My life is over. I was stand in my living room staring at my parents, the clothes of I was showing off a few minutes ago are now laying on the floor around me, tainted. A Million thoughts rush through my head about my new life. A life filled with constant moving, 2 houses, 2 bedrooms and 2 parents living apart.
I was eight when my parents told me they were getting divorced. However I wasn’t alone, about half of all divorces involves a child under 16, in 2010 than was about 59,800 children affected. As a child you are always told “Don’t worry it will get better” but this doesn’t. The memories of our happy family seem to become fewer and fewer but the affect of the divorce is still strong inside of me today.
“Many people think that the actual divorce is the hardest bit on a child, but it can actually affect them more when they are older” says Judith, a family councillor at Relate. “They often find it hard to trust people, as they expect everything to suddenly go wrong again.” Carolyn, a child of divorce blogger, remembers this from when she was growing up “I found growing up that I was always making contingency plans. I never knew when the bottom was going to fall out of whatever I was doing, so I was always considering alternatives”
Children of divorced parents often struggle with romantic relationships as well. Judith explains that “One of the problems many children of divorce have when they start a relationship is that they don’t have a good template for a healthy relationship from their childhood.” This means that they are unsure of what makes a good relationship. A study at florida State University on how divorce affects young peoples relationships found that children of divorce are likely to have a less positive attitude towards marriage and a lower commitment to maintaining their relationships.
If you are struggling to deal with your parents separation or feeling like it is affecting your relationship Judith suggest try counseling. “We do mother and daughter counseling sessions which allows the child to find out what really happened and why the marriage went wrong.” You can contact relate on info@relate to find your nearest center or talk to our GP about counseling.
Carolyn is now married herself and has a daughter but she knows even now her parents divorce still effects her. “Wife, mom, employee, daughter and sister are all terms that describe me now. But all of those roles are rooted in my status as a grown up child of divorce.
For me the idea of my parents being together now seems strange. I have two new families with my step parents and with the help from my boyfriend I am trying not to let my parents relationship ruin mine.