In her weekly blog (yes, it is a class assignment), one of my students wrote about her parents’ divorce and how it affected her. Yes, the divorce occurred when she was a child, but it still has lasting effects. She has a stepfather. She has a stepbrother. Her boyfriend’s brother, a staunch Catholic, despises her (she says) because she is from a broken home.
I know about divorce well, but never really gave it an overly-amount of consideration, as my parents are still together. My husband is a product of a divorce (from five years ago), and, for those of you who know me, you KNOW how GREAT that situation has turned out (Sense the sarcasm). My dad also grew up in a divorced home. He had a really rough start as a teen, but he eloped with my mom when he was 20, and they’ve been married 39 years so far. FYI, their story really is a great one.
Our friend, Will, taught our Sunday school lesson yesterday as our regular teacher was a guest speaker at an area church. He briefly mentioned his parents’ divorce and how it had greatly affected him during his teenage years. “I had this part of my life that was taken away,” he said, speaking of his father leaving the home. “He was gone. Everything was different; nothing was the same.”
I never really thought about it that way. I mean, I always knew that when divorce occurs, one person leaves the home, but I started thinking about one parent leaving the home. Not at the family meals. Not watching TV with everyone else. Not being at family get-togethers...How unnatural.
And I got to thinking of all the family counselors, all the attorneys, and all the doctors who prescribe Prozac and anti-depressants who are in business because of divorces. Because of the children who are affected because of divorce.
My children will know divorce, as Superman’s parents are no longer together. Our Thanksgivings and Christmases will not be spent going between two households, but three. For me, an adult, this really doesn’t bother me. But how will it affect my children?
I never really thought too much of family ties and divorces as a kid. In fact, I had extra “aunts” and “grandmothers” who I considered just as much family as my biological ones (comes from being an only child, I’m sure). I hope our children will be the same.
Honestly, I don’t have a true point to this particular blog other than my reflections. Divorce is everywhere, in the church and out. Bad marriages are everywhere. You see it all the time. You see it on television, in your workplace, with your friends. I have friends who are my age who are divorced and have remarried. My dad used to say after I got engaged that I’d come of the “marrying age.” Have I also now been thrown into the “now-it’s-okay-to-divorce age”?
When the two divorcing parties refuse to reconcile, what are the kids supposed to do? How do we heal our families?