Whether your parents got divorced last week or 19 years ago, having parents that have separated is extremely traumatizing. Many people focus too much on the actual couple going through the divorce process, and neglect the effects it will have on children, young and old.
I am a child of divorce.
My parents have been divorced almost my entire life, so I didn’t have to go through that trauma in my later adult life thankfully. Since then, they have both remarried and divorced, been in other relationships, and have since then settled down again. It never really seemed to bother me, besides the occasional nasty remark from one parent to another. It really never started to affect me until, as an adult, I started to have serious romantic relationships.
When you are a child of divorce, you don’t believe in marriage or happy endings anymore. You believe that at some point, a relationship will end and that’s that. Nobody stays together, everybody lies, and no one is ever happy at the end. I can’t tell you how many relationships that I have tried to thrive in, only to be thwarted by the thoughts from my past that continue to haunt me.
How could someone really stay with me for that long? Aren’t they just lying to me? Are they actually happy with me? How long is this going to last? Are they talking to other people?
It has been so incredibly hard to come to the realization that my parents’ divorce 19 years ago is now affecting me in my adulthood. From most relationships and marriages I witnessed while I was growing up, I can fathom why I would be feeling the way I am now. It is hard to think there could be any hope for any of us to have a happy, successful relationship or marriage without the ifs and the constant fear of everything crumbling down.
But as crazy as it may seem, I am still glad that I am the way I am. I know that commitment and love may seem foreign to me, but I have learned to always rely on myself and never on someone else. I put my family and friends first, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I know it will be challenging to get myself in the right mindset for the future. Whether it is tomorrow, next week, or two years from now, I will find someone who will be committed, loving, kind, and trustworthy enough to call a friend and a spouse. And hopefully then, I will be open to commit and receive that love in return.