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.

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

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