As a child of divorce myself, I can't even count the number of times someone has asked me "what's it like to have divorced parents?" and it's exhausting, to be honest. So late one night I got to thinking, there are so many of us kids who all have our own unique stories and perspectives on divorce, why not ask some of my friends what they wanted people to know about having divorced parents?
Here is what each anonymous person with divorced parents wants you to know:
1. "I wish people knew the struggle of always keeping track of our stuff! I always forget things at the other parent's house." - C, 18
2. "I feel like I can't ever really open up about my emotions or true feelings in fear that someone I love may hurt me or I might hurt them, so I bottle up my emotions in hope that people will love me and never feel the same pain as I did. I really don't know who I am anymore, but my parents hated each other so I got put in the middle a lot and I think that is what messed me up." - A, 20
3. "Even if it happened a while ago it can still make me stressed sometimes. It feels like I'm in-between and sometimes I have to choose sides." - L, 14
4. "Divorce isn't easy as many people know, but I know that growing up I truly didn't understand why my family was being broken apart. But as you grow you start to understand more and more and you see things and how they affected you. I know I spend a lot of time wondering who I would've been if my parents stayed together but then I have to remind myself that everything happens for a reason and it's not perfect. Divorce just takes an understanding that this is what's best for everyone and that they are doing it to protect you." - V, 19
5. "Holidays are better this way, we get double the Christmas and twice as much for our birthdays. It's nicer to be able to pick and choose which parent you see when and to have them not fight all the time (even though sometimes they still fight, they just put you in the middle). Divorce is easier if you have siblings too I think, it's nice to have someone else who is going through the same thing with the same people." - M, 19
6. "I'd like people to know that it doesn't matter how old you are when it happens, it is still traumatic. I was 17/18 when my parents got divorced and it was absolutely life-changing." - B, 45
7. "Having divorced parents is not any easier when you're an adult, in fact it can be even more difficult because they talk to you like an adult and not a child and you get to be privy to all the issues like finances, housing, emotions, arguments, etc." - H, 19
8. "It's really hard no matter how old you are when they divorce. I was 23/24 and it was still a hard transition. Being put in the middle, having to decide who to spend what holiday with, all the tension, it sucked. It takes time to adjust to a new family dynamic. Divorce is like a death, it just takes time to mourn." - R, 50
9. "As much as seeing your parents split hurts, it can be for the best. I like my new family better this way." - B, 19
10. "It was harder to figure out how marriage and committed adult relationships should work since there wasn't a day-to-day role model in my life showing me what that meant. I still don't really know all that I am missing. my grandparents and most of my aunts and uncles are also divorced or on their second marriages." - H, 25
11. "If you are the first born, there is a lot of pressure sometimes, especially with custody. If you are older or about to be 18, there is so much tension and anxiety involved." - D, 21
12. "I wish my parents were still in love but I know that they are happier now which makes me happy." - C, 12
13. "I want people to know that we are really OK, like stop asking me about what my life is like now that I'm a victim... I'm not a victim, I went through something that was hard but everyone came out stronger on the other side. So it's OK to ask what it's like to have divorced parents, but do not assume my life is harder because of it." - S, 21
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