If you talk to someone who is unhappy in their marriage, you may ask why they are still with their spouse. More often than not the answer will be, “Because of the children.” Anyone will tell you that staying in a bad, or even possibly abusive, marriage because of the children is never a good idea. The thought that some people have is that if the children are a little older they will handle the divorce better than at a young age. People might say they don’t want their kids to have to change schools or move away from their friends, for example.
The concern that people do not take into consideration is that regardless of the children’s age, whether they are 2, 22, or 42, they are still your children and you are always going to be their parents. You may have adult conversations about kids, jobs, and the mortgage, but you will always be their parents. Whether you get divorced when your kids are in elementary school or they are adults with their own kids, watching your parents get divorced is never easy. In some ways, it could even be harder on adult children than on minors, who tend to rebound from adversity quicker than adults do.
Divorce Hits Harder When You’re Older
In a lot of ways, adult children have a much harder time with the divorce of their parents than young children do. Often with young children, parents will go out of their way to make sure the kids know they are loved and will make up for the disruption in their lives in other ways. Children do not have the life experiences and lifetime worth of family memories to contemplate as an adult. Children tend to take their situations in stride, especially since most kids really have no choices when it comes to what they do or where they go.
As adults, even if they know their parents had been having problems, they have all of those memories to contend with. Studies have shown that adult children tend to react very poorly to the news of their parents’ divorce. They start to question their whole life. They look back on the happy times and start to think it is all a lie. A lifetime of memories is tainted by the thought, whether real or not, that they had been duped in to believing their childhood was happy. When parents divorce, adult children start to question their own judgement or trust and start to wonder if their own life is also a lie. The new lack of trust can then lead to ramifications in their own marriage, relationships with their own kids, and even their workplace.
As adults, there is also a tendency for kids to take sides in a divorce, so unlike with a divorce with kids, where each of the parents have a certain amount of parenting time, a divorce can lead to immediate estrangement from one or even both of the parents.
You Decide When to Divorce, Not Your Kids
The best way to handle your own marriage and your own divorce is to handle it in your own time. Quite often, the reasons to stay together are more excuses than a real reason to extend an unhappy marriage. Staying together for the sake of the children only to prolong an unhappy marriage can cause even more problems for the adult children than you realize.
There is a lot to consider when contemplating a divorce. Your best bet is to be completely honest with yourself and be respectful of your kids, and even respectful of your spouse.
If you think it is the right time to divorce your spouse and you live in Nassau County, call (516) 252-0223 to connect with The Law Offices of Anthony J. LoPresti. We are here to help guide you through the difficult and uncertain time ahead with confidence, as we have done for so many others in situations much like yours.