When my parents told us they were getting a divorce, I was filled with disbelief. With utter horror and shock that it was actually happening. That I was going to be apart of the exclusive club to which I did not want to belong. But as I heard the news, a question also popped into my mind: Why didn't it happen sooner? Why now?
That's a tough question, but it's one many of us ACOD's ask. Why have our parents chosen to get divorced now, after 20+ years of marriage? When we're older, we don't expect that our parents will get divorced because they have already moved through the various stages of life together. It doesn't make any sense that they would choose to get divorced after so many years together. After all, if they were having problems, why didn't get they get divorced years ago? Why stay together all that time?
There's no easy answer. Many parents stay together for their kids. My parents chose to separate after my wedding, even though I know they were having problems before. I guess they didn't want to ruin my wedding by separating beforehand. But I don't think it would've made a difference. The fact that they were separating at all was the troubling part, not the timing of it.
But many parents think they're helping their kids by staying together for so long. The truth is, they're actually making things more difficult for us. They're extending the length of time we have as a family unit, which makes it all the more painful when that unit breaks apart. Many of us don't even realize our parents were having problems because they hid it so well and stayed together for so long. But that also makes things much harder because the shock factor is even greater. You've felt secure for so long, that to suddenly not feel that way can really mess with a person.
I'm sure there are other reasons that people choose to get divorced later in life. People are living longer, looking younger, and divorce is becoming more acceptable. But it still doesn't change the fact that parents announcing a divorce after so many years of marriage is like someone throwing a grenade at you and your family. You wonder why in the world your parents weren't honest about their problems. These things don't just happen overnight. They had to be having problems for awhile. And it's frustrating not to have known. It's like you're left out of something that has the ability to impact your life forever.
Parents just don't realize that sometimes all we really want is a little honesty.
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