Run an online divorce site long enough, and you’ll hear all the statistics and warnings about what divorce does to children as they grow up and become adults. While it’s certainly a high-stress situation, it’s too complex to say that every case is the same. Someone recently posed the question to the reddit community, and here’s what many of the now grown children had to say about their experiences.
1. “When I was younger, my parents were very loving role models, so I grew up in a very good environment. My brother, whom I am much older than, grew up when my parents’ marriage began to fall apart. During that time, my parents had screaming matches that would often result in broken furniture. As a result, my brother grew up with a lot of anger and resentment. Today, the difference in how we were raised is very apparent. I was a straight A student throughout grade school, graduated with many honors in college, and am currently pursuing a very promising and well-respected career. My brother, on the other hand, has failed out of most of his classes, and has become a recluse.”
2. “No. … My parents stayed together. That ruined part of my life.”
3. “I am not a child of divorce, but my husband is. To hear him tell it, his childhood would have been significantly better if his parents had gotten a divorce when he and his siblings were younger, instead of ‘staying together for the sake of the kids.'”
4. “There was so much fighting and verbal abuse going on while I was growing up. When I was in high school they didn’t even talk to each other for almost 2 years. Because of all this, I am terrible with relationships and friendships, tend to stick in bad relationships for an embarrassingly long time, and deal with relationship problems by just ignoring them. My parents finally divorced after 40 years of marriage… and a nasty one at that. My mother told me she stayed with him because she wanted to give us a normal life. Hahaha.”
5. “I loved it when my parents divorced. Everything became much more peaceful and civilized within the family unit. Plus, double presents.”
6. “Two Christmases! And in my case, child of divorce married to another child of divorce, FOUR THANKSGIVINGS!”
7. “My parents divorced when I was 27, and you’d like to think you’re all grown up at that point, but I think it still impacts you no matter what the age.
“It wasn’t the divorce that hurt – it was one of my parents using us to lash out at the other one. No child at no age needs to be told that what makes half of him or her is garbage, evil or worthless – because they take it as a criticism of themselves.
“Be civil, take the high road, and even if things get stressed between you two as you go through it, keep a united emotional front for your kids.”
Clearly it can go either way, but much of the negative impact can be minimized or avoided with how civilly you handle the divorce. Good luck![Image via Flickr Creative Commons]