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22 and my DPs are divorcing. Any advice?

(6 Posts)
ohcomeonnow Sun 30-Apr-17 15:29:46

Hi all, this is my first post but I've read some great threads on here and could really do with some advice.

I'm 22, at uni and my parents are divorcing. I found out a few months ago, and have lived with my dad since. No affairs or abuse, but they have my brother (14) who has learning difficulties and will need to be under their care for most of his young adult life, and their jobs mean they often work together.

I've been trying to remain neutral so far, and be strong for my brother. My mum and I don't get on so well but I still love her and feel a very strong sense of loyalty towards her. My dad and I get on really well but I'm incredibly sad. I worry about either of them moving on and meeting new people - I know it will happen eventually but it's too much for me to get my head around.

I'm an independent person but I have struggled with major depression in the past, which is thankfully under control now. I probably sound very young in this post, but even as an adult I feel so powerless and sad, like a child. I have no idea what's going to happen with 'family' celebrations etc.

Has anyone been in a similar position? What helped you? Please tell me it gets easier! Thank you smile

Tiredperson Sun 30-Apr-17 15:40:01

I'm sorry you are going through this. I have been a step parent and had step parents. At any age it isn't easy, but particularly when you are just starting out in life.

What helped me was being able to find others who were going through similar, and by filling up my own life and not letting my parents lean too much on me or take on their problems. You will feel strong loyalties but don't let them overwhelm you.

It DOES get easier. I actually found a lovely relationship with my step Dad. Not so good with my step mum. And some unexpectedly good things on the way. I got closer to my mum.

alteredimages Sun 30-Apr-17 16:03:47

The same thing happened to me when I was in my mid twenties and at uni. Our situation was different, as one of my parents had an affair and was subsequently pretty horrible and thoughtless to everyone.

If I were to give you an advice it would be to acknowledge that this is a big deal. My parents' divorce affected me and my siblings hugely, and I don't think that being an adult makes it any less stressful than if you are still a child.

I made a series of decisions that in retrospect were the wrong ones, largely because I was quite messed up for several years afterwards and didn't realise how much what was happening with my parents was affecting me.

There are lots of good things that have come out of this too. My parents weren't really right for each other and one has subsequently remarried to a fantastic person. Unfortunately the relationships between my other parents and all of us children have never really recovered.

Seek help if you need to, and also don't let yourself be sucked in to the problems between your parents. flowers

GoatsFeet Sun 30-Apr-17 19:12:30

If I were to give you an advice it would be to acknowledge that this is a big deal. My parents' divorce affected me and my siblings hugely, and I don't think that being an adult makes it any less stressful than if you are still a child


And my mother used me as a shoulder to cry on, with some details about my parents' marriage I'd rather not have known.

I wish I had been stronger in thinking I had the right to tell her that this sort of information/conversation was inappropriate, but I somehow thought I had to support her (my father was a terrible husband towards the end). But what she did was wrong, and you have every right to refuse to listen to either parent if they want to give you details of their relationship.

They should have friends' shoulders to cry on, not their daughter's.

Dustbunnies Sun 30-Apr-17 19:44:28

Hi OP, I don't have much in the way of advice but just wanted to say that the same thing happened to me when I was 21, I was doing my finals and my parents divorced following my youngest brother having quite a serious accident. Like PP, my parents used me as a shoulder to cry on and I eventually became a kind of middleman/family mediator which was really hard.

I think because you're an adult, they expect you to be able to handle it or not be affected, but at the end of the day they're still your mum and dad and it's always going to be upsetting. I'm almost 30 now and it's still difficult at times but yes, it definitely does get easier.

One thing I found that helped was that I had my uni town to escape to - it meant I could keep my distance when it all got a bit much.

flowers for you

RunRubyRun Sun 30-Apr-17 22:27:36

My parents divorced when I was 19 and in uni. I was glad they did it, dad cheated on mum often and they argued a lot. But I agree with other comments as my mum did it lots too - try not to become her shoulder to cry on. She told me way too much about their relationship I didn't want to know. Try to remain supportive if you wish but feel strong to say 'no' for details of their relationship, it honestly is best.
They both stayed single even though they divorced in their early 40s, now 18 years later they get along very well. All family events have been fine for over 10 years. I think I can honestly say they are friends but I do understand this is not very common.

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