11 Tips that All Children of Divorced Parents Should Take Into Account
Author: Staff | Source: Catholic.net
Your parents got divorced. No matter if you’re 1 year old or if you’re 30, the impact is great. Even though the world tells you that you are already an adult so that it won’t affect you as much, your reality changes. The pain is profound and may even accompany you throughout your life, not only pain but fear and insecurity.
When you're Catholic and you know what a divorce means, the pain can be deeper.
Tips and guidelines for parents who are divorcing there are many. There are tips on how to treat children, how to reconcile better, how to overcome divorce, etc. But we almost never found advice for the children of divorced parents, especially when the children are older. It seems that the only advice we get is: "You're big, you understand this". But it happens, in many cases, that we do not know what to do and we are ashamed to say it.
Here are some tips from the light of faith that we find very useful and can be very helpful for those who live this experience. Also, for those who have to accompany someone who is going through this situation:
1. You're not to blame. There's nothing you could do, plus that wasn't your responsibility.
Yes, they've told you a thousand times, but when we are adults, we believe that there is something we could have done: "If I had talked to my dad before", "if I had stayed next to Mom", "if I had confronted them", "if I had claimed to go to therapy." To begin with, the "there" does not exist, and your parents separate by choice not because you did or did not do anything. Your parents' relationship is theirs, not yours. They exercised it in freedom.
2. Don't be afraid to say no. Your parents' differences are not yours.
Seeing that we are adults, parents try to use us as links to exchange messages, to see each other's position or even justify their decision. Don't just stand there. Learn to say no, however painful it may seem. That's not your place, it's their responsibility to find a different channel for their children to communicate. As an adult you are able to do it. Don't be afraid to say no. This will also be very helpful to them.
3. Maintain respect. They're both still your parents, that doesn't change.
Your parents will always be your parents. At the beginning, in particular, everything is very confusing and painful, but we advise you: do not lose respect. You are oblivious to the situation by which they are separating, and they are not worse people to separate. Respect doesn't mean acting like always or being affectionate if you don't feel it. Respect means don't forget that they're still your parents. Do not treat them badly, this will only increase your pain and yours.
4. It's a difficult situation, try not to judge.
You don't know exactly how things have happened between your parents. Don't judge. Don't try to understand everything either. There are things that go beyond the compression of anyone.
5. Accept that your parents are no longer together
While the hope that a separate marriage can reconvene at any time is a reality, the one who lives pending this will only bring you more pain. Try to accept that your parents are no longer together and focus on reinventing a way to relate to them.
6. If there is a new partner, it is not your obligation to meet her or him and get along with her/him.
Divorce is so common in our days, it is almost a fact that an adult child has to meet the new partner, accept it and enter into a family relationship with it. But this is far from being an obligation. If you don't want to, explain to your parents, you're free to do it. Even more so if the new couple was one of the reasons for the separation. You can try it later.
7. If it hurts, say it.
Not because you're an adult you have to keep the pain. Expressing it will help you and will help your parents to relate in a better way with you. To remain silent in addition to increasing indifference in the face of such a serious rupture, makes the world more callous.
8. Look out for help. Just because you're older doesn't mean you can take care of everything.
Separations can have many reasons, and these can be so hard that we don't know what to do as children. A separation provokes in us, and in the family relation many changes. Seek help, someone who can help you see better, understand and take care of what is happening.
9. Do not fill your heart with useless grudge. Forgive.
They're your parents, but before that, they're human beings. It may be that you intend not to do the same, but don't forget that none of us can say, "From this water I will not drink". Try to see the situation objectively, they are human beings and make mistakes. Forgive them for in your heart for the pain caused.
10. The same is not going to happen to you. You are not your father (or your mother). Living with the Phantom that the same thing can happen to you is unbearable. It leads us to believe that it is better never to marry, that love does not last forever, that does not exist, that better I remain single and so I avoid so much suffering. Remember: you are different, unique and unrepeatable, and you have the freedom to carry out your own choices. Your parents' divorce doesn't determine your future. Learn, educate yourself and work to get a happy marriage.
11. And most importantly: Seek out for God, he is the greatest consolation, he knows your sorrows and your desires. Rests on it
Just as it hurts your parents to get divorced, so does he. Trust in his mercy and entrust him with the pain of your heart. Little by little they will heal your wounds. Ask for your parents, so that he will show you the way home, back to his love.