While grownup kids are believed to handle the fallout after their parents’ divorce better than younger ones, they still face a unique set of challenges when they go through this ordeal. Most adult children are expected to take the news in a calm and accepting way, but it is actually more damaging than when they were younger.
Parental divorce hurts adult kids in a different way, with the majority finding themselves in different sorts of uncomfortable situations. It is normal to experience loss and bewilderment, along with guilt, anger, or suspicion that their parents just stayed together all those years for their benefit.
MatthewsFamilyLawyers.com reveals how divorce can be a lot harder on older children.
Questioning Childhood Memories
Grown-up kids of divorce find themselves questioning or re-evaluating their childhood memories. When kids start to wonder, they might think that their happy memories were fake or devalued, even though they shouldn’t feel this way. This is because they feel that they are losing a part of a past.
The movie It’s Complicated gives a glimpse of how separation can affect adult kids. When lead characters, played by Alex Baldwin and Meryl Streep, revealed what’s happening to their children, they all cried. The kids later tell their mom how the news was devastating for them and how confusing it is to learn that their family might be rebuilt after a decade of brokenness.
When Kids Take Over
The worst part is, divorcing parents often turn to adult kids to vent their feelings or ask for advice. While it is normal for kids to be loving and sympathetic, it is actually unhealthy for them to fill in those roles. Parents should not treat kids as mediators, lawyers, or counselors; they are not responsible for guiding their mom and dad in the process.
Many adult kids are also pressured to pick sides and it is often difficult and painful when there are infidelity factors. This is a lot harder, as choosing one side can be viewed as a betrayal by the other parent. The tough part is not just the loss of the original family, but how it actually redefines other relationships within the clan.
Divorce affects kids, both younger and older ones. Parent should not underestimate its effect, as it can be harder for adult children. Embracing healthy boundaries and talking to a counselor or lawyer can help.