What My Parents’ Divorce Taught Me About Love

Growing up, I encountered many individuals who assured me they would never pursue love based on their parent’s failed marriage. Years later, I became one of them. I observed every failure, fault, and betrayal. It shattered my perspective of love instantly; however, I did not realize I am only damaging my own hope for something that could possibly be great. I’ve caught myself self-sabotaging potential relationships because I fear I will be let down or left. If I’d seen every mistake, why would I put myself in that position? I contemplated for months to conclude that their story will not be mine if I don’t allow it to be.

My parents struggled through marriage practically my whole life. I always felt I was the one to blame because I was the reason they stayed together. I then realized parents will mask their problems for the child’s joy. Sometimes parents may hesitate to split — or perhaps may not. After all, despite their reasons, they can both conclude they only want to provide what’s best for the child. And often it doesn’t involve an unhappy household.

I always questioned what I deserved in romance because I did not see that growing up. After all, how could I possibly pursue something I’m not sure of? I felt I did not know what love was. I was comfortable in stressful and hurtful relationships because I assumed love was built on toxicity. I often felt so small when the guy I was seeing would introduce me to his family. How do I speak of my family if all my parents did was argue day and night? Even for that matter, how do I act in front of a normal family when I’ve only been surrounded by chaos? It was a consistent cycle that became normal over time. However, with the obstacles I’ve witnessed, my parents taught me what I should not seek nor settle for.

Ultimately, I will not allow their divorce to influence my happy ending. I will not allow their mistakes to intimidate my future or be the reason to lack love. Instead, I have learned the limit of tolerance and when I should place myself first. In fact, now I am aware of how one should be treated. I am aware of how one should communicate for assurance or communicate at all. I learned that, despite how badly an ending may be, it will always be the start of a new beginning. I know I will be loved by someone great if I choose wisely. Someone who appreciates and loves me through the darkest days is someone I’ll cherish forever. And when choosing someone, I will keep in mind my younger self questioning my worthiness of love. I will choose the love that will heal my open wounds I dealt with growing up, someone who will show me love is real and still exists.

And when I am loved by someone great, I will know how to care for them in return. By learning from my parent’s divorce, I will never allow my future children to experience what I did. It was definitely something scarring yet ironically insightful. Because in the light of hope shines a new perspective of my happily ever after.

About the author
A young woman impacting individuals through the written word Follow Jackelyn on Instagram or read more articles from Jackelyn on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.