I grew up in the 90’s/2000’s, and by the time I was in high school, most of my friend’s parents were getting a divorce. I remember feeling proud that my parents were still married.
That changed when I was 21 and my brother was a teen.
My Father decided that he wasn’t happy and wanted out of his marriage to our mom. And, what felt like to my brother and I, out of our family. We went from “happy family of 4” to broken home within just a few months. We could no longer go to our church, we had to sell our childhood home and move in with a relative, and no one knew what to say or do for us.
It felt so very lonely.
Even now people are like, “Oh! You’re so lucky your parents waited until you were older.” Um, well Susan, divorce at any age sucks. Thanks.
Even as a happily married adult, I still worry irrationally that my husband is going to leave me. My brother has had a really hard time wanting to settle down for fear of getting hurt and has dealt with anxiety and depression. Years and years later, we both still have a lot of resentment towards our father. We struggle to remember the happiness of childhood not tainted with seeing the cracks that led to the divorce.
As adults, thankfully, we have both gone to therapy sessions a few times and as I write this, I realize that I need to go again. Thank God for therapists. Sadness and resentment often rear their ugly heads.
Looking back now, I wish my parents had us in family therapy sessions before/after their divorce. I think the skills learned in therapy would have helped us tremendously.
While I realize that divorce often happens for the betterment of a family, I say with confidence that waiting until your kids are a certain age to divorce will not make anything any easier.
Divorce at any age truly sucks.