Are your parents planning to get a divorce after thirty or forty years of marriage?
A marriage falling apart after such a long duration isn’t about a lack of commitment. Instead, the dedication to staying together is what allowed the marriage to last as long as it did. Yet society vilifies the desolation. Instead of understanding and compassion for the long-suffering, insensitive remarks are made about the character of those who decide to divorce. – Christine Hammond, MS, LMHC
Do you find it heartbreaking or difficult to move on from their separation? Do you wonder what took them so long to decide that they want to end the relationship? If yes, then this article is what you need to read right now. We may not have the answers to the questions that you are looking for, but we can give you a list of things to do so that you could handle the divorce of your senior parents.
Children of divorce often experience expectations of failure, fear of loss or abandonment and fear of conflict throughout their lives. These anxieties are reflected in their romantic relationships by poor partner or behavior choices, giving up too quickly when problems arise or avoidance of any perceived level of commitment. – Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Lesli Doares
Check the ultimate guide on how to do it the right way:
Show Your Support
You are probably hurting right now after finding out that your old parents want to go on separate ways, especially when they are in their senior years. What you are feeling is valid and reasonable. It is typical of an adult child to feel bad about things like this. However, you have no other choice but to support their decision. Keep in mind that marriage always ends for a reason. Stop pressuring them that they have to rethink the divorce. Take note that they are already in their advanced years and they deserve to be happy even if it means breaking up.
Listen To Them
Talk to both of your parents and let them know that you will always be there whenever they need you. Ask them about their plans after the divorce. You have to know the living arrangements of your mother and father. Who is moving out of the house? Who gets to live with you? Who is moving out of the country? Where is one of them going? There are tons of questions that you can ask them. Listen to all their plans and stories before you give a reaction. Give your parents a chance to live the kind of life that they want.
Stop Forcing Things
Stop finding ways to bring them back together because it is not what they want. Instead, give them your blessing and make them feel that you understand the situation. The truth is that no matter how two people love each other, there will always come a time when they have to go on separate ways. Your parents may have been trying to save the marriage for a long time already, but they still failed. Now is the time to accept what happened and move on from it.
At this point, it is significant to point out the fact that you need not choose between your senior parents. Be mature enough to stand in the middle ground. Avoid making one of them feel that you have favoritism. At the same time, always keep in mind that your parents are getting a divorce from each other, but it does not mean that you have to cut ties to one of them. If they cannot get along in one room, then be sure to plan your schedule accordingly so that you can still bond with either of them. Most importantly, remind your kids that their grandparents are still the same persons even after the divorce.
“It is important, when looking for someone to help with your problems, to get recommendations from people you trust, to interview several different therapists, to ask about their training, and finally, to trust your instinct,” according to F. Diane Barth L.C.S.W. Divorce can bring about a lot of mental health issues within the family and it’s important to address all of it in the right venue.