Divorce as Sacred Loss and Desecration: Viewing Uncoupling as a Sacred Injury

Divorce as a Sacred Loss & Desecration = A cognitive appraisal that the divorce involved the loss or violation of something viewed as being a manifestation of God or as having sacred qualities. 3 Top items endorsed by college students about parental divorce were:

"Something that was sacred to me was destroyed” - 32%

"I lost something I thought God wanted for me" - 30%

"Something that gave sacred meaning to my life is now missing” -  29%

-73% of adults who divorced viewed their divorce this way to some degree (one year later 78%)

The more these cognitions occur, the individual experiences a divorce as more traumatic or painful.

Related Studies:

Hawley, A. R., Mahoney, A., Pargament, K. I., & Gordon, A. K. (2015). Sexuality and spirituality as predictors of distress over a romantic breakup: Mediated and moderated pathways. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 2,145 – 159. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/scp0000034

Krumrei, E.J., Mahoney, A., & Pargament, K. I. (2011). Spiritual stress and coping model of divorce: A longitudinal study of a community sample. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 973-985. doi.10.1037/a0025879.

Krumrei, E. J. , Mahoney, A., & Pargament, K. I. (2011). Demonic dimensions of divorce: The prevalence of demonization of divorce and links to adult post-divorce adjustment. Family Relations, 60, 90-103. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2010.00635.x

Mahoney, A., Warner, H. L., & Krumrei, E. J. (2010). Broken vows and the next generation: Recognizing and helping when parental divorce is a spiritual trauma. Counselling and Spirituality, 29, 99-125.

Krumrei, E. J.,  Mahoney, A., & Pargament, K. I. (2009). Divorce and the Divine: The role of spirituality in adjustment to divorce. Journal of Marriage and Family, 71, 373-383.

Warner, H. L., Mahoney, A. & Krumrei, E. J. (2009). When parents break sacred vows:  The role of spiritual appraisals, coping and struggles for young adults' adjustment to parental divorce.  Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 1, 233-248.

Mahoney, A., Krumrei, E. J., & Pargament, K. I. (2008). Broken vows:  Divorce as a spiritual trauma and its implications for growth and decline. In S. Joseph & P. Alex Linley (Eds.), Trauma, recovery, and growth:  Positive psychological perspectives on posttraumatic stress, pp. 105-124.  Hoboken, NY: John Wiley & Sons


Updated: 03/17/2021 11:15PM