A Child of Divorced Parents - Tay Meets World

A Child of Divorced Parents

12:42:00 PM

This is a post I have wanted to write for a while. I feel like so many children have divorced parents or crazy family situations and there are not a lot of people that understand what they are going through. As I am sure many of you know, or could have guessed, my parents are divorced. To some this may not matter, but it effects so much more than you think.

I want to share my story and what I have learned because you may be in this situation or you may know someone who is. Don't worry mom and dad; I won't give out the really bad details. For starters, my parents were married for 12 years…I wouldn't classify all of these years as great but they made it through 12. The divorce papers appeared when I was a freshman in college; needless to say I was devastated. It was the most awkward and depressing move-in ever! I took the divorce really hard because I felt like I was always in the middle; I wanted to be there for both my mom and dad, so naturally I was playing both sides. My sister took it as she would pick one side, and that's what she did. My sweet baby brother was just shuffled back and forth; hopeful for the day they would get back together. That didn't happen.

One of my biggest hopes when they were getting a divorce is that they could be that divorced couple you see on TV that still talks and are actually friends, that didn't happen either. We are going on the fifth year of the divorce being final and things are still hairy.  

There are many misconceptions and realities to having divorced parents that I wish I would've known about, because learning about these things is not easy.

1. A lot of people say that in divorce, many kids think it is their fault. I think that is horse crap. I know way too many divorcees with younger children and have never heard that in my life. (It doesn't mean it doesn't exist though) During my parents divorce, I never felt that way and I know my siblings didn't either. In any case, the children are more devastated and confused as to what is going on. Some kids may be so confused that they do feel like they did something because the parents are not telling them anything except, "Mom and dad aren't living together anymore." 

2. Depending on the situation, most divorces get worse after the papers are filed. There are mediations about who gets this car and that toothbrush and this set of plates. And then add kids to the mix it's like who get the kids this day and that day, but oh I travel on this day. It really is a trial time of figuring out the best schedule that works for both parents and kids…not easy.

3. It affects the children's view about love and marriage. Thankfully, I was in a relationship with the same guy I am with today when the divorce took place. My boyfriend was able to be that crutch that I needed and to remind me that love does exist and the biggest reminder was that we aren't my parents. My sister on the other hand, went through a very long phase of never wanting to get married. This is a time where not only are the parents trying to find love again, but the children are trying to figure out what love means, and if marriage is even possible.

4. This is a time to become closer to your family. After my first year of college, I think it is safe to say I "ran" away from all the problems…ran 5 states away. I did a good job pushing my family away when I actually needed them the most. Even though a divorce seems like a family is "breaking up" it doesn't mean we shouldn't hold on very tightly to the family we do have.

5. Both of your parents, depending on their age, will go through a transition period. The transition is going from being married to being single. Motorcycles and poker runs will be on the dad's agenda, while extensions, excessive dating, and heavy workouts will be on your mom's. I hated this period. Especially me being in college I always felt like I should be in their place…little did I know, both parents NEED this time to figure out who they are without their significant other. Trust me, they will come back down to earth…eventually.

6. Your parents need love and support. I found this out the hard way that even though there was this crazy transition into single life, they still want and need their children's love and support. My siblings and I are very close so we were able to lean on each other during this time, but my parents didn't have that. I don't expect little kids to understand this but teenagers and 20-somethings…remind them how much you love and care for them…its worth a million bucks to them during this time.

7. They will be happier. I never thought my parents could be happy without each other, but when I look back, I see just how unhappy they both were in their marriage. And it is the greatest gift to have parents that are so happy to be where they are these days and to have found themselves as individuals. 

8. Don't give up. Things will never be the same again. Things will be hard…all the time. However, every once in awhile you will have moments of clarity when the fog of divorce lifts away and happiness will shine through. 
Divorce isn't the breaking up of a family, is it recreating a new definition that fits your family better. 

Our last hug as a whole family. The whole part may be gone, but the family is still there. 


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