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Adult children of divorce (or something)

(4 Posts)
travispickles Sun 10-Jul-11 21:56:13

Anyone else who has experience of this? My DParents waited until I was nearly 30 and they had been together over 30 years before splitting up (a few years ago now). But it had a catastrophic effect on me and I think, in retrospect, caused me to split up with the love of my life. I am now with someone else and am engaged but am reluctant to marry as I am very cynical about the longevity of relationships. I would be interested to know if it is common to be so affected by this?

tribpot Sun 10-Jul-11 22:06:04

Hmm, are you looking to talk to others whose parents divorced when they were already adults? (Mine divorced when I was very young and successfully remarried - within a week of each other - some 35 years ago now).

Is it because you assume the marriage must have been a sham to have apparently lasted so long before ending? That doesn't seem very logical but I can understand how logic is not your main driver here. The relationship lasted over 30 years, that's not bad innings.

I hope this doesn't sound callous, but do you think it is possible you have chosen to see your parents' divorce as the cause of your break-up? Do you think you might benefit from spending some time working through everything that happened to see if you can piece together why your parents' divorce had such a profound effect on you. Would you rather be with someone you care about less, so that if it doesn't last forever it hurts less for it to end? I don't think you can commit to a relationship, marriage or not, if you feel that way.

What have your parents said about their divorce?

travispickles Mon 11-Jul-11 08:45:25

Thanks for the response Trib - well, anyone who has experienced their parents divorcing later. You would assume it would have less of an impact on you as an adult but I feel that it was almost worse in some ways. But it may have been the dynamic between myt parents and myself. I was closer to my dad and seemed to provide an intellectual/ emotional element lacking from his relationship with my DM. But an interesting point about using it as an excuse, and definitely hit a raw nerve with the not caring as much as it hurts less. DM (narc tendencies) has refused to accept the divorce and will not make any effort to move on after 4 years, DDad is with someone else and regrets ever having married her.

loiner45 Mon 11-Jul-11 11:24:41

Hi Travis I think it's harder for older children when parents divorce - because you see the whole of your childhood through a new, cynical, lens. My H (together 25 yrs) left before xmas, we divorced v. v. quickly and he is marrying OW in Sept. My dcs are older teens / early 20s and one of them won't have a photo of him anywhere in view. Looking back at old photos becomes painful because they begin to ask 'were we really happy?'. I'm trying to say, 'yes we were' but their dad and I just grew older and changed. What we had was real, we were really happy - but that stopped being the case and he took the decision to leave after meeting the OW. Given how different exH and I are I think it was a bit of a triumph to stay together as long as we did smile remember in the past people would be dead by their 50s, most marriages just didn't last that long because people didn't.

When you say your DD regrets marrying her - not sure if you mean your DM or the SM?

Relationships can end for all sorts of reasons - death and divorce being the commonest, in some ways divorce is harder because it contaminates memories - but I think you maybe need to go through a bit of a grieving process for the death of their marriage before you can move on (?). You maybe need to get back in touch with some of the happy memories you have of your childhood (?).

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