In the “Ask Reddit” section, a Reddit user recently asked what the biggest thing children of divorce learned from their parent’s split.
While Reddit users can be notoriously glib — and even cruel — about even the most emotional of topics, those engaged in this discussion were refreshingly candid about the impact of their parent’s divorce. Their comments revealed touching and vulnerable lessons learned from their experiences.
Commitment and Trust Issues
I would be lying if I said I did not have commitment issues. I’ve never had a relationship last longer then 4 weeks since high school because I get cold feet and find something wrong with the girl to justify my thoughts “I rather just continue being single.” – Reddit User
Mine’s a different kind of bad, I’ve been with the same girl (minus a 6 month break) for almost a decade and haven’t proposed. – Reddit User Facerless
Didn’t have a relationship that lasted longer than four weeks until I was twenty, because I always felt suffocated and fled. – Reddit User coffeeonfire
I wholeheartedly agree with you. Im always looking for a reason to not trust someone and it makes lots of issues in its wake. – Reddit User As for me, I am still not married. I’ve had the chances, but never followed through. I think it doesn’t help that I was further reinforced by seeing friends of mine get married and divorce in 3-5 years. – Reddit User Tyrolan
The Destructive Power of Alcoholism
I’ve learned that 22 years of marriage means nothing against the grasp of alcoholism. The only reason my dad stayed moderately sober during all these years was because of the strength of my mother to tell him to be. He finally gave up my mom (literally the perfect woman) and left last year when I was 19 and my brother was 17, just graduating high school because he wanted to continue to drink and “that’s just the way it was.” He went from having an amazing career and family before to being unemployed because he got fired from his job and living in a trailer, something I never would have predicted ten or even five years ago. People will not truly change unless they’re changing for themselves. – Reddit User jocelynxxo
I learned a lot from my parents divorce. At the time I was Eight and did not understand. Now that I’m older (Twenty Two) and understand more than I did then I can get this from it. My parents did love each other at one point and to a certain degree Every Human has their breaking point where enough is enough Alcohol is not something that ruins relationships. Alcoholism is what ruins relationships. – Reddit User ShadyLondon
Relationship and Parenting Lessons
I learned that communication is key. Telling your SO how you feel is paramount. My dad used to get angry a lot and my mom resented it, but never told my dad how it made her feel until years later and by that time it was too late. My wife and I tell each other how things make us feel calmly. It seems to work really well. – Reddit User howhardcoulditB
I learned that you don’t need both parents. It’s better to have a happy child in a “Broken home.” Rather than an Unhappy child in a Dysfunctional home. – Reddit User WhatsTheMatterMcFly
I shut down when people say “Oh I will stay together for the kid.” Look dude or dudette, you aren’t fooling anyway including your child/children that you are happy. It is miserable for the child. Your dynamic with the other is seriously impacting the child’s ability to develop something resembling a healthy understanding of what a relationship is. It’s beyond awkward. It’s lose-lose all around. – Reddit User IssueDuJour
I learnt that a parent can still be a parent regardless of distance, if the effort is made. My father called me every Friday to hear about my week, never forgot a birthday and was an incredible role model. He died last year. Miss those calls, even if they went on forever, he repeated himself a lot. Turns out, so do I! You see, my ‘rents split when I was 2… – Reddit User MuchLolage
These confessions fall in line with conventional wisdom about the impact of divorce on children, with the trust and relationship issues in particular.
In fact, children of divorce are 50 percent more likely to get divorced than those whose parents are still together. What’s more, they are more likely to marry another child of divorce, which raises their chance of divorce by 200 percent.
Regardless of what behaviors and relationship fates these children of divorce may be susceptible to, it’s very clear many aim to not repeat the mistakes they watched their parents make. By opening up about what they went through, and how it affected them they may be able to do so.