Its seems that divorce is difficult on the children regardless of their age. In the past, parents might wait to get divorced until the youngest child had graduated high school or college, or had moved out of the family home. But when it comes to the breakup of your parents’ marriage, it seems like there will always be pain.
When you are an adult, and your parents (seemingly) happy marriage ends, it can still shake the foundation of your world. As the number of so-called “gray divorces,” increases, they leave in their wake adult children who are left to try to make sense of life with divorced parents.
Here are five tips to help adult children facing the divorce of their parents:
1. Do your best to not take sides
One of the advantages of being an adult when your parents’ divorce is that you can separate the person from their behavior. You may not condone the behavior that caused the marriage to end, but you can still respect your parent for the role they have played in your life. Taking sides adds further destruction to an already painful situation.
2. Try forgiveness
Regardless of how it impacts you personally, your parents’ divorce is theirs to resolve. Forgiving your parents can help you heal and get on with your life once the dust has settled.
3. Focus on healing your emotions about the past
It is interesting how your parents’ divorce in the present will make you doubt many of your experiences in your childhood. Just like forgiveness, letting go of the past helps you face the future feeling stronger.
4. Avoid allowing your parents’ marital problems to cast doubt on your relationship
Our parents’ relationship is often the one on which we base our ideas of how relationships work. If they are not able to keep their marriage going, it might naturally make you begin to doubt your ability to maintain your relationship or marriage. But you are not your parents, and your marriage is not their marriage. If you start to feel stressed, speak to your partner, or seek counseling with a professional, so you can work through these new feelings.
5. Build a new relationship with your parents
Sometimes it takes something as dramatic as a divorce to get a more complete image of your parents as human beings. If you have been able to forgive them and let go of the hurt you may have been harboring, you can begin to develop a new relationship with each of them separately. You might be surprised by what you learn.
Your parents’ divorce can be emotionally devastating no matter your age. Sometimes marriages just come to a natural end. Two people who thought they would be together until death parted them reconsidered and decided to move on separately. Sometimes, one party’s bad behavior causes the relationship to come to a traumatic and dramatic end.
It is up to you how you deal with the news of their divorce, and you get to decide how it will impact your life for better or worse.
McCabe Russell, PA, our Bethesda divorce attorneys have helped clients throughout Maryland resolve their divorces. To speak with an experienced divorce lawyer serving Montgomery County clients today, you are welcome to call 443-917-3347 or fill out our contact form. We also maintain offices in Columbia, Rockville and Fulton.