No matter what age you were when it happened, witnessing your parents’ divorce is devastating, and healing from it can take years sometimes.
Here are a few tips you might want to consider if you are trying to heal from the divorce of your parents.
1. Don’t pick sides
As a daughter or son, you only know what you are exposed to. You don’t know the intricacies of your parents’ relationship.
You aren’t aware of every conversation exchanged, every action taken or even every prayer prayed. I would urge you not to pit one parent against the other, no matter how the situation may appear.
2. Seek counsel
It isn’t a good idea to keep your emotions bottled inside. Talking to a licensed therapist will allow you to not only release those feelings but also process them in a healthy way.
Where you might be focusing heavily on one parent’s words or actions, the therapist will make sure the emphasis is on you and your needs.
Even if you do not meet with a counselor, make sure that the person consoling you has an objective, unbiased stance.
3. Don’t take their shortcomings into your next relationship
Your parents’ divorce is no excuse to screw up your own relationship. If you aren’t emotionally stable enough to invest in a relationship, then respectfully bow out.
Likewise, if one of your parents was unfaithful, don’t use that as a scapegoat for your infidelity. It may be hard to trust again, and that’s normal. Try not to see every guy as your father or every woman as your mother.
4. Spend time with them individually
Realize that the divorce hurts your parents as much as it hurts you. The memories that you have of your family together are the same memories that your parents have.
When you are ready, try to hang out with each parent. Go out to eat, to the movies, shopping. If you are a single child, your parents might feel like you’re all they have left. Don’t be so upset that you aren’t there for them when they need you.
They are in a very vulnerable state as well. Lean on each other. (Although, if you feel like you’re becoming your parent’s therapist, point them in the direction of someone better able to handle their emotions.)
5. Forgive them both
Holding onto hurt only harms you in the long run. You have to find it in your heart to forgive your parents and honor their decision.
They have loved you the best they could, even if nothing else seemed to go well. This process won’t happen overnight.
Give yourself some time to respond to the loss. You will only be able to move past it, though, once you have cleared the air and lightened the load on your heart.
Once you forgive them, you will be able to see them for the loving people they are, not for the hurt that they have caused.
Believe in love again. Believe in reconciliation. Believe in renewed friendships. Believe in forgiveness, wholeness and healing. Anything is possible. .