Nothing is more stressful than finding out that your elderly parents have decided to go separate ways. You may start to wonder why it took them so long to give up on their marriage. It is understandable that you are going through a painful phase in your life. However, it is essential for you to have an open mind about the situation so that you can deal with it the proper way. Counseling, such as with www.cornerstonecounseling.com/ is one of the ways to go through this. “Though nothing will completely ease the pain of the divorce, there are a few ways that divorcing parents can help their kids heal,” says family and marriage therapist Michelle Farris, LMFT. Below are also some the things that you could do when it comes to handling late-life divorce of parents:
Respect Their Decision
Finding out about the separation or divorce can be truly heartbreaking. For sure, there are so many questions that are running through your mind right now. Unfortunately, there is nothing else that you could do to reverse what happened. Instead, be mature and accept that your parents have already decided to separate from one another. The divorce may be the last thing that you want, but the best thing to do is to move on.
Do Not Take Sides
Consider yourself lucky if your mother and father are cool with late-life separation. However, if one of them is bitter about it, then prepare yourself for some serious battles between them. Most of the time, it may involve a choice as to which side to take. Each of them would be interested in getting your empathy and support. When this happens, make sure to avoid favoring one over the other. This is the best thing to do so that conflicts will be avoided.
Ask For Their Plans
Now that they have gone separate ways, the next thing to do is to ask them about their plans for the future. Who is moving out of the house? Where will the other person go? Are you interested in offering your current home for one of them? These are just some of the questions that must be discussed right away after the divorce. Do not hesitate to ask your parents about it. Whether you like it or not, you will always be affected by whatever steps they are going to take.
Support Both Of Them
“Look back at your parents’ marriage and assess its strengths and weaknesses,” suggests Susan Heitler Ph.D. With the recent divorce, it may be helpful for both of your parents if you make an effort to support them continuously. Giving out the support can be challenging but just believe in yourself that things will get better soon. For this part, you may need to be good at time management. The support that they will need includes financial and emotional needs. You have to prepare for all these things.
Ask For Professional Help
Finding out about the late-life divorce of your parents is truly disheartening, especially when you also have issues with the other aspects of your life. If you feel that everything is already too much, do not hesitate to ask for professional help. Many companies provide excellent caretakers or caregivers for old people. At the same time, some medical institutions also deploy personal or home health nurses for those who need one.
Always keep in mind that life goes on even after the divorce of your parents. Do not let it affect you. According to Amy Morin, LCSW, “For some children, parental separation isn’t the hardest part. Instead, the accompanying stressors are what make divorce the most difficult.”