Today Show: Don’t Stay Together for the Kids

“Through good times and through bad, through sickness and through health, till death do us part” means less and less in society today. “The Today Show” did a little bit more to undercut matrimony – this time doing it for the children.

In a June 16 interview, psychotherapist Robi Ludwig reached the conclusion that divorce is sometimes a good thing for kids, ignoring the ramifications of this decision.

“…In some cases it's cultural, in some cases it's religious, where it's ingrained in us that if you're married you should stay married no matter what. And I think now studies are saying hey, maybe that's not the case,” Ludwig explained to Al Roker. She also explained: “The studies show that when parents stay together for the kids, and they have a high conflict-marriage, and there's a lot of argument, and they're attacking one another, the child feels very stressed out, and maybe they feel also that their needs are not being met, so what happens is, they're more inclined to engage in dysfunctional behaviors.”

Ludwig’s justification for divorce came across as almost convincing, since her focus was not on the selfish wants of the parents, but on the emotional needs and well-being of the children, or so it seemed at first. “Well, you know, if kids feel that they're being ignored and their parents are not noticing them because they're so self-involved, then they are going to want to soothe themselves in their own way,” she said.

However, Ludwig failed to take into account the effect divorce has on children, including the fact that children of divorced parents are more likely to have lower grades, have higher risk of health issues, and are more likely to be the victim of child molestation. These are only a few of the negative effects divorce has on children, along with the emotional damages, feelings of guilt and abandonment, which come from a divorce.

“I think parents need to ask themselves, what am I modeling for my kids?” Ludwig declared, missing the full answer to her own question. In a divorce, parents give an example of a failed marriage, essentially demonstrating to their children that the vows of marriage, the promise they made to each other, are worthless and breakable,  which explains why children of divorced parents are more likely to experience a divorce themselves.

But Ludwig, perhaps inadvertently, dropped the “for the children” pretense when she stated: “Stay married if you can figure out a way to make it feel fulfilling for you and your partner.” This attitude reflects society’s eroded understanding of the permanency of marriage and betrays the fundamental selfishness of this disposable marriage culture. Concern for children is at best a laughable rationalization for the easy out of divorce.