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Children of divorced parents - do you mind sharing your experiences?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by myweedyallotment, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. myweedyallotment

    myweedyallotment New commenter

    Hello, I know this is a potential minefield however, I shall go ahead.
    If you are the child of parents who have divorced, now an adult. Would you mind sharing with me your experiences of the process?
    How old were you when they split? How did they tell you? What was your reaction? Could they have done anything different? How was your life following the split? Have you got over it? How do you feel about it now?

  2. OOOF!
    They didn't. They just split up.
    I honestly can't remember but according to everyone who knew me then, including teachers, I just carried on as normal.
    Probably, with hindsight, but they did what they thought best.
    No different, really, as far as I can remember, except we were a lot poorer than other families, in the financial sense. But I was a happy child.
    Neutral. I am divorced myself so now understand that they will have suffered too. I don't think I even thought about any of it at all as a child.
    Might I ask why you are asking?
  3. myweedyallotment

    myweedyallotment New commenter

    I am asking because I am considering divorcing my husband. I have 2 children. 1 has left home the other is 13. I am worried about the affect on the 13 year old. I am wondering if I should just wait until the 13 yr old is older.
  4. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Under the circumstances, I don't think they needed to - it was fairly obvious.
    I dont remember, but from what I know from what I've been told, relatively little. Small kids are pretty resiliant I guess. That changes with age, I'm sure.
    Probably, not sure what difference it would have made.
    A bit tumultuous for a time, but I saw most things as a bit of an adventure. It was fun moving house; it was fun living with extended family for a few months, etc.
    The divorce, yes. I was more scarred by the behaviour of my birth father who within a couple of years disappeared from our lives, through what appears to be selfish ignorance.
    Not sure what help this is- mine was the sort of family which would have been labelled dysfunctional, I supposed, but was a whole lot better off after the divorce.

  5. Better to come from a broken home than live in one.
    My kids are younger than yours but have adjusted well. They have access to both parents whenever they want and are happy and well-balanced.
    It is far better for them this way than living with two parents who made each other unhappy.
    Only you know your personal circumstances and you will know your 13 year old best - and only you can know whether you and your husband can stick it out for another x number of years together.
  6. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I would say that very much depends on how succesful the marriage and family is held together.
    I have taught children of 10-12 who have been through divorces and found it really hard because they wanted the famiy to stay together; I have taught one or two for whom it has been a weight off their shoulders not to have to worry about the constant household battles.
    I wish you luck in making the right choices, both for you and your children. And be assured, that although at time teenagers play hell for you (as you probably know from your first), if they always know that you love them, then in time they grow up, mature, and often even apologise for what they put you through, because they will love you also.
  7. myweedyallotment

    myweedyallotment New commenter

    Thank you for your advice.
  8. No worries and good luck, whatever you decide to do xxx
  9. 2
    Not entirely sure. My father spouted vitriol about my mother throughout my childhood/part of my adulthood though. It was proven to be almost entirely lies as it happens.
    I felt sad that I didn't have my mum around anymore and couldn't see her very often.
    Yes, my father could have been more honest and not tried to stop me seeing my mother.
    Absolutely dreadful. I think if it had happened these days then I'd have ended up in care much earlier than I did.
    Who knows! I do hold relationships especially dear, especially those with my own children and perhaps sometimes over compensate for my faults because I don't want to rock the boat.
    Very sad actually. My relationship with my mother didn't really take off until I was in my 20s - what a waste of years and how dreadfully sad my mother must have felt all that time.

    My first marriage broke up and my three children never overheard me say anything bad about their father, I never denied them access (despite having good reason to), and I tried, generally, to keep things pleasant in their eyes. I suppose I learnt a lesson.
    In summary, I think that given the circumstances I've turned out as well-balanced and secure as one could hope. People that know me in RL are surprised when I tell them about my upbringing so I suppose that says something.
    One last thing, keeping together just for the sake of the children isn't always the right thing. They pick up on unhappiness and can often blame themselves because they don't understand what's going on.
    Good luck with whatever decision you make x
  10. acertainsomething

    acertainsomething Occasional commenter

    On reflection I wish they had divorced as the unhappiness of being with 2 people who don't get on is long lasting believe me
  11. myweedyallotment

    myweedyallotment New commenter

    Thank you everyone for sharing.
  12. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I was in my early teens when my mum and birth-dad split. They had tried to stay together for the children, but eventually felt it couldn't go on. The relationship was toxic. I was actually thrilled when mum told me that birth-dad was not coming back. By the end, his frustration turned to anger and violent rage - believe me, it was far better for all the children that my parents split. Not only was I free from a birth-dad who I had long since stopped believing had any love for me, but I slowly started to get back the mum who I (almost!)always knew loved me. She was happier, and healthier too once the split was agreed. I got the stablility and normalcy I craved.

  13. Hi

    I was 13 when parents split up. I am an only child. I simply went to netbal;l training and when I returned they told me that my Dad was moving out. They said that they still loved each other but that they couldn't love together. To be honest I had heard them arguing and so it seemed to make sense to me. They had already rented a flat for my Dad - less than a mile away and I was told that I could see my Dad whenever I wanted.
    I was upset but I knew my Dad was literally just up the road. I saw my Dad all the time and knew that they were both happier living apart. My Mum and Dad always had contact and as far as I could make out it was always civil, in fact I would says they were quite friendly. My Dad was always a huge part of my teen years although I didn't live with him. My Dad comes every xmas day for lunch and although this may sound hard to believe even when my Mum got a new partner (when I was 18) he still came! He has only missed once (this year, due to a holiday!)
    My Mum and Dad both say they still love each other but knew they couldn't make it work.
    I don't think my school work suffered and my behaviour didn't change. They were always open with what was happening and I think that helped the situation.
    I have a genuine respect for the way in which they dealt with it and I am sure that at times there were "hard" or "heated" converstaions between them but they never showed anything but friendlinessfor each other when I was around.
    Hope you gets things sorted for the best x

    MG X
  14. That should be "live" together!
  15. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    My folks have been married for 45 years.... while they squabble and stuff they have a ridiculously solid marriage that I admire and I truly think THIS had an effect on me when it came to choosing my partners. My Mum was married at 18 and had been with my Dad since she was 14 - her only boyfriend... Because I KNEW what a solid relationship looked like, for better or worse etc, I struggled with breaking up with guys who were complete *** because I believed in the concept of standing by your other half regardless what 'life' threw your way. I struggled greatly with feelings of being a failure rather than ditching the gits because I was determined to stick it out.

    Of course I now realise it wasn't 'life' throwing things my way it was HIM.... so just to add here there some interesting side effects to having been raised by parents solidly married too.

    May I also say I admire those of you who are divorced, and those of you who watched your parents get divorced and who have chosen to take the learning out of it rather than the pain.
  16. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    How old?
    How did they tell me?
    I can't remember but I do remember seeing my mother kissing someone else (I was 12) and knowing that that was trouble.
    What was your reaction?
    Could they have done anything differently?
    Both could have acted like adults.
    How was your life following the spilt?
    Hellish at first (I tried living with both but disliked both of them), eventually lived with my Grnadmother which was bliss.
    Have you got over it?
    Yes and knew how to react when I split with my children's father.
    How do you feel about it now?
    I now realise what a self centred thing my mother was, I can understand why my father was like he was. I see my dad as often as I can.

  17. 11.
    at the dinner table one night, before pudding, and so pudding was not served
    furious. and relieved
    one of them should have moved out straight away, rather than sticking together for a few more years til the house sold, with sunday night being 'fight night.' then they should have kept their petty bickering to themselves rather than dragging us into it all the time. They should have made the decision about who we stayed with, rather than making us do it. They should have been adult about us seeing them both.
    when we did finally move, it was better and worse. no fighting at home, but lots of misery and hurt, nobody talked about it. School was great tho, coz I wasn't at home. I hated them both and wished they'd die so the we could go live with normal people.
    I have got over it, but it was touch n go for a good few years. I was depressed, self harming, and suicidal; my bro equally self destructive in different ways. He's still a mess, but slowly sorting himself out.
    I still am furiously angry with them both for the pathetic way they dealt with it, but I can see it all much more clearly as an adult. It's all a long time in the past now, and we all seem to be alright now, but it was the worst 4 years of my life.

    If your marriage isn't working, it isn't working. get a divorce. Tell your kids what's going on, all of the time, but do not bad mouth the other - the children still love both their parents, no matter how they feel about each other. Don't drag it out, don't be nasty about access and even if you could rip each others' hair out, do not do it in front of the kids. you may well break their hearts, but it's better that than to live in a house where your parents hate each other and cannot hide it any longer.
  18. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    Tell your kids what's going on, all of the time, but do not bad mouth the other - the children still love both their parents, no matter how they feel about each other. Don't drag it out, don't be nasty about access and even if you could rip each others' hair out, do not do it in front of the kids.
    Totally agree, flutters.
  19. Spot on.
  20. captain oats

    captain oats New commenter

    How old were you when they split?
    12 (sister 13, brother 8)
    How did they tell you?
    Mum called us up to her bedroom and told us she was leaving
    What was your reaction?
    Complete shock, I had no idea she was planning it.
    Could they have done anything different?
    No, my mum had met someone else and my dad didn't want her around
    How was your life following the split?
    Horrible, I was a 12 year old girl who really needed her mum around for advice etc.
    Have you got over it?
    In recent years yes, at first we didn't see a lot of my mum, She remarried and had another child (who is now 11). Now we are older we see her more.
    How do you feel about it now?
    Fine. I love my mum and my dad, they are both happy with other people and I if it wasn't for their split I wouldn't have my gorgeous half-sister.

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