Tuesday, January 24, 2012

When Parents Become Strangers

It's astonishing to me how two people who once knew each another so intimately and who created a family together can suddenly become like strangers. In fact, that was probably one of the most unnerving things about my parents' divorce. I watched as they grew more and more distant and soon it was like they were roommates. It reached a point where they were no longer fighting anymore...just existing. It was then that I realized they were close to the end of their marriage. And I couldn't do a single thing about it.

This is tough to swallow when you're young and your parents divorce, but it's crazy to see them act like strangers when you've watched them together for 20+ years. Sometimes I look at pictures of my family and can hardly believe my parents were ever even together. Things are so different now and they're so far removed from one another. In some ways it feels like they were never together but in other ways it feels strange that they're not. Does that even make any sense? I still pinch myself sometimes to see if this is all a joke. And everytime I have a dream about my family, my parents are together. Maybe my subconcious hasn't quite accepted it all yet.

There have been times where I want to shake both of my parents and shout, "You were once in love! You once gave a damn about one another! Don't you have any of those feelings left anymore?" But then I remember that my parents were dysfunctional together and that watching two people lose touch with one another is not a life I want to lead. I want to see my parents happy. And if that's not together, then I guess I'll have to learn to deal.

Were things strange for you when your parents began acting like strangers? Did it happen before or after they divorced? Or maybe your parents had a smooth transition and make an effort to be friends. Either way, they're not together as they once were and that's just weird. Would love to hear how you coped with it all. Feel free to leave a comment or email acod16@gmail.com.


Serenity said...

Strangers. I guess the definition is someone who doesn't know another person. There is no relationship...a stranger is not even a acquaintance. This has become true in many ways in my family. My parents , who shared over 40 years of life, now do not know the daily or monthly activities of each other. People who know both of them like to tell them things about each others lives, but they haven't talked or been in the same room for years.

I don't dream of them together anymore, but I used to. Once in a while I will go to a strange place subconsciously, where I will almost FEEL like it is all the same as it used to be, that they are a unit , involved in my life with much enjoyment and comfort in the relationships as used to be. It lasts just for a few minutes , but I love it....even if it is just a fantasy.

I realize my father was a stranger while he lived with my mother and interacted with me. I did not know who he really was as he carried on an affair in a seperate life.

It is sad to say parents or spouses are strangers, but I suppose a stranger is someone you are not sure if you can trust. Either this is the case before you trust them, or after their trust has been broken.

Anonymous said...

My parents just told me and my two siblings about their divorce this afternoon. Though I've known their marriage was over for years, I, too, was just used to them co-existing. As selfish as it seems, I'm not really ready for that to be over, despite how unhappy they both were. My hope is that they both just take lots of time to adjust and let me adjust. I can't really deal with new people in either of their lives right now. It's the strangest feeling to think that really haven't been involved in each other's lives for a while and will only further distance themselves.
Thank you for this blog. I'm sure it will continue to comfort me in the months to come.

MVroom said...

So sorry I haven't responded, Anonymous. I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through and I do hope this blog will bring you some comfort. One of the biggest things I felt when my parents divorced was anger over the fact that there would be new people in their lives. i was 24 years old...I had gotten used to the people in my life. I didn't want to have to adjust. So tough and so strange. Very much an out of body experience. Hang in there and if you ever need to chat further, email me at acod16@gmail.com. Thinking about starting to blog again!


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