Children of divorce have a unique set of circumstances that they have to negotiate when considering future relationships. Unlike children from nuclear families where Mom and Dad stay together, children of divorce have to live and love with the realities that life has presented them. This was the message of a recent blog that took off for the Good Men Project. In it, Andrea Zimmerman pointed out 10 things that every person, who considers dating a child of divorce should know. Among the points:
Uncertainty toward marriage
“Over-attachment” to personal possessions
Emphasis on stability — stable people, stable goals, stable relationships
Getting spread thin during the holidays — multiple stops, phone calls, etc.
But the one that stood out most for me that I’d like to talk about today is this: “We’re still working through our issues.”
“Only in later adult life, do kids of divorce really start to see the less-immediate effects that their parent’s separation caused them. (Unless you’ve been in therapy for years in which case, good for you),” Zimmerman writes. “For the rest of us, we only now make the connection between little habits/traits/opinions we have and hold – both good AND bad — and how our parents divorce directly impacted them.”
While dating a child of divorce is more common today than it was, say, 30 years ago, it still poses a set of challenges for people, who come from so-called “whole” homes. Because divorce usually happens before children are fully developed mentally, they’re in the position of “making sense” of the divorce when they’re still trying to figure out who they are as individuals. It’s a difficult position to be in, and the reason why so many statistics and studies are quick to point out the ways that children of divorce struggle through this major life event.
It’s important to realize, if you’re on the other side of this, that this background is in no way a predictor of future behaviors. Children of divorce are people just like you with their own goals and dreams and struggles. With understanding and empathy, they are just as capable of long and healthy marriages as anyone else.
For a look at Zimmerman’s full post, we recommend you check it out at this link.