Being An Adult Of Divorce

February 5, 2020  |  
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effects of divorced parents

Source: Westend61 / Getty

When we talk about people whose parents are divorced, we call them “children of divorce.” And, to some extent, every person out there probably feels like a child to their parents, and always will. We’ll always take comfort in our parents. We’ll always go to them for guidance. We’ll always go to them when we’re having a total meltdown. We are their babies, and that’s how they see us, too. But, technically speaking, some people are not children of divorce—they are adults of divorce. Some people’s parents divorce once they are fully grown, out of the house, and even married with children themselves.


This happened to one of my close friends recently. “I’m jealous your parents divorced when you were young,” he said to me. He then apologized and said, “I mean, I’m sure that wasn’t easy—it’s just…different.” And he’s right. I don’t envy his situation at all right now. The way the world treats you as a kid whose parents are divorcing versus as an adult whose parents are divorcing is completely different. I think there is also the expectation that, if anything were going to go down with your parents, it would have happened when you were young. When you think of a couple who has been together, say, 30 or 40 years—long enough for their kids to grow up, get married, buy homes, and have kids—you can’t help but wonder, “What’s there to fight about now? Aren’t they pretty settled?”


But people get divorced at all ages, and that can mean they have kids of all ages when they get that divorce, too. I want to provide my friend with some advice and insight, having divorced parents myself, but the truth is that what he’s going through is so different from what I went through. Here’s a look at what it’s like being an adult of divorce.


You really ask why?

Like I said before, when a couple has been together that long, you find yourself wondering why divorce now? I mean, my friend’s parents are in their seventies and getting divorced. For what? To go out into the dating world again? At age 70?! Couldn’t they have just stuck it out for the last chapter of their lives? I know my friend wonders that.


You don’t get a day off

When my parents were getting a divorce, I got to stay home from school many days. I was a wreck. My mom called the school, let them know what was going on, and they totally understood. I got sick days but, divorce days. As an adult, my friend doesn’t get that. He just has to go to work, even though he wants to hide in bed—he’s devastated about his parents.

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