Never Too Old to Hurt

by | Sep 20, 2016 | Gray Divorce

After I read this New York Times article, I knew I had to write about adult children of divorce.

We have so much research on children of divorce but it’s focused mostly on young children, even middle school age children or high school. There are really no studies on adult children of divorce and how it impacts them.

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Everybody assumes they’re just going to be alright, but that’s not always true.

One of the issues that some adult children have is this sudden idea that their childhood has been a complete fallacy.

One of the issues that some adult children have is this sudden idea that their childhood has been a complete fallacy.

That is usually not true. 

Even in the most cantankerous divorces, there was usually some good and some love for many years that the couple was together. And being a family may have been the priority and the basis for the love.

Still. The realization that your parents no longer want to be together can change your understanding of your own story and your family legacy.

I haven’t found any support groups for adult children of divorce, and with the increase in gray divorces now, it’s become a real issue.

If you have children, even adult children, recognize that they may still be devastated by your divorce. Children of any age have a hard time when parents split as it changes their childhood story in their minds. Be sensitive to what they are going through as separate from what you and your spouse are experiencing, and allow them their feelings.

Even when your children are grown, it may not be appropriate to share with them the nitty-gritty of your split. They want to remember you as loving partners that guided their childhood.

Even when we are grown adults with a mature understanding of relationships, we often revert to childhood roles when back in the crux of family relationships. We don’t want our parents growing petty about one another or sounding like children themselves, recounting the ills of their marriage.

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There is an appropriate boundary between parents and children, even when the children themselves are advanced in age. Just because we ascend to adulthood doesn’t mean we want to be buddies with our parents.

Check out this blog on adult children of divorce. Let’s realize that there is a mourning process for all children of divorce, no matter the age or stage of life. We must give each other time to mourn the loss of the story we held dear and construct a new understanding of our roots.

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