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When my friend came to me asking to share her feelings about her parents divorce I was a little surprised. I know these feelings and experiences are raw and hard to share and I thought it pretty courageous of her. Really, to be able to share these gut wrenching feelings and be so open is admirable in my book.
So today we are sharing my friends feelings after her parents divorced. Maybe you know of a couple who has gotten a divorce. Maybe your parents have. Maybe you are considering it. These experiences are hard. They tear us up and may even pull us down. Today's message is being shared in the hopes that others may relate and find hope. And so others can strengthen their marriages. Have a wonderful weekend. As always I wish you all positive days full of laughter and strength through adversity.

Child of Divorce

I grew up in a loving home. My parents wanted a large family, and they got one—I am one of 10 brothers and sisters! We siblings are especially close. My parents were married for 30 years before separating and getting a divorce. Five years have passed since their divorce.
My parents never really did much with each other for as long as I can remember. Sure, they went on regular-once-a-week dates, but other than that, their time together was usually with us kids. I think I only saw them kiss once or twice, and those were little bitty pecks.
I didn’t really notice anything because that’s how it’d always been, but my older siblings told me that my parents used to be affectionate with each other and enjoy spending time together. Because of their faith and strong commitment to their children and family, my parents toughed out the last 20 years of their marriage, but in the end, toughing it out wasn’t enough.
I can see where they both were at fault. My mom was prone to drastic mood swings, and they got worse as her relationship with my dad deteriorated. All of us kids were scared of her, and warned each other to stay out of her way when she was in a “mood.” When she got into one of those moods, she was hard for anyone to be around, including my dad.
My dad’s part wasn’t as obvious at first. He’s quiet and generally soft-spoken. What I learned afterwards, though, was that when there was a problem and Mom tried to discuss it with him, he’d shut down and say he didn’t want to talk about it. Therefore, nothing ever got resolved. I can understand that confrontation can be difficult, but you can’t just ignore it and hope it’ll go away, because it doesn’t.
Mom and Dad both attempted to fix their marriage, but did not seek the help of a counselor until it was too late. Both had been hurt too much to humble themselves in the ways they needed to repair their relationship.
As their child—one who loves both of them very much—it has been hard for me to navigate the suddenly new and different relationships that I now have with my parents. Some may think that divorce only affects the relationships of those who were once married, but I have found the consequences to be much further reaching. Here are some of the effects I’ve seen of the divorce in my personal situation. I know no two situations are exactly alike, but I hope this conveys my feelings.
After thinking about the situation I realized there have been some positives from the divorce. My Mom is happier. My Dad is happier. Even One of my siblings has been inspired to get marriage counseling and her marriage is improving! My husband and I have talked about preventing divorce in our marriage.
While I recognize these positives I still feel the negative effects from the divorce that really have caused me sadness. My family suddenly has drama. Drama was never part of our lives before and I’m still floored that drama is such a big part of my life now. My Mom has had a hard time talking about Dad. It’s been almost 5 years later and I finally feel comfortable bringing him up. But it’s taking longer for my mom.  
My dad found and married a new woman in just four months. Because of this we worried that our dad might be making a hasty decision. It has been hard adjusting to a new person in our family so soon after the trauma of a divorce. Especially with his new wife around,  my Dad has an even harder time talking about Mom. To make it worse my dad won’t talk about his feelings from the divorce with us kids. I feel shut out from his life. This has been so hard for me.
There are a handful of other bad effects from the divorce. As far as my mom goes, although she is happier, she has a gaping emotional wound. I feel so sad to see my mom go through pain. Another negative side effect is that one of my sisters has been terrified of marriage since the divorce happened. She is in her 30’s. My mother will probably need to be supported by us kids when she gets older which worries me. And Even though they haven’t asked us to choose sides (and we don’t want to!), I still see siblings lining up on the side of one parent or the other which has been so hard as well. It’s been hard to see these negative side effects and to be able to work through them.
Because of all of this I wanted to share this story and how I, a child of these two parents, have been affected. The divorce of my parents has been heart-wrenching. The negatives, to me, far outweigh the positives. Even though I had been out of the house for several years before it happened, my parents’ divorce has had an huge impact on me.
After this experience I wanted to share this story as a warning. I believe marriage is important and worth the work. Because of the pain I have felt from my parents divorce, and because I wouldn’t want anyone to feel the way I do, I am pleading; If you see your marriage deteriorating, please find a counselor and get counseling. If your marriage is just beginning or seems fine right now, talk to your spouse about what you’ll do if you feel yourselves slipping away from each other in the future.  Because of the divorce my husband and I have sat down with each other and talked specifically about what we can do to avoid divorce in our own marriage. We were determined before we were married but we are even more passionate about maintaining a strong marriage. Thank you letting me share my feelings and story with you.

-Anonymous

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