UNITED STATES—Divorce, I would argue many Americans have encountered or at least experienced the drawbacks of divorce. I hate when people compare divorce to death, while devastating, it’s not like something no longer being in the presence on Earth, but things as we know it will never ever be the same. I first experienced the aftereffects of divorce when I was a child, because my parents got divorced when I was 7. It was something that was hard to describe in words because I remember bits and pieces. However, the one thing that never shakes my mind was hearing the constant arguing and fighting my parents did leading up to the divorce.
It was stressful and it was something that left me, my younger sister and younger brother attempting to grapple what was transpiring. With the snap of a finger, a family dynamic was shattered. Making the situation worse, was the fact that you have kids who are used to seeing a parent on a daily basis, to only seeing a parent on the weekend. I hated the notion that both my mother and father in their own fashion put me and my siblings in a situation where we felt that we had to choose one parent over the other. That was something that really irked me. When a divorce transpires, both adults need to consider the harsh reality of how the children will respond to the news, in addition, to ensuring they understand the divorce has NOTHING to do with them, but more importantly not to get them involved in the drama. I mean I questioned for years, just how my life and my siblings life and even my parents lives would have been different if they remained married. I almost want to create a script chronicling perhaps the positive and negative effects of what WOULD have transpired if they would have worked to keep their marriage going.
I mean today, my parents are in a much better place, and I think that is a direct result that they have children together and are forced to interact with each other. Yes, my father harbored animosity to my mother for years, and vice versa, but as time progressed, it became a realization for them both; by implementing the divorce it was the best outcome not just for them, but for their kids as well. Do I believe divorce has altered my reality when it comes to relationships? Without a doubt, because to be honest, I don’t think I will ever get married, but never say never! It’s just a belief to me that you don’t have to get married to be happy, but I understand why people do. There are legal perks to being married, but also the legal ramifications from getting a divorce can be just as costly.
The child or children now find themselves living with one parent over the other, so a united household now becomes fractured and it leaves the children wondering if they have betrayed one parent over the other. There are a lot of people out there who suspect when you get divorced it does not change anything, well for anyone who has divorced someone, or are the children of divorced parents, you know that is not the case. Why? It does change all. The conversations change, the people you interact with change, the frequency of visits with people change, everything changes as a result of a divorce. Those who have kids will still interact with the other parent, but if there aren’t any kids involved, a divorce is like slicing everything and going your separate ways.
People always ask what the cause of your parent’s divorce was and it was a question that I could not easily answer because I DON’T know the answer. My father has his truth; my mother has her truth, and somewhere in the middle lies the actual truth America. However, I will admit money has and will always be a source of contention for most marriages ending in divorce. I will admit I think communication is actually a bigger proponent in most divorces than people realize.
Communication is key any relationship, because if you are not talking, things are going unanswered. At the same time, it raises the question as to what form of communication works best. There is always that person who is the aggressor, there is that person who is docile and then you can have this situation where both individuals are overly aggressive. It’s not always about getting your point across, it’s about putting an issue on the table and finding a way to come up with a solution that helps the marriage or benefits the children.
The purpose of this column is to voice just how a divorce changes things in ways that may not always seem grand right away, but in the long-term the varying effects are felt for weeks, months and in some cases years to come. Not everyone gets divorced and become lifelong friends, for many a divorce is the immediate end to a family as some people know it. Sometimes, and I mean sometimes, it takes a person getting a divorce to realize that perhaps the person they can’t stand is someone they love much more than they ever expected.