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Learning from your parents' divorce before you divorce

If your parents divorced when you were a child and you are considering divorcing your spouse, you are likely concerned that your children will be affected by your divorce in the same ways that you were affected by your parents’ divorce. Thankfully, you have the power to change the way that divorce progresses and is processed in your family.

Not so long ago, most divorces involved one parent, usually a father, leaving behind a spouse and children. Occasional visits and some child support checks would follow, but the family dynamic would be forever changed in truly significant ways. Nowadays, many couples choose to co-parent their children in the wake of divorce. Allowing children significant access to both parents may give your children a chance to grow up in a broader and more stable family situation than you may have had.

Even if you and your children will be on your own with little or no aid from a co-parent, you will still have a substantial opportunity to weather the storms and aftermath of divorce differently than your parents did. Did your parents fail to talk to you about certain important issues and emotions related to their divorce? You can choose to talk to your children about anything you feel is important. Did your parents speak negatively about one another in ways that hurt your feelings? You can choose to avoid negative talk about your children’s other parent.

Life teaches us all lessons to the best of our capacity and willingness to learn them. If your parents’ divorce was hard on you, you can choose to learn from that experience and to pursue your divorce differently.

Source: The Huffington Post, “How My Divorce Will Be Different,” Jenny Kanevsky, March 3, 2015

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