Gray divorces can affect the entire family
Longtime married couples in California often expect their marriages to last. However, gray divorces do occur at high rates. Divorce can leave the entire family reeling, including the couple’s children who are well into adulthood. Family relationships can be impacted even if the divorce was not unexpected.
How can a gray divorce impact the relationship between a parent and their adult child?
A gray divorce takes place between couples who are age 50 or older. When parents who have been married so many years suddenly decide they are going to get a divorce, it can significantly affect their children even when they’re adults. It can also affect the relationship between parent and child.
Adult children may be taken aback by the announcement of their parents’ divorce. It can bring shock, pain and even denial. An adult child may even blame one or both parents for their divorce. They may feel intense resentment and feel as though their parents gave up.
How might adult children see their parents after a gray divorce?
During a gray divorce, adult children can see their parents as completely different people. They might even think their parents are selfish, only thinking about themselves and not considering the child’s feelings. Although the child might feel alone, alienated or unimportant, they need to remember that the divorce is not about them and that both parents still love them the same.
What kind of emotions can adult children experience during their parents’ divorce?
Most people think that divorce only affects young children or affects them more than adult children. However, adult children can go through a wide range of emotions when their parents split up. The adult child may feel as though their relationship with both parents may never even be the same again. They might feel that they need to be the strong one for their parents’ sake.
Gray divorce can be traumatic for adult children. In most cases, the child doesn’t expect to hear from their parents that they’re ending their marriage. Parents need to understand that their adult child is emotionally affected, and adult children need to know that the emotions they’re experiencing are normal.
When parents and their children, regardless of their ages, it’s important to openly discuss the divorce. Communicating throughout the process can help parents and children heal their relationships.