Adult Children And Parental Divorce
Parents may divorce when their children are 5 and when they are 40 years old and they still feel
the consequences even as adults. Here are some keys to help you confront and overcome this situation.
When parents get a divorce and their adult children are faced with the situation, things actually turn into a
battle with no judges. Adult children are often reluctant to intervene in fights related to their parents’ divorce,
but newly divorced parents often involve them in the aggressive fight between the two of them.
Parents of small children going through divorce may also lead them into conflict, but at least
they try to stop as many times as possible. However, parents of adult children do not seem to know any limits in
A member of the couple will often move quickly and try to recruit their adult children and make
them their allies, telling them about all the father’s transgressions over marriage. Do these people think for just
a moment if their adult children really want to hear all this? And even if they do, why would such conflicts
concern them? Adult children of newly divorced couples are in an ambiguous situation because they cannot pry
themselves in their parents’ lives, but they do not ignore the problems created either.
It is also a mistake to believe that when the children grow, the divorce will be less painful
for them than it would be if they were small children. In some ways, it could be even more devastating because if
the parents with whom you have been living together for so long suddenly decide to terminate the relationship,
there is no doubt about the fact that all the links that you had established with them will also change.
Many couples who have been together for 50 years and who are divorcing seek help and containment
in people twenty or thirty years younger because they are not prepared and respond with confusion, as we all tend
to believe that our parents’ marriage is proof that a couple can stay together forever. So what can be done?
Agree on a course of conduct
Join your brothers and sisters and see if they can agree on a common guideline in response to
their parents’ divorce. Also remember to communicate this decision to your parents or if each of you will say just
what they need to say. You might even agree to writing if you are concerned about conveying an appropriate
Make a plan
This message will be ineffective, of course, unless you insist on truly sticking to it. Very
often, an adult child’s initial determination to stay out of a dispute between parents after the divorce collapses
when their father needs help.
There are few needs that have more priority than our parents and those parents who are going
through a divorce have the same characteristics as any person who is going through a divorce, so there should be no
limits when it comes to their own or other needs. It is no surprise, after all, that adult children often get
involved in the conflict. Even if an adult child is already in the middle of a fight between the mother and father,
it is never too late for them to retreat. This may begin simply with convincing both parents of their intention to
stay out of the conflict between them, while maintaining regular contact with both.
Adult children can help their parents to simplify the conflict and find bridge positions.
Whenever one of their parents begins to talk about the other’s behavior, they can say "you should inform him/her
about everything you say, not me".
Parents do not tend to like hearing this kind of response, but they may listen and may even come
to ignore it. It is even possible that talking to each other in a serious waygives birth to a new love and to
respect for their children.
Expect to feel abandoned
An adult child of divorced parents often experiences intense feelings of abandonment by one or
both parents. They may also feel they are not performing well enough to mitigate their parents’ pain or that their
parents do not take them into consideration.
These feelings sometimes have a very personal charge, such as "my father pays more attention to
his partner’s grandchildren than to his own children". It is not easy to handle these situations, but try to be
objective and see the truth about so that feelings are not distorted.
Do not tolerate
An immutable rule: that all experts agree on the behavior of adult children of recently divorced
parents and on their need to stand against violence and abuse. You have the right and the need to intervene if you
fear (or know) that a parent is abusing the other. Moreover, you even have the duty to intervene. Abusers need to
be kept away from vulnerable people. In addition, you may be the only one who can do that for a parent.