A divorce does not just affect the two partners who are getting it, but it involves their children, if there are any, to a great deal as well. Often children are one of the reasons that partners stay together for longer than they should have, but that doesn’t really make anything better most of the time. Children of partners who stayed together often say later that they wished their parents had divorced sooner.
Everybody knows that children of divorces are different than those who never had to go through the ordeal. Let’s find out how different they are based on what they had to say themselves.
- To be committed or not to be committed
Commitment becomes a big issue in later life, especially when children of divorces have their own relationships. For the most part they want commitment, but are often afraid to make it. They’ll have a jaded view of marriage and whilst they may want to believe in it, they may not really be able to. After all, if you don’t get married you can’t get divorced.
- They may like their stuff a little too much
After shuttling between two homes for much of their childhood and packing their bags too many times, they may be a little too attached to their stuff. Mostly because it represents home and stability. But everyone is different and those kids who’ve been bribed with presents by at least one parents, may not care about stuff at all.
- It won’t be easy to tear down their walls
Children of divorces may well have had an emotional rollercoaster instead of a childhood. Witnessing extreme emotions in their parents and having to deal with their own emotions and reactions means that they’ll often be guarded adults. They don’t give their hearts away easily.
- Cheating would be a deal-breaker
If cheating played a role in their parent’s divorce, it’s likely going to be a deal-breaker if a potential love interest has cheated in the past. Even among their friends or acquaintances it won’t be looked upon kindly.
The other extreme here is that children of cheaters become cheaters themselves, taking the cynical approach.
- Beware of the flaws
Human beings are ultimately flawed. Everyone is, but children of divorces may well spot them more than others and be more concerned about them. Anything that jumps out right away as something that could be a problem in a relationship, even just a friendship, will be more closely scrutinized.
- They’ll get an extra Christmas
In a manner of speaking. For however long their parents will have been divorced, the children will have had two Christmasses each year. Twice the festivities and twice the gifts. If each parent re-married, they may even have two whole new families to spend the holidays with. That also means that anyone in a relationship with a child from a divorce will have to make extra time for an additional family visit.
- Siblings are allies and best friends
If children of divorce have siblings, they’re likely to be very close to them. This is not a rule, but it’s been mentioned by children of divorce more than once. Who else knows what you’ve been through better than your brother and/or sister? They’ve been through the same and you had each other’s backs when nobody else did.
- They will likely have a favourite parent
If they have an equally good relationship to both their parents after the divorce and on the surface love both parents equally, you’ll have the best situation possible. But even then they’re likely to have a favourite parent, though you may never know which one. Of course, one relationship could be irretrievably broken. It all depends on the circumstances of the divorce.
In addition to that they are unlikely to tolerate one parent bad-mouthing the other.
- Communication is key
In relationships children of divorces may well be more communicative than you’re used to from previous relationships. If they’re serious about the relationship, and you’ll mostly find that they are, they want to keep it honest and open and a big part of that is communication. They’ve witnessed firsthand what the lack of communication or constant screaming matches can do to a relationship.
- Fear of abandonment
This is especially the case when one parent left for good. But even if both parents are still in their lives, some children of divorces will carry that fear of being left behind around far into adulthood. Their need to be loved and accepted for who they are may also be greater for that same reason.
Let us stress that children of divorces are not to be regarded as damaged goods. They just had a more difficult childhood and everyone reacts differently to emotional stress. Ultimately they want what all of us want: happiness, being loved and to love in return. They may just approach relationships a little differently.