Divorce has lifelong consequences. If a person was young when their parents divorced they have had to face processing several childhood milestones with only one parent. If they were older, such as a teenager, their parent’s divorce may have them questioning their entire value system.
If a person is older when their parents divorced then they may wonder if everything they are basing life decisions on is based on faulty thinking. It is as if the entire foundation of their belief system has a deep crack in it. They don’t know when that crack is going to split wide open and their entire life is going to collapse.
Effects of Divorce on Adult Children:
- Many have a well-rehearsed ability to hide emotions.
- Divorce issues skew perspective and outlook on relationships and marriage.
- They have trust issues.
- They fear abandonment by their spouse.
- Some have problems with self-confidence.
- Forgiveness has not been modeled for them so many tend to hold grudges.
- Pulling away from God. As our society develops a deeper understanding of the long-term affect divorce has on the adults many researchers are finding adult children of divorce pulling away from the Lord in adult years. Some research shows that as many as 62% of adult children of divorce leave the faith of their parents.
- Some adult children of divorce are immature Christians frozen in spiritual time warp of where they were as children when the divorce happened.
- Spiritually many children stop developing after the divorce, never to develop a faith walk or a level of trust that the Lord desires from each of us.
- Many tend to carry over anger toward the earthly parent to their relationship with God, the Heavenly Father.
- Many adult children of divorce can’t understand what a marriage relationship should look like.
- Some divorced adults share that they undergo profound spiritual confusion.
The Legacy of Divorce On Children:
A few years ago on a very early Monday morning my husband and I began our day by sitting in court with a father while his wife, the mother of his children, was being arraigned. She was in our DivorceCare class and the father had her arrested for slashing his tires.
As we spent the morning together I asked him if he knew Jesus Christ as his Savior.
He surprised me by saying,
“Yes, I was saved when I was 11 years old.”
I asked him several more questions to make sure he understood. He did. I believe that he understood and that he was saved. But then he said something that struck a chord with me.
“We went to church a lot before I was saved. And then right after I got saved, my parents got a divorce. Within a year we just quit going to church. I know I should go to church now that I’m and adult and a father but I have never developed the habit of getting up every Sunday. I work hard during the week and I sleep in on Sunday mornings.”
This man is ending his second marriage. He is leaving the divorce legacy to his young children one of which was an infant. What is going to happen to his little girl when she grows up? What will she base her relationship on in regards to marriage, relationship with God and His family?
If you are an adult child of divorce what are some of the ways the divorce of your parents have influenced your adult life?
“Originally posted by Linda Ranson Jacobs on the Kids & Divorce blog at, http://blog.dc4k.org Copyright © 2013, DivorceCare for Kids. Used by permission.”