Thirteen years ago, my mom and dad divorced. They tried to save the marriage before they divorced; they separated for a month, and then got back together.
They bought a new house, new everything. I finally had my own bedroom; my sister Hannah finally had her own room. It was a pretty awesome house.
Before I finished third grade though they both decided it wasn’t going to work, and it was time to get a divorce. Since then, my parents have not fought once or engaged in conflict, not in front of us kids anyway. They get along better than they did the seven years they were together. They still love each other, but only in a family way. There’s no reason for them to hate each other or not like each other. And there is no reason for me to still be upset because they divorced.
During these fourteen years since their divorce my mom and dad broth dated other people, and it was a unique experience, almost an upside to the whole single-parent household living situation. And from what I eventually experienced; a step-dad who looks just like Tom Cruise isn’t so bad if you have to have a step-dad.
There was one VERY intense ex-girlfriend of my dad’s…ugh! From her I learned that you can’t judge your parents taste in people/”friends.” And that, those “intense” friends don’t last for long.
I struggled with wanting my Mom and Dad to be nothing other than my Mom and Dad. I learned when they started dating other people that I could accept the situation and support my parents. And I made sure to always given them some up-to-date, dating tips, something they both badly needed!
Below Are 4 Things I Learned Along The Way
1. Allow yourself to accept the divorce and the inevitable changes. Things will get better. Their divorce isn’t about you or how much they love you so don’t take it personally.
2. Don’t doubt your parents, but always offer advice or share your opinion when you have an opinion.
3. Always appreciate your parent’s efforts. Sometimes it may seem like they are making no effort at all but they really are because you are their first priority.
4. Even if the divorce feels like your parents weren’t thinking about you and what you needed, sometimes it has to happen for the better, and it can take a long time to realize that.
Luckily, for some children, divorce is a relief. But as you age you may one day realize, “hey wait a minute, my parents aren’t together, I missed something. Waaaaaaait a minute,” and you start asking questions.
When you’re a kid, you’re oblivious to a lot, you’re more focused on toys and television than your parent’s divorce but around the age of seven or eight you may begin to wonder, what went wrong. You may act out, throw tantrums or, grow into a rebellious teenager and that is OK.
Your parent’s divorce is an experience that will mold you into someone who isn’t quick to judge…especially those “friends” they date. You eventually accept that their divorce wasn’t your fault, that they had issues that didn’t have anything to do with you. You realize they both did their best and if they were, smart divorced before exposing you to too much conflict in their marriage.
You become more mature through the rough patches. It might take awhile but eventually you will grow up and grow out of the wish for parents who are still together and not dating other people. Life is about accepting the pain and learning to smile through it even when they are dating someone whose intelligence quotient does not surpass that of the average rock.
Be patient with them and yourself!