Monday, October 13, 2008


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?


Rachel said...

Divorce is horrible for everyone involved, whether the parties admit to it or not.

My neighbors both have divorced parents (grandparents for the kids) and they've taken a stand that the divorce stops with their family, and have even gone as far to tell the grandparents they will not subject their children to the dysfunctional issues the grandparents have.

I know that sounds harsh, but when kiddos finally do come along for you & Superman, your first priority is to protect them, even if it means keeping the crazy family at bay. You can please the family and pray it won't affect your kids or you can take steps to secure a healthy mentality and view of the home and marriage in your children.

I think I know which one ya'll will choose. :)

Brooke said...

one thing that Mr. Right and I have noted is that ours will be the first wedding in a long time where there are only two sets of parents - instead of 4. heartbreaking, since many of the weddings have been people who grew up in church.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

My parents divorced when I was 21. I don't think anything has effected me (negatively) so profoundly.

"Children are resilient" is one of the biggest lies of our times. I think the devastation carries wider than anyone cares to admit.

Great thoughts here.

MInTheGap said...

I actually am blessed in that my side of the family-- all that are living-- have not divorced. I had all 3 living grandparents (still married) at my wedding, as well as my family.

My aunt and uncles and cousins-- not so good.

On my wife's side, her mom has now divorced twice (after getting remarried after my wife's father had died). I'm blessed that we only visit the two families, and my kids were too young to remember what Nana's house was like with her latest husband.

It is a tragedy-- based on the concept that love is a feeling, not a promise. Until we get that straightened around we're in for a world with more hurt.

I'm glad we know that there's help for the hurting, though.