(Closed) Parents divorcing as an adult?

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
5797 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

My parents divorced while I was in college and my mom basically had the exact same reasons. I think that having children together can make a lot of your issues as a couple seem less important but after they move out of the house these issues become more prominent. Its easy not to notice he never wants to leave the house when you’re chaperoning kids to all kinds of practices/events. I was very upset at the time (you take it for granted that after 20+ years divorce is never going to happen), but I can tell that a few years later that my mom made the right decision.

Post # 4
Member
1871 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’m so sorry.

I can’t say that I have had the same experience as you, but I was with a dear, dear friend when it happened to him. I can tell you that what you’re feeling is totally valid and that many psychologists feel that it’s even harder on adult children than kids to hear their parents are getting a divorce.

You DO still have a family; it’s just changing. And you always did have a family and parents who love you very much.

I strongly recommend that you seek professional counseling because this is a difficult thing to experience and work through.

Post # 5
Member
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’m sure there is way, way, way more to the story that she may not be ready to discuss with you. She may also be holding back as a way to not badmouth or say anything bad about your father, which is admirable. My parents divorced after 22 years of marriage, and it was the best thing that’s happened to my mom in a long time. She had a personal revolution, and is so happy now. It may, in time, prove to be very good for your parents, as well (though mine did have to go through a couple years of hell to come out to the good stuff).

Post # 6
Member
5095 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

My parents divorced when I was 7, so unfortunately I can’t share the exact experience.  But I’m so sorry, it’s awful no matter what age you are.  It changes the way you see your parents. 

The only advice I have is to try to keep an open mind about it. If you respect each of them as individuals (and I think that after knowning them your whole life, you should have a pretty good basis for evaluating this) then try to reserve judgment about the divorce, whose fault it is, etc.  There’s so much that kids (even adult kids) don’t know about their parents’ marriage. One or both of them may be making a mistake, or behaving recklessly.  But it’s also possible that the love has gone out of it for reasons you can’t know, or that they’ve been trying hard for the last 10 of those 26 years and just can’t do it anymore. 

One final thing to remember, and it might not even apply to you, but I thought I’d mention it just in case: it’s not your job to be your parents’ marriage counselor, therapist, cheerleader, or person-to-vent-to.  They may be angry or hurt by each other, but they should not be trying to make you take sides. Nor should they expect you to go on your merry way unfazed by this news.  In other words, your mom may be feeling newly free and independent, but she shouldn’t expect you to be celebrating with her.

Edit: I should add, though, that it can be a hard line for parents to walk between giving their children enough information that they can understand the reasons behind the divorce, on the one hand, and badmouthing the other parent on the other.

Post # 7
Member
6394 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

I just found out that my parents might be divorcing last night. This is supposed to be one of the happiest times of our lives, and I’m finding it really hard to be happy about much of anything right now.

I know exactly what you mean about putting so much faith in their relationship. I was trying to incorporate a bunch of details from their wedding into ours, because I always wanted my marriage to look a lot like theirs since they (appeared, at least) to be so happy together.

I’m really, really sorry that you’re going through this. If I could, I would share a box of tissues with you. ๐Ÿ™ *cyber hugs*

Post # 8
Member
1810 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I am so sorry you’re going through this.

My dad called me in April of this year to tell me that he and my mom were getting divorced (they ended up working it out — thank god — so didn’t end up getting a divorce). However, I was hysterical. I mean, I was crying so hard I couldn’t even breathe. Even FH started crying. FH’s friends were kind of freaking out, wondering what the hell was going on. I couldn’t speak or do anything but sit on the floor and cry. I had thoughts of two separate Christmases, two Thanksgivings, awkwardness at my wedding, etc. Thinking about it now makes me want to cry.

So I totally know how you feel right now and I have no idea how I would have been able to handle them actually going through with it. I hope that over time, you will be able to come to terms with it and maybe it will end up being the best thing for both of them.

Again, I’m so sorry. ๐Ÿ™

Post # 9
Member
652 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

My parents divorced nearly two years ago, and like others on this thread I believe it was the best thing for my mom.  My dad was unhappy and he took off, it wasn’t easy to deal with that, but it gets better.  For you, and for them.  And you DO still have a family, that will never change.  Yes, the makeup of it has changed in a way you didn’t expect it to, but, families don’t stay the same in any case.  

 

 

Post # 11
Member
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I’m so sorry. I know exactly what you are going through. This is not good news, especially during one of the happiest time in your life! Do you have any support from siblings or other family members? My parents divorced last year and it was tougher than I thought it was going to be, even though I knew this was a good step for both of them. But honestly, nothing has changed between them, they are still best friends, get along great, still live with eachother (weird, I know) but they don’t have that strain on their relationship (they had many financial problems and relationship issues). They are not at the point of seeing other people which I think will be the toughest part about all of this but I am there for both of them if that is what they wish to do. Hang in there. ๐Ÿ™

Post # 12
Member
745 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

my FI’s parents dropped the bomb on us at the beginning of the year that they were splitting up.  He went through a lot of anger/sadness with it, but his mom has tried to explain that she kept the marriage together for him and his brother, wanting to put their kids first before them.  It’s been really hard for him, but honestly, things are so much better now.  Luckily it’s been amicable and his parents are still friends, but either way his mom is a MUCH happier person because of it.

Post # 14
Member
2394 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@IlsaLund:  My parents separated when I was 22, and while it sucked at the time, things did get better.

Agree with PPs that it’s not your job to referee, but do know that being clear about what you want and need will go a long way toward smoothing the transition.  This is especially true of holidays. eg: We told my ILs that we absolutely wanted to do two (2) Christmases rather than one.

Post # 15
Member
4162 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My parents divorced when I was 15.  We had just relocated to a new city, I was just starting to make new friends, get the hang of things, etc. 

I don’t remember exactly how I felt when they broke up, I remember being scared to see my dad though.  My mom and him had a messy divorce and she made him out to be a monster.  We were encouraged to not speak with him (which I now understand was unfair.)  But he didn’t want anything to do with us either.

Even though my father still lives in the same city as us, we have seen him only a handful of times in the last 8 years.  Sometimes I get really emotional when I talk about him.  One time I saw him drive by as I was on my way home, and had to pull over because I was crying so hard.  I hope our future children won’t ever have to experience divorce like my Fiance and I both have with our parents.

I’m not sure that I can tell you it gets easier, because I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but the pain definitely subsides.  I’m so sorry you have to go through this.  Trust that your parents are making the right decision and I’m sure this wasn’t something that came about out of nowhere. I hope your parents can both find happiness and that you can too.

Post # 16
Member
5093 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

Last January, my mom told me that my dad had told her he wanted a divorce and had moved out the night before.  It happened three days before their twenty-seventh anniversary.  She was sobbing when she told me, of course, and she said she didn’t know why.  He said that he just didn’t think they had any of the same interests anymore.

I was living in Japan at the time.  After I got off the phone with my mom, I immediately called my dad at work to demand an explanation.  He said it wasn’t something he needed to talk about with me; it was something between him and my mother.  I kept crying at him, though, and he finally told me the same thing my mom had said he said: he just felt like they had drifted apart.

Within 36 hours, I was on a plane back to the States, though my parents told me not to come (my mom didn’t want me missing work and losing pay; my dad wanted the same thing and thought it was none of my business).  While I was waiting at the airport terminal, I actually got an email saying that my dad had moved back, and I really didn’t need to go.  I needed to be there, though, just so my mom would have someone to turn to.

I got to speak with both of them a lot while I was there.  I hugged my mom a lot when she started crying.  I was just so angry with my dad, and I was honestly much more of a b**** to him than I should have been.  At one point, he sat me down and said that if their divorce meant that I would be estranged from him, he wouldn’t do it.  I told him that still wouldn’t work if he was miserable.

I did tell him a story that I actually got from my BF’s mom.  Apparently, when Boyfriend or Best Friend and I were back in high school, she and BF’s dad had some problems, and she seriously considered leaving him.  The day she planned to tell him, she realized that she could either give up twenty-five years of everything she and BF’s dad had created together: their own relationship, their relationship with their children, their friends, their finances, EVERYTHING, and then just start over from the beginning; or she could just make things work with the man she had been in love with for over half her life.  She chose to make things work.  At that moment, she felt so much better, and she went home, and she and BF’s dad had a long talk.  Both of them started working at improving their relationship.  Now, six or seven years later, they’re extremely happy together and very much in love all over again.

I think my dad took that story to heart.  He hasn’t mentioned it to me again, but I know he started making an effort.  He and my mom tried counseling, though my dad said he felt very threatened there, and so they stopped.  They’ve both read tons of books on the subject.  I know that things aren’t back to the way they were yet, but now, over nine months later, they’re doing so much better.  I went home for a while this summer (they live in a different state than Boyfriend or Best Friend and me), and it felt like a family again.

I don’t know your exact situation.  I’d talk to your mom, though.  Tell her the choices: she can either leave everything and start all over, or she can make things work with someone she was able to make things work with for twenty-six years.

I wish you the best of luck.  I know how painful this is, and even if things don’t work out between them, I hope you stay strong.  Hold onto your Fiance and don’t let go.  Don’t let your parents’ situation reflect on you.  That was one of my mistakes.  I worried that if my parents could divorce, my parents who were the epitome of a loving, longterm marriage, then how could Boyfriend or Best Friend and I possibly hope to have a successful future?  Just remember that no matter how bleak things are, you are not your mother.  If you commit to your Fiance, and if the two of you truly believe in the institution of marriage as a lifelong commitment to one another, then you have nothing to worry about.  You can and will make things work.

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