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Family Crises and How They Affect Individual Members


A family crisis can result from a happening of a situation that interrupts the normal family routine (Lamana and Riedman, 2008). This causes a moment of ineptitude within a family as well as emotional tension since family members have to come up with answers to the problems. This article will explain the various family crises that are usually experienced and how they affect individual members.


Divorce occurs when a couple decides to legally terminate their marriage. Divorce may be caused by lack of harmony between a man and his wife whereby one of them may not love the other. Similarly, it can occur in a situation where none of them loves the other. It may also come about when one partner is not able to fulfill the other’s needs. This leads to a bad relationship between them. This may eventually result in divorce (Singer and Zgonc, 1990).


Following a divorce, one may decide to get married again. Remarriage makes family relationships more complex because it results in the birth of stepchildren. The person who remarries gets new in-laws and other step relations. Children also get step-grandparents and step-siblings as well as step-parents. If a remarriage occurs especially when the children are old, it affects the relationship between grandchildren and adoptive or biological parents.


A stepfamily is formed when a spouse brings in children from a previous relationship into a new marriage. The spouse may or may not bear more children. In this kind of family, children try to adjust to living with stepparents. The spouses try to accommodate each other. The stepchildren also try to co-exist with each other (Singer and Zgonc, 1990).

Midlife crisis

A midlife crisis is a stage when one engages in self reassessment because of age. It comes about when an individual tries to explore new choices. It is often triggered by deep pessimism about the present and future expectations.

Types divorce

In legal divorce, a case is heard in a court where a judge grants a divorce (Lamana and Riedman, 2008). Family courts deal with divorce cases. The judges only adjudicate on family-related matters like divorce, child custody and adoption. In a community type of divorce, certain members of the community deliberate on the issues raised by a couple and grant a divorce. Emotional divorce on the other hand occurs in case of marital separation. It causes physical and psychological pains to the spouses and children. Psychic divorce is a form of divorce that occurs when a spouse tries to negate the influence of an ex-spouse. In a no-fault divorce, separation of spouses results from sexual incompatibility and jealousy. Partners can live apart for a certain period then have their marriage dissolved.


Following a divorce, one parent may decide to have the custody of the children of the two parents may decide to share the custody. Support should come from both parents in order to ease the children from experiencing stress as a result of their divorce.

Devastating issues to couples and children

Divorce has effect on both the couple and children. It leads to changes in lifestyle, parenting and living arrangements. Children, regardless of their age, are affected by stress and tension between their parents (Lamana and Riedman, 2008). They are affected by the change in living arrangements. On the other hand, children can benefit from divorce in that they no longer experience emotional abuse and anger from a belligerent parent. In addition to that, family crises have a direct effect on the adjustment of children in their early years. Increased exposure results in poor emotional regulation. They also experience problems when relating to their peers later in adolescence (Singer and Zgonc, 1990).


The family crisis could cause divorce, remarriage, stepparents, adoption among other issues. This article has outlined some of the issues resulting from family crises and how they can affect couples and children.


Lamana, M., & Riedman, A. (2008). Marriages and Families: Making Choices in a Diverse Society. New York: Cengage Learning.

Singer, E., & Zgonc, Y. (1990). Family Crisis. Chicago: New Readers Press.

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