Divorce doesn’t hurt? Actually…it does.

by Carolyn on November 20, 2009

found on Postcards from Splitsville

found on Postcards from Splitsville

Have you ever agreed with someone on a topic only to realize later, after closer consideration that you didn’t agree at all, and you wish wish wish you could go back in time and change your answer?

Just me?  Oh.

As a guest on the online radio show Coparenting Matters, one of the co-hosts Talibah asked me this question (I’m paraphrasing): “Would you agree that it’s not divorce itself but how parents can conduct themselves after divorce that hurts children?”

It’s an interesting question and something that I’ve heard before and yet never carefully considered.

It sounded logical enough.  We all know that parental conflict whether it’s pre or post divorce hurts children.  That research is well documented.  It would follow, that in such cases a child would benefit from divorce.  Most would also agree that happy parents are more effective in their parenting, so again if a marriage is making parents unhappy, their children will benefit from a divorce.  And with children benefiting from divorce, all parents really have to worry about is co-parenting effectively while keeping conflict to a minimum and well beyond their children’s eyes and ears.  By doing so, their children will be just fine.

So…I agreed.  But it bothered me.  I kept thinking about that question.  And when I really thought about it, I was surprised by how much I didn’t agree.  In fact, I don’t know if I could disagree more.

The statement, ‘Divorce doesn’t hurt children, only conflict does’ says to me, ‘Don’t worry about helping children with their negative emotions related directly to divorce because there aren’t any.  Coparent effectively while conducting yourself appropriately and children of divorce shouldn’t have to any negative emotions at all.’

It’s an almost ridiculous premise.

And yet, I agreed.  I can’t believe I agreed.  Because in that agreement I essentially sold out all of my fellow children of divorce.  Shame on me.

So I’m going to fix it.

Divorce in and of itself, emotionally hurts children.  Even if at the same time it benefits them.  And if divorced parents don’t acknowledge that, they are doing their children a disservice.

I understand my parent’s divorce.  It doesn’t make me angry and I’ve never once in my whole life wished for them to reconcile.  I do not believe that parents should remain in unhappy or conflictual marriages for the sake of their children.  Don’t believe me?  Check out this post I wrote months ago.  But does any of that mean my parents’ divorce didn’t hurt me?  Of course not.  It hurt me on a fundamental level.

My parent’s divorce shattered my core senses of stability, family and love.  I was no longer a kid simply worrying about kid things.  Suddenly I was navigating immense changes to my family while realizing it would never look or feel the same again.  From then on, I was always either missing my dad or missing my mom.  My belief in unconditional love came to a screeching halt and I started to wonder what might negate their love for me too.  And the fact that my parents never talked badly about one another and never involved me in anything inappropriate didn’t help me deal with any of those emotions.

If you’re not a child of divorce, put yourself in our shoes for just one minute.  Imagine having your family torn apart and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it.  Imagine everything in your life changing and you don’t know where it’s headed or if you’ll recognize anything once it stops.  Imagine everything being turned upside down and being told that you have focus on reorienting yourself to being upside down for the rest of your life, because that’s just the way it’s going to be from now on.  Loved ones away from you, not knowing what the hell is going on or what’s going to happen, and learning to live your life inverted.

Now that you’ve walked a minute in my shoes, try the ‘divorce doesn’t hurt’ statement out.  See if you can not shake your head at it’s absurdity.  It would be like saying ‘someone living the rest of their life upside down shouldn’t really be bothered by that fact.  The only thing that hurts the upside down ones is when others point and laugh at them.’  The fact that insult isn’t added to injury doesn’t mean the injury doesn’t exist.  The same goes that just because divorced parents work well together in the aftermath of their divorce, doesn’t mean that their divorce hasn’t shaken their children to their cores.

The belief that ‘divorce doesn’t hurt’ is a fallacy that I think parents need to be careful not to adopt.  A child’s long term or even immediate benefit does not counteract divorce’s pain.  And acknowledging that, is the first real step in helping your child cope.  Allowing guilt to blind you to the reality that your actions, your divorce, has hurt your child is understandable.  Nobody wants to believe they’ve hurt their kids.  But by not accepting, acknowledging, or validating your child’s pain, not only are you not helping them to work through it, you are actually encouraging them to both question their own feelings and consequently bury them deeper.

So come on divorced parents!  Get comfortable with your guilt.  Look it in the face and then get ready to do the hard work that’s required to be rid of it by actually helping your kids.   Divorce hurts everyone.  You have the benefit (hopefully) of your knowledge, hope and understanding that it’s pain will fade or be outweighed by it’s benefits.  Your children do not, so don’t expect that from them.  Don’t allow them to comfort you and take away your guilt by showing you how ‘unaffected’ they are.  Accept responsibility for the pain you’ve caused and then do something about it.

In short, you be the parent.  Let them be the child.

Even if they never say the words, they’ll thank you for it.


{ 3 trackbacks }

Your Child - Your Divorce » Blog Archive » Divorce Doesn’t Hurt? Actually…It Does.
November 30, 2009 at 12:49 pm
Shanna Moakler and Divorce Celebrations | Co-Parenting
December 14, 2009 at 11:49 pm
Two Steps Forward… — The Grown Up Child
March 15, 2010 at 2:18 pm

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karin aka Perpstu November 21, 2009 at 4:03 am

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest! This is an excellent post. I have a friend who just finished going through a nasty divorce. In the 10 months since they separated, I don’t think either of them has even stopped to consider the long term ramifications of their actions on their to children.
I think I’ll slide a link to this post in their e-mail boxes!
.-= Karin aka Perpstu´s last blog ..35 Days Until Christmas!?! =-.


2 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Thanks Karin!


3 Mary November 21, 2009 at 10:06 am

Divorce is hard on everyone, especially children. I was 12 when my parents divorced…I was a very sad girl for a long time.
.-= Mary´s last blog ..SENSATIONAL WOMAN SATURDAY–Judy =-.


4 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Understandable. Thanks for sharing Mary.


5 Angelia Sims November 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I couldn’t agree more Carolyn! I really love the analogies you used. I, especially, worry about parents with very young children (like me, my daughter, and my boyfriends children). Most will disregard them as being too young to understand, or know what is going on. I beg to differ, these children know HURT, and they learn it from the divorce at a very young age, much younger than any other child learns hurt and abandonment. We need to offer them more comfort, more love, and more understanding. It’s simply not true, that just because they are “too young” they won’t remember. Our bodies, and hearts remember everything.

Great post.
.-= Angelia Sims´s last blog ..Sleep Sweet =-.


6 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:03 pm

I agree Angelia. I was old enough to remember the ‘sense’ of family that I had. I think even small children feel the loss.


7 Amy Gray Light November 21, 2009 at 7:20 pm

When my first husband and I divorced I thanked god we didn’t have children – it was hard enough separating the dog and cat, who really grieved for the break-up of the family. I don’t know anybody who didn’t feel the hurt of divorce, regardless of how dysfunctional the parent’s relationship had been……wonderfully written post…..
.-= Amy Gray Light´s last blog ..I am…The Joker! =-.


8 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Thank you Amy!


9 Melissa B. November 22, 2009 at 8:09 am

What a poignant post. Thanks so much for sharing! I see the results of divorce every day in my classroom. Yes, indeed, it’s a killer…SITS sent me by, and I’m glad they did!

Not the Brightest Crayons in the Bunch
.-= Melissa B.´s last blog ..Not the Brightest Crayons in the Bunch =-.


10 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:03 pm

Thanks Melissa!


11 debbie November 22, 2009 at 8:58 am

Dropped by from SITS.
I feel very strongly about this issue. I do feel that divorce all by itself hurts children. In a myriad of ways.
And I feel like we are too afraid of stepping on each other’s toes to admit it. I know I’m guilty of that. My parents divorced when I was in my twenties and it still hurt me.


12 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:05 pm

As children of divorce (and I would think any child as well), we tend to follow our parent’s lead or example. If they are pretending everything is okay or at least supposed to be okay, we do too. Thanks for sharing Debbie.


13 Teresa @ ? Too Many Heartbeats ? November 22, 2009 at 11:17 am

Excellent post! I am very blessed that my parents are still married after almost 49 years of marriage. However, I have been divorced once, very early in my life after one child and I know how painful it was for her. Divorce IS very hard on everyone involved, especially the children, no matter how people like to twist it around and say that it isn’t. Thank you for addressing this very important issue.

I’m stopping by from SITS. I wanted to share a bit of comment love! ? I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday.


Teresa <
.-= Teresa @ ? Too Many Heartbeats ?´s last blog ..IN SICKNESS AND IN HEALTH Communicating With Your Spouse About Chronic Pain =-.


14 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Thanks Teresa!


15 Miss Always Carried Away November 22, 2009 at 1:11 pm

I agree with you. A divorce hurts but unhappy parents and an awful marriage, too many words said can hurt much more.

Thank you for stopping by on my blog:)
.-= Miss Always Carried Away´s last blog ..Sunday Guest Post with Cheryl ? =-.


16 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:07 pm

I agree that in high conflict situations the child does indeed benefit from the dissolution of the marriage. But even when they benefit, the pain of the divorce cannot be denied.


17 Deesha November 22, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Hi, Carolyn,

I’ll let Talibah respond for herself, but I’ll say that I’ve never doubted that divorce hurts children. I can see how the phrasing of the question negates that reality. I would say that parents conduct can and does exacerbate the hurt that’s already there. But too often, I believe, parents don’t realize this. They may understand that the divorce itself hurts kids, and they themselves are hurting especially if they feel that they’ve been wronged by/in the divorce–and then the other parent feels that since they *and* the kids have been hurt/wronged by the other parent, the other parent is the enemy and all sorts of misconduct ensues.

That’s what that question/conversation brings to my mind.

Thanks for the reminder for my regular check-in with my kiddos. Because their dad and I get along post-divorce, I never want them to think that we are oblivious to their pain.

.-= Deesha´s last blog ..“The Package Deal” by Izzy Rose of StepMother’s Milk…and Other Mom Stuff =-.


18 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Thank you for the insightful comment. You set such a wonderful example to your fellow coparents. I just worry a bit that parents who are working so hard on coparenting (because it can be so difficult), sometimes hope or disillusion themselves into believing that as long as they are successful at that, their children will be fine without ever really addressing the core issues directly related to the divorce itself.


19 Deesha November 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm

“It would follow, that in such cases a child would benefit from divorce. Most would also agree that happy parents are more effective in their parenting, so again if a marriage is making parents unhappy, their children will benefit from a divorce.”

I feel like this warranted a separate comment and clarification. ;-) This has never, ever been my position. I feel that I had every right to get a divorce–and my kids have every right to feel that it was a sh*tty decision. I honor their feelings, and I am committed to helping them heal and cope. I’ll never try to convince them, or anyone, that it was “for the best” or made me a more effective parent, etc. As Mike (my ex) and I always say, we’ve become the “poster-children for divorce” in some people’s minds, but we would much rather have been poster-children for marriage in order to keep our family in tact. The lament I have related to my divorce is that I know it hurts my kids. I appreciate your site because it helps us better understand this hurt. As always, thank you!
.-= Deesha´s last blog ..“The Package Deal” by Izzy Rose of StepMother’s Milk…and Other Mom Stuff =-.


20 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:13 pm

Again Deesha, the way you deal with your children and your divorce is exemplary. That was the dialogue in my own head while I was hastily assessing the question. I’m not surprised that the rhetoric rubbed you the wrong way immediately.


21 Talibah November 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm


Great post. First, let me say that I haven’t gone back to listen to the show, but if I did phrase the question that way, that certainly isn’t what I meant. I’ve been known to trip over my words or to be unclear when I’m freestyling. I absolutely agree that divorce hurts, not just children, but everyone involved in the process. My parents didn’t divorce until I was an adult and after my mother had been diagnosed with a terminal form of cancer, and even then, with all of the coping resources I’d developed over 30 years, even with all the understanding I had of adult relationships and my desire for both of my parents to finally be happy…even with all of that, as an adult child, I hurt at the loss of the family I had known my entire life, at the implications for my mother, at the choices I felt like I had to make to protect her, even though I saw my father’s perspective, too. So, I certainly didn’t intend to suggest that divorce doesn’t hurt, and frankly, I’m feeling guilty at the thought that I may have propagated what you appropriately label a “ridiculous premise.”

My intention was likely more to suggest that the ongoing conflict after a divorce or split exacerbates that pain and creates more long-term damage than the divorce alone and that parents have an opportunity to mitigate the risk of causing even more hurt by learning to manage that conflict.

Thank you for raising your concern and for speaking your truth and for giving me the opportunity to clarify.
.-= Talibah´s last blog ..Real Families: Meet My Co-Parent, Part I =-.


22 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm

No no, Talibah. You phrased it (I’m pretty sure) as something you had read, not something you believed. I’m the one who answered inappropriately and needed to clarify my position. I’m not surprised that you feel a congruency with this stance.


23 Theta Mom November 22, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Although I never experienced this, I think you’re right, it seems logical that one of the key elements is accepting responsibility for the pain caused and then doing something about it…
.-= Theta Mom´s last blog ..Paperspring Review and Giveaway: Need Holiday Cards? This is the Giveaway for You! =-.


24 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:16 pm

It just makes sense, right?


25 Jeanine November 23, 2009 at 9:25 am

Sometimes one can’t talk about divorce with their kids. In my case, he left me for his work partner. Then married her. Oh yea, I was pregnant when they started and my daughter was 6 months old when he left. I couldn’t talk to her, so I just loved her.
.-= Jeanine´s last blog ..My Sunday – Wooden Bat League! =-.


26 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm

And love her you should! I would only suggest to keep an open dialogue going with her once that is possible. Ask her about her feelings and if not having daddy live with her makes her sad. Children are usually not intentionally hiding their emotions, they just need someone to start or open the door to the conversation for them.


27 LisaLisa November 23, 2009 at 11:29 am

Divorce is very hard on everyone..it’s never easy ! I love this post..Now following u!

Dropping by your blog crib to say Helloooo lol Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving …remember it’s not about the food we eat but the love we share! Happy Thanksgiving from one of your SITStas!!


28 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Thanks Lisa!


29 Orlinda November 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I really appreciate what you say here, particularly the part at the end about parents taking responsibility for the consequences of their actions and allowing the kids to be kids. What is particularly sad after divorce is when the parents are too immature to do this and the kids end up having to grow up to quickly and “parent” their parents.

I am curious what you think about how much divorce hurts at different ages – for example, is it the same for children whose parents divorced when they were 12 years old versus when they were 1 year old and really have almost no memory of the intact version of the family that was torn apart by divorce?


30 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm

I can only really speak to my own experience. I was three when my parents separated. I don’t have real clear memories of us being an intact family. But I remember the pain I felt at losing that. I wonder if there’s been any research done on the long term effects of divorce on infants. It would be interesting to see some statistics.


31 Charlene November 23, 2009 at 9:09 pm

I agree with you. Divorce is like death… well, it IS death (of a relationship). There’s no “good divorce” no matter who the parents are or how they handle it.
.-= Charlene´s last blog ..Remember the Alamo =-.


32 Carolyn November 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm

One of my favorite authors Elizabeth Marquardt actually wrote an excellent article entitled “Good Divorce? No” saying the same thing. There is no good divorce, just more painful or less painful ones.


33 Renee November 24, 2009 at 7:48 am

My parents had a volatile marriage. I don’t think my mother ever loved my father. They fought all the time. From the time I was very young, I always wished they would just get divorced already.

They separated (finally) when I was 17, a junior in high school and (sadly, but it turned out OK) already pregnant with my own child.

I was almost an adult. I knew it was for the best. There was no custody battle or anything else. But it was still difficult. It hurt me. My mother has suffered financially, even if she is no longer suffering emotionally. I can’t help thinking how much better off she would have been had she just stayed with my father so she wouldn’t have to worry about money or health insurance.

So, ay 32 and 15 years later, while I rationally see that it was the right decision (and maybe they should never have married to begin with), it still hurts in its way.

You’re right: Divorce hurts children, no matter how well it’s conducted.
.-= Renee´s last blog ..They Choose Us =-.


34 One Sassy Girl November 25, 2009 at 8:00 pm

You know, I have to disagree. Not completely – you make excellent points and I agree with so many of them. But, in my case, my parents’ divorce never negatively affected me or my sister. Granted, I was 2 and she was 4 but we’re both doing pretty darn well in the world and both agree that we’re glad our parents divorced.

They did an excellent job of keeping both parent equally present in our lives. They raised us together and never fought any more than a married couple would. It was all very normal to me. And now that I know them as adults, I can see how their differences could have been disastrous to us had they decided to stay together.

So, I think it’s highly individual and while most cases are negative for the kids, all are not.

Great post, as always. And way to stand up for what you believe – even if you agreed with something else at first. We all do that at times – it’s life!
.-= One Sassy Girl´s last blog ..What is Your Ex Saying About You? =-.


35 Bianca November 27, 2009 at 11:26 pm

My parents divorced when I was 7. I’m 28 now and I dont think I’ve fully recovered. It anything, the divorce left me with my chronic mistrust of pepople and fear of abandonment. It’s definitely not fun!
.-= Bianca´s last blog ..Where to Eat Christmas Dinner in the South Bay =-.


36 Amanda {My Life Badly Written} November 29, 2009 at 8:38 am

I can’t even believe that she asked the question?

My parents divorce hurt me and affected me my whole life and they never argued in front of me or put me in the middle or talked badly about one another. I was lucky in that respect but is still really hurt!!
.-= Amanda {My Life Badly Written}´s last blog ..Bad Blogging Friend =-.


37 Sonia December 11, 2009 at 10:45 pm

I completely agree that divorce hurts children in many ways. One reason I’m so angry is that my husband just walked away without even attempting to work on the marriage for our sakes or our children’s sake. No counseling, nothing, after 24+ years together, almost 21 years married. I can see every day how devastated the children (ages 12 and 14) are. I can see all too clearly how the upcoming “divorce [has] shattered [their] core senses of stability, family and love.” Now that I see my husband for the weak, lying bastard he is, I say good riddance on my own behalf, but I am heartbroken for my children’s loss of an intact family.

A thought experiment: Here’s a key paragraph from your article, Carolyn. Your experience mirrors my predicament. The feelings are exactly the same. I just changed the word “child” to “abandoned spouse.” I am furious with my husband because he’s placed our children and me in the same horrible place that you were placed in as a child of divorce:

“If you’re not an abandoned spouse of divorce, put yourself in our shoes for just one minute. Imagine having your family torn apart and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it. Imagine everything in your life changing and you don’t know where it’s headed or if you’ll recognize anything once it stops. Imagine everything being turned upside down and being told that you have focus on reorienting yourself to being upside down for the rest of your life, because that’s just the way it’s going to be from now on. Loved ones away from you, not knowing what the hell is going on or what’s going to happen, and learning to live your life inverted.”


38 Samantha February 22, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I totally connect with your post. I am not the child of a divorce but my partner is. Problems from his parents divorce flow into our relationship aswell. We can never argue because in his mind of a 10 yr old kid (which was when his parents divorced) he thinks thats the reason for their divorce. It is also virtually impossible for him to open up to me let alone anyone else because i think he feels the need to bottle everything up and be strong, never show weakness or emotion because i think he feels asthough once he does open up he might never be able to stop. I was hoping you may be able to give some advice, you seem to have such a fantastic understanding of the emotional problems of kids from divorce.


39 Carolyn February 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Thank you so much for your comment Samantha. I’m humbled that you would reach out to me. As children of divorce, we are all so darn scared of repeating our parent’s mistakes. I can understand why he won’t argue if he feels that’s the road that led to divorce for his own parents. And perhaps, as I know it has been for me, his need to never rely on anyone or open up to anyone has more to do with him having both trust issues (divorce and break up of one’s home can make you feel like you really can’t completely trust anyone or anything but yourself) and his need to appear ‘perfect’ (and I use that term loosely) because after divorce, us kids are usually falling all over ourselves trying to appear like everything is okay with us.

Those are both hard things to get past. I’m still trying to get past them. Do you think he’d be willing to read any of my posts? The ones I would suggest are Worthy of My Scar, From a Recovering Perfectionist, The Connected Ones, and Splintered to start. He may see some correlations in himself and I would be more than happy to correspond with him (or you) in either the forum, comments or via email.

As for you, I’m sure it all seems strange, especially since you are not a child of divorce. I know with my husband and I, he is sometimes unprepared and a little surprised by my reactions. When we would argue, he used to sometimes (out of frustration) say something like ‘well, why don’t you just divorce me if you don’t like it so much’. And that would stop the argument in it’s tracks with me crying my eyes out afraid that this stupid argument had been the demise of our marriage! Him, not being a child of divorce didn’t understand the severity of such a statement for me. So be gentle with your partner. He probably does, as we all do, have a lot of issues that stem from the divorce. But his fear is really a reflection of his love (strange, isn’t it?). He obviously loves you and doesn’t want to lose you. One piece of positive information I can give you is that statistically, grown children of divorce (who have a startlingly high rate of divorce themselves) seem to have the strongest marriages with people who are not children of divorce. So there’s that, right?

All the best to him and you. I hope this little bit helped. If you would like to talk further, please feel free to contact me.


40 Katie June 19, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Hi, my name is Katie I’m 18. I found out via my dads Twitter that my parents are getting a divorce before they had said anything about a month ago. I kept the fact that I knew bottled up for about 5 days because I was having graduation festivities that included extended family. I have 2 younger brothers who are 10 years old. 1 is autistic but he has shown he understands what is going on but he doesn’t show any emotion towards it. I stumbled upon this post after googling. My dad hasn’t even moved out yet (he has about 3 more weeks) yet I’ve connected to every sentiment that you and other posters have expressed. I’ve always kept things bottled up and now it’s worse than ever. Yesturday I spent 4 hours crying in my room and when my mom came to talk to me I had so much I wanted to say but only get out a sliver of everything going through my mind. The whole world turned upside down describes the situation to a tee. My parents are at the point they only conversate when they are disagreeing or arguing. Now even the silliest disagreement stops me dead in my tracks. I tear up. Sadly my new mantra is ” __days till I move into college”. I love my brothers so much and it hurts me almost twice as much that they are suffering too. Tonight we went to my dads parents for dinner and it feels like even though everyone knows I’m still expected at this point to act like nothing is wrong when I just want to scream and cry like a 3 year old.


41 Carolyn June 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Katie, every thing you are writing that you feel is so normal. It’s the situation that’s crazy. I can’t imagine finding out about my parent’s divorce on twitter! I can only guess at the tension that is present in your daily life. And constant stress makes us say, do and feel things we usually wouldn’t.

Isn’t it amazing that through all of this, you are expected to function and carry on in a normal fashion? You wouldn’t want to make anyone else uncomfortable, right? Meanwhile, you feel like you’re dying inside. Katie, my heart goes out to you.

I actually think you are coping really well. I’m glad you found this site and that it’s helped you not feel quite so isolated. You know, things probably will feel better once you have gone to College and are out of the house. I know you will worry about your siblings but you know, they probably want the same thing you do… to know that they aren’t the ones who are wrong or strange for feeling what they feel and that they are not alone in feeling that way. Sometimes during times of crisis, we all crawl into our shells and ‘batten down the hatches’ to weather the storm. And when we do that, sometimes we can forget to take comfort in the ones around us.

I’ll be thinking of you. I wish you all the best during this difficult time and please don’t ever hesitate to contact me if you need an ear or another point of view.



42 Deb August 11, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I have just found your website while searching for some type of relief from the sadness of my divorce. It has been a year and a half and I can’t seem to get over it. My ex-husband told me that he could not take our incompatability anymore and would not even go with me to try marriage counseling. He said that a “good” divorce is possible. I ask, for who. We have a teenaged daughter. I was devastated for my daughter, for losing a man that I still love ( I know this is crazy) and for my broken family. He moved on, to eharmony and “the love of his life”. He told me that he believes that God led them to each other. He has been married to what seems to be, the perfect woman.
My own parents divorced when I was 13 years old. I felt like my very foundation was pulled out from under me.I am 50 years old and the scars are with me today. His parents are still married and happy.


43 Amy Pickinpaugh December 6, 2010 at 5:15 am

Hi Carolyn,
Thank you for your truthiness. My parents divorced when I was twelve. I had many rough years, they did eventually remarry a couple of years later for all the wrong reasons and divorced again a few years ago. (I am now 36) Whether you are a child or an adult it hurts. Divorce hurts families, children and friends. I am glad you changed your mind. When will we stop shaking our heads up and down and agreeing with all the selfishness and the mindless reasons for divorce? The only grounds for divorce that I can justify is adultery (or physical abuse). That is biblical, however I know a few people who have made it through adultery too, not many but a few. The reasons people give to divorce today are just sad. “We just grew apart” …”I don’t FEEEEEL in love anymore”….ugh, puke. Really? I have been married for 15 years now, almost divorced when I was married ten years and then I retrieved my head from my buttocks and realized the pain I would cause my own children, family and friends. Why, because I was hurting. Thank God I have a husband who was willing to seek counseling with me and apart from me. We both went through two years of counseling to make it work. We lived as roomates in our home for a year. We both realized that we had to make changes in ourselves. We had to stop waiting for the other person to change (what we couldn’t accept about them). I am glad we did! I am not an idiot, I know that we’ll most likely go through many more trials in our marriage but we see all the others out there divorcing, remarrying or jumping from relationship to relationship and can still see they are waiting for that other person to change. If we could hand out that magic mirror to make each one of us see in ourselves our own faults, perhaps there would be more people making an effort in their marital relationships. Just my thoughts. Thank you again for your article.

Kind regards,
Amy Pickinpaugh


44 Anon March 2, 2014 at 11:13 am

Thank you for this website. I am a child of divorce (when I was 8) in her mid-40′s and am just now beginning to realize its impact, since we had a “good divorce” (as all my friends with still-married parents felt the need to tell me–hilarious, I know). I need to realize that my immense love for my parents does not mean I am not furious and damaged by the divorce, something I fear I’m passing on to my own children, even if I hopefully stay married forever. I love your honesty and bravery–it is giving me permission to be the same. I will be visiting this website often. Thank you again.


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