smaller

70
percentage of women with ycung children have been receiving
alimony than formerly (Hunt and Hunt, 1979:209). However,
it is unclear if this is the result of the new laws or
simply the continuation of an already existing trend,
because a national survey in 1975 found that only one out
of every seven separated or divorced women had been awarded
alimony or maintenance—half as many as in 1939 (Bryant,
1975: 41)
The no-fault divorce laws would appear to be more liberal
than those of the adversary system, making it easier for
parties to obtain divorce. But that does not mean that the
no-fault laws led to higher divorce rates. Indeed, making
divorce laws more restrictive or more liberal has appeared
to have had little effect on the divorce rate (Abel, 1973;
Wright and Stetson, 1978). Besides, it has been claimed
that strict laws have failed to restrict climbing divorce
rates because those seeking divorces have been able to
manipulate the laws and the leqal system (Blake, 1962;
Spanier and Anderson, 1979). Bheinstein (1971) argued that
perjury, falsification of evidence, and unnecessary
animosity and hardship, rather than a lowering of the
divorce rate, have been the outcome of the adversary system.

71
Trautaa Peak Precedes Divorce Decree
Existinq data indicate that the period of qreatest trauma
for the couples is not at the time of the divorce itself.
Goode's respondents indicated that the worst time was at the
final separation. In Albrecht's study (1980) they
characterized the period of final decision as the most
difficult. This was a period of increasinq conflict between
the spouses, forcinq them to choose divorce as an
alternative to a bad relationship.
This is consistent with the findinqs of Brown et al.
(1976) who, durinq in-depth interviews with a sample of
divorcees living in the Boston area, found that a
significant majority of those women reported that things
were "easier now" compared with the period prior to tne
divorce. It would seem that despite the problems faced by
the divorcees in heading a family all alone, and in trying
to provide for it on reduced resources, they consider their
lot better than what they had to endure durinq the final
stages of their marriages.
Anyhow, typically by the time the divorce actually takes
place, at least the very worst is over. The individuals
work tnrouqh the trauma by drawing on their own inner-
resources, and with help from their own families and
friends, and sometimes from professionals too.
After divorce they move steadily towards dating and then
remarriage. Goode (1956) found that 54 per cent of mothers

72
who had been divorced two years had remarried. Hunt and
Hunt (1979) found that divorcees in recent years had become
more cautious about entering new love relationships and
remarriaqes, probably because the spiraling divorce rate
caused wariness towards reinarriaqe. They found that only 40
per cent of all divorcees had remarried within tnree years
after the divorce. This may be partially explained by the
current phenomenon of living together.
During the 1970s living toqether became a widespread
social phenomenon, especially among college students. In
1979 there were over two and a half million Americans living
together without being married. This was more taan double
the number reported in 1970 (U.S. Eureau of the Census,
1980). Very few studies of this phenomenon among non¬
college student populations have been conducted. One suca
study collected data from a nationwide random sample of 2510
men between the ages of 20 and 30 years (Clayton anu Voss,
1977) . The authors concluded that cohabitation may be a
prelude to marriage for some persons. For otners,
especially those who have experienced unsatisfactory
marriaqes, cohabitation may be a temporary or permanent
alternative to remarriaqe. So this phenomenon may partially
explain the apparently slower rate of remarriage among
divorcees in recent years.
Another explanation may be found in the "marriage
penalty" tax law. It was created in 1969 by Congress waen

73
it revised the tax laws to reduce a sizeable penalty imposed
on sinqle taxpayers, but the correction created a new
problem. The tax on the combined income of a nusband and
wife with comparable salaries is considerably hiqher thau it
would be if the earners were sinqle and reported their
incomes separately.
Under the law, warriaqe can cost $391 for a couple makinq
$20,000 a year. If the couple jointly earns $60,000, the
"marriage penalty” amounts to $3,654.
To qet around payinq the extra tax, some married
couples have qotten divorced, some sinqles live
toqether out of wedlock, and some who find
cohabitation morally uncomfortable have postponed
weddinq plans. ("Tax laws may end profits qained
by 'livinq in sin.’” 1981:12A)
Creative Divorce
Many authors for many years have been pointinq out that
althouqh divorce is costly from a social and psycholoqica1
standpoint, it is undesirable and indeed impossible for
couples to remain married in all cases (Llewellyn, 1933;
Maclver, 1937; Bee, 1959; Udry, 1966; and aomble, 1966).
Consequently, divorce can be a positive, beneficial
experience offerinq a leqitimate escape from an intolerable
situation and an avenue to a new life in remarriaqe or
mature sinqlehood. Even when divorce is a traumatic
experience it can be transformed into a creative process.
A creative divorce is essentially the beqinninq of
a journey of self-disco very and development,
triqqered by the crisis of separation, that can qo
on for as lonq as you live. The elements of a

74
creative divorce are found in even the earliest
staqes of separation when you recognize and
appreciate the "seeds beneath the snow," those
early siqns of the undiscovered person that was
buried in your marriaqe. (Krantzler, 1973:236)
Cycle of Divorce
Divorce is a very complex and prolonqed experience as
well as a painful one. That is because sc many things are
happeninq at once in the process. These various components
of the complex experience can come in different orders and
in varyinq intensities, and they are the more painful and
puzzlinq for the individual because our society is not yet
equipped to handle any of them well.
Bohannan (1970) identified six main components in the
divorce experience, components which he calis overlapping
experiences. They are as follows. (1) Tne emotional
divorce which centers around the problem of the
deteriorating marriaqe. (2) The legal divorce based on
grounds. (3) The economic divorce which deals with money
and property. (4) The coparental divorce whica deals with
custody, single-parent homes and visitation. (5) The
community divorce surrounding the changes of friends and
community that every divorcee experiences. (6) The psycaic
divorce, dealinq with the problems of reqaininq individual
autonomy.
Further comment on these six components will be confined
to the first and last on the list. These two, the eaioticnal

75
divorce and the psychic divorce, merit fuller explanation
because they shed much light cn the postdivorce adjustment
cycle, which is central in this dissertation. Besides, the
other four components have been amply elaborated on
already.
Emotional divorce is likely to be the first visible stage
of a deteriorating marriage. This occurs when the partners
withold positive emotions and displace them with negative
ones. They may continue to work together as a social team,
but their attraction and trust for each other have
disappeared. The natural and healthy “growing apart" of the
stable married couple is very different from tais. As
marriages mature, the spouses qrow in new directions, but
they also develop bonds of qrowinq interdependence. Wita
emotional divorce, people do not qrow together as they grow
apart. Instead they become mutually antagonistic and grate
on each other. Conflicts erupt over real or perceived
issues, and sometimes they are afraid to fight over the real
issues, but instead, throuqh displacement, fight over the
two major socially accepted issues: sex and money.
Finally comes the psychic divorce. It is usually the
last and always the most difficult. Bohannan (1970) stated
that he could not find a word sufficiently strong or precise
enough to describe the difficulty of the psychic divorce
process. Weiss (1975a) uses the term "imprinting." The
phenomenon of imprinting in the animal world is well

7 b
documented. Somethinq analogous tak.es placa between
spouses, and the ensuinq bonds are extremely hard to sever
definitively. Each partner to the ex-marriaqe must turn
himself or herself aqain into an autonomous social
individual completely independent of the former spouse.
Further, people who are married tend to become socially part
of a couple or a family and lose the habit of seeinq
themselve as individuals. As they are faced with the need
to become autonomous aqain they are probably afraid and feel
unable to cope, and are certainly lonely. This partly
explains the widespread phenomenon experienced by
researchers of divorce: the tendency of divorcees to
indulqe in "instant intimacy," pourinq cut their most
intimate troubles to a perfect stranqer as a catharsis. The
qrief has to be worked out alone without benefit of
traditional rites. In divorce one is very much on one's
o wn.
Cycle cf Beadjustaent
Mailer and Hill (1951) proposed a qeneral theory of
readjustment which postulated four staqes of readjustment
throuqh which divorcees proqress: (1) breakinq old habits,
(2) beqinninqs of reconstruction of life, (3) seekinq new
love objects, and (4) readjustment completed.
Blair (1969) found that three-fourths of her divorcee
respondents had attained a medium level of adjustment and

77
that breaking old habits was the lonqest and ¡aost difficult
stage in the cycle. They completed the four stages of
adjustment not in the order listed by Mailer and Hill, but
in the following sequence: (1) beginnings oí reconstruction
of life, (2) seeking new love objects, (3) breaking old
habits, and (4) readjustment completed. These stages will
be described now in this empirical sequence.
1. Beginnings of reconstruction of life. Readjustment
involves a painful mourninq process which is rilled witn
memories of the past. The divorcee begins to emerqe from
the staqe of regression in which she first found herself
when sex expression on the adult, socialized level was
blocked. This emergence may involve some degradation of
sex, and promiscuity. Some few remain blocked at this level
but the majority proqress as they find solace for their eqo
wounds. The divorcee re-forms her social world to meet her
new circumstances. The world organized for dual
participation no longer accommodates her conveniently and
she must alter her associations somewhat and form new
friends. Mith great pain new habits beqin to be formed.
After the shock of loss, she may not care to go on living at
first, but she does qo on living. She must eat, sleep,
shop, and work alone. For a time these activities are
meaninqless, empty, and painful. She may find herseit
unburdeninq her secrets and troubles in casual contacts
because of the pain of lost intimacy.

78
2. Seeking new leve objects. At this staqe, in the area
of sex the divorcee is nc longer seekinq an outlet for her
blocked sex life, but searches for a new love obiect--one to
love and to be loved by as before. This ¡nay involve a
series of affairs which gradually approach or even surpass
the nature and intensity of the one that has been broken.
One's daily tasks begin to take on meaninq aqain even thouqn
a certain amount of mourninq still endures.
3. Breaking old habits. Habits, especially those laden
with emotion and based on close intimacy, prove to be quite
difficult to be broken. Part of the difficulty lies in the
fact that the reqular routine of daily living must qc on,
and these actions—sittinq down to breakfast, deciding what
to cook, solving problems, etc.--all brinq back memories of
the former spouse, because he was part of or central to
these activities. This gives rise to poiqnancy and grief
over and over aqain. Even when it seems that one has qotten
over it, some insiqnificant object or action, or meeting an
old friend can trigger it all aqain. It is like a chronic
illness that comes and goes but keeps qoinq on and on.
(4) fleadjustment completed. The mourning process is
terminated, and unsettlinq memories eventually cease.
Sexual readjustment is complete in that one has found a new
meaningful love object or arranqed one's sex life in some
other way in mature adulthood which no lonqer causes
conflict. Habits take on a new meaning and are organized

79
into a new life. A strain of consistency eierts itself into
the personality. A new life orqanizaticn and a new
philosophy of life emerqe. Readjustment is complete.
Theoretical framework
The theoretical framework for this survey is based on
Lee's theory of miqration in terms of push and pull factors
(Lee, 1966). First, Lee defined miqration broadly as a
permanent or semi-permanent chanqe of residence. No
restriction was placed by Lee upon the distance of the move
nor upon the voluntary or involuntary nature of the act, and
no distinction was made between external and internal
miqration. Since divorce involves permanent or semi¬
permanent chanqe of residence for at least one of the
spouses (except in the instance when both continue to live
under the same roof after divorce) divorce can be included
in Lee's broad definition of miqration. Besides the process
of physical movement there is also, of course, the departure
and re-entry or relocation in both the social and socio¬
physical sense.
Factors in the Divorce Decision and Process
The factors which enter into the decision to divorce and
the process of divorce may be cateqorized under four
headinqs. (1) Endoqenous factors associated with the
marriaqe itself, which is the point of oriqin.
(2)

80
Exogenous factors associated with divorce and after, which
form the destination. (3) Intervening obstacles and
facilitating networks and resources. (4) Personal factors.
In every marriage there are many endogenous factors which
act to hold the spouses together in the marriage, and still
other endogenous factors which tend to separate them. Tnere
are still others to which spouses are essentially
indifferent. Some of these factors affect most people in
the same way, while others affect different people in
various ways. Thus fulfillment and happiness would tend to
keep the spouses together, whereas serious continuous
conflict would tend to repel them away from each other. By
contrast, protectiveness would be viewed positively by a
dependent type spouse, but negatively by an autonomous type.
Turning now to the destination, divorce and after, a
spouse may perceive positives and negatives there which are
called exogenous factors. Autonomy, professionalism,
further education and similar factors would be seen as pull
factors. Lower income, greater responsibility, loneliness
and similar considerations could be seen as repelling
factors.
Needless to say, all factors that serve as push and puli
forces at the locus of origin—marriaqe, and
destination—divorce and after, are precisely understood
neither by sociologists ncr the spouses themselves. Like
Bentham's calculus of pleasure and pain, the calculus of the

81
push and pull factors at the criqin and destination is
always inexact.
However, this important difference between the factors at
the locus of origin and destination needs to be noted. The
factors at the locus of criqin are present, pressinq and
well perceived by the spouse involved. But the factors at
destination are distant, in the future, and somewhat
uncertain. This uncertainty can cause either fear or
excitement depending on one's personality.
While divorce may result from a comparison of the
endogenous factors at origin and the exogenous factors at
destination, a simple calculus of the plusses and minuses
does net bring about the decision to divorce. The balance
in favor of the move or decision must be enough to overcome
hesitancy and fear to act.
Further, between the two points or loci there stands a
set of intervening obstacles which must be overcome. Amonq
these obstacles are the legal divorce process, custody of
children and property settlements, and community norms
counter to divorce. These obstacles differ from state to
state, individual to individual, and community to community.
Overcoming these obstacles can be made easier by
facilitating networks and resources, such as qood friends, a
helpful attorney, professional aid, and financial resources.
Finally, there are many personal factors which facilitate
or retard the decision to divorce. One such important

82
factor is age. Youths tend to be venturesome and active,
seekinq new expeiences; with aqe comes caution and careful
deliberation. Thus, ceteris paribus we could expect younger
spouses to be more disposed to qo ahead and decide to
divorce than older spouses. This could explain in part why
there is a negative relationship between length of marriage
and divorce rate. The decision to divorce is seldom if ever
completely rational, and for some individuals the rational
component is less than the non-rational. Further, it must
be noted that it is not sc much the actual factors at origin
and destination as the perception of these factors which
result in divorce.
A wife who qoes through a divorce as the result of
endogenous push factors solely, without any pull from
exogenous factors, is impelled into a situation she does not
desire and probably experiences much unhappiness both before
and after the divorce. The unhappiness prior to the divorce
results from the push factors. The unhapiness afterwards is
exacerbated by the absence of positive pull factors, or more
precisely by her failure to perceive any such factors, and
this unhappiness will persist until such time when she
begins to discover such positive factors. By contrast, a
wife who enters divorce as the result of exogenous pull
factors probably experiences minimal trauma because she
looks forward with anticipation to her new situation and
perceives herself as losing but little in leaving her
spouse

33
A¿vantages o£ This Conceptual Framework
There are three main advantages in usinq this conceptual
model of the push-pull endogenous and exogenous factors.
First, by focusing on the two points—oriqin and
destination—attention is drawn to the factors outside the
marriaqe as well as within it that contribute to divorce.
It is hoped that this will bring about the correction of an
omission in the literature. Most authors, takinq their cue
from and relying on court proceedings which always focus on
the state of the marriages being dissolved, have qiven most
of their attention to such factors at the point of oriqin
as physical and mental cruelty, desertion and non-support.
Adultery as legal ground for divorce has been used in only
about 1 per cent of all divorce cases (Glick and Carter,
1970), and this is readily understandable and highly
desirable. lut it is hard to iustify the sociology
literature taking the same course. In qenerai, apart from
strikinq exceptions, the idea of romance and emotional
involvement outside of the marriaqe is totally neqlected.
The frequency of intercourse outside of marriage has been
duly tallied, but it has been treated not as a precipitator
of divorce, but as if these were mere physical acts devoid
of any emotional involvement and consequences.
The second advantage flows from the first. The focus on
the exogenous pull factors provides a ready explanation why
so many apparently happy marriages end up in divorce.

84
The third advantage is this; the conceptual framework
allows us to give adequate attention to the fact that every
separation/divorce involves two spouses, not just one. The
second spouse in a disintegrating marriaqe is readily seen
as a push factor, and many wives, for instance, are pushed
or maneuvered into divorce by the husbands. Exchange theory
on divorce, for example, focuses excessively on the spouse
as an individual choosing benefits over costs and does not
allow for consideration of the pair relationship.
Hypotheses
Goode sought to test general hypotheses to the effect
that
(1) Divorce is traumatic
(2) Divorce is often secured for trivial reasons
(3) Adequate adjustment after divorce is rare
(4) There are undesirable effects of divorce upon
children
(5) Most divorcees are neurotic
This proposed study will elaborate upon the first four of
these postulates, omitting number five. In addition the
following will also be analyzed.
(1) Few will have experienced significant disapproval of
their divorce from family and friends because divorce has
become so pervasive

85
(2) Divorced non-remarried mothers will report severe
economic difficulties in spite of workinq full-time
(3) A significant number of non-remarried mothers will be
cohabiting
(4) Despite a decade of no-fault divorce laws, the old
patterns of alimony, custody of children and child support
will still be prevalent
(5) Most respondents will report havinq experienced
discrimination
(6) Those whose divorces resulted primarily from
endogenous factors will report relatively high trauma
(7) Those whose divorces resulted primarily from
exogenous pull factors will report relatively low trauma
(8) There will be a negative relationship between level
of trauma and existence of facilitating networks and
resources.
Summary
The attitude to divorce has changed and evolved during
the twentieth century. At first divorce was seen as a
religious and moral evil. Then for several decades, it was
perceived as a social problem threatening the welfare of
society. Then, for a time it was critically and harshly
assessed as a psychological problem.
Thanks to Haller's insiqhts and sensitivity, both
sociologists and society became aware of the trauma and

86
stress of divorce, leading to a better and more sympathetic
understanding of those who are involved in separation and
divorce. In spite of the widespread incidence of divorce,
and the improved attitude and understanding of society,
separation and divorce generally remain a painful process
for all involved. This pain could be substantially reduced
by the professionals who are involved in all
divorces—attorneys—if their understanding and attitude
would chanqe and improve.
The escalation in the divorce rate over the past two
decades seems attributable, in part, to the growing economic
independence of females resulting from their participation
in the workforce. For this and other reasons we can hardly
expect any dramatic downturn in the divorce rate in the
immediate future as more and more females enter the
professions and workforce, and strive for parity with males
in the marketplace.
The remarriage rate indicates that divorce has not
brouqht about cynicism and disenchantment with marriage.
This would seem to support Parsons' theory that divorce is
functional in our modern, rapidly changing, mobile society,
enabling parties to extricate themselves from intolerable
situations, and seek fulfillment with another spouse in
another marriage, or in other adult single lifestyles.

CHAPTEB III
METHODOLOGY
Introduc ticn
In this chapter we will describe the population selected
for this survey, alonq with the samplinq procedures used.
Next, the time and method of the data collection will be
detailed, followed by data on the response rate. This will
be followed by an outline of the techniques used in
processinq and analyzinq the data. Lastly, the more
important information stemminq from our field experiences
will be presented.
Besearch Population
The population chosen for this survey was divorced,
English-speaking mothers whose marital dissolutions were
processed in the Dade County Circuit Court Civil, Florida.
Excluded were women of Cuban oriqin who spoke only Spanish.
This exclusion was made, not due to lack of interest in this
seqment of the qeneral population, but to avoid the
difficulties involved in developinq and administering
bilinqual instruments, and the hazards inherent in analyzing
and interpreting bilinqual data. Excluded also were all
childless women.
87

88
Unlike Goode's study (1956) which placed a lower aqe
limit cf 20 years and an upper limit of 38 years on the
respondents, no aqe limits were imposed on the respondents
in the present survey. This deliberate decision was made in
view of the fact that divorce is experienced at all staqes
of the family life cycle, and by married couples cf all
aqes, thouqh with vacyinq frequency. If divorce was ever
restricted to the earlier years of marriaqe, recent and
current evidence show that that day is qcne.
Survey Sample
A stratified sample of mothers divorced 2, 6, 12, and 24
months was drawn. This was done so that by usinq a quasi¬
panel study, tae incidence, intensity, duration, and
resolution of the divorce trauma could be studied over the
two critical years immediately followinq divorce. Thus we
had four divorce cohorts which we could compare, and which
were desiqnated as follows.
Group I: Mothers divorced 2 months
Group II: Mothers divorced 6 months
Group III: Mothers divorced 12 months
Group IV: Mothers divorced 24 mouths
Approximately 1,000 divorces are qranted in Dade County
each month, so there was an ample pool to draw on for each
cohort. The lists of names of subjects were drawn at
different times, to coincide with the proqress of the data

89
collection, from the records of the Miami Dade Courthouse.
Valuable assistance in this step of the survey was given by
a local trade paper. The Miami Review, which published daily
lists of divorces obtained in Dade County. Tne appropriate-
lists were copied from microfilm copies of the appropriate
past editions of this paper stored in the public library.
These lists were supplemented by searches throuqh the
courthouse divorce records.
One very serious limitation cn the value of these lists,
which caused much prolonged searching for the whereabouts
and identities of the potential respondents, arose from the
fact that the court records contained the names of the
parties to the divorces, but net their addresses. The
result was that there were just two facts to go on in the
data collection process: the names of the parties and the
dates of the final dissolutions of the marriages.
Data Collection
Once the sample was drawn from the Courthouse records,
the next step was to trace and contact the subjects by
telephone, to inform them that they had been chosen by a
randomized process to take part in the survey, and to invite
them to participate. The questionnaire was immediately
mailed to each one whe consented to participate (see
Appendix I, which contains the questionnaire). The return
of the questionnaire upon completion by the respondent was

90
made as easy aad simple as possible. The questionnaire had
a self-sealinq feature, complete with return address and
return postage prepaid.
If the respondent failed to complete and return the
questionnaire within three weeks, a follow-up telephone call
was made. In an alarminq number of cases the respondents
said they had not received the questionnaire in tne mail.
When that was the case, replacements were mailed immediate¬
ly, with the consent of the respondents. In other instances
the respondents stated they had already mailed back the
questionnaire completed. In these instances, the
difficulties with the mail were explained, and usually then
the respondent would agree that a replacement be sent out
after two or three days, if the original one had not been
received by us by that time.
More typically, however, when the follcw-up call was
made, the respondent would say that she had net completed it
yet, or had forgotten it, or that the children had "lost
it." Mhere necessary, further follow-up calls were made at
one-week intervals.
The data were collected in the summer of 1979 and in
January and February of 1980. Criqrnally it was planned
that data be collected from 400 respondents, and that the
data collection be completed by the end of the summer of
1979. However, this proved to be impossible on account of
the difficulty and length of tine involved in locating the

91
respondents. For this reason, an additional two months were
necessary, and authorization was received to reduce the
number of respondents frote 400 to 200.
The data for this survey consisted of the responses from
203 respondents and each response set contained 207
variables. The respondents were approximately equally
divided among the four qroups as fellows.
Group I: Mothers divorced 2 months: 56 respondents
Grour II: Mothers divorced 6 months: 50 respondents
Group III: Mothers divorced 12 months: 49 respondents
Group IV: Mothers divorced 24 months: 48 respondents
Response Rate
From a total listinq of 3,039 names a total of 560
prospective respondents were eventually traced and contacted
by phone. Of these, 299, or 53.39 per cent, agreed to
participate in the survey. Then, 67.89 per cent of those
who had consented tc participate returned completed, usable
questionnaires, qivinq us a total of 203 respondents.
A very important question is to what extent may we
qeneralize from the findiuqs of our survey? Carefully
planned efforts were made to secure a representative sample.
However, caution is indicated by reason of the relative
smallness of our final number of respondents, totalinq 203.
Another reason for caution is the response rate. Two-
thirds, or 67.89 per cent precisely.
of those who aqreed to

92
participate actually returned completed questionnaires.
This can be -judged as a satisfactory response rate.
However, it must be kept in mind that a total of 560
prospective respondents were traced and contacted, and of
these only 36.25 per cent actually participated.
In spite of these limitations, our findings may be
generalized to other populations similar tc Miami's, albeit
with caution. ile believe our findinqs are certainly mere
representative of the population at larqe than taose
findinqs of other studies where availability samples, even
of vast size, were used (e.g. Hunt and Hunt, 1979).
Further, we feel that our findinqs are superior in
representativeness to those based on clinical data, which
data, ny the very nature of the case, are representative
only of those who attend clinics.
Data Analysis
The data collected in this survey lent themselves to
various techniques of analysis. Soth descriptive and
inferential statistics were employed. Descriptive
techniques were used to present, among other details, the
characteristics of the respondents, their marriages and
remarriaqes, as well as the pcstdivorce period. Heqression
and multiple regression techniques were used mainly in the
analysis of the divorce trauma.

93
Tlie data were analyzed usinq Statistical Analysis System
(SAS) . Computinq was done usinq the facilities of the
Northwest Reqional Data Center of the University of Florida
in Gainesville.
Field experiences
Reference has already been made to the difficulties
involved in tracinq the prospective respondents, whose names
had been secured from the courthouse records. The plan was
to do this by findinq their telephone numbers in the
telephone directory, or by qettinq them from Information.
Typically, there were several listinqs in the telephone
directory correspondinq with the name to be traced. In one
case the listinqs for one and the same name covered two and
a half paqes in the directory. These multiple listinqs
necessitated many telephone calls that had to be done with
qreat sensitivity and discretion before the correct person
was located, if she was located at all.
Durinq the first week cr so, qreat care was taken to call
only those numbers which corresponded with the names of the
female partners, carefully avcidinq possible contact with
the ex-husbands, because it was expected that they would
respond with strong neqative reactions if they were called.
However, practically all of the female listinqs that were
called durinq the first week belonqed either to elderly
shut-ins or younq sinqles.
and so no subjects were traced.

94
After this dismal experience, the decision was reluctantly
made to call the listings corresponding to tka ex-husbands'
names. The outcome had seme happy surprises.
The first surprise was that many ex-wives were still
using the same phone numbers they had during their marriages
and these numbers were typically listed under their
husbands' names. On reflection, this should have been
anticipated since in many divorce cases the wife gets tne
home as part of the property settlement. And when she
continues to live at the same address, it seems she tends to
leave the telephone listing unchanged—at least for some
time .
The second surprise was the reactions of the ex-husbands
in the cases where we did actually contact them. Almost
invariably they were kind and helpful, volunteering the ex-
wive's current telephone numbers or addresses, or
volunteering to get them for us. Some of the ex-husbands
did not feel free to divulge their ex-spouses' current
numbers. Tnese almost invariably suggested that we call
back again in a day of so, to give them time to get their
ex-spouses' permisson to divulge them to us.
In many instances, where the ex-spouses were on cordial
terms, the ex-husbands would undertake Htc put in a good
word" for us before we would call the ex-wives.
It was striking how open and ready these men were to
discuss their divorces on their own initiative. Indeed many

95
of them displayed a need to talk about their situations. In
these cases it was truly moving and humblinq to listen to
these men pour out their hearts in sorrow over losing their
wives and children. Many of them shed tears, especially
when speaking about their children, whom they tended to
perceive as lost to them. Every effort was made to give
these men the time and consideration they wanted, because of
the nature of the cases, and also because they were
indispensable allies in our endeavor.
Contacting these men was not only a beneficial
experience, but a qratifyinq one also. The following
anecdote will serve as an example, even thouqh it is unique
in its details. There was a certain prospective respondent,
whom we will call Mrs. Jane Doe, whom we were trying to
trace. We knew from the record that her ex-husband was
Captain John Doe, and found his listinq in the telephone
directory. Sie were most reluctant to call his number
because of unhappy experiences we had in years past when
tryinq to deal with military officers. However, after all
other attempts to trace our subject failed, the decision was
reluctantly made to call his number, with the fervent hope
that she, not he, would answer the phone. The call was
made, and to our chaqrin a male answered. We asked to speak
with Mrs. Jane Doe. With qreat cordiality he reqretfully
informed us that that was impossible since she was away on
vacation, but if we called back two weeks later
she would

96
be back. Then he went on to explain that he was her ex-
husband, that he had returned to his former home to take
care of the children while his ex-wife went on vacation, and
that he was a ship's captain, spendinq most of his time in
the Caribbean. Then for about 90 minutes he held us
enthralled with his stories and lore of the Caribbean. Ever
since then it has been a cherished dream of this author that
some day he will take a Caribbean cruise with that captain.
Host of the ex-husnands contacted showed a respect for
their ex-spouses, and often affection and love too. There
was a small minority who betrayed the opposite feelinqs,
alonq with qladness that the marriaqes were ended. They
could be exemplified by the response of a certain man who
was apparently somewhat inebriated. He was a little
truculent, but did qive us his ex-wife's phone number.
3efore hanqinq up we thanked him, and expressed the nope
that he would nave a qood niqht. Earnestly he replied, "I
most certainly will, now that I'm rid of that woman."
The decision was made to commence the data collection
process by establishinq the list of names for Group II, that
is, those divorced six months. This was undertaken at the
end of Hay, 1979. Anticipatinq that it would take the
entire month of June to contact these subjects, the listinq
contained the names, arrayed in chrcnolcqical order, of
those divorced durinq the entire mouth of December, 1978.
Startinq at the head of the list we proceeded to try to

97
contact the subjects, working through the list through the
end of June. In this fashion, at the point when we
contacted each subject, she was divorced almost precisely
six months. The same procedure was in turn used with the
other three groups.
We decided to start with Group II because we assumed that
these women, having had six months to recover from the worst
of the divorce experience, would not be as sensitive as
those in Group I. Further, we expected that this group
would not be as dispersed as Group III and Group IV, that
is, fewer would have moved out cf town, or relocated
elsewhere within the city, or remarried. Our work
subsequently indicated that the members in Group III and
Group IV were indeed more dispersed as we had anticipated.
Further, our first assumption seemed to be supported by our
experiences during the summer when we moved on to contact
Group I after Group II. He did find these most recently
divorced women more suspicious of our work, somewhat
impatient and in general more negative to our contacts.
However, when we returned to Miami the following January to
complete the data collection, we found no such difference
between Group I and the ether groups. He found this
intriguing and searched for answers.
Possibly the following surmises have some validity. The
weather in summertime in Miami is very demanding, especially
on those who have to work. Possibly this, along with the

98
fact that these newly divorced mothers had their children at
home underfoot durinq the summer vacation, took a heavy toll
on their enerqy and patience at a time when they were rather
vulnerable, havinq just been recently divorced. Secondly,
it is quite possible that the researcher was much more adept
at his job when he returned the followinq January and thus
allayed their fears. Of course too, it could have been a
self-fulfillinq prophecy of expected qreater difficulties.
Thirdly, there was a unique event takinq place in Miami that
summer, and it was publicized daily in the media--the trial
of Theodore Bundy, being tried for the murder of two
sorority sisters at Florida State University, Tallahassee.
It was evident that this trial had an effect on the
community—or at least the females—because quite a number
of our sub-jects when contacted by phone asked: "How can I
know you are on the up and up, that you are not like
Theodore Bundy?"
As soon as we traced a prospective subject on the phone
we briefly introduced ourselves by sayinq who we were and
what we were doing, and then she was invited to take part in
the study. Typically, this qave rise to a pattern of
defensive questions from the subjects such as follows:
"Well where are you from anyway?" "How did you qet my
name and telephone number—isn't this an invasion of
privacy?" "Why are you doinq this?" These and other
recurrinq questions led us to develop a very well-honed
introduction wherein we clearly stated the followinq.

99
1. Who we were and where we were from
2. What we were doinq, and why we were doinq it
3. How we found the name and telephone number
4. The information qiven would be anonymous and
confidential
5. She would not be annoyed by an interviewer now nor
later
6. It would take 30 to 60 minutes to complete the
questionnaire
7. We would be most grateful if she would take part
ühis introduction was very carefully written out and
assiduously revised until every superfluous word was
eliminated uecause of its lenqth. Thereafter, it was read
to each subject in a conversational manner, until it was
learned by heart.
We were amazed at the effectiveness of this introduction.
It was listened to without any interruption, and it
effectively eliminated all of the formerly recurrinq
questions with one exception. We said we were makiuq the
survey in order to collect important information on divorce.
This part of the statement proved inadequate, because the
subjects tended to ask, "Don’t we have all the information
we need on divorce already?" And more insistently they
asked, "What's in this for you?" We continued usinq the
same line until one subject interrupted our qrandiose piten
for science by sayinq, "Will you cut out the . . . and tell

100
me "just why you are doinq this?” Somewhat apologetically we
said it was needed in order to qet a Ph.D. deqree. The
reply came, "Of course I'll he qlad to help you.” From then
on we gave that as the reason for the survey, and it
elicited sympathetic responses.
Respondents who were slow cr reluctant to take part were
frequently won over when we told them that we had decided
not to mail out the questionnaires without any prior contact
or approval, as is usually the case. We pointed out that we
decided to contact each person first, cut of respect for the
individual, and to qet her consent before mailinq the
questionnaire.
It will be recalled that Spanish-speakinq mothers were
not included in this survey. Durinq the process of
contacting our subjects this researcher learned very rapidly
how to recoqnize those who were to be excluded. Invariably
the people who spoke only Spanish answered the phone with
the Spanish greeting Cigo. or Dijame. Then we simply
excused ourselves, sayinq we had made a mistake. Until tnat
lessen was learned this investigator found himself in
difficult and embarrassinq situations as he tried to
apoioqize and explain in broken Spanish.
Overwhelmingly, the respondents were most qracious and
courteous when contacted for the first time, and the follow¬
up calls were ratner like calls to friends. Furtner, we
would quess that about half of them engaged in instant

101
intimacy over the phone, either pourinq out their problems
and views on marriage and divorce, or tellinq -joyfully of
their new lives and accomplishments.
This researcher feels a deep debt of qratitude to these
mothers not only because of their participation and
cooperation in the survey, but also because of their
striking courtesy and kindness durinq our contacts with
them.
Summary
Our research population was Enqlish-speakinq, divorced
mothers in the Miami-Dade metropolitan area. Drawinq from
courthouse records, we used a stratified sample to create
four cohorts of respondents, in order to trace the
incidence, intensity, duration, and resolution of the
divorce trauma durinq the all-important two years followinq
divorce.
The data were collected in the summer of 1979 and in
January and February of 1980. Prepared questionnaires were
mailed cut to subjects who had already been traced by phone
and who had qiven prior consent. Our data consisted of
completed questionnaires from 203 respondents, and each
response set contained 207 variables. The response rate was
67.89 per cent of those who had consented to take part.
Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in
analyzing the data. The statistical procedures were

102
performed on the computer facilities at the Oniversity of
Florida, Gainesville. Our field experiences, while
prolcnqed and arduous, and sometimes frustratinq, were over-
whelminqly qratifyinq. A debt of qratitude is owed to the
respondents—and in many cases to their ex-husbands too.

CHAPTER IV
BACKGROUND AND SELECTED MARITAL VARIABLES OP RESPONDENTS
Introduction
This chapter first presents descriptive details of tae
background variables of the respondents, such as age,
country of birth, length of residence in the United States,
race, religion, and level of education. This will be
followed by similar information on certain marital variables
such as age at marriage, age at divorce, length or marriage
and the number of divorces obtained.
Background Variables
Age
The sample studied in this survey consisted of 203
divorced motners who returned completed usable
guestionnaires. At the time of the data collection, these
mothers ranged in age from 22 to 62 years, with an average
of 38 years.
Race and Country of Birth
As expected, the majority of the respondents were white:
89.60 per cent identified themselves as such, and 9.90 per
cent were black., while the remaining 0.50 per cent
103

104
designated themselves as "other." Most or the respondents,
80.30 per cent, were born in the United States, followed
next by 11.33 per cent born in Cuba, while the remaining
8.37 per cent were born in other foreign countries. The
figures on the country of origin of the ex-husbands are
almost the same, as can be seen in Table 1. The length of
time that the foreign-bcrn respondents had been in the
United States ranged from 3 to 35 years, with the mean being
15 years.
TABLE 1
Country of Origin of Ex-Spouses
Country of birth
fiespondents
Ex-
Husbands
N
per cent
N
per cent
United States
163
80.30
161
79.70
Cuba
23
11.33
27
13.37
Other
17
8.37
14
6.93
Totals
203
100.00
202
100.00
Of the United States-born respondents, 92.02 per cent
married United States-born men, while 78.26 per cent of the
Cuban-born respondents married Cuban men, and 41.18 per cent
of the other foreign-born respondents married otaer foreign-
born men. Conseguently, homogamy by reason of country of
birth was highest among the United States-bora, followed
next by the Cuban-born.

105
Religion
The vast majority oí the respondents belonged to one of
the three major reliqious denominations in our country. Tne
largest proportion, 41.12 per cent identified themselves as
Protestants, 25.38 per cent. Catholics, followed closely by
19.29 per cent Jewish, and lastly 1.02 per cent belonged to
other denominations. The remaining 13.20 per cent stated
that they belonged to no church at all. However, we do not
know whether this last group held any religious beliefs,
which are quite distinct from church affiliation.
Table 2 reveals that a much lower proportion of the ex-
husbands than of the respondents were listed as Protestants:
28.08 per cent compared with 41.12 per cent of the ex-wives.
While the proportions remain practically the same for the
Catholics and Jews, a comparatively high 31.03 per cent of
the males had no religious affiliation compared with 13.20
per cent of the females. This coincides with findings in
general that more women than men tend to be affiliated witn
churches.
Homoqaiuy on the basis of religion was hignest among tae
Jewish respondents, 92.11 per cent of whom had been married
to Jewish men. Next, 69.23 per cent of the respondents who
had no church affiliation had been married to similar men,
and 60.00 per cent of the Catholic respondents had been
married to Catholic men, and lastly, 51.85 per cent of the
Protestant mothers had been married to Protestant men.

106
TABLE 2
Religious Affiliation of Ex-Spouses
Religion
Respondents
Ex-
Husbands
Both Ex
-Spouses
N
per cent
N
per cent
N
per cent
Protestant
8 1
41.12
57
28.08
42
51.85
Catholic
50
25.38
42
20.69
30
60.00
J ewish
38
19.29
41
20.20
35
92.11
Other
2
1.02
0
—
0
—
N one
26
13.20
63
31.03
18
69.231
Totals
19 7
100.012
203
100.00
125
* column non-additive
2not 100 per cent because of rounding
These data reflect the religious situation only at the end
of the marriages, ccnseguently we do not know what the
situation was initially at the beginning of the marriages,
nor who changed or dropped church affiliation during the
marriages.
Education
As Table 3 indicates, there is a remarkable similarity
between the level of education of the respondents and their
ex-husbands, in the aggregate. The only deviation that
merits mention is the fact that while not guite 1.00 per
cent of the respondents completed only grade school, 3.50
per cent of the ex-husbands are in that category. fc'e can
only speculate that perhaps this resulted from a higher
drop-out rate among males, or the availability of more "jobs
for males with this level of education.

TABLE 3
Education of Bespondents and Their Ex-Husbands
Level of Education
Respondents
Ex-
Husbands
N
per cent
N
per cent
Mo formal education
3
1.49
3
1.50
Grade school
2
0.99
7
3.50
Hiqh school
44
21.78
43
21.50
Some colleqe
69
34.16
66
33.00
Colleqe qraduate
48
23.76
49
24.50
Grad, school/post-
36
17.82
32
16.00
qrad. professional
traininq
Totals
202
100.00
200
100.00
Homoqamy on the basis or education is relatively low,
hovering at approximately one-third in each or the
categories, with the sole exception of qrade school where
there is zero homoqamy. This low educational homoqamy is
conqruent with findinqs in ctner studies.
It is quite remarkable that 41.58 per cent of the
respondents, and 40.50 per cent of their ex-nusbands
attained a colleqe, qraduate or professional deqree. This
is a hiqher proportion than that found in the population at
larqe, indicating that our sample was not proportionately
representative of the entire population.
Work During Marriage and Now
All but 8.37 per cent of the respondents (H=17) reported
working in a jon or profession while they were married.
Half of them, or precisely 50.74 per cent, worked full-time.

17.24 per cent worked part-time, and the remaining 23.65 per
cent reported working on and off.
Segarding their ex-husbands' workinq records, 88.12 per
cent of the respondents reported that their ex-husbands
always had jobs. Of the remainder, 4.46 per cent (N=9)
reported that their ex-spouses experienced frequent layoiis,
and the remaining 7.43 per cent (N=15) complained that their
ex-husbands worked only occasionally.
By the time of the data collection, the overall picture
of the respondents workinq outside the home had changed
dramatically. Whereas only 50.74 per cent reported working
full-time during marriage, an impressive 79.10 per cent did
so at the time of the survey. Working part-time, by
comparison, declined from 17.24 per cent to 8.96 per cent.
A mere 0.50 per cent (N=1) was workinq on and off, compared
with almost 25.00 per cent during marriaqe. Somewhat
surprisingly, 11.44 per cent (N=23) reported holding no job
at the time of the survey, compared with 6.37 per cent
(N=17) during marriaqe.
This last finding led us to surmise that those who were
not working outside the home at the time of the survey were
remarried. However, when we tested this hypothesis we found
that of the 27 remarried respondents, 88.89 per cent of them
(N=24) were working full-time, and only the remaining 11.44
per cent {li = 3) were net workinq outside the home at the
time of the survey. Consequently we did not find support

109
for the hypothesis. The data on the respondents working
durinq marriage and at the time of the survey are presented
in Table 4. The additional data in that table show that
85.44 per cent of those who worked full-time durinq marriage
were still working full-time when we contacted them. In
contrast, only 14.29 per cent of those whc had worked part-
time and 26.67 per cent of those who had not worked during
the marriages reported the same working situations at the
time of the survey.
TABLE 4
Employment of Respondents During Marriage and Now
Employment
Durinq Marriage
flow
3! he n
and Now
N
per cent
N
per cent
N
per cent
Full-time
103
50.74
159
79.10
88
65.44
Part-time
35
17.24
18
8.96
5
14.29
On and off
48
23.65
1
0. 50
0
—
None
17
8.37
23
11.44
4
26.67»
Totals
203
100.00
201
100.00
97
‘coluniü non-
additive
The economic exigencies of divorced women are clearly
evident when we compare the working record durinq their
marriaqes with that following divorce. Most clearly
indicative is the fact that four-fifths of them were working
full-time when we contacted them, compared wita only half of
them having worked full-time while married.

1 10
Type- of Employment During Marriage and Now
When the respondents were asked to specify what iob they
held durinq their marriaqes, for reasons unknown to tne
investiqator almost half cf them declined to answer. Cf the
103 women who did qive a response to this question, 4.76 per¬
cent specified that they were housewives, and exactly the
same percentaqe reported that they worked in service lots,
such as stewardesses, nursinq aides, and the like. A
sliqhty larqer proportion, 6.67 per cent, were operatives.
The hiqhest proportion of all, 40.95 per cent, were employed
in clerical positions, with an additional 15.24 per cent
employed in sales. In spite of the fact that 41.58 per cent
of the respondents had either a colleqe, qraduate or
professional deqree, as already noted, a mere 27.62 per cent
were employed as professionals. This is in sharp contrast
with the fact that 67.38 per cent of the ex-husbands held
manaqerial and professional positions. This probably
resulted from the institutional sexism that is rampant in
the marketplace. These data are found in Table 5.
In that table it is easy to see that homoqamy on the
basis of employment was very low. Of course no homoqamy at
all could be found in the cateqories with zero data in any
of the columns: housewife, retired, craftsmen, and
manaqerial. Amonq the remaininq cateqories, homoqamy was
hiqhest in service, standinq at 6Ü.00 per cent. Next came
operatives with 50.00 per cent homoqamy and then

111
TABLE 5
Type of Employment of Ex-Spouses Durinq Marriage
Type of work
Respondents
Husbands
Both Ex
-Spouses
N
per cent
N
per cent
N
per cent
Housewife
5
4.76
0
—
0
—
Retired
0
—
2
1.07
0
--
Service
5
4.76
10
5.35
3
60.00
Operatives
7
6.67
26
13.90
3
50.00
Craftsmen
0
—
21
11.23
0
—
Clerical
43
40.95
2
1.07
2
5.26
Sales
16
15.24
0
—
0
--
Managerial
0
—
61
32.62
0
—
P rofessional
29
27.62
65
34.76
12
41.381
Totals
10 5
100. 00
187
ICO.000
20
1column non-additive
professionals with 41.38 per cent. The least homoqamy was
found in the clerical category, standinq at only 5.26 per
cent. This was the inevitable result of 40.95 per cent of
the females being employed in clerical week., compared with
only 1.07 per cent of the males beinq likewise employed.
Table 6 presents data on the types of "jobs held by the
respondents durinq their marriaqes and at the time of the
survey. The data present a mixed picture. Following the
divorces there was an increase in the proportions working in
service, supervisory and sales positions, but there was a
decrease in domestic, operative, clerical and professional
positions.
A close analysis of tmose who identified their work
durinq marriage and at the time of the survey reveals a

112
TABLE 6
Type of Employment During Marriage and Now
Type of Work
Housewife
Service
Operative
Supervisor
Clerical
Sales
P rofessicnals
Totals
During Marriage
N
per cent
5
4.76
5
4.76
7
6.67
0
—
43
40.95
16
15.24
29
27.62
105
100.00
N o w
N
per cent
2
1.47
11
8.09
4
2.94
3
2.21
52
38.24
30
22.06
34
25.00
136
100.01»
1 not 100 per cent because of rounding
similarly mixed picture. The five respondents who worked in
clerical positions while married were still there when we
contacted them. Of the seven who had been operatives, two
had moved up to sales (the remaining five did not identify
their work at the time of the survey). Of the 43 who had
been in clerical positions, 9.30 per cent (N = 4) moved up to
professional, but a similar percentage moved down to
service, while 72.09 per cent (N=31) remained as they were
(the remaining 9.30 per cent did not identity their work at
the time of the survey). Of the 16 who had been in sales,
87.50 per cent (N = 14) were still there, and the remaining
12.50 per cent (N=2) had moved into professional positions.
Lastly, of the 29 who had been professionals, 48.28 per cent
{N=14) were still working as professionals, but 13.79 per
cent (H=4) had moved down to sales, and the same proportion

113
had moved down further to clerical positions. (The
remaining 24.14 per cent fN=71 did not identify their
current positions).
A comparison of the respondents' averaqe take-home pay
shows only a slight increase, which is probably best
explained in terms of the passage of time, along with the
fact that those working full-time grew from 50.74 per cent
to 79.10 per cent. At the end of the marriaqes, the average
weekly take-home pay was $180.00 compared with Í2Ú0.00 at
the time of the data collection.
Marital Variables
This section will present data on the number of times
that respondents had been married and divorced, their ages
at marriage and at divorce, the length of time that the
marriages lasted, and how many lived toqether before qetting
married.
Times Divoreed
Of the 203 respondents, 148 of them had been divorced
once, 45 twice, 7 three times, and one had been through five
divorces (two respondents gave no answer). Stating the same
in percentages, 73.b3 per cent had received one divorce,
22.39 per cent two divorces, 3.48 per cent three divorces,
and 0.50 per cent had been divorced five times.

Fifty of the respondents,
reported that they and their
114
24.63 per cent of the total,
ex-husbands had lived toqether
before qettinq married. The lenqth of time that they lived
toqether ranqed from one month to ten years, with the
averaqe beinq one year.
When this phenomenon of livinq toqether before marriage
was examined on the basis of the number of times divorced,
we found a positive correlation. Of those divorced once,
only 15.54 per cent lived toqether, compared with 48.89 per
cent of those divorced twice, and 62.50 per cent of those
divorced three times or mere. These data are presented in
Table 7.
TABLE 7
Times Divorced and Cohabitation
Times Divorced
Divorcees
lived
Together
H
per cent
N
per cent
Once
148
73.63
23
15.54
Twice
45
22.39
22
48.89
More than twice
8
3.98
5
62.50»
Totals
201
100. CO
50
‘colman non-additive

115
Aqe at Marriage
At the time of enterinq their last marriaqes (ror 73.63
per cent of the respondents rN=1481 their first marriaqes
were also their last marriaqes to date) the respondents
ranqed in aqe from 14 tc 50 years old, with an averaqe of 24
years. Their ex-husbands at that same point ranqed in aqe
from 16 to 82 years old, with an averaqe of 27 years, making
them three years older, on the averaqe, than their ex-wives.
When we examine the 148 respondents who had been married
and divorced only once, we find that they ranqed in aqe from
14 to 35 years old, with an averaqe of 21 years. This
averaqe is three years less than the averaqe of all the
respondents as a whole.
Aqe at Divorce and Length of Marriage
At the time of their last divorces, the respondents
ranqed in aqe from 21 to 60 years, with an averaqe aqe of 37
years. The length of the respondents* last marriages ranqed
from less than one year to 40 years, with the averaqe length
being 13 years.
Summary
The aqes of respondents ranqed from 22 tc 62 years old,
indicating that divorce occurs in every stage of the family
life cycle. Nine-tenths of the respondents were white, and
practically all of the rest were black. Four-fifths of the

1 1 D
women surveyed were born in the United States. The foreiqn-
born had been in the U.S. an average of 15 years.
Protestants, Catholics, and Jews were strcnqly represented
in the sample. In qeneral, the respondents and taeir ex¬
spouses had high levels cf formal education. Practically
all of the respondents reported working during their
marriages, with half of them workinq full-time. After the
divorce a dramatic change took place. By the time the
survey was made four-fifths of them were workinq full-time.
Comparison of the data on the type of employment and income
before and after divorce indicates that the respondents
experienced downward mobility following their divorces.
Practically three-quarters of the respondents had been
divorced once, while most of the others had been divorced
twice. Their ages at marriage ranqed from 14 to 50 years,
with an average age of 24 years. The marriaqes lasted from
1 to 40 years, with an average length cf 13 years.

CHAPTER V
THE ANTECEDENTS AND CAUSES OF DIVORCE
Introduction
This chapter has two main parts. In the first part, we
will describe and examine the antecedents of divorce. Here
information will be presented on such matters as proposing
divorce and insistinq on carrying it throuqn, counseliuq and
discussions prior to divorce, as well as the incidence and
type of force and violence in marriaqe.
The second part of the chapter will deal with the causes
of divorce. Here a distinction will be made between
personal causes and societal causes of divorce. The
personal causes given by the respondents will be examined in
detail, leading to an index of the seriousness of individual
causes. This will be followed by an examination of the most
serious problems or difficulties encountered in marriaqe.
The Antecedents of Divorce
Who Suggested Divorce?
The literature indicates that in the majority of cases,
it is tae wife who suggests divorce. This does not mean
that more wives than husbands are first to want a divorce.
On the contrary, it would seem that the reverse is the case.
117

118
However, quite often the husband, even though he wants a
divorce, for reasons of his own, refrains from suqqestinq
divorce. Instead, he makes hitaself so obnoxious that the
wife beqins to tnink of divorce as a wav out, and eventually
she reaches the point where she suqqests qettinq a divorce
(Goode, 1956:133-135; Leslie, 1982:570).
The data in this survey support that hypothesis. In
almost two-thirds of the cases, 64.00 per cent precisely, it
was the respondent who first suqqested the divorce. In
addition, in 8.00 per cent of the cases the suqqestion was
mutual, a situation which miqht well have been engineered by
the husband. Only in 28.00 per cent of the cases was it the
husband alone who suqqested the divorce.
Who Insisted on Divorce?
Later on, after the initial suqqestion had been made, an
interesting shift took place as far as insistinq that they
follow through was concerned. This can be seen in Table 8.
Just 54.85 per cent of the respondents alone insisted on
the divorce—a nine percentage point drop from those who
first suqqested divorce. At the same time there was a
similar nine percentage point increase in those who mutually
insisted on the follow through, over those who mutually made
the initial suggestion. The proportion of husbands alone
insistinq on divorce remains practically identical with
those first suggesting it. It seems reasonable to suggest

119
TABLE 8
Who First Suggested and Later Insisted on Divorce
S pouse
Suggested
Insisted
per cent
Change
Wife alone
64.00
54.95
-9.05
Husband alone
28.00
27. 72
-0.28
Husband and Wife
8.00
17.33
+ 9.33 *
Totals
100.00
100.00
‘coluan non-additive
that in 9.00 per cent of the cases the husbands used their
strategy to force the wives to suqqest what they themselves
wanted to begin with, and then, after the ice had been
broken by the wives sugqestinq divorce, they gladly
cooperated with the wives in insisting that they not abandon
their resolve.
Serious Consideration of Divorce
The respondents were asked how long it was from the point
when they first seriously considered divorce until they
actually filed for it. The responses reflected a great
variety of situations. Some filed within a month of first
seriously thinking of divorce, while others seriously
considered divorce for more than 10 years before actually
filing. The average length of time spent in serious consid¬
eration was one year and nine months.

120
Marriaqe Counseling
It could be argued that those who did not seek any help
in the form of counseling were net too eaqer to preserve
their marriaqes, whereas those who did seek and receive
counseling made a bona fide effort at salvaqinq the
relationship. Be that as it may, tae data indicate that
less than half, 45.77 per cent, sought help in some form of
counseling, but the remaining 54.23 per cent did not.
Of those who did seek help, the hiqhest proportion, 32.97
per cent, attended marriage clinics of different types.
Next, 25.28 per cent sought help from their pastors or
rabbis, and 16,48 percent went to social workers. The
remaining 25.27 per cent tried for help from otner sources
that remained unspecified by the respondents.
Final Separation
According to the general way of thinking, separation
precedes divorce. The data indicate that such was indeed
the case in 92.08 per cent of the cases. however, different
couples separated at different stages in the divorce cycle.
Just over one-quarter of the respondents, 26.24 per cent,
separated before any real decision to qet a divorce was
made. The largest proportion, 41.58 per cent separated
after the decision to divorce was made, but before filing
for divorce. Next, 24.26 per cent separated after the
divorce papers were filed. Separation did not take place

121
till after the divorce in 6.44 per cent of the cases. The
remaining 1.49 per cent never separated at all. These were
couples who simply got a legal divorce to avoid the marriage
tax penalty mentioned earlier in this study, or to receive
social security benefits. These data are presented in Table
9.
TABLE 9
Time of Pinal Separation
Time
J pec cent
Before decision to get divorced 53 26.24
Before filing for divorce 84 41.58
Before the divorce 49 24.26
After the divorce 13 6.44
Never 3 1.49
Totals
202 100.011
‘not 100 per cent because of rounding
It is to be expected that the decision to end one's
marriage by divorce may not be an easy one to make, and once
made, probably second thoughts occur. The data indicate
that some, but not as many as might be expected, had second
thougnts. Indeed, almost half of the respondents, 45.26 per
cent, stated that they never had any second thoughts at all,
and an additional 35.79 per cent said that they chanqed
their minds only rarely. Only the remaining 18.95 per cent
said that they reversed their decision many times.

122
Consequently, it would seem that sliqhtly over four-fifths
of the respondents had no serious difficulty with their
decisions once they were made. We can only speculate that
so many remained adamant or unwaverinq in their decisions
because of already very bad situations, or because the
relationships deteriorated siqnificantly once the decision
had been made.
Divorce Discussions
After decidinq cn divorce, one would expect the parties
to have many details to discuss. Actually 32.02 per cent
said that many such discussions took place. An additional
54.19 per cent said that they had -just a few sucn
discussions, and the remaininq 13.79 per cent said they had
none at all. This would seem to indicate that deep and
widespread alienation and a breakdown in constructive
communication between the spouses had already taken place in
many cases before they reached the point where they finally
decided on divorce, or else the announcement of the decision
caused immediate and effective alienation.
The one item that was most widely discussed by the
divorcinq parties was the question of money in the form of
alimony and child support. These were reported as the main
items of discussion by 18.18 per cent of the respondents.
There was a tie between the question of the children and the
division of property for the third most widely discussed

123
topic. Each of these was reported by 15.76 per cent. The
question of seeinq each ether after the divorce was
discussed only by 4.85 per cent, and a aere 1.21 per cent
discussed remarriage. The remaining 44.24 per cent reported
that they discussed various combinations of the above
mentioned topics.
It is clear that economic questions predominated in the
discussions, followed next by concern for the children.
Further, it would seem that the future of the relationship
between the divorcinq parties was a closed case for all but
a tiny minority of less than 5.00 per cent.
Agreements
Almost three-quarters cf the respondents, 73.53 per cent,
reported that they and their husbands were able to reach a
qeneral agreement on the matters discussed. Regrettably the
data do not indicate whether they achieved this agreement by
themselves, or had to have aid from others such as
counselors and attorneys.
Next the respondents were asked two very similar
questions. (1) Did your ex-husband live up to these
agreements? (2) Did you live up to these agreements? The
responses to these two questions possibly furnish us with an
insiqht into the ongoing relationships between the ex¬
spouses rather than with objective information on the
outcome of the agreements. Or, the agreements may have been

124
so one-sided that the ex-wives did not have to do anythinq.
This last situation would be verified when the ex-husbands
were enjoined to pay alimony and/or child support.
Practically nine-tenths of the respondents, 89.94 per cent,
reported that they had lived up to all of the agreements.
By contrast, only 48.75 per cent of them perceived their ex-
husbands as having similarly done so. It is probable that
these divorced mothers, living throuqh a rather difficult
life experience, perceived themselves as doing yeoman duty
in a bad situation primarily caused by their ex-husbands.
Approval of the Marriage
While marriage in cur culture is an institution binding
husband and wife together in a close, exclusive bond, it
also has social dimensions. Marriaqe does not exist in a
vacuum isolated from the rest of society. Of special
importance are the significant others of the huscand and
wife. It is to be expected that those marriages taat nave
the approval and support from the spouses* parents, friends,
and co-workers would have a hiqher survival rate than those
lacking these supports. This social aspect of marriaqe was
investigated in this survey.
Less than half of the women, 43.02 per cent, reported
that their ex-husbands* families approved of and supported
their marriages. The remaining 56.97 per cent reported
disapproval. By contrast.
support and approval from the

125
respondents' own families were present in the majority of
cases, beinq reported by 64.02 per cent. Cnly 35. 98 per¬
cent reported disapproval. These data are presented in
Table 10
TABLE 10
Approval and Disapproval of the Marriaqes
Group
Approval
per cent
Strcnq Weak Total
Ex-Husband's family 9.88 33.14 43.02
Respondent's family 28.57 35.45 64.02
per cent
Weak Strouq Total
36.62 20.35 56.97
26.98 9.00 35.98
Ex-husband's friends 12.42 39.22 51.63
Respondent's friends 31.25 41.67 72.92
37.26 11. 11 48. 37
20.83 6.25 27.08
Respondent's pastor 18.18 33.77 51.95 31.17 16.88 48.05
Co-workers 29.32*46.62 75.94 15.79 8.27 24.06
‘all columns are non-additive
When these data are broken down further and when we look
at the stronq approval and disapproval fiqures, the contrast
becomes qreater. Only 9.88 per cent of the respondents
reported stronq approval from their ex-husbands' families,
whereas 28.57 per cent reported similar stronq approval from
their own families. Then, turninq to the stronq disapproval
data, we find 20.35 per cent reported stronq disapproval
from their ex-husbands' families, and a mere 9.00 pet cent
experienced similar stronq disapproval from their own
families

126
A similar picture emerqes when we examine the data on
friends' approval. Just over half of the respondents, 51.63
per cent, reported approval from the ex-husbands' friends,
whereas 72.92 per cent reported approval from their own
friends. Lookinq at the data cn stronq approval, only 12.42
per cent of the ex-husbands' friends qave stronq approval,
compared with 31.25 per cent of the respondents' own
friends.
The data on the pastors' approval indicate practically an
even split, in all the cateqories, between approval and
disapproval. However, when we examine those of the
respondents' co-workers we find approval reported by a
three-to-one maiority of 75.94 per cent of the respondents.
Amonq the 24.06 per cant who disapproved, cnly 8.27 per cent
expressed stronq disapproval.
Iu summary, a maiority reported approval and support of
their marriaqes from their own families, friends and co¬
workers, nut disapproval from the ex-husbands' families.
These attitudes may be explained, in part, by the matinq
qradient, whereby women tend, to some extent, to marry men
of hiqher SES than themselves. When that is the case, the
woman "makes a qood catch," winninq approval from her own
family, friends and co-workers. By contrast, the man is
marryinq down, a situation unlikely to win approval from his
family

127
Force and Yioleoce in the Family
As earlier noted in this study, violence has been found
to be an all too common phenomenon in the American family,
between the spouses themselves, between parents and their
children, and aaonq the children themselves. This survey
probed the problem of violence between the spouses
themselves.
Sliqntly over two-fifths of the respondents, 42.29 per
cent, reported sufferinq violence from their ex-husbands.
More than one-tenth of them, 11.94 per cent, reported
sufferinq frequent violence, and an additional 30.35 per
cent suffered occasional violence. The remaining 57.71 per
cent said that they had never been subjected to violence by
their ex-husbands. These data are presented on Taole 11.
TABLE 11
Incidence of Violence Between Spouses
Incidence
N
per cent
Frequent violence
24
11.94
Occasional violence
61
30.35
No violence reported
116
57.71
Totals
201
ICO.00
When probed as to the
type of
violence that
they had
underqone, the respondents
reported
as follows.
The largest
proportion, 42.50 per cent were subjected to slappinqs,

128
beatinqs, and punchinq. Next, 21.25 per cent reported beinq
thrown around and knocked down, and 2.50 per cent were
menaced with a club, knife or qun. Another 2.50 per cent
reported other forms of violence not already specified, and
lastly 31.25 per cent reported that they had suffered
different combinations of the above-mentioned forms of
violence. These data are presented in Table 12.
TABLE 12
Type of Violence Between Spouses
Type
N
per cent
Slappinq, beatinq and punchinq
34
42.50
Thrown around and knocked down
17
21.25
Club, knife or qun used
2
2. 50
Other
2
2.50
Combinations of the above
25
31.25
Totals
80
100.00
A serious possible outcome of violence is physical
injury, and 60.49 per cent of those wives wno reported
violence did suffer physical injury. The physical injury
was characterized as bruises, black eyes and split lips oy
52.08 per cent, and the remaininq 47 per cent reported more
serious outcomes such as broken noses and finqers as well as
cuts and qashes, necessitatinq treatment and sometimes even
hospitalization

129
When asked if they had ever: physically hart their ex-
husbands, only 10.47 per cent of the respondents that they had, hut only rarely. While in no way questioning
the subjective accuracy of this information, one is left
wondering if a similar picture would emerqe from a survey
of the ex-husbands. Possibly net. However, even if they
were to report more widespread physical hurt from their
wives, it would be possible to resolve the discrepancies by
assuminq that most husbands would effectively hide from
their wives the humiliation of beinq hurt by taem.
In those instances where the wives did physically hurt
their husbands, 70.00 per cent (N=14) did so in self-
defense, and the remaininq 30.00 per cent (N=6) had other
good reasons which they left unspecified.
Violence between spouses sometimes is associated with
sex. For this reason and ethers too, the respondents were
asked: Did your ex-husband ever force ycu to have sex with
him? While close to three-quarters of the respondents,
72.68 per cent, said that such never took place, 20.10 per
cent (N = 39) said yes, occasionally, and an additional 7.22
per cent (N=14) stated that it happened frequently.
In summary, we can see that frequent violence, both
physical and sexual, occurred between the spouses in about
one-tenth of these disrupted families. An additional 30.35
per cent reported occasional physical violence, as well as a
further 20.10 per cent reporting occasional sexual violence.

130
This grim picture of marital discord is very much at odds
with the idealistic promise of the romantic love complex,
whicn is the foundation of marriaqe in our country. For
those couples who enqaqed in violence, the qap between the
promise and the performance is traqic.
The Causes of Divorce
In the continuinq effort to understand and learn more
about divorce, its causes have been examined and
scrutinized. Tnis exercise can carry with it the dream
(probably misquided) that if the causes ate identified and
then controlled or eliminated, reduced divorce rates would
ensue.
Personal Causes of Divorce
It is important to distinguish between tne personal
causes of divorce experienced in a unique individual way by
every divorcinq couple, and the societal causes that impinge
on all or most couples, even thcuqh they may be unaware of
them. Examples of societal causes miqht be the absence of
strong societal supports for the institution of marriaqe,
the absence of effective safeguards surrounding marital
fidelity, or the presence and promotion of values and
practices contrary to fidelity, the hiqh qeoqraphic and
socioeconomic mobility of a pcstindustrial society, and the
very existence of a hiqh divorce rate.

131
The personal causes of divorce, by contrast, are unique
to each individual divorce that takes place and are
perceived by one or other of the parties, or by both of them
toqether. If a particular cause is perceived by only one
party then it is an individual personal cause; if it is
perceived by both it is a shared personal cause. Further,
both of these ¡nay be either manifest or latent, qivinq us
manifest/latent individual personal causes, and
manifest/latent shared personal causes. These are presented
diaqramatically in Fiqure 1.
Personal Causes of Divorce
Individual
Snared
Manifest Latent Mainfest Latent
Fiqure 1: Personal Causes of Divorce
An example will illustrate. First let’s say a husband
qets a divorce because he is homosexual, a situation he
successfully hides even from his wife. His homosexuality
would be a latent personal cause of divorce. Now let's
suppose another case of a homosexual husband, but here the
wife knows about it, and toqether they aqree to divorce on
account of it. Here the homosexuality is a shared personal
cause. Next, let's suppose this couple, fearinq that their

132
parents and friends would be critical if they knew of the
homosexuality, decides to hide it and say that they iust
don't love each other any more, then the homosexuality would
be a latent shared personal cause, and the "no love" would
be a manifest shared personal cause, which in this case is
not a real cause, but merely a qiven or fabricated cause.
This survey endeavored to investigate the personal
causes, both individual and shared, perceived by the
divorced mothers who took part. It is hoped that the causes
they identified were not mere fabricated manifest causes,
but the real causes as they perceived them. There are qood
qrouuds to believe tnat the real reasons were given, since
anonymity and confidentiality were assured, and there was no
personal, face-to-face interviewing which could cause
embarrassaent and lead to some fabrication and
dissiaula tion.
The Main Causes of Divorce
It is a misguided undertaking to seek a monocausai
explanation of human phenomena because of the complexity of
both the human person and human social interaction. for
this reason, special care was taken not to approach this
complex question of the causes of divorce as -journalists and
interviewers apparently love to tackle their subiects.
Barbara Walters was net above asking President Sadat: "Mr
President, in one word, what is the solution to the Kiddle-

East crisis?" A similar error would be to pose the
question: "Now, you know what happened, so tell me in one
word why did your marriaqe break up?" For the most part,
just as couples are drawn toqether by a whole complex ci
reasons to marry each other, so too we can expect a complex
of causes leadinq couples to divorce.
That does not mean that all of the reasons or causes are
equally strong and important. A rankinq or hierarchy of
reasons can be expected, with one, two or three standing out
quite prominantly. With all of this in mind, the question
was posed: "What, to your mind, were the main causes or
your divorce?" This question was followed by a listinq of
14 items as possible causes ccntributinq to divorce. The
respondent was directed to check yes or no by each item. At
the end of the list the respondent was invited to list in
the space provided, any ether reasons that applied in her
case. Then, she was directed to qo back ever the entire
list and to indicate the three most important reasons for
her divorce, by numberinq them 1, 2, and 3. Even thouqh we
were interested only in the most important cause alone, it
was decided to ask for all three, in ranked order, in the
belief that this would ensure careful weiqhinq of the causes
and a more accurate identification of the most important
one, than if we asked them simply to identify the most
important cause alone

134
Five different responses to each item were possible as
follows. (1) The most important cause. (2) The second most
important cause. (3) The third most important cause. (4)
Yes, this was a cause in ay case. (5) No, this was not a
cause in my case. The question and the 14 items were listed
as follows. For the sake of ease and clarity, after each
item we have inserted in brackets the correspondinq
descriptive term used later in the text and tables.
What, to your mind, were the main causes of your divorce?
My husband:
1. failed to support us Tnc supportl
2. drank too much fexcessive drinkinql
3. neqlected us and never stayed home ["neqlectl
4. spent all our money e.q. on qamblinq, etc. fqamblinql
5. was always runninq around with the boys fthe boys]
6. was bossy, impossible and overbearinq [bossiness 1
7. was runninq around with other women Tinfidelity 1
8. fell in love with another woman Ttrianqlel
9. ran off with another woman fdesertionl
10. was always blaminq me for everythinq [blamel
11. we could never see eye to eye and qet alonq
f disaqreements 1
12. trouble with in-laws fin-laws 1
13. I wanted to continue/resume my education Tfurther
education 1
14. I wanted to carve cut a career for myself fcareer]

135
15. other (specify) -
Table 13 presents the results of the first part of the
question, that is, the percentaqe of respondents who
identified each of the listed iteras as the main causes of
divorce. The items are listed in ranked order of frequency,
ranqinq from disaqreements, reported by 68.57 per cent, down
to desertion, checked by 18.92 per cent. The sum of the
main causes checked is 789, indicatinq that on the average
each respondent checked or identified three or four main
causes.
TABLE 13
The Main Causes of Divorce in Banked Order
Causes
N
per cent
1 .
Disaqreements
120
68.57
2.
Blame
87
51.48
3.
Infidelity
79
47. 59
4.
Bossiness
74
45.40
5.
Neqlect
68
40.48
6 .
Excessive drinkinq
52
32.70
7.
Trianqle
50
32.05
8.
No support
45
28.13
9.
The Boys
42
26.42
10.
Career
37
25.00
11.
Further education
35
24.14
12.
In-laws
37
24.03
13.
Gambling
35
23.18
14.
Desertion
28
18.921
Total
789
1 column non-additive

1 36
In perusing the table, it is important to be aware of the
exact meaninq of the three variables, infidelity, triangle,
and desertion. All three refer to extramarital
relationships, and take into account the different degrees
in such relationships. Infidelity means "running around
with other women." Here no one woman is the object of the
illicit desires. Irianqle means that the man "fell in love
with another woman." Here there is an individual woman who
has won the Husband's heart, alienating his affections from
his wife. Desertion means he "ran off with another woman."
Here she won more than his heart. It is crucial to remember
that desertion is used in this narrow, specialized sense,
which is quite different from the general neaninq it has in
sociology of the family. These three variables also
represent a progression in such extramarital relationships
from "playing the field" (infidelity) through "falling in
love" with an individual woman (trianqle) to abandoning wife
and family for such a woman (desertion).
A glance at the table reveals that these extramarital
relationships in their "milder" form are widely reported
(infidelity, 47.59 per cent), and the "extreme" form is
found at the very bottom of the list (desertion, 18.95 per
cent), while the "moderate" form falls almost in the center
between the two extremes (trianqle, 32.05 per cent).
The one other variable which needs explanation at this
point is The Boys. This was stated in the questionnaire as

137
follows: fly husband was always runninq around with the
boys. In general, this variable means same-sex
relationships during marriage. A wide range of meaning was
given to this variable by the respondents as is well
illustrated by two extreme examples. One respondent made
the notation tnat she meant by it that she left her husband
when she discovered that he was homosexual. Another
indicated that she left and qot a divorce because she
"couldn't take him and his damned CB anymore."
Explanations will be deferred until a later section which
will present an index of the relative seriousness of the
causes of divorce, where each will be dealt with fully.
The Most Important Causes of Divorce
Table 14 presents the results of the second part of the
question where the respondent was asked to identity the most
important cause of the divorce. Again the results are
presented in ranked order, ranqinq from bossiness which was
identified as the most important cause by 12.83 per cent
(N=21), down to the boys, which was the most important cause
in only 0.63 per cent of the cases (N=l). The number in
parentheses after each variable indicates its rankinq among
the main causes of divorce in Table 13. This is followed by
a number in brackets which indicates the amount of
"dislocation" of each variable from the position it held in
the previous table. A positive sign before the bracketed

13b
number indicates an upward dislocation and a negative siqn a
downward movement.
TABLE 14
The Most Important Causes of Divorce in Banked Order
Causes
N per cent
1. Bossiness (4)
2. Trianqle (7)
3. Disagreements (1)
4. Infidelity (3)
5. Neqlect (5)
6. Excessive drinkinq (6)
7. No support (8)
8. Desertion (14)
9. Blame (2)
10. Career (10)
11. In-laws (12)
12. Further education (11)
13. Gamblinq (13)
14. The Boys (9)
f +3 1
21
12.88
r+5]
17
10.90
r-21
15
8.57
r-i]
14
8.43
r oi
13
7.74
r o]
10
6.29
r +n
9
5.6 3
f+6 1
8
4.51
r-7]
7
4.14
[ oi
4
2.70
r+n
4
2. 70
r-ii
3
2.07
f 01
3
1.99
r-5i
1
0.63*
Total
129
1 column non-additive
The greatest dislocation (downward) is found in the
variable, blame, which dropped from second place to ninth,
resulting from the fact that relatively few identified it as
the most important cause, even though it was the second most
widely listed among the main causes. The second greatest
dislocation (upward) is found in the variable, desertion,
which moved up from last place to eighth position. This
means that this cause was of rather rare occurrence, but
when it did occur, it was likely to be the most important
cause of the divorce.

139
Next is triangle, which moved up from seventh place tc
second. This cause was moderately widespread, and when it
occurred it was likely to be the main cause. In contrast,
the variable, the boys, dropped from ninth place to
fourteenth. Even though this was moderately widespread
among the main causes of divorce, only once was it
identified as tne most important cause. The remaining
variables underwent little or no dislocation, meaninq that
their original incidence was equally matched with their
importance.
We will now move on to the next section where the data of
the two previous tables will be combined by using a simple
mathematical formula, and presented in the easily
understandable format of an index.
Index of Seriousness of Causes of Divorce
By combining the data in Table 13 and Table 14 we can
establish an index of the relative seriousness of the causes
of divorce based on both the frequency and importance or
each. An example will serve to explain the index.
Disagreements as a cause of divorce was reported by 68.57
percent of the respondents. That same variable or cause was
listed as the most important cause by 8.57 per cent of the
respondents. The product of these two percentages qives an
index value of 587.64. The corresponding percentages on
gambling are 23.18 and 1.99, the product of which gives an

140
index value of only 46.13. Tnis was done with all 14 items
and the results are presented in ranked order in Table 15.
TABLE 15
Index of Seriousness of Causes of Divorce
Variable
Index Value
1.
Disagreements
587.64
2.
Bossiness
584.75
3.
Infidelity
401.18
4 .
Triangle
339.73
5.
Neglect
313.32
6.
Blame
213.13
7.
Excessive drinking
205.68
8.
No support
158.37
9.
Desertion
102.36
10.
Career
67.50
11.
In-laws
62.48
12.
Further education
49.97
13.
Gambling
46.13
14.
The boys
16.641
‘column non-additive
According to our index, the most serious cause of
divorce, based on a combination of how widespread and
important it is, is disagreements. This was expressed in
the questionnaire as fellows: "Hy husband and I could never
see eye to eye and get along." Probably this inability to
understand and agree gave rise to continuous arguments and
quarrels, and possibly, eventually ended all constructive
communication between the spouses. tfe are careful to use
the term "constructive communication" to distinguish it from
destructive or negative communication.
because even when

141
spouses cease to speak to each other they continue
powerfully destructive communication throuqn body lanquaqe
(Birdwhisteli, 1970).
Accordinq to the index, the second most serious cause of
divorce is Bossiness. This was stated in the questionnaire
as follows: "My husband was bossy, impossible and
overbearinq." We can only speculate that this difficlulty
arose in part, from different role expectations between the
two spouses, with the husband expectinq to play the
traditional, dominant role, and the wife expectinq equality.
The third and fourth most serious causes are infidelity and
trianqle, respectively, infidelity meaninq the husband was
"runninq around with other women," and trianqle meaninq ne
"fell in love with another woman." One miqht expect
desertion (i.e., "runninq off with another woman") to be
next. However, it is down in ninth place.
The fifth most serious cause is neqlect. This was stated
in the questionnaire as follows: "My husband neqiected us
and never stayed home." Sixth is blame which was stated as
follows: "My husband was always blaminq me for everythinq."
Seventh is excessive drinking by the husband, and eiqht is
no support, meaninq that the husband failed to support the
family. The tenth most serious cause is career, meaninq
that the respondent wanted to carve out a career for
herself. The eleventh is trouble with in-laws, and the
twelfth is further education, meaninq that the respondent

142
wanted to continue or resuae her education. The list is
rounded out by qambling, meaning the husband "spent ail our
money on qambling and the like." Lastly, the boys, which
was stated as follows: "My husband was always runninq
around with the boys." In general, this variable means
same-sex relationships during aarriaqe.
Marital Problem Clusters
The personal causes of divorce experienced by the
divorcinq parties directly translate into serious
difficulties or problems, in or with marriaqe, which lead to
divorce. For instance, if a respondent lists triangle
(i.e., her husoand fell in love with another woman) as the
cause of divorce, it is clear that he (the husband) had
difficulty with monoqamy, and this difficulty led to
divorce.
With this in mind, a re-examination of the index data
reveals that four distinct clusters of marital problems
clearly emerge which are labelled as follows. (1) The
interpersonal relationship cluster of problems. (2) The
monoqamy cluster. (3) The economic consumption cluster.
(4) The careerism cluster. These are schematically
presented in Figure 2, where the causes of divorce are
listed in the same order as in the index. An examination of
these clusters afford us some insiqht into the more serious
difficulties within marriaqe in our country.

14 3
Causes of Divorce
Marital Problem Clusters
Disaqreements
Bossiness
Interpersonal Relationship
Infidelity
Trianqle
Monoqamy
Neqlect
Blame
Excessive drinkinq
No support
Economic Consumption
Desertion—anomaly
Monoqamy
Career
In-laws— unrelated
Further education
Careerism
Gamblinq
The boys
Fiqure 2: Causes or Divorce and Marital Problem Clusters
These clusters of problems and their rankinqs form a
strikinq fit with the predominant type family in our
country, the nuclear family, made up of parents and their
children. It will be noted that the families of the
respondents of this survey prior to the divorces were
nuclear families.
Interpersonal Relationship
Assuminq that the seriousness of the problem clusters
follows the same order as the indexed causes of divorce,
then the most serious cluster of marital problems is the
interpersonal relationship cluster.
composed of the

144
variables disagreements and bossiness. It would appear taat
the interpersonal relationship between husband and wife may
well be the most serious challenqe and problem in marriage.
In our postindustrial, highly mobile society where couples
are frequently uprooted and removed from their families of
orientation and friends, often the spouses alone must
provide all of the attention, affection and support, which
formerly in the extended family were provided by a large
family circle and friends. Thus, in our modern settinq,
this exclusive relationship between the spouses is liable to
suffer from overload, and finally breakdown. This overload
is increased because of higher expectations about marriage.
In our time, marriage is based on the romantic love complex
which qives rise to the unreal expectation that marriage
will be something like a continuous honeymoon, filled with
warm affection and love between the spouses. Further, the
female tends to expect that she will be an equal partner
with her husband. This expectation of equality has been
increased in recent years, no doubt, as the result of the
Women's Liberation Movement, and the entry cf more and more
females into the workforce.
In place of the expected undying romance and mutual
affection, support, understanding, harmony and basic
equality between the spouses, instead pervasive
misunderstandings, disagreements and quarrels develop, with
the husband, apparently, endeavoring through bossiness to

145
subdue and subjugate the wife, and she, instead of
submitting, becomes filled with resentment. The spouses
become more ana more alienated from each other, and fail to
see eye to eye or aqree on even the most basic matters, as
each one becomes hardened and imprisoned within the shell of
his or her own resentful perspective. In due time, possibly
the only thing they can agree on is that they should get a
divorce.
Monogamy
The second most serious cluster of marital problems is
the monogamy cluster, made up primarily of
infidelity—"running around with other women"—and
triangle—"he fell in love with another woman." It would
seem that the monogamous sex relationship between husband
and wife may well be the second most serious challenge and
problem in marriage.
In our society, marriage is monogamous both by norm and
law. When a couple gets married, they pledge to be faithful
to each other, to the exclusion of all others. Besides, out¬
law does not tolerate a multiplicity of spouses, at least
not simultaneously. Even though monogamy is the norm and
the law, our society does not provide strong and effective
safeguards and supports for monogamy. Besides, contrary
values are widely and allurinqly presented through many
media, but perhaps especially through movies and television.

146
as well as qlossy maqa2ines, the epitome ox which is
probably Playboy.
Our data indicate that infidelity and trianqle were both
widely reported and rated as very serious by the
respondents. One miqht expect desertion --"runninq off with
another woman"— to be up here alonq with infidelity and
trianqle. Instead it is down in ninth place, forming an
apparent anomaly. However, the anomaly is resolved by
recallinq that at the outset, desertion was the least
mentioned of all the causes listed. However, when it was
listed, it tended strongly to be the most iiportant cause.
From this we can conclude that it was a rare occurrence, but
one that was by no means trivial when it happened.
Me miqht well ask why desertion is so race when compared
with infidelity and trianqle. Two plausible explanations
come to mind. First, where there is a trianqle, that is, a
love relationship with another woman, our public sense of
decency may demand that it be kept under wraps or at least
under control until a divorce is obtained. This may be the
reason why in our hiqhly mobile, rootless society involved
in much moving, the phenomenon of a married man runninq off
with another woman is not a pervasive one by any means. The
second possible explanation is this. Even though the love
trianqle is widespread, causinq much marital disruption, it
is possible that few of these trianqle relationships endure
and survive the stress and difficulties involved in divorce
and the breaking up of one's family.

147
Economic Consumption
The third most serious cluster of marital problems is the
economic consumption cluster. This is made up of the
variables neqlect, blame, excessive drinkinq and no support.
It would seem that reliable and responsible provision for
one's family may well be the third most serious challenqe
and problem in marriaqe.
Formerly, the family was an economic production unit,
with various members contributinq to the production process.
In modern American society, it is an economic consumption
unit. The members of the family now "consume" the income
brouqht home by the bread winner(s). The consumption is
continuous, involvinq as it does the purchase of the
relative necessities of daily livinq. It has been found
(Ross and Sawhill, 1975:59) that it is not the absolute
level of income that is important for marital stability, but
rather that the breadwinner earn on a par with those in his
own 5ES level, and that the income be reliable,
uninterrupted by avoidable layoffs.
In our findinqs, the economic cluster is comprised of the
variables neqlect--"he neqlected us and never stayed
home,"—excessive drinkinq and no support—"he failed to
support us,"—in descendinq order. This would seem to
indicate that in the eyes of wives, there is somethinq more
serious than the mere absence of adequate and reliable
support, and that is its beinq squandered by the husbands in
extramarital activities and excessive drinkinq.

148
In this problem cluster we also find the variable,
blame—"my husband was always blaminq me for everything."
At first siqat, it would seem to be an anomaly here, and
that it should belonq in the personal relatronsnip cluster
comprised of the variables disaqreements and bossiness.
However, it may be recalled that it is a well-known
psychological fact that the guilty partner in a relationship
frequently defends himself by shiftinq blame from himself to
the innocent party—offense is a more effective strategy
than defense. It seems plausible that the husband who is an
unsuccessful or unreliable breadwinner defends himself by
blaming his wife for the sad state of domestic affairs for
which he himself is responsible.
It was expected that qamblinq would be in this cluster,
but instead it is much further down on the index. Possibly
this might be explained simply by the fact that Miami is not
a qamblinq city.
Careerism
The least serious cluster of marital problems, at the
bottom of the index, is careerism, consisting in our
paradigm of the two variables or causes, career—"I wanted
to carve out a career for myself"—and fucther education—"I
wanted to continue/resume my education."
It is no surprise that wife’s careerism should show up in
our data as a problem cluster, in view of the increasing

149
numbers of married mothers who have been entering the
workforce and professions since Willi. Further, it could be
expected that this problem cluster would be at the bottom of
the index in view of the fact that so many married mothers
successfully, albeit with difficulty, enqaqe full-time in
the workforce and professions while maintaining intact and
successful marriages.
At this point, only two variables remain for further
comment, in-laws and the boys. Our data dc not permit us to
identify either of these two variables as part of any
cluster of problems in marriage. However, it is clear that
in-laws do pose a problem in marriage, a problem possibly on
a par with careerism. Regarding the last variable, the
boys, it would appear that same-sex relationships during
marriaqe may be the least of the problems identified in our
paradigm.
No Love Nor Communication
It may be recalled that the respondents were invited to
write in the blank space provided at the end of the list of
causes, any additional causes that applied in their cases.
A total of 74 respondents did indeed write in additional
information. It was decided to describe these data by
themselves, separate from the foregoing, because of the
probability that a certain selectiveness was in operation.
Those respondents who found writing an easy or attractive

150
task were more likely to qive additional information than
the rest of the respondents.
The additional causes that were written in the
respondents* own words fell into two clear-cut categories
which we label no love and no communication.
Forty-eignt of the respondents, that is 23.65 per cent,
wrote that there was no love between them and their
husbands, and that this was one of the main causes of the
divorces. Then over half of these, 52.03 per cent,
specified that this was the most important cause of the
divorces.
Twenty-six respondents, that is 12.81 percent, wrote that
there was no communication between them and their husbands,
and that this was one of the main causes of their divorces.
Just over one-quarter of these, 26.92 per cent, identified
this as the most important cause of the divorces.
By using the same formula as earlier, we come up with an
index value of 291.26 for no love, and 44.17 for no
communication. Fully aware that a direct comparison of
these data with the foregoing is inadmissable, nevertheless,
it seems clear that these additional findings confirm in the
strongest manner the earlier finding that the interpersonal
relationship between husband and wife, involving love and
communication, is the greatest problem and challenge in
marriage

151
The reader could legitimately ask why these two rather
obvious variables were not included in the original list.
The decision was made not to include any general, broad
causes, most especially net to include absence of love, on
the grounds that such variables, being so broad, would
probably be checked by most respondents and the result would
be inconclusiveness and confusion.
Summary
In the first section of this chapter, we saw that
violence, both physical and sexual, was a pervasive problem
in about one-tenth of the marriages that were reported on.
In the majority of cases, it was the wife alone who proposed
and later insisted on divorce. Somewhat less than naif of
the respondents and their ex-spouses souqht counseling prior
to the divorce. In nine-tenths of the cases the spouses
separated before the divorce took place. surprisingly, only
one-third reported holding discussions with their ex-spouses
before the divorces. Money, children and division of
property were the main topics discussed. The majority of
these marriages that were disrupted by divorce had the
approval and support of the respondents* families, friends
and co-workers, but were generally disapproved of by the ex-
husbands' families.
In the second section, it was found that multiple causes
of divorce were reported by the respondents who then

152
identified the cause that was most important. These causes
were seen from the wives' perspective. As is readily
understandable, these women tended very heavily to blame
their ex-husbands for the divorces, rather than themselves.
If similar questions were qiven to the ex-husbands would
they tend to shoulder most of the blame? Possibly not.
Would that invalidate our findinqs? By no means. Each
would have reported from her and his perspective, and it
would be altoqetaer too much to expect that the ex-spouses,
who had qone throuqh the heartbreak of divorce, would end up
after it all with the same shared perspectives.
It is quite probable that the same picture of the most
serious difficulties and challenqes in marriaqe wculd eaerqe
from data collected from the ex-husbands. We found that the
interpersonal relationship between husband and wife to be
the most serious challenqe and problem in marriaqe, followed
next by problems associated with monoqamy, economics, and
wife's career

CHAPTER VI
ACTIVITIES DURING MARRIAGE AND AFTER DIVORCE
Introduc ticn
In this chapter, data will be presented first on
activities shared by respondents and their spouses while
they were married. Then similar information will be
presented on the respondents' activities immediately after
the marriaqe break-up, and then later on at the time of the
data collection.
Next, information qiven by the respondents on the
prejudice and discrimination they experienced as divorced
women and mothers will be presented. This will be followed
by an examination of their attitudes towards remarriaqe, as
well as their patterns of dating and cohabitation. Lastly,
a look will be taken at the role played by parents and
friends in brinqiaq about remarriaqes.
Shared Activities During the Marriage
In an effort to ascertain if the ex-spouses shared
recreational activities and spent much leisure time together
while married, some relevant questions were asked.
153

1 54
Going Cut Together
When asked how aften they and their ex-husbands went out
together during tne marriages, there was an even split in
the responses between weekly, monthly, and never. when
those who never went out together were asked why that was
the case, 20.00 per cent said they had nc money for such
expenses, and 10.77 per cent said it was because of the
babies. Consequently, 30.77 per cent of these respondents
saw the lack of shared social or recreational activity
outside the home as the result of perfectly legitimate
reasons. However, the remaining 69.23 per cent saw it as
the result of relational problems within marriaqe. These
flatly said they didn*t go out together because the ex-
husbands would not take them out.
Shared Recreational Activities
When the respondents were asked if they and their ex¬
spouses shared in certain specified recreational activities,
the positive response rate was mixed, depending on the
activity specified, with the highest proportion reporting
shared movie-going and TV watching, and the lower-
proportions sharinq dancinq and walkinq. The responses are
presented in full in Table 16.
Besides these individual activities that were specified
in the questionnaire, the respondents were invited to list
other relevant activities. A total of 32 respondents listed

155
TABLE 16
Kecreational Activities Shared by Spouses
Activity
N jper cent
Hatching TV/readinq
Going to the movies
Social drinking
158 82.72
145 76.72
80 46.24
74 42.29
69 39.88
61» 35.88»
Athletic activities
Dancing
HaIking/jogging
»columns non-additive
the following additional shared activities. Sailicq and
swimming were specified by 56.25 per cent (N=13) of these 32
respondents, then 18.75 per cent (N=6) mentioned dining out,
9.37 per cent (N=3) church activities, with the same
proportion listing enjoying friends toqether. Lastly, 6.25
per cent (N=2) reported sharing work toqether. All of the
data indicate a wide variety of activities shared by a
minority of the respondents and their ex-husbands, with only
movie-goinq and watching TV/reading shared by a majority.
Activities and Interests After Marriage Break-ug
In this section, data on respondents' activities
immediately after the marriaqe break-up will be presented
first, followed by similar data cn their activities and
interests at the time of the data collection.

156
Activities Immediately after the Marriage Ereak-ug
The respondents were asked to specify by vritinq in a
blank space provided in the questionnaire what they did
after the isarriaqe break-up to fill the qap left in their
social and personal lives. Surprisinqly, 189 responded to
this request by writinq in a wide variety of activities and
interests, rangiaq from friends, specified by 31.22 per
cent, down to bar-hoppinq, reported by 0.53 per cent, as can
be seen in Table 17. It will be noted that 15.34 per cent
said they did nothinq. It is facinatinq to speculate if
this inaction resulted from the absence of any need to do
anything new or extra because there was no qap to be filled,
or because they went into a depression and did nothinq as
the result of it.
TABLE 17
Activities and Interests Immediately After Break-up
Activity
N
per cent
Friends
59
31.22
Dating
35
18.52
Nothinq at all
29
15.34
Work
25
13.23
Children
15
7. 94
Colleqe
11
5. 82
Athletic activities
7
3.70
Church activities
7
3.70
Bar-hoppinq
1
0.53
Totals
189
100.00

157
A glance at the activities and items listed in Table 17
shows that these divorced mothers did not regard themselves
as, nor act as swingers engaging in frenetic activities
when the marriages broke up. Even the one respondent wno
listed bar-hopping noted that it was only for a short, crazy
period that she engaged in that.
Bespondents1 Current Activities and Interests
Next, in order to get a profile of the respondents'
activities at the time of the data collection, they were
asked what their main recreational activities were then,
outside of their gobs or housework. Then, with one
exception, the same list of activities that was used for
their activities with their husbands during aarriaqe, was
presented aqain to be checked by the respondents. The one
item that was changed was TV/readinq, which was replaced
with datinq. These data are presented in Table 18, along
with the data already presented in Table 16 for ease of
comparison.
A glance reveals tiiat more respondents were currently
active in all of the items that bear comparison than during
their marriaqes. Later analysis may reveal whether this
higher level of activity was a form of escapism or resulted
from havinq a good time.
Then the respondents were asked to write in any other
recreational activities that were currently important to

1 58
TABLE 18
Becreational Activities During Marriage and No*
Activity
During
Marriage
Now
N
per cent
N
per cent
Watchinq TV/reading
158
82.72
0
--
Going to movies
145
76.72
149
87.14
Datinq
0
—
111
71.61
Social drinkinq
80
46.24
86
54.43
Athletic activities
74
42.29
68
45. 95
Dancing
69
39.88
72
48.98
Walking/jogging
611
35.881
87 1
60.84»
^columns noa-additive
theia at the time of the data collection, besides those
already listed in the questionnaire. Cnee aqain, the
response rate was surprisingly high as 92 respondents
specified the additional activities presented in Talle 19.
Because of the fact that these activities ate the same as
those written in earlier by the respondents when they were
asked what they did to fill the gap after the marriage break
up, both sets of data are presented for easy comparison.
The data in the table indicate that much higher
proportions of the respondents were currently dating and
engaqing in athletic activities, with a slight increase in
those reporting enjoying their children and engaqing in
church activities. Fewer indicated that tney were now
dependent on their friends and work, perhaps an indication
that they had achieved more personal independence and
adjustment by the time we contacted them.

159
TABLE 19
Activities after JSarriaqe Break-up and Now
Activity
After
Break-up
Now
N
per cent
N
per cent
Friends
69
31.22
24
26.09
Datinq1
35
18. £2
run
r 71.611
(2)
(2.17)
Nothinq at all
29
15.34
ó
4.20
Work
25
13.23
9
9.70
Children
15
7.94
10
10.87
Colleqe
11
5.82
6
6. 52
Athletic activities
7
3.70
31
33.70
Church activities
7
3.70
10
10.87
Bar-hoppinq
1
0.53
O2
2
Totals
199
100.00
JNote: the data on Datinq "Now" are put in parentheses
since the 2.17 per cent reported here is completely
aisleadinq. Datinq was already presented in the itemised
list immediately precedinq this question. There 71.61
per cent indicated they were currently datinq.
These data are inserted in brackets.
2columns non-additive
Next the respondents were asked to indicate which
activity was currently mcst important for them. The larqest
proportion, 28.67 per cent, said datinq was most important,
followed next by 23.78 per cent who specified athletic
activities; then 13.99 per cent said church activities, and
13.29 per cent specified their interaction with friends.
This was followed by 9.09 per cent sayinq their activities
with their children were paramount, and only 5.59 per cent
put their work in first place. This listinq would seem to
lend further support to the earlier observation that by the

160
tiiae of cur contact with the®, the respondents, by and
large, were outqoinq and well ad-justed. A «ere 4.20 per¬
cent (N=6) said nothinq was important, which might well
indicate a need for adjustment and recovery from the trauma
of the divorce.
Prejudice and Discrimination Experienced by Pivorced gothers
Slightly over one-third of the respondents, 36.87 per
cent, said that they had been in social situations where
they felt that people thouqht less of them because of beinq
divorced. When asked to specify in writinq the kind of
prejudice they experienced, it became obvious that they also
suffered a certain amount of discrimination. Table 20
presents a summary of the information on these regrettable
experiences.
TABLE 20
Type or Source of Prejudice and Discrimination
Txpe or Source
N per cent
Children
Recreation
Cnurch
Friends
Dating
Work
31 58.49
14 26.42
3 5.66
3 5.66
1 1.89
1 1.89
Totals
53 100.011
‘not 100 per cent because of rounding

The most widespread prejudice came from friends of the
respondents. At first that seems surprising. An
examination of the accompanying comments, however, clearly
indicates social uneasiness rather than prejudice in many
cases. A typical comment was: '’Some of my friends acted
funny. They didn't seem to knew what to say."
In the matter of dating, the situation was quite
different. Here the indications were that typically either
of two things happened. When the date found out she was
divorced, he did not want to have anything more to do with
her, or else he assumed she was fair game and tried to
exploit her sexually.
The only other comments referred to the children. These
respondents had tried to reqister their children in private
schools. All was going well at first, but when the school
authorities learned that the mothers were divorced, the tune
changed and the children's names were removed to the bottom
of the waitinq lists. These would appear to be clear cases
of discrimination.
Attitudes Towards Remarriage Of Divorced Mothers Not
Of the 203 divorced mothers who took part in the survey,
176 of them, or 86.70 per cent, had not remarried at the
time of the data collection. Their attitudes towards
remarriaqe were of special interest. They were asked if
they were interested in remarriaqe, and if they were

162
engaqinq ia activities that lead towards
remarriage—dating—or were they prequdiced against
remarriaqe in general as the result of their prior
experiences, and avoiding dating.
With this in mind, these respondents were queried about
dating, their thoughts about remarriage, and whether their
parents and/or friends were tryinq to help them find
eligible men. Lastly, since it has been suggested that
"living together" may be a substitute or preparation for
remarriage, this phenomenon was also probed.
Dating
When asked how often they dated, slightly over one-third
of them, 34.30 per cent, said they dated never or almost
never. An additional 18.02 per cent said they dated
rarely—only once a month or so. That adds up to 52.32 pec
cent who were not engaged in or only marqinaily engaged in
dating. In contrast, 25.58 per cent said they dated weekly.
Thinking of flemarriage
These respondents' current concrete attitudes and hopes
about remarriaqe were next probed. First, the respondents
were asked if, among their friends, there was someone they
were thinking of remarrying. Sliqhtly ever a quarter of
them, 27.78 per cent (N=50) said yes, while the others said
no.
Next, they were asked if they thought that they would

163
qet married. Slightly over hall of the responses to this
question, 53.90 per cent (N=76) were positive, indicating
that the respondents thought that they would qat married
again, while the remaininq 46.10 per cent (N=65) said that
they thought that they would not remarry.
When queried if they thought that they had worked out all
the problems that needed to be resolved before qettiaq
remarried, 50 respondents, or 39.68 per cent of those who
replied to this question, said that they had resolved the®
all. An additional 40.48 per cent said they had resolved
some of them, and the remaininq 19.84 per cent gave a flat
no as their answer.
As indicated in the review of the literature, the
phenomenon of "livinq tcqether" has become widespread. It
was anticipated that quite a number of these divorced
mothers would be livinq together with men without the
benefit (or restriction) of a marriage contract. The
findings are that 28 of them, or 15.73 per cent, were indeed
livinq toqether with men.
Is this 15.73 per cent to be considered a hiqh
proportion? That probably depends mostly on one's a priori
expectations. If one expected to find, for instance, at
least half of them living toqether then this percentage
would have to be considered low. By contrast, if one

164
expected that the divorced respondents would be so hurt by
the experience of the divorce that they would be very
hesitant to establish any type of exclusive relationship
with aen at this relatively early staqe after divorce, then
this would be considered a hiqh proportion. At any rate,
considered in absolute terms, 15.73 per cent could not be
classified as a hiqh proportion, and certainly it does not
indicate that divorced mothers, on the whole, tend to -jump
into a new exclusive relationship soon after divorce. Of
course, when speakinq of enterinq a new relationship,
mention must be made that 13.30 per cent (N=27) of the
respondents had remarried at the time of the data
collection. By addinq these two numbers we find that a
total of 29.03 per cent of the respondents (N=55) aad
established an exclusive relationship by the time of the
survey, 28 of them throuqh livinq toqether, and 27 of them
throuqh remarriaqe.
Analysis of the data on livinq toqether revealed that
68.18 per cent of the respondents who were cohabitinq with
men reported dating at least once a week or more often.
This compares with 44.97 per cent of the respondents who
were neither remarried nor livinq toqether. From this it
would seem that, for those who were not remarried, frequent
datinq and livinq toqether tended to qo toqether. Further,
the livinq together relationships tended to be romantic cues
in which there was frequent datinq between the parties
involved.

Matchmaking by Parents and Friends
The respondents who were not remarried were asked two
questions reqardinq receiving help from others to meet
eligible men. The first question concerned their parents
and relatives tryinq to help, and the second one focused on
friends helping. Only 8.52 per cent said that their parents
and/or relatives had tried helpinq them meet eliqible men,
whereas 40.22 per cent said their friends had offered such
help. This would seem to indicate that parents and
relatives had learned long ago net to try interfering in
the marital and personal affairs of these married (and now
divorced) daughters. By contrast, many friends, in general,
seemed to feel that such help as tryinq to have them meet
eliqible men was acceptable.
Summary
We found that approximately one-third of the respondents
did not go out toqether with their husbands while they were
married. This resulted from family responsibilities or lack
of money in 30.77 per cent of the cases. But in the
remaining 79.23 per cent of the cases, it resulted from
relational problems, and as a result, the husbands would not
take them out.
Over three-quarters of the respondents shared T7, reading
and qoinq to movies with their husbands, while close to one-
half of them shared social drinking and athletic activities.

and somewhat over one-third shared dancinq and
walking/ioqqinq. Some other activities were reported by a
minority of respondents, with lastly only two who reported
sharinq work with their husbands.
After the marriaqe break-up, there was no evidence of
frenzied or frenetic activity. Instead, the respondents
tended to rely on their friends, children and datinq, as
well as their work, to fill the void. A small minority were
kept busy by furthering their educations, and enqaqinq in
athletic and church activities, and one-sixth of them
reported doing nothinq at all.
At the time of the data collection, a sliqhtly higher
percentage reported enqaqinq in movie-qoinq, social
drinking, athletic activities and dancinq than during their
marriages. There was a marked increase from 35.88 per cent
to 60.84 per cent among those whc were then engaged in
walking/joqqing, and not surprising, almost three-quarters
of them were datinq.
Sliqhtly over one-third of the respondents suffered as
the result of the prejudice and discrimination of others.
However, in the majority of cases, these occurrences were of
a minor nature.
He found that 13.30 per cent cf the respondents had
remarried and 15.73 per cent were cohabiting with men. Two-
thirds of those who were cohabiting reported frequent
datinq. In contrast, just 45.00 per cent of those who were

167
neither remarried nor cohabitinq were dating frequently. It
would seem that, in qeneral, it is not acceptable for
parents to attempt helping their divorced daughters toward
remarriaqe, since less than cne-tenth of the respondents
reported such help. By contrast, such help from friends
seems to be quite widespread since close to half of the
respondents reported being helped in this manner.

CHAPTER VII
SPOUSES' FEELINGS AFTER DIVORCE
Introduction
In this chapter an attempt will be made to trace the
feelinqs ol the respondents for their ex-spouses, from the
time of the divorce down to the time of the survey. At the
same time an assessment of the former husbands' feelinqs
will be attempted. In this endeavor the respondents were
asked direct questions about their feelinqs. Also an
indirect approach using unobtrusive measures was used. They
were questioned about related matters, such as communicating
with, and dating their ex-husbands.
Ill Feelings for Ex-Husbnds
In an attempt to assess the feelinqs of the respondents
for their ex-spouses around the time of the divorce, they
were asked if before the divorce, or gust after it, they
felt that their ex-husbands ought to be punished for what
they had done to them. Over one-third of them, 36.78 per
cent (N=64), said that they often felt they should be
punished, and an additional 42.53 per cent (N=74) said that
they felt that way sometimes. The remaining 20.69 per cent
(N=36) said thay never had any such feelinqs. Consequently,
168

169
79.31 per cent harbored ill feelinqs for their ex-spouses
around the time of the divorces and tended to see them as
the quilty partners, responsible for the pain and heartache,
and deservinq of punishment.
Next they were asked if at the time of the survey, they
then felt that they ouqht to be punished. Here we find a
dramatic chanqe. Only 37.35 per cent (N=36) said that they
still felt that the ex-husbands deserved to be punished,
while the remaininq 62.65 per cent had no such feelinqs.
That is a 41.96 percentaqe point chanqe, indicating that
durinq the time between the divorce and the data collection,
rather dramatic chanqes of attitudes and feelinqs took
place.
This draaatic chanqe prompted us to test the data by
qroup. He expected to find the hiqhest proportion of
respondents who felt, at the time of the data collection,
that their ex-husbands ouqht to be punished, in Group I, and
the lowest in Group IV. Surprisinqly, no siqnificant
difference was found. Approximately one-third in each qroup
felt that they ouqht to be punished. This would seem to
indicate that, in the aggregate, these feelinqs subsided in
the first two months after the divorces, and that the ill
feelinqs that survived through the first two months after
divorce were indeed lonq lived.
Further analyses indicated that the stronger or more
frequent bad feelinqs were initially, the more likely they

170
were to endure. At the time of the divorce, 36.73 per cent
(N=64) felt quite often that their ex-husbands ouqht to be
punished. At the time of the data collection that had
dropped down only tc 20.69 per cent (N=36). In contrast,
while 42.53 per cent (N=74) felt sometimes at the time of
the divorce tnat they ouqht to be punished, by the time of
the data collection that had dropped all the way down to
16.09 per cent (N=28). This is a 26.44 percentage point
drop compared with only 16.09 above.
Further, it was discovered that those who were on qood
terms at the time of the divorce were most likely to
continue that way, as can be seen from the followinq. «hile
36 of the respondents did not have any feelings at the time
of the divorce that their ex-husbands ouqht to be punished,
only one of these felt that her ex-husband deserved to be
punished at the time of the data collection. These data are
presented in Table 21
TABLE 21
Feelings Towards Ex-Husbands at Divorce and Now
Feelings
At
Divorce
Now
N
per cent
N
per
cent
Punish often
64
36.78
36
20.
. b 9
Punish sometimes
74
42.53
28
16.
.09
No punish
36
20.69
1
0.
. 571
Totals
174
100.00
65
‘column non-additive

171
Communication With Ex-Husband
To ascertain the extent cf communication, or more
precisely, the extent cf non-communication between the ex¬
spouses after the divorces, the respondents were asked if at
the time of the first visits to the children, they and the
ex-husbands talked to each other. Almost three-quarters of
them, 70.41 per cent, said that they did talk toqether, but
the remaining 29.59 per cent said there was no communication
at all.
Dating Ex-Husband
For slightly over a quarter of the respondents,
communication with their ex-hustands did not end in
conversations. Because of loneliness or lingering
affection, or other reasons, 7.03 per cent dated their ex-
husbands frequently after the divorce and an additional
21.09 per cent did so a few times. Further, as is readily
understandable, 17.83 per cent of the respondents reported
that they continued to have sexual relations with their ex¬
spouses during the period following the divorce.
In summary we can say that in the period immediately
after the divorce, while almost three-quarters of the
respondents (72.00 per cent) had ill feelinqs towards their
ex-spouses, nevertheless, nearly as many, 70.41 per cent of
them, had talks with them, and over one-quarter of taea
(28.12 per cent) dated their ex-spouses. In addition, 17.83

172
per cent continued the sexual relationship at least to some
extent. This clearly indicates that the divorce decree is
not like the funeral service which permanently removes the
deceased from siqht. After divorce, communication and
linqerinq relationships, mixed with bitterness, continue, at
least for some time.
Continued Interest in Ex-flusband
When the respondents were asked if they continued to be
interested in, and curious about their ex-spouses and what
they were doinq after the divorce, 69.15 per cent said yes,
and the remaininq 30.85 per cent said no. Further, they
indicated that they desired to meet them whenever they
could. When asked if they would try to avoid them if they
knew they miqht meet them accidentally, 60.80 per cent said
they would not try to avoid them, while the remaininq 39.20
per cent said they would indeed try to avoid them.
Bespondents* Guilt Feelinqs
It will be recalled that 72.00 per cent of the
respondents reported that around the time of the divorce
they felt that their ex-spouses deserved to be punished for
what they had done. It is interestinq that we find
consistency of feelinqs rather than confusion when the
respondents were probed about their own quilt feelinqs.
They were asked if there ever had been times when they felt

173
that they did not play fait with their ex-husbands durinq
the divorce process. A aere 9.10 per cent adaitted to such
quilt feelings, but the remaining 90.86 per cent claimed a
consistently clear conscience.
Remarrying Ex-Husbands
We have seen evidence of linqerinq relationships
surviving after the divorce. for 6.03 per cent of the
respondents (N=12), this linqerinq relationship apparently
was very strouq because they said that, in spite of
everything that they suffered in the divorce, they still
wanted to remarry their former husbands.
Perceived Changes in. Sx-Spouses
A mere 7.65 percent of the mothers (N=15) in this survey
peceived their ex-husbands as havinq chanqed in ways that
made them more attractive than durinq the marriaqes. In
sharp contrast, practically half of the respondents, 48.96
per cent (N— 96) believed, at the time of the survey, that
they themselves had chanqed in ways that would make living
with them easier than before the divorces. These respond¬
ents would seem to possess adequate self-images on this
score

174
Ex-Husband «as in Love
Even thouqh elsewhere in the questionnaire failinq in
love with another woman was listed as possible cause of
divorce, it was decided to include it here also in this
section probinq the respondents' feelinqs. They were asked
directly: "Do you believe that your ex-husband was in love
with another woman before the divorce?" Not surprisinqly, a
rather larqe proportion, 38.46 per cent (N=70) said yes they
did. Next they were asked what effect that had on them.
All of the above 70 respondents answered this question in
various ways as indicated in Table 22.
TABLE 22
Eeactions to Husbands' Failinq in Love
Effect
N
per cent
Wanted to save the
marriaqe
34
48.57
Wanted a divorce
immediately
27
38.57
Indifference or no
effect
7
10.00
Confused
1
1.43
Totally depressed
1
1. 43
Totals
70
100.00
It is obvious that the reaction was swift and
unmistakable in almost 90.00 per cent of the cases. This
should be no surprise, since in our culture aionoqaiuous
romantic love is the basis and foundation of marriaqe, and
when this foundation is directly assailed by an extra-

an extreme
marital involvement of one of the partners,
reaction can he expected from the other partner upon
discoverinq or suspectinq the illicit relationship.
Bespcndent Has in love
When the respondents were asked if they themselves were in
love with another man while they were still married, 12.00
per cent (N = 24) admitted that they were. This is a
strikinqly low proportion compared with the 38.46 per cent
of the husbands (N=70) who were thus cateqorized. Me can
only speculate as to whether similar percentaqes would be
reported if the men were surveyed, or if we would instead
qet a reversed mirror imaqe reflecting bias in reportinq.
If the above data are objectively accurate, they would seem
to indicate the persistance of the sexual double standard
whereby males expect and indulqe in activities denied to
females.
Current Feelings of Ex-Spouses for Each Other
In order to qet a picture of how the ex-spouses felt
toward each other currently, the respondents were asked to
describe their ex-husbands' feelinqs towards them at the
time of the data collection, and also how they themselves
felt towards their ex-husbands. The responses are presented
in Table 23

176
TABLE 23
Current Feelings of Ex-Spouses for Each Other
Feelings for Ex-Spouse
Ex-
Husband
Ex—
Wife
N
per cent
N
per cent
Love
30
14.93
29
14.80
Friendliness
62
30.85
87
44.39
Unfriendly
51
25.37
65
33.16
Unknown
56
27.86
0
—
Confused
2
1.00
0
—
Other
0
—
15
7.65
Totals
201
100.011
196
100.00
‘not 100 per cent because of rounding
If is rather striking that the perception was that
practically 15.00 per cent of both ex-husbands and ex-wives
still loved each other. The next two items in the table
reveal that more respondents than ex-husbands had both
positive (friendly) and negative (unfriendly) feelings for
the ex-spouses.
It is probably safe to speculate that the 15.00 per cent
of ex-spouses on both sides who were still in love certainly
had not worked through the divorce process. In addition
probably the 25.37 per cent ex-husbands and the 33.16 per-
cent respondents who were on unfriendly terms at the time of
the survey were still suffering to some extent from the pain
of the divorce. Undoubtedly the same could be said of the
1.00 per cent of the ex-husbands who were all confused. In
contrast, the 30.85 per cent ex-husbands and the 44.39 per

177
cent ex-wives who were in the friendly cateqory probably had
worked through the divorce process successfully, in a
creative or constructive manner. If that is the case, it
would seem that approximately 15.00 per cent more of the ex-
husbands than of the ex-wives had been unsuccessful to date
in adjusting to divorce.
When we tested for mutuality of feelinqs, it was found
that in the majority of cases, the feelinqs were mutual.
Where the ex-husband was still in love with the respondent,
in 50.00 per cent of the cases she was in love with him
also. In 73.77 per cent of the cases where he was friendly,
she was friendly too. Lastly, in 64.00 per cent of cases
where he was unfriendly, she in turn was unfriendly too.
Ex-Husbands Remarried
The data indicate that 27.23 per cent of the ex-husbands
(N=58) had remarried by the time of the data collection. By
comparison, only 13.30 per cent of the ex-wives (N=27) had
remarried. Consequently, the remarriaqe rate was twice as
hiqk for men as for women, durinq the several months between
the divorces and the data collection. This certainly adds
credibility to the earlier data that indicated that 38.46
per cent of the ex-husbands and only 12.00 per cent of the
respondents had been in leve with a third party durinq the
marriage.

178
The respondents were asked how they reacted to the
remarriaqe of the ex-spouses. Onfortunately, due to a
printinq error in the questionnaire it is very difficult to
interpret the responses. A scale or possible responses was
qiven as follows: 1) very unhappy, 2) a little upset, 3) I
didn't care, 4) pleased, 5) very happy. Beqrettabiv the
first choice, "very unhappy" was misprinted as "very happy."
Summary
We found that four-fifths of the respondents harbored ill
feelinqs for their spcuses around the time of their
divorces, feelinq that they should be punished. However, at
the time of the survey only 37.35 per cent felt that way.
Further, the data indicated that this dramatic chanqe seemed
to have occurred durinq the first couple of months
immediatley followinq the divorce.
It has been noted that divorces with children involved
are hardly ever final because the partners must communicate
about the children. Cur data indicated that 70.44 percent
in our sample did indeed communicate with their former
spouses when they came to pick up the children in accordance
with the custody arranqements. However, 29.59 per cent did
not communicate, suqqestinq perhaps stronq ill-feelinqs
between tne parties.
We found that, because of linqeriuq affection or other
reasons, 28.10 per cent dated their ex-husbands after the

179
divorces, aad 17.83 per cent continued a sexual relationsaip
to some extent. Two-thirds reported a continued interest
in their ex-spouses and a curiosity about what they were
doinq, and a somewhat lower 60.80 per cent indicated that
they wanted to continue meetinq them.
When we examined the respondents' feelinqs about
themselves and their role in the divorce, we found that less
than one-tenth, 9.14 per cent, reported havinq quilt
feelinqs. This is in sharp contrast with 72.00 per cent
who saw the ex-spouses as the quilty partners deservinq of
punishment. In spite of the heartbreak and disappointment
6.03 per cent still wanted to remarry their ex-spouses at
the time of the survey.
In 38.46 per cent of the cases, the ex-husbands were
reported to have been in love with another woman while still
married. When this was discovered by the wives, in almost
half of the cases, 48.57 per cent, they wanted to save the
marriaqes. However, 38.57 per cent swiftly reactly hy
wantinq a divorce immediately. In the reaaininq 12.86 per
cent, the discovery produced mainly indifference, hut also
confusion and depression.
In contrast with the hiqh number of husbands who were in
love, only 12.00 per cent of the wives had found themselves
in the same situation, indicatinq perhaps the endurance of
the sexual double standard.

180
Havinq found some respondents who still wanted to remarry
their former spouses, it was no surprise to find that 15.00
per cent, approximately, of both ex-spouses were still in
love with each other. Besides, 30.85 per cent of the ex-
husbands and 44.39 per cent of the respondents were on
friendly terms with the former mates. However the remainder
harbored negative feelinqs. That amounted to over half of
the ex-husbands and four-tenths of the ex-wives.
While 13.30 per cent of the ex-wives had remarried, twice
as many of the ex-husbands, 37.23 per cent, had remarried.
Due to a regrettable printing error it was impossible to
gauge the effect these events had on the former partners*
feelings.

CHAPTER VIII
DIVORCE AND FINANCES
Introduction
In this chapter we will examine the correlates of divorce
and income as they impinqed upon the parties involved. Some
aspects of this subject have already been touched upon in
different places in this work, as they related to other
dimensions of divorce already covered. However it was
decided to examine all aspects of finances related tc
divorce in this chapter so that a comprehensive and clear
picture may be developed in as far as our data permit. He
think that this is justified because of the central position
that the economic institution holds in our postindustrial
society.
Females have been enterinq the workforce and professions
in qreater numbers and proportions in recent decades. Our
respondents' records in this reqard, both before and after
divorce, will be examined together with their resultant
earninqs. Next, the incomes of the ex-husbands, as well as
those of the current husbands of the remarried, will be
examined and compared. Then the dual subject of alimony and
child support will be analyzed. lastly, in order tc cover
all the sources of income that the respondents might have,
their total current financial resources will be scrutinized.
181

182
Hespondents* work Records
Just over half of the respondents, 50.74 per cent
(N=103), reported working full-time during the marriages,
and 17.24 per cent (N=35) worked part-time, while an
additional 23.65 per cent (N=48) worked on and off. The
remaining 8.37 per cent (N=17) were not employed gainfully
while they were married. By the time of the data
collection, those working full-time had climned almost 30
percentage points to 79.10 per cent (N=159), wnile those
working part-time had declined to 8.96 per cent (N=18), and
a mere 0.50 per cent (N=1) reported wcrkinq on and off.
Consequently, there was a 28.36 percentage point increase
amonq those working fulltime, an 8.28 percentage point
decrease in those working part-time, and a 23.15 percentage
point decrease among those workinq on and off. Those who
reported not working at the time of the survey had inched up
to 11.44 per cent (N= 23), a 3.07 percentage point increase.
In summary, when we compared the past with the present, we
found that there was a marked shift from workinq part-time
and on and off to working full-time. These data are
presented in Table 24.

TABLE 24
Respondents' Work Records Durinq Marriaqe and Now
W ork
Durinq
Marriaqe
Now
N
per cent
N
per cent
point chanq
Full-time
103
50.74
158
79.10
+28.36
Part-time
35
17.24
18
8.96
- 8.28
On and off
48
23.65
1
0.50
-23.15
No work
17
8.37
23
11.44
+ 3.07'
Totals
203
100.00
201
100.00
'column non-
additive
Sespondents' Incomes
The weekly take-home pay o£ the respondents durinq the
last year of marriaqe averaqed $188.00 (median $170.00), and
it ranged from a low of $50.00 to a hiqh of $800.00. At the
time of the survey, in spite of the shift to workinq full¬
time already noted, the respondents' weekly take-home pay
had risen only to an average of $203.00 (median $185.GO),
and it ranqed from a very low of $40.00 to an impressive
high cf $1,200. Consequently, looking at either the mean or
the median we can say that, in the aqqreqate, when inflation
is taken into account, there was scarcely any increase in
the respondents' take-home pay from the last year of their
marriages up to tne time we contacted them.

184
Ex-Husbands1 and New Husbands1 Incomes
The respondents reported that their ex-husbands' weekly
incomes (after taxes) durinq the last year of the marriaqes
averaqed 1440.00 (median $300.00) and they ranqed from a low
of $50.00 to a hiqh of $1,200.00.
The remarried respondents reported that tneir current
husbands' weekly incomes (after taxes) ranqed from a low of
$150.00 to a hiqh of $5,000.00, with a mean of $496.00
(median $250.00). When we compare these fiqures with those
of the ex-husbands' incomes, we find that the mean had
increased by $50.00. However, since the income fiqures are
skewed rather than normally distributed, the median is a
better summary statistic than the mean. He find that, the
median income dropped from $300.00 for the ex-husbands to
$250.00 for the current husbands, a decrease of $50.00.
Consequently, it would seem that these respondents on
remarryinq did not enjoy an increase in husbands' income, in
the aqqreqate, but rather a decrease, iudicatinq downward
mobility from the earlier marriaqes. These fiqures are
presented in Table 25.
TABLE 25
Weekly Incomes of Ex-Husbands and Present Husbands
Husbands
N
Mean
Median
Min
Max
Ex-husbands' income
160
$440
$300
$ 50
$1,200
New husbands' income
23
$496
$250
$150
$5,000

185
Alimony and Child Support
Other possible sources of income for the respondents were
alimony and/ or child support. He will examine both of these
now. Under the current no-fault divorce laws in Florida,
either partner may be required to pay alimony and/or child
support. In our sample only one respondent was required to
pay alimony and none was enjoined to pay child support. As
expected, such was not the case with ex-husbands.
Practically one-quarter of them, 24.08 per cent (N=46), were
court ordered to pay alimony to their ex-wives. The amount
to be paid monthly in alimony averaqed $453.00 (median
$300.00), with the ranqe extendinq from a low of $10.00 to a
high of $2,500.00. Accordinq to the respondents, the record
on its beinq paid was good, or at least better than that of
child support. Alimony was always paid in 85.71 per cent of
the cases (N=30), and an additional 5.71 per cent (N=2) said
it was usually paid. It was seldom paid in 5.71 per cent of
the cases (N=2) and the remaining 2.86 per cent (N=l)
reported that it was never paid at all.
While not quite one-quarter cf the fathers were enjoined
to pay alimony, slightly over two-thirds of them, 69.46 per
cent (N = 121) , were ordered to pay child support. These
payments ranged from a token $10.00 to $1,000.00 per month,
and the mean was $250.00 (median $200.00) a month. Child
support was always paid in 73.63 per cent of the cases
(N=95), and it was usually paid by 8.53 per cent (K=ll).

186
The remaininq 17.83 per cent (N=23) was paid seldom or
never. These data on alimony and child support are
presented in Table 26 and Table 27.
TABLE 26
Ex-Husbands Ordered to Pay Alimony and Child Support
Ex-Husbands
Alimony
Child
Support
N per cent
N
per cent
Enjoined to pay
46 24.08
121
69.46
Not enjoined to pay
145 75.92
53
30.54
Totals
191 100.00
174
100.00
TABLE 27
Frequency of Alimony and Child Support Payments
Frequency Paid Alimony Child Support
N
per cent
N
per cent
Always
30
85.71
95
73.63
Usually
2
5.71
11
8. 53
Seldom or never
3
8.51
23
17.83
Totals
35
99.99 1
129
99.991
*not 100 per cent because of roundinq
In summary, approximately one-quarter of tne fathers were
enjoined to pay alimony, and two-thirds of them were
required to pay child support. In the aqqreqate, the child
support payments (median $200.00) equalled two-thirds of the
alimony payments (median $300.00).

1 87
Average Weekly Financial Resources
Besides the sources of income examined thus far, the
respondents may have received financial aid from their own
parents, welfare, AFDC and other sources. It was decided
not to attempt examininq all cf these sources individually.
Instead, questions were devised in an attempt to cover all
possible sources of income. The results of these questions
are presented in this section.
The respondents were asked "How much money, on the
averaqe, do you have each week to pay your expenses (from
tne "job, ex-husband, present husband, welfare, etc.)?" The
responses indicated that those who had not yet remarried
had, cn the averaqe, $266.00 (median $230.00) each week,
with the ranqe extending from a low of $50.00 to a high of
$2,000.00. In contrast, those who had remarried reported
havinq an averaqe of $520.00 (median $500.00) each week,
ranqinq from a low of $230.00 to a high of $1,000.00. These
fiqures indicate that, by and larqe, the remarried
respondents had about twice as much money to live on each
week compared with their non-remarried counterparts.
Next, the respondents were asked if the money available
each week was adequate. Of those who had remarried, 37.50
per cent (N=14) said yes it was, while the remaining 12.50
per cent (N=2) said that it was inadequate. In contrast,
less than half, 46.89 per cent (N=83), of those not
remarried expressed havinq enough money while the other

168
53.11 percent (N=94) said they did not. These fiqures are
presented in Table 28 and Table 29.
TABLE 28
Respondents' Available Money for Weekly Expenditures
Respondents
Mean
Median
h9 w
High
Remarried
$520
$500
$230
$1,000
Not remarried
$226
$230
$ 50
$2,000
TABLE 29
Assessment of Weekly Money Available
Respondents Adequate
N per cent
Remarried 14 87.50
Divorced 83 46.89
Inadequate Jot^ls
per cent N per cent
12.50 16 100.00
53.11 175 100.00
N
2
92
In summary, compared with those who had not remarried,
those who had remarried had approximately twice the amount
of money for weekly expenditures (medians $500.00 vs.
$230.00). Further, almost nine-tenths of them found this
amount adequate whereas less than half of those who had no
new husbands reported adequate money. Consequently,
remarriage was strongly associated with adequate financial
resources for daily livinq.
It may be recalled that earlier data indicated that the
incomes of the new husbands of the remarrieds did not

183
measure up to the incomes of the former husbands. The
respondents involved seem to have been aware of this, as the
followinq data indicate, even thouqh most of them said that
currently they had adequate resources to live on each week.
The question was posed: "When do you think. you were
financially 'better off?'" Exactly half of the remarrieds
(N=8) said they were better off in the former marriages, and
6.25 per cent (N=1) said there was no difference. Only the
remaininq 43.75 per cent (N=7) said they were better off in
the new marriaqes than in the old.
It is a little surprising that amonq the respondents who
had not remarried, only 45.29 per cent (N=77) said they were
better off when married, and 28.82 per cent (N=49) said
there was no difference. The remaininq 25.88 per cent
(N=44) said they were better off divorced. This positive
assessment of their present situation possibly resulted from
their sense of complete control over their income, rather
than from increased income. These data are presented in
Table 30.
When we compare the "now" data in Table 30, the contrast
between the two groups is sharply evident. Almost one-half
of the remarrieds, 43.75 per cent, said they were better off
now, compared with only one-quarter, 25.88 per cent of those
who had not remarried, who said the same thinq.
At this point it was surmized that those who were not
remarried but living together with men would be in good

190
TABLE 30
Period of Superior Financial Security
Period Bemarried Non-remarried
N
per cent
N
per cent
During former
marriaqe 8
50.00
77
45.29
Now
7
43.75
44
25.88
No difference
1
6.25
49
28.82
Totals
16
100.00
170
99.99*
*not 100 per cent because of rounding
financial situations similar to those who had remarried.
Consequently, it was expected that they would tend to report
having adeguate money each week, while those who were
neither remarried nor living together would tend strongly to
report inadequate money. However, when this was tested we
found no support for our supposition. Among those who had
not remarried, approximately one-half of those cohabiting,
as well as one half of those not cohabiting, reported
inadeguate money.
This would seem to suggest that living together
arrangements did not afford access to the sales* incomes,
nor a sense of financial security as remarriage did.
Instead, as earlier data on dating indicated, livinq
toqether tended to be a romantic experience involving much
dating, as the parties tested the viability of the
relationship.

191
Next, three additional suppositions were tested. (1)
That adequate weekly financial resources would be a function
of receivinq child support. (2) That adequate weekly
resources would be a function of receivinq alimony. (3)
That adequate weekly resources would be a function of
receivinq child support and alimony.
In the first case we found a statistically siqnificant
positive relationship between receivinq child support every
month and having adequate money to live on (P=.015). In the
other two cases we could not find any siqnificant evidence
that adequate financial resources were dependent on alimony
considered alone or in conjunction with child support.
Further analysis indicated that adequate financial
resources, besides beinq dependent on income from child
support, significantly correlated with the absolute level of
income from all sources, in the instance of those who had
not remarried (r=0.192; P=0.0174). That means that reqard-
less of SES, those mothers who had not remarried tended to
report inadequate money when the amount available was small,
while those who had larger amounts available tended to
report sufficient resources. For those who had remarried,
we had a similar, stronqer findinq concerning absolute level
of income. however, because of the small number of
responses in this category (N = 15) , the findinq was not
statistically siqnificant, but it closely approached
statistical significance (r=0.48fi; P=0.0651). Next, the

192
respondents who were not remarried were asked where they
would turn first for financial help in case of need.
Remarkably, 59.41 per cent (N=101) said they would qo to
their own families, and an additional 12.94 per cent {N=22)
said they would turn to their friends, and 10.59 per cent
(N=18) said they would simply work more. Cnly 7.66 per cent
(N=13) would turn to their ex-husbands, and a mere 0.59 per
cent (N=l) would approach their ex-husbands* families. Only
3.53 per cent (N=6)would qo to Children's Aid, and 4.71 per
cent (N=8) would seek welfare.
In summary, in case of financial need, the overwheiminq
majority, 82.94 per cent, said they would take care of the
situation through their own families and friends, or by
themselves throuqh extra work. Of the remainder, exactly
one-half would seek public assistance, and the other half
would approach their ex-husbands or ex-in-laws. It is
obvious that in financial matters, these mothers certainly
had their pride in respect to their ex-in-laws and public
assistance.
In an attempt to probe deeply the respondents* feelings
towards their ex-husbands in matters of money, they were
next asked if they would qo to their ex-husbands even as a
second choice after the other approach failed. Only 39.39
per cent of them (N=65) said yes they would, while the
remaininq 60.61 per cent (N=10Q) said no, they would not.
Aqain it is obvious that in financial matters, for whatever

193
reasons, these mothers were most reluctant to approach their
ex-spouses, or simply would not qo near them no matter what.
The independence and self-pride of these mothers is borne
out further by their responses to the question "Have you
ever thouqht of remarriaqe as a possible solution to your
financial problems?" Only 12.43 per cent (N=22) said yes,
they had often thouqht of it, and 35.03 per cent (N=£2) said
they seldom considered it, while the remaininq 52.54 per
cent (N = 93) said they never had any such thouqhts.
Summary
Durinq the marriaqes half of the respondents worked full¬
time, and by the time we contacted them that proportion had
increased to four-fifths. There had been a 50.00 per cent
decline amonq those workinq part-time, and only one was
workinq on and off compared with 48 durinq the marriaqes.
In spite of this shift to full-time work, there was scarcely
any increase in their mean or median income.
Their ex-husbands’ weekly median income durinq the last
year of the marriaqes was $300.00. This was almost double
the respondents' earninqs at the same time. The new
husbands of the remarrieds had a siqnificantly lower median
income than that of the ex-hustands.
One-quarter of the ex-husbands were enjoined to pay
alimony, and the median alimony monthly payment was exactly
equal to their weekly median income durinq the last year of

the marriaqes—$300. 00. The alimony payments were always or
usually paid in over 90.00 per cent of the cases. Slightly
more than two-thirds of the ex-husbands were ordered to pay
child support. Here the median payment was only two-thirds
that of alimony—Í200.00. Further, the record of child
support fell far short also. It was always or usually paid
in only slightly better than 80.00 per cent of the cases.
The remarried respondents reported havinq more than twice
the financial resources for daily expenses, compared with
those who had not remarried. Almost 90.00 per cent of the
former found these resources adequate compared with less
than 50.00 per cent of the latter. Analysis disclosed tnat
the possession of adequate money to live on was dependent,
first of all, on remarriage, and also on receivinq child
support payments regularly. But no such relationship was
found in reqard to alimony nor cohabitation.
Bemarhably, over 90.00 per cent of the respondents
displayed a stronq desire to be and remain financially
independent of their ex-husbands. A similar attitude toward
public assistance was also displayed. In contrast, they
indicated that financial assistance from their own parents
might be acceptable.

CHAPTER IX
THE CHILDREN CF DIVORCE
Introduction
In tills chapter we will present certain data on the
offsprinq of respondents of this survey. The term offspring
is advisedly used rather than children because, although the
¡naiority of the offsprinq were children, the rest were of
aqe and grown up. This wide age ranqe results froa the fact
that no limit was placed on the aqes of the respondents.
However, althouqh the adult offsprinq are included,
practically all of the information collected is on children
in the strict sense of the term, that is, minors.
Number of Offsprinq
The total number of offsprinq reported by the respondents
was 407. Sliqhtly over one-third of the mothers, 35.05
percent, reported havinq one offsprinq, and 37.56 per cent,
two. Next, 17.26 per cent had three offsprinq; 6.60 per
cent, four; 3.05 per cent, five; and 0.51 per cent, six
offsprinq. Both the modal and mean number of offsprinq was
two. These data are presented in Table 31.

196
TABLE 31
Offspring of Bespondents
fiespondent *s
family Size
N
.per cent
1 offspring
69
35.03
2 offspring
74
37.56
3 offspring
34
17.26
4 offspring
13
6.60
5 offspring
6
3.05
6 offspring
1
0.51
Totals
197
100.011
1 not 100 per
cent because
of rounding
Ages of Offspring
Slightly sore than a fifth of the offspring, 21.03 per
cent, were preschoolers, 29.23 per cent were of gradeschool
age, and 30.77 per cent were teenagers. That adds up to
81.03 per cent of the offspring being minors. The remaining
18.97 per cent had reached their majority. These data are
presented in Table 32.
TABLE 32
Ages of Offspring
Age Group
N
per cent
Preschoolers
41
21.03
Gra deschoolers
57
29.23
Teenagers
60
30.77
18 years and over
37
18.97
Totals
195
100.00

197
Custody of the Children
In 92.70 per cent of the cases (N=165) the mothers qot
custody of the children, while the fathers qot custody in
3.93 per cent of the cases (N=7). Regarding the remaining
3.37 per cent (N=6) , there was split custody between both
parents, and also custody awarded to others besides the
parents. Accordinq to the data, the custody arrangements
were agreeable to both the fathers and Bothers in 90.91 per
cent of the cases (N=160) ; in 6.25 per cent (N=I1), they
were agreeable only to the Bothers; in 1.71 per cent (N=3),
they were agreeable only to the fathers, and an unhappy 1.14
per cent (N=2) said nobody was pleased with the
arrangements.
Apart from a sinqle exception, in all of the cases where
there was dissatisfaction with the custody arrangements, it
was the mother who had custody of the children. The
exception to this was a father who had custody and who was
unhappy with the arrangement.
In summary, in 93 per cent of the cases the mothers
received custody of the children, and 97 per cent of these
mothers and 93 per cent of the fathers were pleased with
this arrangement.

198
Visiting Bights
When just one of the parents had custody, the other
parent received visitinq rights in all but 8.59 per cent of
the cases. The frequency cf these visits ranqed from weekly
(30.68 per cent), throuqh monthly (11.04 per cent) and
holidays (2.45 per cent) to only once a year in the summer
(4.29 per cent). In the remaininq 42.95 per cent, visitinq
times were comprised of various combinations of the above.
When the mothers who had custody of their children were
asked if they would like to have the fathers see more or
less of their children, 12.33 per cent (N=18) said they
wished they would see the children less often, and an
additional 8.90 per cent (N=13) said they wished there were
no visits at all. That adds up to sliqhtly over one-fifth
of the mothers who wanted fewer or no visits at all between
the children and their fathers. Among the remainder, 32.19
per cent (N=47) wanted more frequent visits, and 46.58 per
cent (N=68) wanted them left as they were. So, in the
aqqreqate, practically four-fifths of the mothers indicated
that they were in favor of visits between tae cnildren and
their fathers. We consider that as an impressively large
proportion, especially in view of the fact that 28.15 per
cent of the mothers stated that the children were harder to
handle after these visits. The remaininq mothers reported a
neutral (53.33 per cent) or positive effect (18.52 per cent)
on the children right after these visits,
by saying that it

1 99
was as easy or easier to handle the children alter they
returned.
Analysis of the data revealed that 50.00 per cent of the
respondents who stated that their children were harder to
handle after visits with their fathers wanted the visits
curtailed or completely ended. In contrast, only 8.00 per
cent of those who said that they were easier to handle
afterwards wanted fewer cr no visits at all. From this it
is clear tnat the children's responses to these visits
influenced the mothers* attitudes.
In summary, practically four-fifths of the mothers viewed
these visits as beneficial or desirable, including 50.00 per
cent of those who experienced difficulties with their
children afterwards. It would seem that, in spite of
incidental difficulties, the mothers were in favor of these
visits for the benefit either of the children, or of the
respondents themselves, or even of the fathers—or a
combination of the above.
Children's Feelings for their Fathers
When asked about the children's feelings for their
fathers at the present compared with durinq the marriage,
21.28 per cent of the mothers (N=3G) said that the children
loved them more now, 52.48 per cent (N=74) said they loved
them about the same, 23.40 per cent (N=33) said they loved
them less, and 2.84 per cent (N=4) said they do not love

200
them now and never did. Consequently, in the aqqreqate, the
only chanqe was 2 per cent of the children who loved their
fathers less after the divorces than durinq the taartiaqes.
Child Support
Accordinq to the data, in no instance had any respondent
to pay child support. As miqht well be expected, that was
not the case with the fathers. One hundred and twenty-one
of the fathers, 69.46 per cent, were enqoined to pay caiid
support. The child support payments ranqed from a token
$10.00 to $1,000.00 per month, with the averaqe fceinq
$250.00 per month (median $200.00).
When asked if the fathers always paid the child support,
73.63 per cent of the mothers (N=95) said yes it was always
paid, an additional 8.53 per cent (N=ll) said it was usually
paid. The remaininq 17.83 per cent (N=23) said it was paid
seldom or never.
Sliqhtly over half the respondents believed that the
fathers were satisfied about the support payments as 52.07
per cent (N=63) said that the fathers thouqht the payments
were alriqht, and in addition, 1.65 per cent (N=2) reported
that the fathers thouqht they were too little. The
remaininq 46.28 per cent (N=56) reported that the fathers
thouqht the payments were too hiqh.
It is rather strikinq that the data on how the
respondents themselves felt about the child support payments

201
form practically a mirror imaqe of the fathers’ opinions as
can be seen in Table 33. Just over half of the fathers and
mothers thouqht that the payments were alriqnt. Then 46.28
per cent of the fathers (N=56) thouqht they were too hiqh
waile 47.97 per cent of the mothers (N=59) thouqht they were
too low.
TABLE 33
Parents' Opinions of Child Support Payments
Opinion
Father
9other
N
per cent
N
per cent
Payments
too hiqh
56
46.28
1
0.81
Payments
alriqht
63
52.07
63
51.22
Payments
too low
2
1.65
59
47.97
Totals
121
100.00
123
100.00
Analysis revealed that of the 56 ex-husbands who felt
that the child support payments were too hiqh, 48.21 per
cent of their ex-wives thouqht they were alriqnt, and 51.97
per cent thouqht they were too little—none of them shared
their husbands' views. By contrast, of the 63 husbands who
thouqht that the payments were alriqnt, 53.97 per cent of
the ex-wives aqreed, 1.59 per cent thouqht they were too
hiqh, while 44.44 per cent thouqht that they were too small.
We can well surmise that the child support payments were a
continuous bone of contention amonq those ex-spouses with
opposite feelings regarding the child support payments.

202
When we came to the actual payment of support, it was
found that the fathers' feelinqs were an important
determining factor rather than the mothers'. Of the fatners
who were dissatisfied, 19.23 per cent made no payments,
compared with just 5.00 per cent of those satisfied. The
mothers* feelinqs were of little cr no account, because
approximately 15 per cent of both the satisfied and
dissatisfied mothers received no child support.
Working Mothers and Child Care
The divorced mother who works is faced with the daily
problem of child care. If the children are of school aqe,
the problem is lessened since child care is needed for only
a couple of hours each day durinq the school year, or not at
all if the children are mature enouqh to taKe care of
themselves on returning from school, or if the mother finds
that it is adequate to check on them by phone.
When asked who took care of their children durinq work,
12.00 per cent said that their own families did, and 12.80
per cent said neighbors and friends did. Two-thirds of the
children were taken care of by nursery school and reqular
school, 24.00 per cent by the former, and 44.80 per cent by
reqular school. The remaininq 6.40 per cent said they did
not have to work. Overall the mothers expressed
satisfaction with the arrangements: 62.39 per cent rated
the child care as good, and an additional 34.36 per cent as

i 03
average, and only 2.75 per cent of the respondents (N=3)
rated it as poor.
Dating and Child Care
When asked who took care of the children when they, the
mothers, had dates, exactly 50.00 per cent said their own
families filled the breacn, and an additional 6.48 per cent
said that their friends helped. Next, 30.56 per cent qot
babysitters, and in 11.11 per cent of the cases the children
were considered ¡nature and responsible enouqh to take care
of themselves.
Mothers1 Lives Bestricted by Children
It is to be expected that divorced mothers would find
their lives restricted by beinq responsible for the
children. The data indicate that in each of the serious
areas of work, education, and remarriage, approximately one-
third felt restricted by the children, but in social matters
approximately one-half felt this way. Just 31.51 per cent
said their childen were a handicap as far as tneir work was
concerned, and 37.59 per cent said the same regarding their
education. As far as remarriage was concerned, 34.06 per
cent were of the opinion that the children lessened their
chances. In the social area of their lives, 50.69 per cent
felt that their social activities were restricted, 44.44 per
cent said the same for dating, and 54.86 per cent said their

204
recreation was restricted by the children. These data are
presented in Table 34.
TABLE 34
Mothers* Lives fiestricted by Cnildren
Areas Bestrieted
N
per cent
Work
46
31.51
Education
53
37.59
Remarriaqe
47
34.06
Social activities
73
50.69
Datiaq
64
44.44
Recreation
79»
54.86»
»columns noa-additive
Mothers without Custody of Children
In all, ten of the respondents reported that they had
custody of none or only some (split custody) of their
childcen. When asked if, in qeneral, they felt that the
children not in their custody were qettinq satisfactory
care, all of them said yes, they felt that they were
receivinq qood care. When asked "Do the children seem to
miss you?" 20.00 per cent (N=2) said yes, very much, 50.00
per cent (N=5) said yes, but only a little, and the
remaininq 30.00 per cent (N=3) said no, not at all.
When asked "Do you feel that the children would be better
off with you?" 30.00 per cent said yes, and the remaininq
70.00 per cent said no. When asked "Do you want custody of
the children," two of the respondents declined to answer,
and the remaininq eiqht all said no.

205
So it would seem that, in qeneral, lack oí custody ol the
children was not a problem for these mothers. Only a
minority felt that their children missed them very much, and
that the children would be better off with them. Further,
none of these respondents said they wanted custody of the
children.
Summary
The averaqe number cf offsprinq reported by the
respondents was two. Almost one-fifth had reached their
majority while the rest were minors. In 92.70 per cent of
the cases the mother alone had custody of the children, and
in 3.93 per cent, the father alone. The custody
arranqements were satisfactory to 97.16 per cent of the
mothers and to 92.62 per cent of the fathers. In the
instances where just one parent had custody, the other
parent had visitinq riqhts in 91.41 per cent of the cases.
Practically four-fifths of the mothers who had exclusive
custody were in favor of the children visitinq with their
fathers. Only a neqlible chanqe in the children's feelinqs
for their fathers resulted from the divorces. Practically
70.00 per cent of the fathers, but none of the mothers were
enjoined to pay child support. Payments were always or
usually made in 82.16 per cent of the cases. Sliqhtly over
half cf the fathers and mothers were satisfied with tne
support payments, but the remainder of the men thouqht that

206
they were too high while the remainder of the women thought
that they were too low. The father's attitude was found to
be an important factor effecting actual payment.
All but 6.40 per cent of the mothers reported workinq at
the time of the survey. While they worked, two-thirds of
their children were taken care of by nursery or regular
school, and the rest of the children stayed with the
mothers' families, friends and neighbors. Practically ail
of the mothers expressed satisfaction with these
arrangements, with only 2.75 per cent beinq dissatisfied.
Approximately one-third of the mothers considered their
children a hindrance to their work, education and chances of
remarrying, while about half of them felt the same way about
the children regarding recreation, dating and social
activities. This latter high proportion probably resulted
from the fact that their recreation, datinq and social
activities occurred outside of school hours wnen additional
arrangements would have to be made for the children.
All of the respondents who did not have custody of their
children felt that their children were receiving good care,
and none of them wanted to change the custody arrangements.

CHAPTER X
THE TRAUMA AND TRIUMPH IN DIVOBCE
Introduction
In this chapter we will first comment on past studies of
the trauma of divorce and explain the open approach used in
this survey. Then our findings on the negative and positive
effects or divorce will be presented, followed by data on
the most important effects of divorce. Next we will present
two indexes of the relative significance of the effects of
divorce. Some of the implications of our findings will be
enlarged on and presented.
Lastly, a Divorce Trauma-Triumph scale will be presented
illustrating the relative trauma and adjustment experienced
by the respondents, and a profile will be estaolished of
those who suffered deepest trauma and least adjustment.
Former and Present Approaches to the Trauma of Divorce
First Willard Waller in The Ojd Love and the New, and
then William J. Goode in After Divorce focused on the
personal problems and trauma experienced by divorcing
couples. Goode found that in 37 per cent of his respondents
there was litle increase in symptoms, and classified them as
low trauma. However, in about two-thirds of the cases.
207

2oa
there was definite evidence of a siqnificant increase in
personal difficulties.
Within the past decade there has been a revived interest
in this aspect of divorce resulting in the publication of
multiple surveys and clinical reports, as indicated in the
review of the literature. Practically all of these
researchers, taking their cues from Waller and Goode,
assumed that divorce was a traumatic experience, and did
their research accordingly, and found what they were looking
for. The author of the present survey found a basic
difficulty with these recent studies. By and large they
investigated only the dark side of divorce and they all
found what they were looking for--widespread reporting of
trauma. The author had been led to ask repeatedly is
divorce all bad, or all tnat bad? If it is, it is rather
amazing that the word did not get out to those who have been
contemplating and obtaining divorces. The escalatinq
divorce rate of recent years would seem to indicate that the
people involved did not qet the message.
Reports based on clinical data, and generalizations based
on such reports have been of particular concern. It is
quite important and rather basic to remind ourselves that it.
is people who are ill and suffering from medical problems
who frequent medical clinics. probably we should likewise
expect people suffering "divorce problems” to attend clinics
on divorce, and it may not be totally unfair to say that

209
possibly those who attend such clinics end up perceiviuq
more problems than they ever dreamed of before. This is not
to be taken as a criticism of divorce clinics. Such clinics
deserve the hiqhest praise for the services and help they
offer to those in need. The comment is aqainst assuminq
that those who attend divorce clinics are in anyway
representative of the divcrce population. Further, the
bottom line is rather basic: the same must be said of all
surveys or studies that do not use a random sample
representative of the whole divorce population.
Followinq a very valuable suqqesticn from a colleaque, it
was decided to approach the question of the trauma of the
divorce experience with an open mind and to attempt
structurinq the questions accordinqly. It was visualized
that divorce could be a bad experience for some, a qood
experience for others, and a mixed experience for still
others.
Goode in his study asked the respondents if they had
experienced certain difficulties duriuq the divorce process,
such as difficulties sleepinq and workinq, symtomatic of
trauma. It was decided to retain Goode's approaca, but to
expand on it by askinq the respondents if, besides bad
experiences, they had qood experiences associated with the
divorce durinq the divorce process. These we will call the
neqative and positive effects of divorce.

210
It was stronqly felt that this double approach snould be
used in attempting to measure trauma and subsequent
adjustment. Just as in the world of economics a person's
net value cannot be assessed by totalling his or her entire
liabilities alone, but rather by balancing them against toe
assets, so too a person's adjustment cannot be measured
solely by the difficulties he or she encounters and
experiences, but rather by the responses, both negative and
positive, to these difficulties. Therein lies the
importance of using negative and positive effects of
divorce.
In an attempt to avoid causing any bias in the replies,
the question was carefully introduced as follows:
The divorce process may be a time of unhappiness
and stress for some individuals; for others it may
brinq happiness and relief; for still others it
may be a mixture of both. Did you have any of the
following feelings cr experiences during tae
divorce process, that is, extending from the point
when you first seriously considered divorce up to
the present time?
Then followed a randomized series of questions relating to
the positive and negative effects throughout the entire
divorce cycle. The respondents were first directed, if they
had experienced these individual effects to indicate the
point in the divorce cycle when each was qreatest or most
pronounced. The divorce process was envisioned as extending
from the point in time when the respondents first seriously
considered divorce down to the time of the data collection.
It must be stated that this approach contained no

211
implication that the process had completely run its course
by the time we contacted them. Neither was it implied that
the divorce cycle inflexibly followed the sequence of staqes
outlined below, although it was assumed that the sequence
outlined would be the modal order in which they would occur.
The staqes are as follows. (1) Serious consideration of
divorce. (2) Final decision to separate or divorce. (3)
Final separation. (4) The divorce decree. (5) Now, meaning
the time of the data collection when they were contacted.
(6) At the end of the staqes "never" was added which could
be checked by any respondents who did not experience one or
other of the specific effects outlined. Thus respondents'
freedom of choice was completely assured. Tae results of
this array of questions are presented in the next two
sections.
Negative Effects in tne Divorce Cycle
Looking first at the neqative effects, the data indicate
that these were most widespread in the first staqe when the
respondents were seriously considering divorce. There were
313 reports of neqative effects at this staqe, the hiqhest
incidence in the entire cycle. By the second stage, the
final decision, the neqative effects reported declined by
more than one-half to 138, indicating that once indecision
and vacillation had been overcome, some problems ceased, at
least temporarily. At the third staqe, final separation.

212
there was an upswing to 224 neqative reports, indicating
increased difficulties at partinq. At the time of the
divorce decree, staqe four, these reports had subsided to
129, the same level approximately, as staqe two, indicating
that the decree simply formalized the prior existinq
situation. At staqe five, "now," there was a sliqht
increase over the previous staqe to 149 neqative reports.
Analysis indicated that an important qualitative chanqe
amonq the neqative effects had taken place at this point.
The incidence of the more serious neqative effects (e.q.
difficulty workinq efficiently) had declined. However, this
decline was more than offset by an increase amonq the less
serious effects (e.q. increased smoking, and increased use
of druqs) .
So in summary we can say that the neqative effects were
most widespread in staqe one, serious consideration,
followed next by staqe three final separation. In the other
stages, 2, 4, and 5, they were markedly lower while being
approximately the same in all three. That would indicate
that the first staqe was by far the worst, followed next by
the third stage, final separation. The other three staqes
were not nearly as bad, althouqh bad enouqh.
These data, and those on the positive effects are
presented in Table 35, in ranked order of incidence
reported. The positive effects are enclosed in brackets for
ease of identification.

TABLE 35
Negative and :
Serious
Positive Effects During Divorce Cycle
Final Final Divorce
Data
Total:
Consideratior
Thru Data
Consideration
Decision
Separation
Decree
Collection
Collection
N
Per cent
N
Per cent
N
Per cent
N
Per cent
N
Per cent
N
Per cent
General irritability or
69
38.76
15
8.43
40
22.47
20
11.24
12
6.74
156
87.64
depression
[Feelings of freedom and
4
2.22
10
5.56
22
12.22
32
17.78
84
46.67
152
84.45
relief]
Profound feeling of
33
18.13
19
10.44
42
23.08
22
12.09
37
20.33
153
84.07
loneliness
Difficulty sleeping
54
29.84
31
17.13
32
17.68
19
10.50
9
4.97
145
80.12
[Feeling of happiness or
5
2.89
10
5.78
19
10.98
12
6.94
89
51.45
135
78.04
elation]
Difficulty doing work
52
28.89
25
13.87
36
20.00
17
9.44
8
4.44
138
76.67
efficiently
Desire to escape frcm it all 35
19.66
20
11.24
29
16.29
22
12.36
27
15.17
133
74.72
[Better health than when
3
1.81
3
1.81
10
6.02
1
0.60
105
63.25
122
73.49
married]
Increased smoking/drinking
17
9.66
8
4.55
3
7.39
14
7.96
27
15.34
69
44.90
Poorer health than when
24
13.79
8
4.60
26
14.94
6
3.45
11
6.32
75
43.10
married
Desire to end your life
31
17.71
8
4.57
6
3.43
2
1.14
5
2.86
52
29.71
Increased use of drugs
3
1.79
4
2.38
10
5.95
7
4.17
13
7.74
37
22.03
[Sum of Positive Affects Ex
1 12
5.92
23
13.15
51
29.22
45
25.32
278
161.37
235.98]
Sum of Negative Effects Ex?
318
178.23
138
77.21
224
131.22
129
72.35
149
83.91
542.93
[Mean of Positive Affects *
1 4
2.31
8
4.98
17
9.77
15
8.44
93
53.79
78.66]
Mean of Negative Affects x2
Difference - *2
Note: Hie positive effects
35
are
19.80 15
-17.49
in brackets.
8.58
-3.60
25
14.58
-4.81
14
8.04
+0.40
17
9.32
+44.47
60.32
+18.34
213

214
Analysis of the neqative effects data, usinq a matched
pairs t-test, indicated that the incidence of neqative
effects "now" were siqnificantly lower than the averaqe of
the earlier four staqes combined (1=2.40; P=0.0174).
Incidence of Positive Effects in the Divorce Cycle
Turninq now to the positive effects of divorce, the data
indicate that the positive effects were indeed rare
throuqhout the first four staqes of the cycle, that is,
throuqh the time of the divorce decree. There were only 12
reports of positive effects in the first staqe. By the
second staqe, the final decision, the incidence of positive
effects had practically doubled to 23 reports. By staqe
three, final separation, their incidence had doubled aqain
to 51. At staqe four, the divorce decree, there was a
sliqht decrease to 45 reports. By the next staqe, "now,"
there was a very dramatic sixfold increase to 278 reports.
Analysis usinq a matched pairs t-test indicated that the
level of positive effects of divorce at the time of the data
collection was siqnificantly hiqher than the averaqe of the
precedinq levels (T=-13.88; P=0.0001).

215
Balance of Effects
While in no way implying that the sum of the negative
effects on the one hand equals the sum of the positive
effects on the other, but simply using them as indicators of
trauma and recovery from trauma, a comparison of the two
arrays of effects can be used as an indicator of increase cr
decrease of trauma during the divorce cycle. If we look at
the last row in Table 35 we can see the difference between
f x‘ ], i.e,, the mean of the positive effects, and x2, i.e.,
the mean of the negative effects. The balance during the
first three stages is negative, starting with a steep
-17.49, indicating widespread trauma, then risinq to -4.20
in the second stage, and dropping slightly to -4.84 in the
third stage, final separation. At staqe four, the divorce
decree, there is a slight positive balance of 0.40 which
jumps sharply to 44.47 at the fifth staqe, "now."
These data would seem to indicate profound trauma,
consisting of widesspread negative effects and virtually no
positive effects, during the first staqe when the partners
were seriously considering breakinq the ties of marriage.
Besides the heartbreak involved in contemplating a breakup,
there was the added difficulty of indecision, which can take
a very heavy toll on individuals. Indeed, the data indicate
that there was an improvement once the indecision was
overcome and a definite decision to qo for divorce was made
in staqe two.

216
The third staqe, final or actual separation, was harder
than just the decision to separate. Here neqative effects
were widespread once aqain. The separation involved
loneliness and many adjustments, especially the need to
adjust from the pair-relationship to qoinq it alone. At the
same time, however, some positive effects were experienced
resultinq, probably, from being removed from the endogenous
push factors and reaching the exogenous pull factors. Other
positive effects could result from the discovery that one's
own resources were significant, and that what had been
feared as impossible without one's spouse, was, in reality,
manaqeable for one female after all.
By the fourth staqe, divorce decree, a slight improvement
seems to have taken place in the sense that the neqative
effects had abated markedly, although there was no increase,
but rather a sliqht decrease in the positive effects. By
this staqe settlements had been made and agreements
reached, thus reducinq bad feelinqs. The decree finalized
the agreements that had already been worked out, as well as
what had taken place at the final separation. However,
until the divorce decree took place, the ex-spouses of
necessity continued to be involved with each other, probably
unhappily, as settlements and agreements were worked out
either directly or through attorneys. This state of affairs
possibly explains the absence of any increase in positive
effects at this stage.

217
Lastly, after the divorce decree, a dramatic improvement
took place, and was evident at the time of the data
collection. This resulted from the blcominq and blossoming
of positive effects, even though the earlier level of
negative effects persisted. However, an inspection of the
cells in Table 35 indicates clearly that the persistent
average level of negative effects resulted from very import¬
ant shifts in the incidence of individual negative effects.
While it is evident that the incidence of loneliness,
escapism tendencies and health problems remained almost
constant both before and after the decree, nevertheless, the
incidence of depression, sleeplessness, difficulty working,
and suicidal tendencies all decreased after the decree. But
this decrease in these rather serious symptoms was more than
offset by increased smoking, druq use and drinking. These
increases at this stage may not be true negative effects of
divorce. Rather, they may result from the respondents'
wider entry into and participation in the competitive and
male-dominated marketplace and professions. There drinkinq
and smokinq are the norm, and "Excedrin headaches" are
plentiful, necessitating the use of druqs.
Significantly, analysis using a matched pairs t-test
indicated that the higher balance of the positive over the
negative effects at the time of the data collection was
significantly hiqher than the averaqe balance of the earlier
stages (mean=1.48; T=9.64; P=0.0001).

218
It was surmised that this difference or balance would
vary by qroup—that Group IV (these divorced ionqest) would
evidence a much hiqher balance than Group I (those most
recently divorced). When the mean difference between the
neqative and positive effects "no*" was tested by qroup
usinq a t-test, a statistically siqnificant difference was
found between Group I cn the one hand, and Group III
(T=-2.28; P=0.02) and Group IV (T=-2.56; P=0.01). No
siqnificant difference was found between Group I and Group
II. This means that the balance of positive effects over
neqative effects Mnown was siqnificantly qreater in Group
III and Group IV than in Group I. Consequently, in the
aqqreqate, those respondents who had been divorced 12 and 24
months respectively, were siqnificantly better adjusted
than those most recently divorced.
So in summary we can say that the firm decision to qet
divorced brouqht about the first alleviation of trauma.
Before this difficult decision was reached the situation
miqht best be expressed as desolate. But the definitive
decision, once made, brouqht some surcease, and this
somewhat abated level of trauma persisted, with only minor
variations, throuqh the final decree of divorce. Then, by
two months after the divorce a siqnificant watersued in the
level of trauma was reached, evidenced by widespread
positive effects. The second similar siqnificant
improvement had taken place by one year after the divorce.

219
Statinq the same thinq positively, some adjustment took
place with the firm decision to qet divorced. Then, within
two months after the divorce had teen finalized siqnificant
positive adjustment had taken place. Lastly, by the time of
the first anniversary of the divorce, further siqnificant
adjustment had taken place. The one year mark after the
divorce seems to have been the final important staqe in
adjustment (insofar as our data are concerned) because
essentially the same level or situation was found two years
after divorce. This may be diaqrammed as follows in Fiqure
3.
As a final observation it would seem that if only
negative measures had been used, our findings would have
coincided with the conclusions of earlier authors. However,
we believe that a more realistic and accurate picture
results from the use of both positive and neqative effects
which enabled us to identify twc siqnificant staqes in the
adjustment, and to conclude that the adjustment cycle may
very well be shorter than data used in the past tended to
indicate. Of course, we realize that comparing the present
with the past is somewhat invidious because attitudes
surrounding divorce have not remained frozen any more than
the divorce rate itself, and recovery may be ¡acre rapid
nowadays than in the past.

220
Profound Trauma Good
Mjustment
Divorce Divorce Divorce
Figure 3:
Level of Trauma and Mjustment
in Divorce Cycle
Note:
Only the vertical axis is drawn to scale.

221
The Most Important Effects in the Divorce Cycfe
After the respondents had completed the entire array of
questions indicatinq when the individual effects were
qreatest, they were then directed to qo tack and identify
the three most important effects in ranked order. He were
interested in the most important effect alone rather than
all three. However, it was felt that by askinq for the
three most important ones, the respondents would more
carefully weiqh them and take qreater care in identifyinq
number one, than if they were simply asked to identify lust
the most important effect alone.
First among the most important effects, by reason of
reportinq, was the positive effects "feelinqs of freedom and
relief.” This was identified by 28.66 per cent of the
respondents (N=47) as the most important effect of all for
them. In second place came the neqative effect "profound
feeling of loneliness" noted by 20.12 per cent (fc=33). The
positive effect "feelinq of happiness or elation" came
third, identified by 16.46 per cent (N=27) of the
respondents. Fourth position went to the neqative effect
"general irritability or depression" reported by 8.54 per¬
cent of the respondents (N=14). Fifth position was held by
the positive effect "better health than when married," noted
by 7.93 per cent (N=13). Biqht behind that came the
neqative effect "desire to escape from it all" in sixth

222
place, checked by
The relevant data
presented in Table
7.32 per cent of tne respondents (N=12).
on these and the remaininq items are
36.
TABLE 36
The Most Important Effects of the Entire Cycle
Effects
N
.per cent
f feelinqs of freedom and relief
47
28.66 li
Profound feelinq of loneliness
33
20. 12
[Feelinq of happiness or elaticn
27
16.461
General irritability or depression
14
8.56
f Better health than when married
13
7.931
Desire to escape from it all
12
7. 32
Difficulty sleepinq
9
5. 49
Difficulty doinq work efficiently
4
2.44
Increased smokinq or drinkinq
2
1.22
Poorer health than when married
1
0.61
Desire to end your life
1
0.61
Increased use of druqs
1
0.61
Totals
164
100.01*
1 positive effects are within brackets
2not 100 per cent because of roundinq
In summary, the three positive effects, "feelinqs of freedom
and relief,” "feelinq of happiness or elaticn,” and ’’better
health than when married” ranked first, third and fifth,
respectively, amonq the most important effects of divorce.
These were interspersed with the neqative effects "profound
feelinqs of loneliness" and "qeneral irritability or
depression" in second and fourth places, respectively, with
"the desire to escape from it all" in sixth place. This

223
indicates that in the aqqreqate these divorced mothers
tended to be lonely, irritable and depressed, and to wish to
escape ¿rom it all. At the same time they tended to be
upbeat about their divorces because they experienced relief,
freedom, happiness and improved health, all of which they
prized very hiqhly.
Index oí Most Significant Effects in the Divorce Cycle
It was decided to construct an index of the most
significant effects in the divorce cycle. This was done by
combining the data on the incidence of the different
individual effects with the data on the most important
effects. A sample will serve to illustrate. The neqative
effect "general irritability or depression" was experienced
by 87.64 per cent of the respondents. Then 8.54 per cent
identified it as the most important effect. The product of
these two percentages give us an index of 2420.05 for this
effect. Because of the dramatic chanqe that took place
after the divorce decree, it was decided to form two
indexes, the first one coverinq the cycle from the beginning
through the divorce decree, and the second one covering the
entire cycle through "now." The indexes are found in Table
37 and Table 38.
Looking first at Table 37 the data indicate that the
negative effect "profound feeling of loneliness" was the
most significant effect in the cycle up to and including the

224
TABLE 37
Index of Most Significant Effects Through Divorce
Effects
Index
Profound feeling of loneliness
[ Feelings of freedom and relief
General Irritability or depression
[Feelings of happiness or elation
Desire to escape from it all
Difficulty sleeping
Difficulty doing work efficiently
f Better health than when married
Increased smoking or drinking
Poorer health tnan when married
Desire to end your life
Increased use of drugs
1282.45
1082.25 1»
683.97
437.51 1
435.91
412.52
176.24
81.201
36.50
22.44
16.38
8.722
ipositive effects are within brackets
2column non-additive
time of actual divorce. The second most significant effect
was the positive "feelings of freedom and relief," followed
by the negative "general irritability or depression" and
this in turn was followed by the positive "feeling of
happiness or elation." Fifth and sixth places were held by
the two negatives "desire to escape from it all" and
"difficulties sleeping." The placing of the rest of the
items may be observed in the table. Suffice it to make the
point here that the six most significant effects in this
part of the cycle were made up of the four negative effects
loneliness, depression, flight, and difficulty sleeping, in
first, third, fifth and sixth places, respectively, with two
positive effects, relief and happiness in second and fourth

225
places, respectively. Further, the remainrnq positive
effect, "better health than when married" is found down in
eiqhth place. So, in qeneral, four of the six leadinq
indicators in this part of the cycle were neqative. Up to
this point, the divorce cycle was primarily a lonely and
depressinq experience from which those involved wanted to
escape. Taese primary feelinqs were somewhat tempered by
some feelinqs of relief and happiness.
TABLE 38
Index For Entire Cycle
Effects
Index
f Feelinqs of freedom and relief
Profound feelinq of loneliness
fFeelinq of happiness or elation
General irritability or depression
T Better health than when married
Desire to escape from it all
Difficulty sleepinq
Difficulty doing work efficiently
Increased smokinq cr drinkinq
Poorer health than when married
Desire to end your life
Increased use of drugs
2420.05P
1691.49
1284.371
748.45
582.781
546.95
439.80
187.07
54.71
26.29
18.12
13.432
‘positive effects are within brackets
2column non-additive
Turninq now to Table 38, we can see there tnat the six
most significant effects for the entirety of the cycle were
made up of the three positive effects, relief, happiness,
and better health, found in first, third, and fifth places.

226
respectively. The three negative effects, lonelxness,
depression, and flight, found in second, fourth, and sixth
places, round out the set. Consequently, half of the six
most significant effects were positive. The upswinq after
the divorce decree that has already been noted in the data
is reflected in these two indexes also. So we may conclude
that by the time we contacted the respondents, they had come
to view the divorce primarily as a positive experience
marred rather significantly by persistent loneliness and
depression, and the desire to escape from it all.
The persistence and significance of the negative effects,
loneliness and general irritability or depression, come as
no surprise. In our society the nuclear family tends to be
a relatively isolated unit, and when the structure of that
unit is broken by divorce, it is to be expected that
loneliness would become a significant factor for the former
partners. Further, although the bond between them has been
broken, it has not been ended. Loneliness is one of the
results of this situation (ieiss, 1975). The significance
of the other negative effect, general irritaoility or
depression, probably results from the sense of failure and
frustration that accompanies divorce. Marriage had been
undertaken because of, cr at least in the midst of the
romantic love complex. It held the promise and dream of
happiness and success. Divorce shattered tais promise and
dream of happiness and fulfillment, and were replaced by

221
unhappiness which tends to be expressed in qeneral irrit¬
ability, and by a sense of failure, which easily lends
itself to depression. These in turn breed escapism.
We turn now to the ether three most significant effects,
the positive ones. The feelinqs of freedom and relief,
found in first place, were most significant for the
respondents in the aqqreqate. Probably this was so because
they felt trapped when the marriaqes beqac to rail. It is
likely that this sense of imprisonment endured until the
bonds were finally and formally broken by the divorce
decree. Then they felt relieved and free. Next, the
feeling of happiness or elation easily follows on the heels
of freedom and relief. Happiness and elation are not
associated with imprisonment in either the literal or
fiqurative sense, but are associated with release. Further,
much unhappiness and depression were experienced in the
breakup, and now that the divorce is finalized, the parties
are removed from the scene, in both the physical and social
sense, of much of the unhappiness. The third positive
effect, better health, is an outcome of the foreqoinq. The
link between ill health and stress has been well
established, and stress and trauma, as we have seen, formed
the warp and woof of the fabric of divorce from its
beginning throuqh the final decree. Two mere observations
need to be made. The data on the first four stages of the
cycle were recall data, while these on the fifth stage,

228
"now," was a reportinq ou the present. Consequently, the
conclusion tnat tae positive excess over the neqative in the
fifth staqe "now" can be assumed to be quite sound ana
reliable. However, another consideration militates somewhat
aqainst any smuqness here, and that is what psycholoqists
call coqnitive dissonance. The respondents had paid a hiqh
price to reacn the staqe where they were when wo contacted
them. As a result there was the real possibility that they
overstated the positive and understated the neqative at that
staqe.
The Trauma-Triumph Scale
Up to this point, the focus of our attention has been the
trauma and triumph of divorce viewed in the abstract. how
we will shift our focus from the abstract to the concrete as
we analyze the subjects of this trauma and triumph, the
respondents.
It will be recalled that nine neqative effects and three
positive effects were used to measure trauma and recovery
from it. The respondents reported experiencinq dirferent
mixtures or combinations of these effects. Theoretically,
the respondents who experienced the worst trauma could have
experienced all nine of the neqative effects and none of the
positive, wnereas those who experienced no trauma at all
could report havinq all three positive effects and none of
the neqative ones. Consequently, throuqh analysis we could

229
place different respondents at various points between these
two extremes, depending cn their reporting of negative and
positive effects. For this reason it was decided to
construct a trauma-triumph scale extending from -9 for those
at the worst extreme through +3 for those whose divorce
experience was a complete triumph from start to finish. The
results of this analysis are graphically presented in the
trauma-triumph scale shown in Figure 4.
There we can see that no respondent suffered either of
the two most serious degrees of trauma, -9 or -8. Only
three respondents, 1.64 per cent, suffered the third worst
degree of trauma, -7. Then we find the bulk of the
respondents, 155 of them, that is 84.69 per cent, fall
between -6 and -1. The modal category is -4 with 16.94 per
cent (N=31) of the respondents lying there. This is closely
followed by -3 and -2 with 16.39 per cent (N=30) falling in
both of these levels. For 7.65 per cent of the respondents
cancelled out the bad, giving us a zero category. For the
remaining 6.01 per cent (N=ll) the divorce experience was a
triumph as the positive effects outnumbered the negatives.
It will be noted that, while no respondent fell in the two
worst categories of the scale, five are found in the two
best categories. It is rather fascinating that three of
these five reported having all of the positive effects and
none of the negative.

N = 31
16.94%
N = 30
16.39%
N = 30
16.39%
Figure 4: The Divorce Trauma-Triunph Scale
230

231
We believe that the use of this trauma-triumph scale
holds a definitive advantage over dichotomizing the
respondents into -just two or three categories as was done in
the past. The degrees of trauma and triumph form a
continuum and we can successfully place our respondents in
their respective places along that continuum, and thus
produce a picture that is isomorphic with reality.
In an attempt to establish a profile of the respondents
in the various levels or categories of the scale, oivariate
regression analyses were performed between the level of
trauma-triumph as the dependent variable and 56 independent
variables. The independent variables were divided into
various categories as follows:
1. Background variables such as place of oirth and age
of respondents, age at marriage and at divorce
2. All the work and income variables pertaining to tne
respondents, their ex-husbands and their current
husbands
3. Marital variables, such as length of marriage, number
of marriages, approval of marriages by significant
others, and violence in marriage
4. Offspring variables such as number and ages of
offspring, child custody, child support, and child
care
5. Divorce variables such as number of divorces, who
suggested the divorce, and the agreements made in the

232
divorce process; also all 16 causes of divorce were
included
6. Relational variables, such as the ex-spouse’s being
in love with somebody else prior to the divorce,
frequency of current datinq, living together with a
man, remarriage, and feelings of ex-spouses for each
other
7. Religious variables, such as religious affiliation of
respondents, ex-spouses and current spouses,
frequency of church attendance, and significance of
religion for respondents
Out of tais entire array of 56 variables, iust four of
them were found to be significant in the bivariate analysis.
These are presented in Table 39.
TABLE 39
Bivariate Equation of Level of Trauma-Triumph
Independent Variable
I
P
Husband fell in love with another woman
8.91
0.0001
Respondent's religion
2.63
0.0398
Respondent's receipt of child support
4.02
0.0215
Amount received in child support
9.23
0.0032
N =96
Next, multiple regression was estimated of the level of
trauma in relation to these four variables in combination.
The equation explained 43.02 per cent of the variance in the

233
trauma-triumph of divorce, and all four of the variables
continued to be siqnificant as can be seen in Table 40.
TABLE 40
Multiple Regression Equations of Trauma-Triumph
Variable
Husband fell in love with another woman
Respondent's receipt of child support
Amount received in child support
Respondent's religion: Jewish
Other
N = 9b
b P
-1.6444 0.0017
-1.0066 0.0293
-0.0264 0.0032
1.2141 0.0445
4.0133 0.0240
Our findings were as follows:
1. Tae multiple regression analyses indicated that those
respondents whose divorces were "caused” by the ex-
husbands* falling in leve with ether women
experienced significantly greater trauma than those
respondents whose husbands had not fallen in love
with other women
2. Those respondents who always received child support
each month experienced siqnificantly qreater trauma
than those who received it only seldom or never at
all
3. There was a siqnificant positive correlation between
the amount of child support received and the level of
trauma experienced. That is, those mothers who
received larger amounts in child support reported

234
siqnificantly greater trauma than those who received
lesser amounts
4. The respondents had been asked to state what church
they belonged to by checkinq one of the followinq
choices: (a) Protestant, (b) Catholic, (c) Jewish,
(d) Other, (e) None. The multiple regression
analyses indicated that these respondents affiliated
with Judaism, as well as those who identified
themselves as "other,” experienced siqnificantly less
trauma than those who were not affiliated with any
church at all. The level of trauma experienced by
Protestants and Catholics was not siqnificantly
different from that experienced by those with no
church affiliation
Comments
Our first findinq, that trauma was greater in those cases
where divorce was "caused" by the husband's falling in love
with another woman, is easily understandable in view of the
central place held by romance and love in marriage in our
culture. Bhen a married spouse falls in love with somebody
else, this is a frontal assault on the foundation of
marriaqe. The other party's cherished dreams are dashed,
and trust is scarcely possible any more.
Our second and third findings, on child support, at first
seemed incorrect because we had anticipated the opposite

235
findings—that those receivinq child support each month
would report less trauma than those not receivinq it, and
that those receivinq larqer amounts each month would report
less trauma than those receivinq smaller amounts. For this
reason, careful re-analyses were conducted, but each time
the findinqs continued to coincide with the original ones.
This led us to interpret the findinqs as follows.
In the literature it is repeatedly asserted that no
divorce involving children is ever final, because onqoinq
and new arrangements and situations involving the children
force the ex-spouses into repeated communication and
interaction with each other. Our findinqs support that
assertion, and suggest that the reception of child support
every month keeps alive the upset of divorce.
Further, the larqer the amounts actually paid in child
support, the more traumatic the divorces tended to be for
the ex-wives. This may result from either of two sources:
(1) The qreater the amount involved in child support, the
inore the ex-wives depended on it, and the more they feared
losinq it. (2) High child support payments were probably a
function of the ex-husbands’ hiqh income. Durinq the
marriages, these men were qood breadwinners who provided
well for their families. As such they have been lost to
their families tkrouqh divorce, and the ex-wives suffered
serious anxiety and trauma over this loss, and tried to
remedy the resulting situation by getting the maximum in
child suport.

2 36
¡Jp to this point in these comments, we have been treatinq
trauma as the dependent variable--we have assumed that the
level of trauma resulted from the payment and level of child
support. However, our data do not enable us to say which
was cause and which was effect—the child support payments
or the level of trauma. Contrary to our assumption up to
this point, the level of trauma may have been the
independent variable or cause. In some cases, or indeed in
all cases, for that matter, the profound trauma evinced by
the wives may have moved the husbands to aqree to, and
influenced the courts to enjoin hiqh child support payments.
Further, this very same hiqh deqree of trauma displayed by
the ex-wives may have sc affected the ex-husbands that they
also paid the child support faithfully each month.
In contrast with these ex-wives who suffered serious
trauma, the other ex-wives who received little or no child
support at all and who suffered less trauma may have become
independent and self reliant, as well as self supportinq.
Thus perhaps, it was possible for them to have more positive
effects and fewer neqative ones. In other words, they were
able to view divorce in terms cf triumph rather than trauma,
as a vehicle to personal independence and freedom.
Lastly, movinq cn to our findinqs on reliqious
affiliation, we find ourselves at a loss to explain these
findinqs. We had anticipated findinq a hiqher level cf
trauma amonq Catholics on account of their church's stronq

237
opposition to divorce. However, the data indicated that
their trauma was no greater than that of Protestants and
those with no church affiliation. Perhaps Catnolics were
helped by receivinq superior counseling and help, similar to
that reported in the review of the literature (see Kressel
et al., 1979). Further, we had expected to find least
trauma among those with no church affiliation because of
being free from reliqious biases aqainst divorce. However,
this we did not find, as already indicated. Instead, we
found least trauma amonq the Jews as well as those who
identified themselves as "ether."
Summary
Osing both negative and positive effects to measure
trauma and adjustment we found that in the first stage of
the divorce cycle trauma was profound. This was evident in
the most widespread incidence of neqative effects and the
rarest incidence of positive effects. Compared with this
first very bad situation we found that, quantitatively, in
the aggregate stages two, three, and four (i.e., final
decision, final separation, and divorce decree) were about
one-quarter as bad, resulting from a combiation of less
trauma (fewer neqative effects) and measurable adjustment
(more positive effects). By two months after the divorce we
found that a significant improvement had taken place,
resulting not so much from fewer neqative effects, but

2 38
rather from a dramatic display of positive effects. The
respondents were still feeling measurable pain, but this
pain was far outweighed by the benefits that they associated
with the divorce. This level of adjustment persisted
without any significant change through the six-month point
after divorce.
By twelve months after divorce, another similar dramatic
improvement had developed. This twelve-month level seems to
have been most significant in the sense that after another
additional year no further significant change was found.
Having used a total of nine neqative and three positive
effects to measure trauma and adjustment, cur data indicate
that the respondents perceived our three positive effects
plus three of the neqative effects as the most significant
in the divorce cycle. These six are contained in ranked
order in the following list.
1. Feelings of freedom and relief
2. Profound feeling cf loneliness
3. Feelings of happiness or elation
4. General irritability or depression
5. Better health than when married
6. Desire to escape from it all.
Consequently, the respondents tended to present an overview
of divorce as a mixed experience cf good and bad with the
good slightly outweighing the tad.

2 39
We found that out respondents were fairly close to being
normally distributed alonq the trauma-triumph scale. Some
of the skewednes resulted from the fact that no respondent
was found in either of the two lowest cateqories. The scale
enabled us to place the subjects alonq the trauma-adjustment
continuum rather than simply dichotomizinq them.
Analysis by multiple reqression indicated that the
respondents who were highest on the trauma-adjustment scale
were Jews and "others.” Those who were lowest on the scale
had the followinq combination of characteristics.
1. They were victims of trianqles. While they were
still married, their ex-husbands fell in love with
other women
2. They received child support every month
3. They received relatively larqe amounts in child
support each month

CHAPTER XI
REMARRIAGE
Id trod uc ticn
In this chapter we will take a brief lcok at reiaarriaqe
after divorce. We will establish the number of respondents
who had entered new marriaqes, and present their evaluation
of the new marriaqes compared with the former ones. Next,
relevant information on the new husbands will be presented.
Lastly, the reaction of the children to the rernarriaqes, as
seen throuqh the mothers' eyes will be recorded.
Number of Remarriages
Of the 203 divorced mothers who took part in this survey,
13.30 per cent (N=27) had remarried by the time of the data
collection. Interestingly, two of these women remarried
their ex-husbands.
Remarriages Compared with Focaer Marriayes
When asked how their present marriages, in qeneral,
compared with their former ones, 88.89 per cent (N=24) said
the remarriaqes were better, 7.41 per cent (N=2) saw tnem as
about the same, and lastly, 3.7C per cent (N=l) said it was
worse than the former marriage. So, with one solitary
240

241
exception, all of them rated their remarriaqes as better
than cr as qood as their former marriaqes.
The majority of the remarried respondents perceived the
experiences of their former marriaqes as helpful to them in
their new marriaqes. Almost two-thirds, 65.39 per cent,
felt that those experiences made it easier for them to qet
alonq in the new marriaqes, and 15.39 per cent felt that
those experiences maae nc difference. The remaininq 19.23
per cent said that it was harder to make the new
relationships work because of the experiences they had in
the former marriaqes. Reqrettably, we do not know whether
the former experiences were qcod, the memory of wuich made
the new, present experiences poorer by comparison, or
whether the former experiences were bad, ieavinq scars in
the fora of personality and /or relational problems.
fiealizinq that "qhosts" of the former marriaqe and spouse
can haunt the new relationship, the remarried respondents
were asked if they and their present spouses arqued about
the former marriaqes and spouses. It would appear that such
"qhosts" were quite rare, at least up to this point in the
new marriaqes. It must be recalled that all of these
remarriaqes were less than two years' duration at the time
of the data collection. None said that they had frequent
arquments, and just 29.63 per cent (N=8) said they did have
arquaents, but only seldom, and the remaininq 70.37 per cent
(N=19) said tney never had any such differences at all. One

242
could arque both. ways about this problem in the future of
the new marriages. First, one could take the position that
it was to be expected that such problems would arise but
rarely during the early, honeymoon phase of the remarriages.
Later on after the romance has faded, then such arguments
and problems could be expected to surface. On the other
hand, one could argue for a briqht future for these
remarriaqes, postulating but little romance and much realism
in embarking on remarriage. As the result of this realism,
it could be held that potential problems resulting from tne
former marriages were already worked out before entering tae
new marriages and very unlikely to surface again.
Birthplace of Sew Husbands
As might be expected, 81.48 per cent of the husbands in
the remarriages were born in the United States, followed
next by 14.82 per cent born in Cuba, while the remaining
3.70 per cent were born in other foreign countries. This
pattern is very similar to that found amonq the former
husbands.
Education, Occupation. and Income of New Husbands
Slightly over one-third of the new husbands, 36.42 per
cent, were reported to have some college education, followed
next by 23.08 per cent with colleqe deqrees, and another
23.08 per cent with graduate or professional deqrees.

243
Unlike the former husbands, none of the new ones had no
formal education, and only 3.85 per cent had only grade
school educations, while the remaininq 15.39 per cent had
high school educations.
The new husbands reflect a hiqher status in the
occupational world also. The lowest occupation reported was
that of operative, with a mere 4.00 per cent in this
category. Next on the occupational ladder, 24.00 per cent
were craftsmen, and 12.00 per cent, clerical. The highest
proportion, 36.00 per cent, were managerial, and the
remaining 24.00 per cent, professional.
The remarried respondents gave their new husbands very
high marks for steady work. More than nine-tenths of them,
92.59 per cent, said their new husbands were steady workers,
never experiencing any layoffs at all, and the remaining
7.41 per cent reported they were steady workers, apart from
unavoidable layoffs. In spite of this superior work record
and aigher educational and occupational attainments, the
median income of these new husbands did not measure up to
that of the ex-husbands. As we saw in chapter 7, the ex-
husbands* median income was $300.00 a week, whereas that of
the new husbands was only $250.00 a week.

244
The Children of Divorce and Remarriage
The remarried respondents were questioned about the
effects that the new ¡narriaqes had on the children. Their
responses were certainly upbeat, with 70.37 per cent (N=19)
saying that the children were happier now than before, and
an additional 25.93 per cent (N=7) sayinq they were as happy
as they ever had been. Only 3.70 per cent (N = 1) said the
children were unhappy with the new marriaqes.
Summary
We found that only 13.30 per cent of the respondents had
remarried by the time of the data collection. The
overwhelming majority of those who had remarried gave a
positive assessment of their new marriaqes. Practically
nine-tenths of them said their new marriaqes were better
than the former marriaqes, and almost two-thirds of them
felt that the experiences they had in the old marriaqes
beaefitted them in their new relationships. This was
further borne out by the fact that only a little more than
one-quarter of the remarrieds ever arqued with their new
husbands about their former husbands. Further, these
reported arguments occurred only rarely.
fieqarding the new husbands we found that, whea compared
with the former husbands, they had more education and hiqher
professional status, and better work records. However,
their median income was lower in spite of their better track
record

245
The reports indicated that the remarriages benefitted the
children involved. Somewhat over two-thirds of the children
reacted positively to the remarriages by being happier than
they had been, and an additional one-quarter of them
accepted the remarriaqes with equanimity. They appeared to
be as happy as ever after the remarriaqes. Less than 5.00
per cent reacted negatively, beinq unhappy with the
remarriages.

CHAPTER XII
PERSONAL COMMENTS OF RESPONDENTS
Introduction
When we were constructing the questionnaire, a friend
said: "You better leave some space at the end for these
women to add their own comments, because a lot of them will
feel the need to do so." Our friend had more insiqht than
we had. Somewhat reluctantly we used her suggestion and
left the final page of the questionnaire blank, apart from
an invitation for additional comments printed on the top.
Our skepticism was changed to happy surprise when we found
that 60.00 per cent of the respondents did indeed add their
personal comments. These comments add deeper insight into
our earlier findings, and this chapter will be devoted
exclusively to a discussion of these comments. Conse¬
quently, this chapter will be qualitative rather than
quantitative.
246

2 47
The Causes of Divorce
Many of the respondents in their comments primarily
elucidated on the causes cf their divorces. All told, 20.51
per cent of them dealt with these. kith only three
exceptions, none of the respondents qave simply one factor
as the cause of divorce. Instead, reflecting real life,
they outlined poiqnantly a number of causes. The following
excerpt, which has been modified only to preserve anonymity
(as will be done with all other excerpts), will serve as an
example. This respondent qot married in her early twenties
to a man of her own aqe. Eiqht years later, by which time
she was the mother of two children, she qct divorced. Her
comments are excerpted as follows:
Throughout the entire marriaqe we argued
frequently, and at times I thouqht of the
possibility of divorce, but never qave it serious
thought. I always thought of growing old with my
husband and I felt that "we argue but we love each
other." I trusted him completely though he
traveled a lot. Then one niqht he did not come
home, and three days later the same thinq happened
aqain. He told me he was confused about his
feelings for me. I thought this was the end of
the world. Soon I found out that he was drinking,
and this became more and more obvious to me, my
friends and relatives. He would come home anytime
between 3 and 5 a.m.—or not at all. Still I felt
I wanted to work it out, and that I should be
there when he needed me since he showed signs of
becoming an alcoholic. As time passed he qot more
and more violent . . . and I thouqht only of how
to please him, and avoided everything that would
upset him, to the point of me qettinq sick, over
even the car breaking down, since he would blame
me and he would qet all upset with me. I lost
weiqht and cried till I was on the verge of a
nervous breakdown.
I found make-up on his shirt twice, and once a
motel room key in his pocket. But he always had

248
explanatioas. All the hurt ior two and a halt
years totally saturated me until I did not even
care anymore, and fell out of love with him.
For the last six months it was torture for I
was physically afraid of him. . . . When he
finally did leave the relief was totally indes¬
cribable. ... I do not reqret the two years of
misery because I feel I did everything possible
to save the marriaqe for me and tne children.
It is obvious that this respondent suffered much pain and
anquish for a lonq period prior to the separation and
divorce, and it is rather difficult to read the account
without being moved to compassion.
Aaonq the many causes she outlined were infidelity and
violence. We discovered that all of the respondents who
wrote of their husbands* infidelity also told of violence in
the marriaqes. It may well be that when infidelity is
discovered the ensuing raqe, anqer, and unhappiness are such
that violence is almost inevitable. The following is taken
from the end of a horrific account of brutal insensitivity
and infidelity on the part of the husband;
He committed
me to death,
one-year-old
tar and then
a sodomy act on me and almost choked
I filed for divorce when our twenty-
dauqhter and I saw him go into a qay
to a motel with a young guy.
Lack of Communication
Exactly one quarter of the respondents who enlarqed on
the causes of their divorces saw lack of communication
within the marriage as a central problem. This inability to
communicate seemed to set in at a very early stage of the

249
marriages where the couples qot married when they were still
younq. After the initial fascination with sex palled, they
found they had scarcely anythinq else in coaiaoD to
communicate about.
Others outlined a lack of commúnicaticn qrowinq out of
the husbands' bossiness and lack of respect for the wife's
opinions. "My husband never felt anythinq I had to say was
worth listeninq to" was a typical comment. Others indicated
that the communication problem was more extreme —the
husband did not let the wife speak at all. "He did all the
talkinq and then would not let me speak. Everything I did
or said anqered him."
Others indicated that the breakdown in communication
followed on the heels of money problems. The foilowinq will
illustrate.
The main problem was that my ex-husband was
extremely foolish with our money. He invested all
of it in speculative ventures without my knowledqe
and lost it all, and then borrowed money, again
without ay knowledqe. ... I lost faith in him
because of this. He knew and felt my resentment.
This chanqed our relationship, and our spirits
toward each other went bad. He became anqry and
blamed me for everything. I could not talk to him
about anythinq. He became super-sensitive and
stayed away a qreat deal, and then he qot involved
with another woman which he vehemently denied when
I asked. He married her one and a half months
after the divorce.
This husband knew he had failed and used the quilt-
transference tactic by blaminq his wife for everything that
went wronq. He was not alone in that. Others wrote about
this same phenomenon. Here are the words used by one other

250
respondent: "A lot of his own sins and quilt were progected
onto me. He couldn't take a qood look at himself so the
blame was shifted onto me."
It would be misleadinq to leave the impression that the
respondents saw themselves as faultless. Indeed, they
freely acknowledged that they were not perfect. One
respondent put it in a straightforward manner in these
words: "Not that I was not at fault in many areas. The
Lord has shown me that."
Early Marriage
Gettinq married at too younq an aqe was seen as the root
difficulty by almost as many respondents as those who wrote
about lack of communication. They tended to indicate taat
they were convinced that they too were too younq before and
at marriage to be aware of the existence of the various
types of personalities, some of which are incompatible with
each other. Likewise, they were unaware of the importance
of the backgrounds of each spouse. These two elements
proved later to be the sources of many difficulties.
Others indicated that difficulties set in later as the
result of one partner maturinq faster than the other.
Sometimes the partner who was the slower of the two to
mature felt overwhelmed, and even beqan to reqress. The
followinq passaqe qives an example of this: "As the years
went by I believe I matured but he did not. Eventually he
could not cope with everyday life or responsibilities."

251
N on-support
A sizeable number qave non-supcrt by the father as the
prime cause of divorce. This non-support resulted from
drinkinq and gettinq involved in singles clubs and the like.
But sometimes this neglect vas accompanied by gross
insensitivity and callousness. The following will illus¬
trate. This mother was in her early thirties and was the
mother of two. She had teen married 13 years and had iust
recently been divorced. Besides suffering the effronteries
related in the excerpt, she was also the victim of severe
violence in marriage.
On f date given] my son was laid to rest.
He was ill for almost eiqht months, and durinq
tnat tima his father, my ex-husband, treated the
child as if he didn't hurt. I ached for the cnild
day and night. I worked till the child qot so
sick I had to stay home to take care of him.
During that time his father didn't contribute one
penny to help me. For that reason, and when he
started to abuse me, I decided to divorce him.
Also, the woman he had, had no respect for me nor
my sons. The kids are all I have, and I am sorry
I had to divorce my husband, but I am glad I did
it.
The Marriage Penalty
Earlier, we made reference to the phenomenon of couples
getting legal divorces because ol the "marriage penalty" in
the tax laws and Social Security regulations. Sued couples
continue to live toqether. The next excerpt was written by
one such person. This excerpt is presented not only to
exemplify this phenomenon, but also to show that love and
happiness can flourish under less than ideal conditions.

252
My . . . husband is now disabled. However, we
were forced into this divorce by the crazy Social
Security law. May I say that the almost seven
years I have spent with William have been the
happiest years of my life, and it keeps qettinq
tetter.
Children and Divorce
A survey of the comments indicated that the children
played two distinct and opposite roles as far as qettinq
divorced was concerned. In some cases the divorce was
postponed through many unhappy years until the children were
of age, and in other cases it was encouragement from the
children that enabled hesitant mothers to qo ahead and
decide on divorce. The former situation is illustrated in
the following excerpt:
My husband and myself, . . . we gust had
completely different philosophies and never really
agreed on anything. Cur marriages continued until
our children were old enouqh for us to feel free
to separate. We both feel better qoing our own
ways.
The next excerpt illustrates how the children played a
positive role in bringing about the actual divorce:
My divorce was a long accumulation of attitudes.
I never considered a divorce until I got one, and
it was only then that I realized that I did not
want to spend another 20 years like our situation
had been. Our sons really were the decidinq
factor. My oldest son {age 19) said he would not
leave me and my younger son (aqe 13) without
support. We are all better off as thinqs are now.
A number of respondents expressed a fact which we find in
the literature—that no divorce, where children are
involved, is complete. They also voiced their concern or

25J
hope that the father would continué to be a father to tne
children. The followinq comes from a mother who had iust
been recently divorced. She had one child of kindergarten
aqe.
Divorce when you have children is net complete.
It's important to me that my daughter maintain a
normal, as much as possible, relationship with her
father which means that I have to see him as
often, and discuss matters pertaininq to her. He
wants more control in her life (he says for her
benefit) which then affects me: school, clothinq,
place of residence, kind of work I do and on and
on.
The foreqoinq excerpt shows that even when fcotn parents want
the father to continue his parental role, difficulties are
involved. These difficulties, of course, take on a greater
magnitude when either parent is only an unwilling
cooperator.
In some cases the father severed all connections with the
children. The mothers expressed reqret over this situation,
but tended to see the fathers as the losers in the
situation, rather than the children. The followinq is
excerpted from the comments of a woman in her early fifties
who had been divorced two years. She had two children in
their late teens. "I just wish he fthe father 1 could have
some kind of relationship with our children, but there is
none. But in the end that is his loss.”
Other respondents really resented beinq left all alone to
take care of the children: ”1 am very resentful because
when divorce takes place the father loses all interest in
the children."

254
In some cases the father in absentia becomes a tetter
parent. The following tells of this phenomenon and gives us
an interpretation. The respondent is in her early thirties,
had two young children, and had been divorced six months.
Although I have custody of the children they stay
with their father three nights a week. Me both
take an active part in their schooling and leisure
activities. If good things come from a divorce I
would say that their father is a better parent
after the divorce. Before, he had to take part in
their lives, and now he enjoys doing so.
Although it is usually the father who walks out, and the
mother is the one who receives custody of the children, that
is not always the case. The following was written by a
woman in her early forties who had three sons in tneir late
teens and early twenties. She was divorced one year. She
suffered a great deal at the hands of her husband in the
latter years of the marriage until desperation enabled her
to walk out. The husband got custody of the children.
However, after a short time one of the children came to live
with the mother. "It*s a hard life but I do not regret what
I have done. After 25 years I walked out and left my
husband and three sons. I had many good years of marriage
but I should have left sccner."

255
Hespondents' Assessments_of Divorce
Earlier in tiiis work, when we studied the trauma and
triumph of divorce, we found that the respondents were
fairly normally distributed alonq the divorce trauma-triumph
scale. For some, the divorce experience was traumatic, for
others it was a triumph, and for the majority it was a
combination of both in various mixes.
It is our intention to trace a series of pictures of
divorce, starting at the worst extreme, then moving throuqn
the various mixed experiences until we arrive at the optimum
evaluation of divorce, by presenting excerpts from the
respondents' personal comments.
Divorce Was a Trauma
The first two excerpts focus on the shock of divorce and
on the fact that it was a devastating experience—with two
contrasting outcomes ensuing after the divorces. "Since
this happened to me [the divorcel I've learned to start
thinking about myself and my life. It was a qreat shock and
I doubt I will ever forget this experience for the rest of
my life."
The above was written by a 50-year-old woman who, after
over 20 years of happy marriage, was abruptly divorced by
her husband after he had fallen in love with another woman.
The divorce had taken place just two months prior to tne
survey. The shock of the divorce had turned this woman in
on herself as she worried about her future.

The next quote shows the resilience of the human spirit,
and in particular that of the female, in the face or a
devastatinq experience. This respondent was in her late 30s
and had been divorced one year. Her husband also had fallen
in love with another woman prior to the divorce. "Althouqh
this divorce was devastating it has shown me that I possess
inner strenqth that I did not knew I possessed."
Next we hear from a woman divorced two months, who
entered her second marriaqe in her early 40s and qot her
second divorce in her mid-50s. She shows evidence of
missing the pair-relationship, and of profound sadness and
perhaps despair. She presents insight into the trauma that
can accompany failure and divorce.
I'm still foundering quite a bit. Sometimes I
want a man to take care of me. Someone to lean
on. Other times I'm glad to be my own person. I
don't know if I'll ever really believe again in
marriage. There is no tomorrow—only today. I'm
too old to believe in forever after. Too much has
happened. Twice divorced is hard for me to live
with—it really hurts a lot. I'm not batter at
all, but I'm realistic and saddened— terrioly
terrribly saddened.
This lady was not alone in perceivinq a stiqma and/or
evidence of failure in being twice divorced. Youuqer women
also expressed the same feelings after beinq divorced twice
or more.
A number of respondents indicated that they found tne
thought of divorce and its prospect to be so difficult and
frighteninq that they suffered throuqh years of unhappiness
in marriaqe before eventually taking the step. They all

257
regretted the delay even thouqh the divorce did not land
theta in a bed of roses. The following is froia a woman in
her mid-40s who had been divorced one year. "It's a hard
life fbeing divorced] but I do not regret what I have done.
After 25 years I walked out . . . but I should have left
sooner."
The next respondent had been divorced for two years and
she still reqretted the delay, seeing it as having been bad
not only for herself, but for the children, too. "I should
have been brave enough to get a divorce ten years ago. I
certainly would have been better off and so would my sons."
Divorce Was Both Trauma and Triumph
The excerpts to be presented in this section show that
the divorces were mixed experiences for these respondents.
First, we hear from a mother in her mid-30s who had been
divorced one year. She presents the contrasting and
contradictory feelings that have been hers. "Althouqh it
seems contradictory, I am enjoying my life much more since
my divorce but at the same time my biggest problem is being
lonely. By lonely I mean not havinq someone to share my
feelings and thoughts with."
Next, we have a 40-year-old mother of three children who
had been divorced just two months. She outlines the
material and emotional losses and difficulties she suffered,
on the one hand, but she obviously esteems her new freedom
and independence, and responds with optimism and joy.

2 58
I feel like I'm still in a process of transition.
I've had to adjust to a series of losses; first
emotional, now material, i.e., a way of life.
Feelings of insecurity and inadequacy rise up, but
somehow they are always overcome by optimism,
hope, and even joy. My ability to adjust has
always been qood and so far continues to hold
true. Above all, I value my freedom to be me.
I've discovered that I really am my own best
friend. My self-esteem has never been qreater.
Life may prove harder but I've never felt more
alive.
From her final statement above, it is obvious that she rose
to the challenge of a new life after divorce. This was
reflected in the comments of many other respondents.
Many of the respondents who had mixed emotions about
their divorces felt the same way about their former
marriaqes. The following was written by a mother of three
children, in her mid-30s. She tells of the good and the bad
in both the marriaqe and the divorce.
I don't feel that my 14-year marriaqe was a
waste—we had more qood times than bad. I made a
qood choice at the time, but he changed so much he
was not even remotely like he was. I cannot
forqive him for his shabby treatment of me and our
three super children. Yet, this event has not
made me bitter toward men. I found me—a more
well-adjusted person who has done an excellent job
of surviving in the worst possible circumstances.
Divorce Was a Triumph
Some respondents wrote in strong terms about their
divorces, while others were moderately strong in their
praise of their divorces. They felt this way about their
divorces for different reasons. Some had miserable
marriaqes and divorce was an escape to happiness. Others

259
were glad of their divorces because of the newfound support
and help offered by their parents and siblings, friends, and
children. Still others saw divorce as the door to a new
future. To others, divorce brouqht peace, happiness, and
contentment. And to others it brouqht a new, qood husband.
The first extract is taken from the comments of a mother
of three in her mid-50s. She had been divorced two years.
She had oeeu married in her teens and her aarriaqe lasted
almost 40 years. her comments need no elucidation.
I look back at my divorce as one of the most
positive acts of my life. Basically I am a happy,
fun-lovinq individual who, in the marriaqe, was
squelched, unable tc breathe freely. I felt more
like a slave than a human beinq. Also, I
certainly did not like the abuse (verbal) directed
at me, nor the abuse (verbal and physical)
directed at the children.
Next we hear from a mother of two, in her mid-3Gs. Her
marriaqe lasted four years, and she was six months divorced
at the time of the survey. She is filled with confidence as
she looks forward tc her career, and feels closer to her
children than before.
I am now settled down and feel I have a lot to
look forward to in my career. I have more
confidence in myself, and my children are very
supportive of me. We (the two children and I) are
a stronqer unit since the divorce. I am proud
that I can handle a family, lob, friends and
datinq.
Next we present one comment which sounds like a scnq of
happiness from a respondent. "I have all the support of my
family and friends, amd I am financially in qood shape, and
I am thinking of marrying a nice man whom my children
approve of."

260
Lastly, we have a respondent who tells us nothinq about
family, friends, money, nor anything else. She doesn't have
to as she reveals her heart to us: "1 feel at peace, happy,
and content. "
The Postdivorce Ad iustaent Cyc1e
In the data on adjustment presented in an earlier
chapter, we saw that the most important significant
adjustment or improvement took place about cue year after
the divorce. This is very clearly mirrored in a comparison
of the comments of respondents divorced two and six months
with those divorced 12 and 24 months. A review of the
excerpts already presented in this chapter would show this.
It is rather interesting that some of the respondents
themselves who were divorced a year or more wrote about tnis
significant adjustment. The next excerpt will serve to
illustrate.
My first year was difficult emotionally, but after
that I feel like I passed a turning point. I'm
incredibly happy and elated most of the time. I
have my freedom and I have life. People turn me
on—all kinds of people. The world has opened up
for me. My job is very satisfying psychologically
(the pay could be better, but for now it's fine).
I'm challenged and appreciated and have a lot of
hope for the future. I'll go back to school again
in the near future. I feel I can do anything.
Some achieved this adjustment through their own inner
resources with informal help from family and friends, and
they felt no need of help from professionals. The next
respondent that we guote is from their ranks. Sith self-
assurance and great directness she writes:

261
1. Do not waste your looney payinq any counselor or
psycholoqist. Talk to friends and keep doinq what
you used to do. 2. Try not to be alone. 3. When
he takes the children do not stay heme waitinq for
him to return with the children.
On the other hand, some souqht and successfully found
professional help to facilitate their adjustment. We qive
one example of such a comment: "The qreatest influence in
my life since my separation has been the help of a
psychiatrist. He Helped me to understand what qualities I
looked for in a man and why they were wronq. I have
completely reversed my qualifications for a new husband."
Three Special Problem Areas
It became apparent that these divorced women tended to
experience recurrent relational problems after divorce.
These problems fall into three qeneral cateqories which will
be dealt with individually. They are presented in random
order, so tnere is no implied rankinq by importance nor
incidence.
Cessation of the Pair-Relationship
Durinq their years of marriaqe, the respondents had been
socialized to discuss, decide, and perhaps also do most
thinqs with their husbands. Responsibilities and worries
were shared, as well as dreams, victories and failures.
Many of them may even have come to view life throuqh their
husbands* point of view. Throuqh divcrce all of tnat is

262
ended, and the ability, or rather the habit of going it
alone and shoulderinq all responsibility in stride does not
coae automatically. However, being independent has its own
recompenses whrch tne respondents recognized in the midst of
their diffculties. The following is representative and
illustrates both points. It was written by a mother of two
school-age children. She had been divorced for two years
after a marriage of 11 years. She experienced this
difficulty even though she made the major decisions in
m arriage.
After having been married, I find my biggest
problem is not having someone to share with.
Although I made the major decisions in ray
marriage, I miss not having someone to affirm or
even discuss my decisions about the children,
house, etc., with. Example: Hy son broke his jaw
recently, and I felt so lonely facing the
situation by myself in the hospital waiting room.
However, the rest of my life is much more content.
Example: It's nice to be able to lay rsic 1 down
and go to sleep when I feel like it.
N o fiecognition of Women's Independence an d__ Tal en ts
Stereotypically, the male sexist regards himself as the
superior, with the female inferior, of little worth apart
from whatever usefulness she may offer. However, male
sexism asrde, because of the male-dominated culture we live
in, it is probable that only a minority of men truly reqard
women as their equals, and probably fewer recognize that
some women are indeed superior in talent and application.
Many women also share the same outlook, selling taemselves

short. All of this can create a sea of troubles for well-
informed and self-aware females in ordinary circumstances,
but even more so in divorce when they have to qo it alone.
This is reflected in the followinq words of a 3i-year-old
mother of one. She had been married for ten years and
divorced one year.
I have been forced tc be extremely independent and
self-reliant from the beqinninq of my marriage to
the present time. I would like someone to respect
this, yet care enouqh to relieve some of the
pressures it causes. (Someone, as in a personal
relationship.)
Women who are successful in the business world seem to
have been especially aware of this situation. However, they
tended to see it simply as a situation rather than a
problem. Their talents and the self-assurance that comes
from success probably account for this. These women were
especially appreciative of the worth of other women. The
followinq was written by a very talented woman in her late
40s. She had been married for almost 30 years. The
marriage rather drifted into divorce as the result of very
unique circumstances. The divorce was the beqinninq of a
comletely new life for her—she achieved spectacular success
in business.
Because of tne nature of my wcrk and my activities
I know and meet many single raen. I truly know so
many interesting and challenqinq women that I only
date if the male evokes tremendous interest. I
will remarry if I find a true companion, who
shares my interests physically, intellectually,
and emotionally.

2 64
The Divorcee Seen as Sex-object
Feminists have vociferously objected to society regarding
females as sex objects. This objection is more than
justified since this seems to be a pervasive phenomenon in
our culture and popular literature. The literature of
socioloqy indicates that the divorced female is very likely
to be reqarded as a sex object since it is assumed that sue
is sexually experienced but now sexually deprived. Some of
the respondents were trenchant in their remarks as they
objected to experiencinq this phenomenon. Wrote one who had
been divorced two years: "All the men I have met have just
one thinq in mind and that is bed. At the present time all
I want and need is someone to be pals with, doiuq thinqs
together, dancing, dining, swiaminq, and qardeninq."
Others tended to see themselves as contributing to this
situation through their inexperience and vulnerability. A
woman who had been divorced six months wrote:
I feel I started my pursuit of happiness too soon
after the separation and was extremely vulnerable
to men, not havinq dated for 22 years. I find
datinq is 75 per cent game playinq and this is an
objection. Also, I find meetinq men {without any
thoughts of matrimony cn my part) is at best the
most difficult frustrating encounter. I find that
interesting, intelligent men my age are a rarity.
Most of my men-friends are six to nine years
younger than I.

265
Bespondents1 Assessments of Marriage
Even though many respondents had been through terrible
experiences in their marriaqes, and some felt that,
primarily because of their ages or because of successive
failures in multiple marriaqes, they would not remarry, no
respondent expressed disdain for the institution of marriaqe
and the family. Rather, when relevant feelinqs were penned
they were all positive, and some expressed envy of those
intact families that they knew cr encountered. The
following expresses it poignantly.
I still suffer a great emotional sadness when I
see intact families. The death of ay family unit
at my own hand is a very painful reality that
exists alongside my elation at havinq my own life.
My children are much happier now. . . .They are
remarkably well adjusted and seem happy with tne
arranqeaent.
Some gave their understanding of what marriaqe ouqht to
be, sometimes stating or at least implying that their's did
not measure up. Further, they expressed their belief in
marriage, and their disdain of swingers. The following
serves as an example: "Marriaqe should be based on a 50-50
deal. Both working, playing and building for a future. 1
believe in marriage, not a free lifestyle. My ex woke up
too late!I"
Some respondents offered their prescription for trying to
ensure a successful marriage. Emphasis on common background
and similar interests, likes, and dislikes were widely
mentioned. Also, some advocated living together on a trial

266
basis before marriaqe, and still others said they were doinq
precisely that with apparent success. The next two excerpts
aptly illustrate these viewpoints. The first was written by
a mother of three in her early 30s. It is perhaps
significant that she had married in her teens. "I taink
that people who are considering marriage should thinx of
living together for a while before gettinq married or
undertaking any legal confinement— at least for one year.
And you must have some or most all thinqs in common that you
like to do together."
The next was written by a 30-year-old mother of two
children. Her marriaqe lasted for sliqhtly less than ten
years, and she had been divorced for one year. She vas the
victim of violence in marriage, which, understandably, led
her to attach supreme importance to the wise selection of a
mate. However, obviously her bad experiences in marriage
did not turn her aqainst marriage. "I plan to remarry
around the first of next year. I am presently living with a
wonderful man who has been my friend for about a year aad
who has already proved to me to be a good mate for me as
well as a good father for the children."

2 67
Recommendations Offer§d
A few suqqestions for improvinq the questionnaire were
kindly offered by some respondents. We will just brrefiy
touch upon these here.
This survey did not delve into the quality or the sexual
relationsnips between the spouses. This was noted by some
respondents in their comments and thouqht it was an
important omission. Here is an example: "I am surprised
that questions reqardinq personal hyqiene and physical
relationships were not included in this study since so many
divorces today are involved in these problems.'*
While this survey attempted to measure both the trauma
and triumph in divorce, the approach used could have been
better balanced and the positive adjustment could have been
probed with qreater care. This too was noted. Cne
respondent put it as follows: "More questions which would
chart the healinq process would be more precise."
Respondents* Attitudes Towards Survey
No respondent betrayed any negative attitude or reaction
to the survey. However, several proferred positive comments
and volunteered further cooperation if such were needed.
Here is an example:
I will be most happy to help with any further
questions or/and elaborate on any of the questions
in this questionnaire. At our aiutual convenience
I will meet with you or talk on the telephone. By
most convenient hours are afternoons, between
and [time qivenl.

268
Several expressed thanks for being selected for the
survey. "Thank you for selectinq me for this study. Good
luck!"
Many expressed the hope that they had been helpful: "I
sincerely hope that I have been of some help to you—and
good luck in your work. Best regards."
Divorce: A Source of Growth and Discovery
tie have seen the resilience of the human spirit even in
the trauma of divorce. Most of those who sutfered profound
pain and shock turned it around and drew good from bad. á¡e
would like to conclude this chapter by presenting in its
entirety the message typed in by one respondent who had been
divorced one year. It is so positive, revealinq and
profound that it deserves to be shared:
I have overcoie many taboos of my mother's
generation. I have realized I can accomplish many
things and have the courage tc live and learn. I
also have learned that it's CK to be wrong, in
fact, it's human net to be perfect. Through my
own study of people in general, I feel more people
lie because they can't face the fact that they are
human and inclined tc make mistakes even in this
day and age of perfection. Too bad people don't
realize this. More people breakdown because of
this terrible burden they think they must carry
around with them. Eeing truthful with oneself is
far more important and healthier.

CHAPTEB XIII
FINDINGS COMPABED
Introductic n
In this chapter a summary and comparison or some of the
salient data and findings of Goode's survey and ours will be
presented. «hen making these comparisons it is important to
keep in mind that differences may arise from any one or all
of the following sources. (1) There may have been change
over time. (2) There was sampling variability in botn
surveys which used relatively small samples. (3) The two
studies utilized different definitions of the populations
studied, different modes of data collection, and different
wording of the guestions. (4) The surveys were conducted in
different cities. For these reasons it is important not to
overinterpret the differences in the data.
We will start with methodology. Next, background and
selected marital variables will be compared. Then the
education, work records, and incomes of the respondents and
their ex-husbands will be examined. Then we will lock at
the antecedents and causes of divorce as well as the level
of trauma reported in both surveys. The chapter will be
rounded out with three short sections on prejudice and
discrimination, remarriage, and the children of divorce.
269

270
Unlike the other chapters, there will be no summary at the
end of this chapter, insofar as the entire chapter is a
summary of sorts of the two surveys.
Methodology
In tais section a comparison of the salient elements of
the methodoloqy used by Goode and by the present
investigator will be presented.
Data Collection
Goode collected his data in 1948. The data for this
present survey were collected in the summer of 1979, and in
January and February 1980.
Place of data collection. Goode collected his data from
mothers divorced in metropolitan Detroit, whereas the
respondents of this survey received the dissolutions of
their marriages in Dade County, Florida.
Data collection mode. Goode's data were collected by
interviewers using a prepared questionnaire. In our survey,
questionnaires were mailed out to prospective respondents
who had already agreed on the phone to take part.

271
Population
Goode's population consisted of divorced mothers between
the ages of 20 and 38 years, whose divorces had been
processed in the Detroit metropolitan area. No aqe limits
were placed on the population of the present survey. All
divorced mothers whose marriage dissolutions had been
processed in the Miaai-Dade Metropolitan Court Civil formed
the population for this survey.
Sample
Both surveys used stratified samples. The samples were
divided into four approximately equal strata or time groups
as follows in Table 41. Goode used data supplied by 425
respondents, whereas the number cf respondents in this
present survey was 203.
TABLE 41
Stratified Samples of Goode's and Reid's Surveys
Strata
Group I
Group II
Group III
Group IV
Goode heid
Lenqth of Time Divorced
2 mos. 2 mos.
8 mos. 6 mos.
14 mos. 12 mos.
26 ios. 24 mos.

272
Background and Selected Marital Variables of Respondents
In this section data from both studies will be presented
on the background of the respondents, alonq with data on
certain marital variables.
Age
As already noted, Goode placed aqe limits of 20-38 years
on his respondents, whereas no aqe limits were imposed in
this study. The actual ranqe of the respondents' ages in
this survey was 22-62 years.
Aqe at Marriage
Table 42 presents the comparative data on the
respondents' ages at marriage. The mean aqe at marriage of
Goode's respondents was 19.5 years, compared with 24 years
in this study. This aqe disparity is a function of the
upper aqe limit placed on Goode's respondents, and also of
the fact that more than a quarter of our respondents had
been married more than once. These qave their ages at the
time of entering their last marriages rather than their
first ones.
TABLE 42
Respondents' Ages at Marriage
Goode
Reid
Years
Age range at marriage
Mean aqe at marriage
15-30
19.5
14-50
24

273
Times Divorced
It seems that all cf Goode’s respondents had teen
divorced but once. In our survey 73.63 per cent had
received one divorce, 22.39 per cent two divorces, 3.48 per
cent three divorces, and 0.50 per cent had teen divorced
five times. This difference between the two sets of
respondents may be explained in great part by the hiqh
incidence of divorce, remarriage, and redivorce in recent
years, together with the absence of an upper age limit cn
our respondents.
Length of Marriaqe and Age at Divorce
In Goode's study the mean length of marriages was 8.7
years, and in ours the mean was 13 years. The lower mean in
Goode's data results frcm the upper age limit, as well as
one other important factor that was present in his study due
to the fact that he collected his data right after wWII.
"There is a difference in duration of marriage for those who
were married to veterans. Marriages to veterans lasted a
mean of 8.0 years as aqainst 10.1 years for nonveterans"
(Goode 1956: 103).
The ages of our respondents at divorce ranqed from 21-60
years, and their mean age at divorce was 37 years. The mean
age at divorce of Goode's respondents was 28.7 years.

274
Bace and Country of Birth
In Goode's sample the proportion of blacks was double
that found in our survey, as can be seen in Table 43.
TABLE 43
Bacial Characteristics
Race
Goode
Reid
per cent
Black
19
9.90
White
81
89.60
Other
—
0.50
Totals
100
100.00
Goode did not collect data on country of origin of ais
respondents. Instead he concentrated on their rural-urban
background. He found that 70 per cent of his respondents
were of urban origin, 22 per cent came from small towns, and
8 per cent had rural backgrounds. Because ours has become
an urbanized society, it was decided in our survey to forego
rural-urban information, and instead to concentrate on the
country of origin of our respondents on account of the
peculiar composition of the population of Miami, containing
as it does so many immigrants from Cuba and Haiti.
Four-fifths of our respondents, 80.30 per cent, were born
in the United States, 11.33 per cent were born in Cuba, and
the remaining 8.37 per cent were born in ether foreign
countries.

275
Religion
Goode collected data cn the reliqious preferences of his
subjects. Me asked ours for their reliqious affiliation.
The relevant data are presented in Table 44.
TABLE 44
Reliqious Preference/Affiliation of Respondents
Religion Goode Reid
per cent
Protestant 58 41.12
Cataclic 32 25.38
Eastern Orthodox 1 0.00
Jewish 3 19.29
Other 6 1.01
None 0 13.20
Totals 100 100.00
Our sample contains smaller proportions of Protestants
and Catholics, but these are offset by the hiqaer proportion
of Jews and of those with no reliqious affiliation. Miami
has one of tae largest Jewish populations in tae country and
this is reflected in our sample. While we found that 1j.20
per cent of our respondents had nc reliqious affiliation,
Goode had uo such cateqory. Consequently, no valid
comparison can be made here.

2 76
Church Attendance
Table 45 presents the data cu church attendance of
respondents.
TABLE 45
Church Attendance of Respondents
Frequency of Attendance
Goode
Reid
per cent
Weekly
32
20.10
Occasionally
41
52.26
Neve r
28
27.64
Totals
101»
100.00
‘not 100 per cent because of roundinq
The data indicate that the proportion of respondents who
did not attend church at all was the same in both surveys,
approximately 28.00 per cent. A comparison of the other two
cateqories indicates that weekly church attendance was
approximately 12.00 per cent lower in our survey, while
occasional attendance had increased by about the same
amount. This may be explained, at least in part, by the
shift among Catholics from weekly to occasional attendance
since the Second Vatican Council, which was held
approximately two decades aqo.

277
Education, Work Records, and Incomes Compared
In this section we will first examine the education
levels attained by the respondents and their ex-husbands,
and this will be followed by a scrutiny of their reported
incomes.
Then we will focus on the respondents of both surveys,
examininq their work records, both durinq the marriaqes and
after the divorces. Similarly we will examine their incomes
both before and after divorce, payinq special attention to
alimony and child support.
Education Attained by Bespondents and Their Ex-Husbands
Tables 46 and Table 47 present the comparative data on
the educational levels of the respondents and their ex-
husbands. It is clear that the respondents and their ex-
husbands in our survey had attained much hiqner levels of
education than their counterparts in Goode's. While only
8.7 per cent of Goode's respondents had advanced beyond hiqh
school qraduation, 75.54 per cent in our survey had done so.
The second table contains a similar picture of the two
qroups of ex-husbands. In Goode's sample only 12.9 per cent
of the ex-husbands had advanced beyond hiqh school, while
73.50 per cent in our survey had done so.

278
TABLE 46
Education of Respondents
Level of education
Goode
Reid
Graduate school/post graduate
per
cent
professional traininq
0.0
17.82
Colleqe qraduate
1.9
23.76
Some colleqe
6.8
34.16
High school
77.1
21.78
Grade school
14.1
0.99
No formal education
0. 2
1.49
Totals
100.1»
100.00
*not iOO per cent because of roundinq
TABLE
47
Education of
Ex-Husbands
Level of education
Goode
Re i d
Graduate school/post qraduate
per cent
professional training
0.0
16.00
Colleqe qraduate
3.5
24.50
Some colleqe
9.4
33.00
Hiqh school
59.3
21.50
Grade school
24.8
3.50
No formal education
1.4
1.50
Unknown
1.7
0.00
Totals
100.1»
100.00
1not 100 per cent because of roundinq

279
Ex-Husfcands1 Work Beeords
Table 48 presents the comparative data on the work
records of the ex-husbands of the respondents of both
surveys.
TABLE 48
Work Records of Ex-Husbands
Work Record
Goode
Reid
per
cent
Always had work
Always had work except for
49
84.16
unavoidable lay-offs
20
3.96
Freguent lay-offs
13
4.46
Never worked for long periods
17
7.42
Totals
991
100.00
'not 100 per cent because of rounding
The ex-husbands in the first two categories of the table
had perfect or very good work records—they always worked,
or they always worked when it was possible to do so. In
Goode's study only 69 per cent of the ex-husbands had that
good a record, compared with 88.12 per cent in our survey.
This is a difference of practically 20 percentage points.
If we look at the first category alone—those who always had
work—the contrast is even more extreme with a 35 percentage
point difference. Then if we look at the worst
category—those wno never worked for long periods—we can
see that the proportion of Goode's subjects is more than
double that of our survey, 17.00 per cent vs. 7.42 per cent.

280
Ex-fluslands* Incomes
The median income of the ex-husbands durinq the marriaqes
in Goode’s study was $52.00 per week {ioeaa=$53.00) . Goode’s
assessment of their income was as follows: "The averaqe
waqe was about that of the semi-skilled factory worker"
(Goode, 1956:69). Their reported weekly income represented
an annual income of i>2,700. This represents -just 79.41 per
cent of the $3,400.00 median annual income of married-couple
families in the U.S. in 1950 (Statistical Abstract of the
United States 1981:43 8) .
The ex-husbands in our survey had a median income or
$300.00 per week (mean=$440.00), after taxes had been
deducted, durinq the last year of their marriaqes (i.e.,
1977-1979). This represented an annual income of
$15,000.00. This is 72.56 per cent of the $21,000.00 median
annual income of married-couple families in the U.S. in 1979
(Statistical Abstract of the United States 1981:438). This
means that our respondents were earninq a somewhat smaller
proportion of the national income than Geode's respondents
were-- 72.56 per cent vs. 79.41 per cent.
If we convert the incomes reported in Goode's survey into
constant (1979) dollars we find that the ex-husbands in that
survey had a reported annual income of $8,260.00 (1979
dollars) compared with the $15,600.00 (1979 dollars) in

281
ours. This mirrors the improvement in the standard of
livinq in our country since WWII. The national median
income of married-couple families in 1950 was $10,400.00
(1979 dollars) vs. $21,500.00 in 1979.
Respondents' Work Records
Table 49 presents the comparative data on the
respondents' work records durinq their marriaqes.
TABLE 49
Respondents* Work Records Durinq Marriaqe
Work Record
Goode
Reid
per cent
Full-time
51
50.74
Part-time
21
17.24
On and off
00
23. 65
None
28
8.37
Totals
100
100.00
Great caution must be used in attemptinq to interpret the
data in this table. We used a separate cateqory for those
respondents who worked intermittently, either full-time or
part-time, and 23.65 per cent fell in that cateqory. That
distinction is not contained in Goode's data. Of those
listed in his data as havinq worked full-time, some did so
all of the time, others only on and off. The same is also
true of his part-time workers.

232
However, we can safely make these two comparisons. Of
Goode's respondents, 72.00 per cent reported havinq worked
either full-time or part-time, all of the time or intermitt¬
ently. The same is true of 91.63 per cent of our
respondents,—a difference of 20 percentage points. In
Goode's study, a full 28.00 per cent reported tuat they
never held a job at all during marriaqe, compared with only
8.37 per cent in ours—again a difference of 20 percentage
points.
It seems clear that appreciably more of tne mothers in
our survey worked during their marriaqes than those in
Goode's. This may mirror the trend of more and more married
women participating in the workforce. In 1950, 52.10 per
cent of working women were married. By 1970, that
proportion had climbed to 63.40 per cent (Berardo, 1982:4)
Table 50 contains the comparative data on the
respondents' work records at the time of the data collection
of both surveys.
A comparison of the data in the last two tables reveals
that opposite trends in each survey took place after
divorce. In Goode's study the respondents tended to leave
the workforce after the divorce. Those reporting not
working at all climbed sharply from 28.00 per cent to 43.00
per cent, and those workinq part-time dwindled icon 21.00
per cent down to 6.00 per cent. The proportion worxing
full-time remained steady at about 50.00 per cent. In our

283
TABLE 50
Respondents' Work Records at Data Collection
Work Record
Goode
Reid
per cent
Full-time
52
79.10
Part-time
6
8. 96
On and off
0
0.50
N one
43
11.44
Totals
101»
100.00
*not 100 per cent because of rcundinq
survey the opposite trend is revealed. Reports of full-time
work jumped from 50.00 per cent to 80.00 pec cent, while
reports of part-time work were halved, and reports of
intermittent work became practically non-existent. A mere
3.00 percentage point increase is found in our study amonq
those not workinq compared with a 15 point inccease amonq
Goode's.
Sc in Goode's data we find a clear swing after divorce
from part-time work to no work at all, with those workinq
full-time remaining constant. In our data the clear swiuq
is from part-time and intermittent work to full-time work,
with those reporting no wcrk remaining constant.

234
Respondents' Incomes
Our respondents reported a median take-hoae pay of
$170.00 (mean $188.00) per week durinq the last year of
their marriages. Goode, either by desiqn or oversight did
not collect similar data from his respondents, even though
he did establish their work records during marriage, as we
have already seen. However, when we move cn now to the data
on the respondents' incomes at the time of the data
collection we do have comparative figures which are
presented in Table 51.
TABLE 51
Respondents* Earnings at Data Collection
Goode Reid
Median weekly pay $41.00 $185.00
Mean weekly pay — $203.00
tie can see that in absolute terms of actual dollars
earned, our respondents reported about four-and-a-hali times
as much as that reported by Goode's. Needless to say, we
must keep in mind the changes in the standard of living, the
cost of living, inflation and devaluation of tae dollar,
that have taken place throuqh the intervening decades.
Gur respondents reflected an increase of $15.00 weekly
from the time of their marriaqes to the time of our survey.
That is an increase of 8.82 per cent over the passage of

235
time. Of course, we cannot say how that coapares with the
experiences of Goode's respondents on account of the missing
data.
Needless to say, seme divorced mothers had other sources
of income apart from their personal earninqs. There may
have been savings and property as well as alimony, cnild
support, welfare, and financial help from family and other
sources. Those who had remarried had their new husbands'
incomes as well. Table 52 presents comparable data on the
respondents' total amount of money available to live on, or
to meet expenses, on a weekly basis, at the time of the two
surveys.
TABLE 52
Bespondents' Total Available Money Per Keek Now
Goode Reid
Eeaarried:
Mean $80.00 $520.00
Median — $500.00
Not remarried:
Mean $44.00 $26b.G0
Median -- $230.00
Our remarried respondents reported a weekly mean of
$520.00. This is six-and-one-half times as much as the
$80.00 reported by their counterparts in Goode's survey.
Our respondents who had not remarried reported a weekly mean

286
of $266.00. This is six-times as much as the 344.00
reported by Goode's correspondiaq respondents.
Consequently, tnere is a very close parallel between the
financial situation of our remarried and non-remarried
respondents and the corresponding qroups in Goode's survey.
Looking at the data in another way, we found that our
non-remarried respondents had available only 51.15 per cent
of the resources reported by their remarried counterparts.
Goode's non-remarried respondents had sliqntly more
available. Their total resources equaled 55.00 per cent of
the resources reported by their remarried counterparts.
Consequently, since Goode's time the financial situation of
non-remarried divorced mothers has apparently not changed
very much vis-a-vis their remarried counterparts. This lack
of chanqe is all the more strikinq in view of the fact that
practically every one of our non-remarried respondents were
workinq full-time whereas a qcodly proportion of Goode's
were not. Further, many of our respondents were receiving
alimony but none of Goode's were.
If we use the mean incomes of the ex-husbands as tne
basis of comparison in assessinq the financial situation of
the respondents at the time of the two surveys we will be
able to see whether the overall financial situation of
mothers after divorce has improved or deteriorated over the
decades. The relevant data are contained in Table 53.

287
TABLt 53
Ex-Husbands' Incomes and Respondents* Total Finances
Goode Reid
Mean income of
per cent
per cent
ex-husbands
Mean finances of
$53.00
100.00
$440.00
100.00
remarrieds
Mean finances of
$80.00
150.94
$520.00
118.18
non-remarrieds
^columns non-additive
$44.00
83.02
$266.00
60.451
He will first examine the data on the remarried
respondents. The figures indicate that the mean of the
total financial resources reported by Geode's remarried
respondents equaled 150.95 per cent of their ex-husbands
incomes. In our survey the mean of the remarrieds'
resources equaled only 118.18 per cent of their ex-husbands'
incomes. This is a decrease of 32.76 percentage points,
indicating tnat the financial situation for remarried
mothers, in relative terms, may have deteriorated over the
past three decades.
Turninq now to the data on the respondents who had not
remarried, we can see that the mean of the total resources
reported by Goode's non-re married respondents equaled -just
83.02 per cent of the ex-husbands' incomes. Cur non-
remarried respondents had to qet by on b0.45 per cent of
their ex-husbands' mean income. This is a difference of

28d
22.57 percentage points. Consequently, the financial
situation for non-remarried mothers also appears to be worse
in our survey.
Alimony and Child Support
Â¥e found in our survey that 24.00 per cent of the ex-
husbands were enjoined to pay alimony. The data indicated
that the payments were always made in 85.71 per cent of the
cases, and usually paid in 5.71 per cent of the cases. They
were paid seldom or never in 8.57 per cent ox the cases.
The mean of the monthly alimony payments was $453.00 (median
$300.00). In contrast, "In Michigan there is no alimony.
. . All husbands are by law responsible for their childrens
support unless they are adopted by others” (Goode 1956:162).
Consequently, there is no basis for any further comparison
reqardinq alimony.
However, both surveys contain data on child support which
we will now examine. Tafcle 54 reveals that 86.00 per cent
of the Detroit respondents reported that their ex-husbands
were enjoined to pay child support. This is 16.54
percentage points higher than that reported by the Miami
mothers. This difference may be explained in part by
absence of alimony in Michigan, and also by the fact that a
hiqher proportion of the Michiqan mothers reported having no
jobs after the divorces compared with our respondents—43.00
per cent vs. 11.44 per cent. It is our assumption that the

269
respective work records were approximately the same at the
time of the divorces and when the data were collected.
TABLE 54
Ex-husbands Enjoined to Pay Child Support
Goode
áeid
per
cent
Ex-husbands
enjoined tc
pay
86
69.46
Ex-husbands
not enjoined
to pay
14
30.54
Totals
100
100.00
The data in Table 55 indicate that the record of the ex-
husbands in Miami in reqard to the actual payment of the
child support allotments was far tetter than that of their
counterparts in Detroit. By collapsing the first two
categories we can see that in our survey 82.17 per cent of
the respondents reported receivinq the child support
payments either always or usually. This compares with only
49.00 per cent in Goode's study. By coabininq the last two
categories, the other side of the coin is revealed. In
Goode's study 51.00 per cent of the respondents reported
receivinq the payments only once in a while, or seldom or
never. This compares with just 17.83 per cent in our
survey.
The better record of child support payments mirrored in
the latter survey may be explicable in terms of dirferent
enforcement of the courts' injunctions.

290
TABLE 55
Frequency of Child Support Payments by Ex-Husbands
Frequency
Paid
Goode
Reid
per cent
Always
35
73.64
Usually
14
8.53
Once in a
while
11
—
Seldom or
never
40
17.83
Totals
100
100.00
In our survey the median child support payment per month
was $200.00 (mean $250.00) compared with a median of $48.00
in Goode's study.
The Antecedents of Divorce
In this section we will compare some of the data on the
antecedents of divorce. We will compare the information in
both surveys on who first suqqested the divorce, the
stability or instability of the decision to qet a divorce,
and the amount and type cf counselinq that tne respondents
received.
Who suqqested Divorce?
Table 56 presents the comparative data on which spouse first
suqqested divorce. In both studies it was the wife alone
who made the first suggestion in somewhat over 60.00 per
cent of the cases. It was the husband alone who took tne

291
initiative in about 25.00 per cent of the cases. In Goode's
study 13.18 per cent reported that both spouses together
made the first suggestion, but in ours, only 8.00 per cent
did so.
TABLE 56
Who First Suggested Divorce?
Spouse
Goode
Beid
per
cent
Wife alone
62.11
b4.00
Husband alone
24. 71
28.00
Husband and wife
13.18
8.00
Totals
100.00
100.00
Stability of Decision
Table 57 contains the comparative data on whether the
spouses changed their minds about procuring a divorce, and
if this change was frequent.
TABLE 57
Stability of Decision to Divorce
Goode
Beid
per cent
Changed
mind
frequently/several times
21
18.95
Changed
mind
rarely
12
35.79
Changed
mind
never
67
45.26
Totals
100
100.00

¿92
By collapsing the last two categories in the table we can
see that approximately 80 per cent in both surveys changed
their minds rarely or never, once they had decided on
divorce. The remaining one-fifth reported frequent chanqes
of mind, reflecting continuing difficulty with the prospect
of divorce.
Consequently, we can find little or no difference between
the two sets of data cn who first suggested divorce and on
the staoility of the decision to divorce.
Counselinq before Divorce
Table 58 contains the comparative data
received counseling prior to divorce, and
counselor consulted by those who did receive
on how many
the type of
counseling.
TABLE 58
Type of Counselor Consulted
Goode
Seid
per
cent
Friend of the Court
14.0
—
Pastor, priest or rabbi
5.4
11.44
Social work aqency
4.0
7.46
Physician
3.3
—
Marriage clinic
—
14.93
Other
3.0
11.44
No counseling
71.0
54.23
Totals
100.71
99.501
inot 100 per cent because of rounding

293
A glance at tne last category indicates tnat 71.00 per
cent of Goode's respondents, and 54.23 per cent of ours,
received no counseling prior to divorce. Trie situation in
Goode's study was even worse than these figures indicate,
because those who listed Friend of the Court as the
counselor, typically got no counseling at all. "Most of the
supposed 'counseling' [by Friend of the Court] at the time
of [the] study consisted in (a) recording the fact that botn
parties were adamant, and (b) ascertaining whether the home
situation of the wife might be -judged good enough to
continue as the abode of the children" (Goode 1956:156).
Consequently, it would be more accurate to state that 85.00
per cent of Goode's respondents received no counseling. So,
a mere 15.00 per cent of his respondents received
counseling, compared with 45.27 per cent in our study.
An examination of the table indicates that, apparently,
there were no marriage clinics available to Goode's
respondents, whereas almost 15.00 per cent of our
respondents had availed themselves of their services. Next,
back in Goode's time some physicians were playing the role
of marriage counselor. It would appear from our data that
that practice may have ceased. Lastly, our data indicate
that higher proportions of our respondents availed
themselves of all of the other sources of counseling
available

294
The Causes of Divorce
In this section we will discuss the findings on the
causes of divorce. In both surveys, the causes or divorce
have the saiae meaning, that is, those factors which, in tne
wife's opinion, caused or contributed to the divorce
proceedings. In Chapter 5 of this study we defined these as
the personal causes of divorce.
It will be recalled that in our questionnaire 14 possinle
causes of divorce were listed, to be appropriately checked
by each respondent. Then this list was followed by an
invitation to write in any further causes applicable. These
additional causes fell into two clear categories, no love,
and no communication.
In Goode's survey, the interviewers asked the
respondents: "Would you state, in your own words, what was
the main cause of your divorce?" This was followed by this
directive for the interviewer: "Try to qet an accurate
statement. Probe: Anything else? Is this about what HE
would say? Then read it back to her." The vast body of
replies to this question had to be coded into various
categories. Some of these categories coincided with seme of
ours. Otaers were approximately the same. In some cases,
two or more of his categories coincided with one, two, or
more of ours, and vice versa. To appreciate the situation,
in the following subsections we will excerpt from Goode's
own explanation of his coding, and match up our categories

with his wherever possible
the term or phrase used by
2 95
The title of each subsection is
Goode for each of nis categories
of causes.
Drinking--Any Mention
If a wife made any mention of her husband's
drinkinq, whether she complained of excessive
drinkinq or merely that he went to the beer gar¬
den, this was coded as "Drinkinq—any mention."
Thus tae category is broader than a complaint that
"her husband drank too much." (Goode 1956: Ufa)
In our survey we
cause of divorce,
drank too much."
Goode's category.
listed excessive drinkinq as a possible
In the questionnaire it read, "ily husband
Obviously this has a narrower ineaninq than
It was narrowed down to problem drinkinq
as perceived by the wife.
Desertion
If the wife complained that the man ran away with
another woman, this was classified as Desertion
(as well as Trianqle).... Other responses that
were classified as desertion are some of tae
following: "Desertion—left home suddenly." "He
left me for five years." "After all, he never
came back from the Army." (Goode 1956:117)
In our survey desertion was given a narrower, very specific
meaning, unlike the rather broad meaninq that Goode attached
to it. It coincided directly only with the first part of
Goode's meaning: "the husband ran off with anotner woman,"
and that is how it was stated in our questionnaire.

296
Relatives, Conflict with
Responses were placed in this category if by
statement or context the claim of conflict with
relatives is made, for example: "His mother
finally told me to leave, so I left." "His
stepmother hated me." (Goode 1956:117)
In our survey we had a counterpart, in-laws, witn exactly
the same meaninq. We called it "trouble with in-laws" in
the questionnaire.
Triangle—Another Woman
We limited the trianqle cateqory to those cases in
which another specific woman was mentioned as
having a love and/or sex relationship with the
husband. We included also those cases in which
the husband nad actually gone with several women,
but the wife viewed the case as involving one
definite woman, sometimes one with whom the wife
had actually cauqht the husband. (Goode 1956:117)
We used trianqle in the very same sense. In the
questionnaire it read: "My husband fell in love with
another woman."
The Coaplex--llDrinking, Gambling. Helling Around"
The codinq difficulty [here! lies in the fact that
in the case of any qiven husband not all of these
items may be mentioned Consequently, we adopted
this arbitrary rule: If the wife complained of
"running around" or "other women," that response
was categorized as "the Complex." On tne other
hand, if these key phrases were not used we
required that her response contain at least two of
the following complaints before including it xn
this category: (1) staying away, (2) drinkinq,
(3) gambling, (4) out with the boys. (Goode
1956:117)

297
In our study we used four distinct items to cover the
various aspects contained in Gocde's Complex. (1)
Infidelity. This was stated in the questionnaire as
follows: "My husband was runninq around with other women."
(2) Excessive Drinkinq, which in the questionnaire appeared
as follows: "My husband drank too much." {3) Gambling.
This was expressed in the questionnaire in the following
words: "My husband spent all cur money, e.q., on gambling,
etc." 4. The Boys. In the questionnaire this read as
follows: "My husband was always runninq around with the
boys."
Miscellaneous
We have included in this class (1) some highly
idiosyncratic cases, (2) cases of physical
defects, (3) complaints of venereal disease, (4)
triangle in which the wife was the guilty party,
and (5) cases of unwanted but forced marriage
because of premarital pregnancy . . . (6) felonies
by the husband, leading to penal sentences, and
(7) sexual problems. (Goode 1956:118)
We had no specific counterpart listed in our questionnaire.
However, we did take into account the possibility of such
listinqs as those above when we invited the respondents to
list any additional causes not included in our list.
However, it may be recalled that these specifics that were
added by our respondents fell into two clear categories: no
love and no communication.

293
N onsupport
If she f the wife] complained that he [the husband 1
would not work, or that he would not brina his
paycheck home . . . Tori that he "failed to
provide a home for the family," the response was
considered "Nonsupport." (Goode 1956:120)
Our direct counterpart for nonsupport was no support, whicn
appeared in the questionnaire simply as follows: "My
husband failed to support us." Another cause which we
listed as blame, correlated closely with no support. Since
Goode had no direct counterpart for blame, we will include
it here. Blame in the questionnaire was stated as follows:
"My husband was always blaming me for everythinq."
Consumption
He fthe husband] may be charqed by the wife or
"throwinq money around," beinq wasteful, or
qamblinq his money away. We labeled charqes of
this type "complaints about consumption behavior."
(Goode 1956: 120)
These complaints are subsumed under three of our causes of
divorce: (1) Excessive drinkinq, (2) Gamblinq, (3) Neqlect.
In the questionnaire this last read: "My husband neqlected
us and never stayed heme."
Values—Harmony and Integrity of Values and Behavior
Husband and wife disagreed about the riqht style
of life, education, manners, entertainment, the
arts, reliqion, etc. Also in this class are to be
found those complaints in which lack of harmony is
expressed, but little detail was qiven: "We
couldn't get along." "We couldn't agree on
anythinq." "Intellectually, he wasn't
satisfying." "There were misunderstandings all
the time." (Goode 1956:121)

which
2 99
Our approximate counterpart
appeared in the questionnaire
husband and I could never see
was disagreements,
in the following words:
eye to eye and get along.
"My
l«
Authority: Dominance over Wife
The complaints in this cateqory of "Authority" are
specifically to the effect that the wives were not
allowed to run thinqs in their own way or to make
decisions as they chose, and instead had to cater
to their husbands* wishes. (Goode 1956:122)
Our counterpart was bossiness. It was stated in the
questionnaire tnus: "My husband was bossy, impossible, and
overbearinq."
Home life: Lack of Affect for Home and Occupants
Here the complaint was that the husband simply
showed little interest in the home, the children,
or the wife. . . . This is a ranqe of behavior,
from cases of apparently complete disinterest in
the home and wife to simple refusals to qo out
with the wife. . . . Typical responses finclude]:
"He never seemed to care for the children." "He
didn't want the children." "He would not take me
anywhere." "He did not seem to love me at all."
"He showed no interest in beinq married." (Goode
1956:122)
Our close counterpart was no love.
Personality
Here ... we classified the item as "Personality"
if the wife used terms which clearly indicated her
belief that the fundamental problem was one of
personality. In the main this kind of comment was
of the following type: "He was emotionally
immature." "Our personalities were iust
incompatible." "Neither of us ready to qet
married—our personalities clashed." "He was
irresponsible, couldn't settle down." "He wasn't

300
reliable." "Change in ¡ay husband's attitudes and
personality after being overseas in the war." "He
had moody spells and didn't talk to me for months
at a time." (Goode 1956:123)
Our closest counterpart was disagreements, which in tne
questionnaire read: "We could never see eye to eye and get
along."
Additional Causes
Our survey and findinqs contained three additional causes
for which Goode had no counterpart. (1) Further education,
which read: "I wanted to continue/resume my education."
(2) Career, which read: "I wanted to carve out a career for
myself." (3) No communication, which category arose out of
the witten-in comments of the respondents. The absence of
the first two of these causes in the earlier survey reflects
the chanqe that has taken place in the female population
over the past three decades as more women, both single,
married, mothers, and divorcees have bequn pursuing
professionalism and higher education. The no commaunication
cause may be the result of the increased awareness of the
need for positive, constructive communication within
marriage. This realization or awareness may have teen a
result, in part, of wider counseling received by our
respondents.
In Table 59 the comparative data on the causes of divorce
are presented. Some explanatory comments are in place
before moving on to examine the data. In each category we

301
first list Goode's term, followed by our term in
parentheses, e.q., Authority (bossiness).
TABLE 59
The Causes of Divorce
Cause Goode heid
per cent
1. Values, 21.005; Personality,
29.005 (Disagreements)
50
68.57
12)
2.
Nonsupport (No support, 28.135;
Blame, 51.48%)
33
79.61
(I)
3.
Authority (Bossiness)
32
45.40
(3)
4.
Home life (No love)
25
23.65
(6)
5.
Triangle (Triangle)
16
32.05
(4)
6.
Desertion (Desertion—narrower
meaning)
8
18.92
(7)
7.
Helatives (in-laws)
4
2 4. 03
(5)
Complex, 31.00%; Drinking, 30.00%;
Consumption, 20.00% (Infidelity,
47.59%; Excessive drinking, 32.70%;
Gambling, 23.18%; Neglect, 40.48%;
The boys, 26.42%)
81
170.37
Miscella neous
12
—
(Career)
--
25.00
(Further Education)
—
24.14
(No communication)
— l
12.811
icoluffins non-additive)
Where we had to combine two or more categories together,
they are listed one after the other, and each one is
followed by its proper percentage, e.q.. Values, 21.00 per
cent; Personality, 29.00 per cent.
The first seven categories, comprising the ones that can
be accurately compared,
are presented in ranked order or

J 02
incidence as they were found in Goode's data. Their
corresponding position in our data is indicated hy a number
in parentheses at the very end of the line. Of course, the
items tnat don't bear comparison were eliminated from this
rankinq.
It will be noted that three of Goode's cateqories, i.e.,
complex, drinkinq, and consumption, and five of ours, i.e.,
infidelity, excessive drinkinq, qamblinq, neqlect, and the
boys, had to be combined because of overlappinq definitions.
This is soaewaat reqrettable since it makes individual
comparisons impossible.
If we compare the two rankinqs of the seven individual
causes that bear direct comparison in the table we find a
remarkable fit. In first place in Goode's data we found
values and personality. Our counterpart for these was
disaqreements, which ranked second in our data. In second
place in Goode's was found ncnsupport. Our counterparts
were no support and blame, which ranked first in our data.
In third place in both surveys came authority, or bossiness
as we called it. Suffice it tc say aere that the rankinqs
of the other four variables can be observed in the table.
If we add the two percentaqe columns cf these seven
variables we find that Goode's total equaled 249, while ours
was 462.60, indicatinq that the reportinq cr incidence rate
in our survey was practically double that of Goode's. Does
this mean that the incidence of the causes of divorce had

30 3
doubled in the intervening decades between the two surveys?
Maybe, but that is doubtful. Probably a tetter explanation
is to be found in the different modes of data collection.
Ours contained a prepared list which facilitated checking,
and jogged memories. In contrast, Goode had his
interviewers ask this question: "Would you state, in your
own words, what was the main cause of your aivorce?" Here
the constructor of the instrument fell into what we call the
journalistic sandtrap of seekinq the aonocausai explanation.
And even though the situation was somewhat redeemed by the
added directive: "Try to get an accurate statement. Probe:
Anything else? Is this about what He would say? . . . ",
the course had been initially set for the mouocausal
explanation, and probably many respondents responded
accordingly. Some interviewers were perhaps satisfied with
this. Further, tais narrow approach was repeated in the
directive itself: "Try to qet an accurate statement." Here
the singular was used rather than the plural "accurate
statements."
The Trauma and Triuaph of Divorce
In this section we will present tae comparative findings
on the trauma of divorce. Our data on the triumph of
divorce will also be presented briefly.
Goode used seven symptoms or indices to measure the
trauma of divorce. They are (1) profound feeling of

304
loneliness; (2) poorer health than when married; (3)
difficulty sleepiuq; (4) increased smokinq; (5) increased
drinkinq; (6) difficulty doinq work efficiently; (7) memory
difficulties. We also used the first six of his, coaitininq,
however (4) and (5) into one; increased saiokinq and
drinkinq. ¥e did not use (7), memory difficulties.
Instead, because of the fact that our society has become
aware of the hiqh incidence of depression, and since memory
difficulties are typically a symptom of depression, we used
instead this item; qenerai irritability or depression.
To these we added the fcllcwinq three symptoms. (1)
Desire to escape from it all. We used this because fiiqht,
and where fliqnt is impossible, the desire to escape, ace
well established symptoms. (2) Desire to end your life.
This was added because just in recent years has it become
recoqnized that people in deep trouble are assailed with
thouqhts of suicide. This was not even admitted in the
past. (3) Increased use of druqs. This was introduced
because ours has become a druq-dependent society. Besides
these symptoms of trauma, we also used three positive items
to measure recovery and adjustment, as was explained in
Chapter 10.
Table 60 presents the comparative data on trau;na (and the
data on adjustment). First listed are Geode’s measures,
ranked in descendinq order of incidence. At the end of each
line the item's ranking in our data is indicated in

305
parentheses. Of course, our items that could not be
compared were eliminated from this ranking.
TABLE 60
Indices of Divorce Trauma and
Adjust meat
S ymptoa
Goode
Reid
per
cent
1.
Profound feeling cf loneliness
67
84.07
(1)
1.
Poorer health than when married
67
43.10
(5)
3.
Difficulty sleeping
62
80.12
(2)
4 .
Increased smoking or drinking
46
44.90
(4)
5.
Difficulty doing work efficiently
43
76.64
(3)
Memory difficulties
68
--
General irritability or depression
—
87.64
[Feelings of freedom and relief
—
84.45 l1
fFeeling of happiness or elaticn
—
78.041
Desire to escape from it all
--
74.72
[Better health tnan when married
—
73.491
Desire to end your life
—
29.71
Increased use of drugs
2
22.032
1 positive effects are enclosed ty brackets
2columns are non-additive
The two items, profound feelinq of loneliness, and poorer
health than waen married tied in first place in Goode's
survey, with difficulty sleeping in third place. Profound
feeling of loneliness also ranked first in ours, indicating
that this difficulty was and is most widespread amonq
divorced mothers. Over 90.00 per cent of these mothers had
received custody of their children. Also they reported
having many and good friends. Consequently, it would be
incorrect to identify their loneliness as that resulting

3 06
from being alone. It is probably best identified as psycac-
sexual loneliuess resulting from the rupture of the pair
relationship with the former spouses.
Poorer health than when married dropped from the first
place tie in Goode's survey to fifth place, that is the last
place, in our ranking. Impaired health does not result from
mild trauma, but from serious forms of it. The lower
incidence of this very serious symptom in our data probably
indicates that our respondents, in qeneral, did not suffer
trauma to the same extent that Goode's did. This diminution
of trauma may result simply from the increased divorce rate,
and the qreater acceptance of divorce by cur society, as
well as the shift from the adversary system to the no-fault
system of divorce, and the qreater availability and use of
counselinq.
Difficulty sleepinq was found in third place in Goode's
data. In ours it ranked second, indicating little or no
chanqe. The same can be said of increased smoking or
drinkinq, as it ranks fourth in both surveys.
Difficulty doing work efficiently ranked last in Goode's
survey, but it ranked third in ours. This difference is
easily explained by the fact that the overwhelming magority
of the respondents in our survey reported working full-time,
unlike the situation reflected in Goode's data. Needless to
say, individuals who don't work, don't have difficulty work¬
ing efficiently. Since the remainder of the items do not
bear comparison, no comments are in place here.

3 07
Goode, in analyzing his trauma data used a "Guttman
qroupinq” (Goode 1956:189, footnote), and concluded that
42.00 per cent of his respondents had suffered hiqh or
profound trauma, 21 per cent suffered medium trauma, and the
remaininq 37 per cent suffered low trauma. Consequently,
his larqest qroup (42.00 per cent) was in the profound tra¬
uma cateqory, then the next larqest qroup (37.00 per cent)
was at the opposite extreme, low trauma, with the smallest
qroup (21.00 per cent) fallinq in between with medium
trauma. So, waen these data are presented in qrapn form as
in Fiqure 5 we do not find anything resembling a normal
distribution, but instead a bi-modal distribution with a
valley in the middle.
In contrast we found our data to be aproximately normally
distributed, indicatinq that the majority cf our respondents
suffered medium trauma, with the smallest minority sufferinq
profound trauma, and a somewhat larqer minority experiencing
little or no trauma. (See Fiqure 3 in Chapter 10) This
lends further evidence to our earlier observation that the
trauma of divorce may net be as serious in our times as it
was 30 or 40 years aqo.
Consequently, tnere are contrasts and similarities in tae
respective fiudinqs which are presented schematically in
Table 61. These can be summarized as follows.
1. Goode's larqest qroup (42 per cent) suffered profound
trauma, whereas our smallest qroup suffered profound
trauma

Profound
Trauma
Medium
Trauma
LCM
Trauma
Figure 5: Levels of Divorce Trauma In Goode's (1956) Survey

309
TABLE 61
Comparison of Divorce Trauma Findings
Level of Trauma
Profound trauma
Medium trauma
Minimum trauma
Goode
Larqest Group=42%
Smallest Groap=213E
Mid-size Group=375t
Reid
Smallest Group
Larqest Group
Mid-size Group
2. Goode's smallest qroup (21.00 per cent) experienced
medium trauma, whereas our larqest qroup experienced
medium trauma
3. Both Goode's and Reid's mid-size qroups
qot by with minimum trauma or none at all
No doubt it has become obvious that we have avoided
measurinq our three qroups quantitatively. We have
assiduously avoided this because of our dislike of
dichotomizing and our conviction that our Trauma-Triumph
scale is more isomorphic with reality.
Goode found that "the point of qreatest disturbance
appears to be the time of final separation" (Goode
1956:187). We found that the first staqe, serious
consideration, was the worst accordinq to our data, with
final separation in second place. Our first finding, that
time of serious consideration was the worst, remains the
same reqardless of wnether we use only the negative effects
alone, or take both the negatives and positives into
account

310
It nay very well be that the final separation is nc
lonqer the most difficult staqe because nowadays, on
separation, the parties enter into a pretty well-established
subculture, with its cwn norms for behavior, where they are
not just accepted but are welcomed (Hunt and Hunt 1979) and
where support qroups, such as Parents Without Partners,
offer acceptance, help, and support.
Prejudice
In Goode's survey, 30.00 per cent of the respondents
reported experiencinq prejudice and/or discrimination
because they were divorced. This compares with 3b.87 per
cent in ours, which is net much different. of our
respondents who experienced prejudice and/or discrimination
58.49 per cent said it came from friends. Their comments
indicate discomfort over not knowinq how to act, rather than
real prejudice or discrisinati.cn on the part of their
friends. Similarly, 42.00 per cent of Goode's subjects made
somewhat similar comments. "People 'make remarks,' 'behave
differently.' 'look down on you,' etc." (Goode 1956: 184).
For the most part, in both studies, the remainder of tae
prejudice/discrimination was experienced in datinq
situations.

TdDle 62 contains the coaiparative data on remarriage. It
also contains our data cn living together
TABLE 62
Remarriage and Living Together
Goode
Reid
per cent
Remarried by time of survey
Living together with men
28.71
13.10
15.73
Totals
28.71
29.03
Proportionately, somewhat over twice as many of Goode's
respondents had remarried compared with cur respondents,
indicating a slower entry rate into remarriaqe. Many
factors may account for this difference. On the whole,
Goode's respondents were younger than ours, which would
contribute to an earlier and higher remarriage rate.
Secondly, a rather widespread interest and participation in
professionalism was found among our respondents, which would
have a slowing and lowering effect on remarriage. But
perhaps the qreatest factor lay in the fact that 15.73 per
cent of our respondents were living toqether with men. ilhen
we add this figure to cur remarrieds, the sum practically
equals Geode's remarrieds. Sc if we were to regard living
toqether as a preparation or substitute for remarriaqe, the
overall picture has not changed a lot.

312
There were no reports of livinq together in Goode's
study. Unquestionably, there were isolated cases sack then,
but livinq together was sc unacceptable socially, especially
among whites, that its existence was denied or disregarded.
Indeed the recentness of this phenomenon is mirrored in the
fact that we have not been successful yet in coining a term
that is both popular and acceptable in the literature.
"Livinq together" is acceptable in common coinage, but not
"cohabitation" which has a somewhat archaic flavor to it,
even in the literature.
When comparing the remarriaqe situation, our earlier
findings should be kept in mind. Remarriaqe brought
significant financial security and betterment to the
remarried mothers. That was not the case with those who nad
set up living toqether arrangements. They reported having
financial resources that were on a par only with the other
non-remarried motners, fallinq far sacrt of the amount
reported by the remarrieds.
The remarried respondents in both surveys almost
unanimously rated their new marriaqes as very successful.
Amonq Goode's, 87.00 per cent rated their new marriages as
much better than the former ones, and an additional 8.00 per
cent claimed they were a little better. That adds up to
95.00 per cent claiming the new to be better or at least as
good as the old. In cur survey it was the same. The
corresponding proportion was 96.30 per cent.

313
When the remarried mothers were asked about their
children's reaction to or assessment of the new nittrriaqes,
their replies were like xerox copies of their own assessment
of the new marriages. In Goode's data, 92.00 per cent said
their children were happier, or at least as happy in the new
marriages as they had been in the old ones. The
corresponding figure in our data was 96.30 per cent.
The Children of Divorce
"There were 796 children in these 425 divorces, an
average of 1.37 children per divorce" (Goode 1956:108). In
our survey there were 407 children in these 203 divorces, an
averaqe of 2.00 children per divorce.
Taole 63 presents the comparative data on the family
sizes or distribution of these children.
TABLE 63
Distribution of Children
Number of Children per Family Goode Reid
per cent
One child
46
30.03
Two children
35
37. d6
Three or more children
19
32.41
Totals
100
100.00
Approximately one-third
of the
families in
both studies
had two children. Then a
higher
proportion of
Goode's had

314
only one child (46.00 per cent), compared with ours (30.03).
Lastly, a nigher proportion of ours had three or more
children (32.41 per cent), compared with Goode's (19.00 per
cent). These differences are probably best explained by the
age difference of the two groups of respondents.
Child Custody
In the comparative data on who received custody of the
children there is no evidence of any significant new trends
here. The mother still gets exclusive custody in over 90.00
per cent of the cases, with the father alcne getting custody
in less than 5.00 per cent of the cases.
Children's Feelings for their Fathers
Table 64 contains the comparative data on the children's
feelings for their fathers after divorce, as perceived by
the mothers.
Caution must be used when attempting to compare these
data, because we had no counterparts for Goode's last two
categories, which accounted for 30.00 per cent of the
replies in his data.
If we collapse the first two categories which report
positive feelings on the part of the children for their
fathers, we can see that in Goode's data 53.00 per cent are
found here. The corresponding figures in our survey are
73.56 per cent, a difference of 20.00 percentage points.

315
TABLE 64
Children*s Feelinqs towards Their Fathers
Goode Reid
per cent
They love their fathers the
same as always
44
52.28
They love them more
9
21.28
They love them less, or
always disliked tnem
16
26.24
Too younq to remember them
10
--
They never think about them
20
— —
Totals
99»
100.00
1 not 100 per cent because of roundinq
Next, we see that 16.00 per cent of the children in Goode's
survey loved their fathers less than before, or always
disliked them. Our corresponding data are 26.24 per cent, a
difference of 10 percentage points. So it would seem that
on the waole, in our survey about 10.00 per cent more of the
children had positive feelinqs for their fathers than in
Goode's. when we recall that these reports were made by the
mothers, not by the children themselves, it may well be that
this amelioration may be a result of the lesser trauma
recorded by our correspondents, and also, where there was
lesser trauma, there was the lesser likelihood that the
children's feelinqs would become impaired by the divorces.

APPENDIX
This appendix
fora, and
contains the cover
questionnaire used
le t te r,
in this
the consent
survey.
3 16

31 7
DNIVEBSITY O? EL03IDA
Summer of 19 79
First, my sincere thanks to you for taking part in this
important study. Because of your cooperation we will have
important new knowledge about marriaqe and divorce, that can
be of great value in the future.
You are one of four hundred mothers that have been
scientifically selected to take part. I would like you to
fill out this questionnaire immediately or as scon as
possible, and then return it to me. Many of the questions
are of a very personal and serious nature. For this reason
I guarantee you complete anonymity. Neither your name nor
any form of identification will be contained in your
a nswers.
The consent form below is required by law. Please sign
it and return it with the complete questionnaire. I will
immediately detach it and place it in a separate file. Your
questionnaire will not be read until all participants have
returned their questionnaires.
The serial number is exclusively for fcllow-up contacts
with anyone who forqets to return the questionnaire. I will

318
remove the serial number at the same time I detach the
consent form.
I would like to thank you for the time and thouqhtful
consideration I hope you will qive this questionnaire, and I
trust that the experience will be of benefit to you.
Thank you.
(siqned) Kevin ¿eid

319
CONSENT FORM
To who® it may concern:
This is to verify that I am answerinq this questionnaire
voluntarily and of my own free will.
Signed Dat e
Do Not Detach

J2u
INSTRUCTIONS
Please answer all questions as accurately as possible. The
information you qive will be used solely for scientific
researcn. To assure your anonymity, put your name only on
the consent form. The numbers in the left margin are for
computer use only: do not write in that space.
Most of the questions can be answered by drawing a circle
around the number to the left of the correct answer. Write
in any additional information when requested. For example:
Wno received custody of the children? 1 I did 2 husband
3 other (specify)
Please follow all special instructions carefully.
A. If it says: "CIRCLE as MANY AS APPLY" circle as many or¬
as few of the options as you think apply.
B. If it says: "CIRCLE CNE NUMBER EOS EACH LINE" please
look to see that you circled cue number and only one
number in each line.
C. Some questions are enclosed by a border or frame. Be
sure to answer such questions when they apply to you;
omit them when they dc not apply.

321
QUESTIONNAIRE
CARD 1.
Please indicate vnere you and the followiaq people were born.
Circle 1 if born in U.S.; if net born in O.S. qive name or
the foreiqn country.
Born in U.S. Another country (Its name)
5 You 1 2,
6 Your father 1 2
7 Your mother 1 2.
8 Your ex-husband 1 2
9 His father 1 2.
10 His mother 1 2
11-
12 How lonq have you lived in the U.S.? years.
13_ What is your race? 1 Black 2 White 3 other
(specif y)
14 Are most of your friends 1 Blacks born in the U.S.
2 Whites born in U.S. 3 Cubans 4 other?
IF YOU HAVE BEEN DIVORCED MORE THAR ONCE, PLEASE NOTE THAT
THIS QUESTIONNAIRE CONCERNS ONLY YOUR LAST DIVORCE AND THE
MARRIAGE THAT WAS ENDED BY THAT DIVORCE.
15 How many times have you been divorced ? ,
16 Did you have a job while you were married? 1 yes,
full-time 2 part-time 3 on and off 4 none
If yes:
17 Specify please _•

322
IB-
21 _What was your average taxe-home pay each week during
the last year of your marriage? $ .
22 Do you have a gob new? 1 yes, full-time 2 part-time
3 on and off 4 none
If yes:
Specify, please:
24-
27What is your take-home pay each week now? $ _ _
2 8-
29 What was your aqe when you married? - years.
3 0-
31 What was your aqe when you qot divorced?. years.
3 2-
33 How old was your ex-husband at marriage? years.
34 Did you live toqether before qettinq married? 1 yes
2 no.
35- If yes:
36 How long? years months.
How much education did you and your ex-husband receive?
37 CHECK COBBECT LEVEL FOB EACH SELF EX-HUSBAND
No formal education _
Grade school __
High school _
Some college
Colleqe qraduate
Graduate school/post qraduate

323
38 professional traininq
39 What was your ex-husband's occupation: what did he do
mainly, to make a livinq?
Specify: . „
40-
43 About what was his weekly income (after faxes) durinq
the last year of the marriaqe? Í
44 _ias he a steady worker? 1 yes, always had work
2 steady except for unavoidable layoffs
3 frequent layoffs 4 never worked for lonq periods.
45 What church did he belonq to? 1 Protestant 2 Catholic
3 Jewish 4 Eastern Orthodox 5 other (specify)^
6 none.
46-
47 How lonq before filinq for divorce did you first
seriously consider divorce? years ^months.
48-
49 How lonq before filinq for divorce did you definitely
decide on a divorce? years _ months.
50 Which of you first suqqested the idea of a divorce?
1 I did 2 husband 3 both
51 Later on, which of you continued to insist most on a
divorce? 1 I did 2 husband 3 both
52 Did either of you consult any marriaqe counselor or qo
to a marriaqe clinic before the divorce? 1 yes 2 no.
If yes:
53 Bhat kind? 1 rabbi, priest or pastor 2 social work

324
aqency 3 marriage clinic 4 ether.
54 When was the final separation actually made? 1 before
decidinq on divorce 2 before filinq for divorce
3 before the divorce 4 after the divorce 5 never.
5 5-
56 If you separated before the divorce, how lonq was it
from separating till the divorce? __years months.
57 After finally decidinq on the divorce, did you and your
ex-husband have many talks about the details of the
divorce? 1 many 2 some 3 none
IF you HAD TALKS:
58 What did you discuss mainly? 1 division of property
2 effect on children 3 alimony or support 4 remarr¬
iage to someone else 5 seeing each other after divorce
6 other (specify)
59 Were you able to reach a general agreement?
1 yes 2 no.
60 _Did he live up to these agreements?
1 yes, all of them 2 some 3 none
61 Were you able to live up to these agreements?
1 yes, all of them 2 some 3 none.
62 After you first seriously considered divorce, how often
did periods occur when you cr your ex-husband decided
not to carry it out? 1 frequently 2 rarely 3 never.

What did tnese people think about your divorce wen it
was taking place?
S tronqiy
a pprove d
CIRCLE ONE NOMBEF FOfi EACH LINE.
Approved Disapproved Strongly
somewhat somewhat disapproved
His family 1
Your family 1
His friends 1
Your friends 1
Your pastor 1
Cc-workers 1
2
2
2
2
2
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
3 4
During the marriage did your husband ever physically
hurt you? 1 yes, often 2 a few times 3 never.
If yes:
How? 1 slapping, beatinq and punching 2 throwing ae
around and knocking me down 3 menacing me with a club,
knife or gun 4 other.
If yes:
Did physical injury result? 1 yes 2 no.
If yes:
What was it?
Did you ever physically hurt your husband? 1 yes,
often 2 a few times 3 never.
If yes:
Was it 1 in self defense 2 for some other reason?
Did your ex-husband ever force you to have sex with

326
him? 1 yes, often 2 a few times 3 never.
79 How many children do you have?
80 What is the aqe of the ycunqest, and of tne oldest?
Younqest years. Oldest years.
CARD 2
What, to your mind, were the main causes of your divorce?
My husband: (CIRCLE 1 OR 2 ON EACH LINE) yes no
5 failed to support us 1 2
6 drank: too much 1 2
7 neqlected us and never stayed home 1 2
8 Spent all our money e.q. on qamblinq, etc. 1 2
9 was always runninq around with the hoys 1 2
10 was bossy, impossible and overbearinq 1 2
11 was runninq around with other women 1 2
12 fell in love with another woman 1 2
13 ran off with another woman 1 2
1 4_ was always blaminq ae for everythinq 1 2
15 we could never see eye tc eye and qet alonq-- 1 2
1b trouble with in-laws 1 2
17 I wanted to continue/resume ay education 1 2
18 I wanted to carve out a career for myself 1 2
19-
2 0 other (specify) __ ___
NOW GO BACK AND IN THE BLANK SPACES IN THE RIGHT KARGIN
NUMBER THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT REASONS ÍCU HAVE GIVEN:
1, most important, 2, next important, etc.

3 27
21 Who received custody of the children? 1 I did
2 husband 3 other (specify), _
22 In qeaeral, is this arrangement agreeable to both?
1 yes 2 only to me 3 only to husband 4 to neitner.
23 What agreements were made for visits with the other
parent? 1 weekly 2 monthly 3 summers 4 holidays
5 no visits 6 other.
IP YOU HAVE CUSTODY Of THE CHILDREN:
2 6-
27 How much has your ex-husband to contrubute monthly in
child support? $
31 Has he paid it? 1 yes, always 2 usually 3 seldom or
never.
IP YOU ARE NOT REMARRIED:
32-
35 How much money on the average do you have each week to
meet your expenses with (from the iob, ex-husband,
welfare, etc)? $
36 Is it enough? 1 yes 2 no.
37 If you needed financial help, where would you turn
first? 1 childrens aid 2 own family 3 ex-husband's
family 4 my church 5 county welfare 6 ex-husband
7 friends 8 others (specify)
If you wouldn't ask your husband first:

3 28
38 would you ask for help from him, even as a second
choice? 1 yes 2 no.
39 _How often have you thouqht of marriaqe as a possicle
solution to your financial problems? 1 often 2 seldom
3 never.
IF YOU UAVE REMARRIED:
4 0-
43 How much do you have each week to meet your expenses
with now? (from the job, ex-husband, present husband,
etc.) $
44 Is it enouqh? 1 yes 2 no.
45 ihen do you think you were financially "better off?"
1 durinq the marriaqe 2 now 3 no difference.
46 __«hile you were married, how often did you and your ex-
husband qo out toqether? 1 at least once a week
2 once or twice a month 3 almost never.
If almost never:
Please explain why
47

323
Did you and your ex-husband share any cf these
activities together during the marriage?
yes no
48 Dancing 1 2
43 Sports 1 2
50 Walking/ 1 2
logging
54 Other (specify)_
51 Movies/concerts
52_ Social drinking
53 TV/reading
yes
1
1
1
no
2
2
2
55- When the marriage broke up, what did ycu do to fill
61 the gap in your social life? Please explain
Outside your gob or housework, what are your main
recreational activities now?
yes no yes no
62 Dancing 1 2 65 Movies/concerts 1 2
63 Sports 1 2 66 Social drinking 1 2
64 ^Walking/ 1 2 67 Dating 1 2
jogging
6 8__ Other (specify) _____
69 Which one of these activities is the most important?
(specify) _____ ___
70__ Were you ever in a social situation where you felt
people thought less cf you because you were divorced?
1 yes 2 no.
If yes:
71 Describe it, please:

IF NOT REMARRIED:
3 30
72 How often do you date? 1 almost never 2 once or twice
a month 3 once a week. 4 several times a week.
73 Anionq your very close friends, is there someone you are
thinking of marrying? 1 yes 2 no.
If yes:
74 Do you think you will qet married? 1 yes 2 no.
If yes:
75 Do you think you have worked cut all the problems you
failed to work out with your ex-husband?
1 yes 2 some of them 3 nc, not yet.
76 Have your parents or relatives been trying to
help you meet eligible men, since the divorce?
1 yes 2 no.
77 _Are you "livinq together” with a man now? 1 yes 2 no.
78 Have your friends been trying to help you meet eligible
men since the divorce? 1 yes 2 no.

The divorce process may be a time of unhappiness and stress for some individuals; for others it nay
bring happiness and relief; for still others it may be a mixture of both. Did you have any of the follow¬
ing feelings or experiences during the divorce process, that is, extending frcm the point when you first
seriously considered divorce up to the present time?
CIRCLE CNE LETTER FOR EACH ITEM INDICATING WHEN THE EXPERIENCE WAS GREATEST
Difficulty sleeping
Difficulty doing work efficiently
Poorer health than when married
Better health than when married
General irritability or depression
Feeling of happiness or elation
Increased use of drugs
Increased smoking or drinking
Profound feeling of loneliness
Desire to "escape" frcm it all
Feeling of freedom and relief
Desire to end your life
NOW PLEASE GO BACK AND NUMBER
Serious
Final
Final
Divorce
Present
Consideration
Decision
Separation
Decree
Time
Never
( )
K
A
-P
K
... — c
A
" 0
P
( )
( )
JJ
K
c
A
- e
P
C “
Cl
g
( )
h
P
c
0
( )
hi
r\
P
D
c
0
( )
K
J
P
c
0
( )
K
rl
p
JJ
c
0
r
( )
U
A
p
c
0
( )
hi
r\
p
D
c
a
0
3-
( )
hi
r\
-F
c
0
L
( )
A
P
ci
D
a
0
r
( )
K
p
c
Cl
0
THE
THREE MOST IMPORTANT EXPERIENCES: 1,
most important
; 2, next,
etc.
Place the number in the parentheses ( ) provided above.
OJ
OJ

332
24 Before the divorce, or -just after it, did you feei
that your husband cuqht to be punished for what he
did to you? 1 yes, often 2 sometimes 3 never.
25 Do you still feel that he should be punished?
1 yes 2 no.
26 At the time of the first visits to the children,
did you and your ex-husband talk, to each other?
1 yes 2 no.
If yes:
27 Did you and he date durinq this period?
1 yes, often 2 a few times 3 never.
28 Were tnere occasions durinq this period when you
had sex relations with him? 1 yes 2 no.
29 Whether you talked to him or not, were you curious to
know how he was and what he was doinq? 1 yes 2 no.
30 If you knew you miqht meet him accidentally somewhere
would you try to avoid him? 1 yes 2 no.
31 Have there ever been times when you felt that you did
not play fair with your ex-husband durinq the divorce
process? 1 yes 2 nc
If yes:
32 Do you stiii feel that way? 1 yes 2 no.
33 In spite of what has happened (the divorce), do you
want to remarry him? 1 yes 2 no.

333
34 Do you think any chanqes in him are probanle which
would make you willing to remarry him? 1 yes 2 no.
35 Do you believe that you have chanqed in ways which
would make living with you easier new? 1 yes 2 no.
36 Do you think your ex-husband was in love with another
woman before the divorce? 1 yes 2 no.
If yes:
37 What effect did this have on you? 1 I wanted a div¬
orce right away 2 I wanted to save our marriage
3 other (specify)
38 Here you in love with another man before the
divorce? 1 yes 2 no.
39 How would you describe your ex-husband's feelings
towards you now? 1 he still loves me 2 friendly
3 unfriendly 4 have no idea.
40 Now, how about your feeliaqs towards him? 1 I still
love him 2 friendly but do not miss him 3 I don't
like him 4 other (specify)
41 Has your ex-husband remarried? 1 yes 2 no.
If yes:
42 How did you feel about his remarriage when you heard
of it? 1 very unhappy 2 a little upset 3 didn't
care 4 pleased 5 very happy
If he has not remarried:
43 How would you feel if he remarried? 1 I would be
very unhappy 2 a little upset 3 wouldn't care
4 mildly happy 5 very happy.

33 4
IF YOU HAVE CUSTODY OF T HI CHILDREN:
44 If you have to work away from home, hew are the
children cared for? 1 relatives 2 neiqhnors/frienda
3 nursery school 4 reqular school 5 don't have to
work 6 other (specify))
If yes:
45 How would you rate this temporary care? 1 good
2 average 3 poor.
46 When you have dates, who cares for the children?
(specify)
Are your activities restricted by having the children?
yes
no
yes
no
4 7
Work
1
2
50
Datinq 1
2
4 8
Education
1
2
51
Semarriaqe 1
2
4 9
Social life 1
2
5 2
Recreation/ 1
2
travel
53
Other (specify)
54
Would you
like
your
ex-husband to see the chi
ldren
1 less often 2
more
often
3 about the same
4 never.
55 Are the children harder to handle after visits with
their father? 1 yes 2 no, easier 3 about tue same.
5o When were the children hardest to handle?
1 during the marriage 2 after final separation
3 after the divorce 4 now 5 always about the same.
57 Do the children feel the same toward their father now
as when you were still married? 1 they love him more

335
now 2 love him the same 3 love him less 4 never
loved him.
5b What does your ex-husband think oi: the support
payments? 1 he thinks they are too much 2 alriqht
3 too little.
59 _What do you think about tnese support payments?
1 they are too much 2 alriqht 3 too little.
IF YOU DO N 0 T HAVE CUSTODY OF THE CHILDREN:
60 Do you reel in general that the children are qettinq
satisfactory care? 1 yes 2 no
61 Do the children seem tc miss you? 1 yes, very mucn
2 a little 3 not at all.
62 Do you feel that the children would be better off
with you? 1 yes 2 no 3 would be no difference.
63 Do you want custody of the children? 1 yes 2 no.
64 Do you have to pay child support? 1 yes 2 no.
65- If yes:
68 How much monthly? Total $
69 Have you paid it? 1 yes, always 2 sometimes 3 no.
70 Does your ex-husband pay you alimony? 1 yes 2 no.
71- If yes:
73 How much each month? $
If no:
74 Do you have to pay your ex-husband alimony?

336
1 yes 2 no.
75- If yes:
77 How much each month? $
If either of you have to pay alimony:
78 Is it 1 always paid 2 usually paid 3 seldom
4never.
CARD 4
Note: In the following questions, "church" stands
for both synaqoque and church. It is solely for
the sake of simplicity that one word •'church'1
is used.
5 Do you attend church services? 1 yes, once or twice
a week 2 once or twice a month 3 only on holydays
4 never.
6 ¡¿hat church do you belong to? 1 Protestant
2 Catholic 3 Jewish 4 Eastern Orthodox
5 other (specify) 6 none.
7 During which period would you say you attended church
most frequently? 1 during marriage 2 during the
divorce process 3 now 4 always about tne same.
8 Do you feel that going to church has helped you in any
way during this whole period of divorce? 1 yes 2 no.
If yes:
9 In what ways? „ _
10 What would you say is your main reason for going to
church? 1 to worship 2 my frieuds 3 to meet new
friends 4 to find consolation in religion 5 so that

337
the children will qo 6 ether (specify)
11 If you or your ex-husband are Catholic, was your
marriage 1 performed by a priest 2 authorized
by the Catholic Church 3 later blessed by the
Church 4 none of the above?
12 Sow that the divorce is over, is there anything you
have accomplished by yourself that you always wanted
to, but never managed to do it before? 1 yes 2 no.
If yes:
13 What?
IF YOU ARE REMARRIED:
14 In general, how does your present marriage compare to
your former one? 1 better 2 about the same 3 not
as good.
15 Do you feel that the experiences you had in your
former marriage make it easier or harder to get
along in this one? 1 harder 2 easier 3 no effect.
16 _How often would you say you and your present husband
argue about your ferxer marriage or your ex-husband?
1 quite often 2 seldom 3 never.
17 Would you say that the children are happier now than
before, now that you have remarried? 1 they are
happier 2 about the same 3 quite unhappy.
Where were the following people born? CIRCLE 1 IF
BORN IN U.S.; IF NOT BORN IN Ü.S., GIVE NAME OF
FOREIGN COUNTRY

338
Born in H.S. Another country (name).
18 Present husband 1 2
19 His rather 1 2
20 His mother 1 2 _
2 1 How much education nas your present husband received?
1 no formal education 2 qrade scuool 3 hiqn school
4 some coileqe 5 colleqe qraduate 6 qraduate school/
post-qraduate professional traininq.
22-
23 How old is your present husband? years.
24 What is his occupationz what does he do mainly for a
livinq? (specify)
25-
28 What is his weekly income (after taxes)? $_
29 Is he a steady worker? 1 yes, always has worK
2 steady except for unavoidable layoffs 3 frequent
layoffs 4 never works for lonq periods.
30 What church does he belcnq to? 1 Protestant
2 Catholic 3 Jewish 4 Eastern Orthodox
5 other (specify)
6 none

,3 3 9
Your additional coauaeats are invited, and will be qreatly
appreciated.
THANK YOU
When complete, seal and mail. To seal, remove backinq rrorn
blue tab, then press tab onto front cover
Do not moisten

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Journal of Marriage and the Family 40, 3, (Aug):575-580.
1978
Zimmerman, Carle C. Family and Civilization. New York:
Harper and Brothers. 1947
The Family of Tomorrow: The Cultural Crisis and the Kay
Out. New York: Harper and Brothers. 1949

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Kevin Reid was born on September 18, 1934, in the Irish
Republic. He qraduated from St. Patrick's Colleqe, Carlo*,
Ireland, and was ordained a priest in June, 1958. He
started work in the ministry in Mississippi in September,
1958. In 1970, while continuing his pastoral work, he
entered graduate school at the University of Southern
Mississippi, and in 1972 received a masters deqree in
Sociology. His thesis was a survey. Catholic Priests in
Mississippi: A Sociological Study, published by the
Catholic Diocese of Natchez-Jackscn, Mississippi.
He continued full-time pastoral work in Mississippi until
the spring of 1976, when he entered graduate school at the
University of Florida to pursue doctoral coursework in
family sociology and theory.
He is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, Pi Gamma Mu (The
National Social Science Honor Society), and the National
Council on Family Relations. He also holds memberships in
the Knights of Columbus and Rotary International.
358

I certify that I Lave read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards or scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Professor of Sociology
I certiry that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor of Philosophy.
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the degree^of Doctor of Pnilosophy.
lÍx Berardo
Professor of Sociology
X certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor of Philosophy.
J'qdin Henretta
Associate Professor of Sociology

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms tc acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Anthony LaGreca
Associate Professor of Socioloqy
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as
a dissertation for the deqree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Associate Professor of Statistics
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate faculty of
the Department of Socioloqy in the Coileqe of Liberal Arts
and Sciences and to the Graduate School, and was accepted as
partial fulfillment of the requirements for the deqree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
Dean for Graduate Studies and
fiesearch
Auqust, 1983

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
262 08666 909 9
i r

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
262 08666 909 9
i r



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