Adult Children and Divorce

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Divorce is a legal process that allows a couple to have a legal breakdown of their marriage. The out come of a divorce can successfully put its impact on people of almost every age group. However, adults are largely expected to face the turmoil coming from a failed marriage. Children who have seen their parents taking divorce usually in the later stage of their life, tend to take a divorce and end their marriage. It has been observed that 40% or adults in the age of 18 to 40, who have opted for a divorce have come from broken homes. This group of adult children from divorced houses are termed as "Adult Children of Divorce" or "Adult Kids of Divorce." The acronyms for these terms are ACODs or AKODs.

Divorce complications faced by parents with an adult child:

  • When a divorced parent begins to date, they tend to do the following:
    • Introduce their date to the adult children
    • Depend on the children for help and social advice
    • Several ACODs have reported that this sort of conversation with their divorced parents is highly frustrating and discouraging.
  • Men coming from divorced family seem more stressful and agitated in their adult phase of life.
  • The adult children usually show their reluctance towards getting married in their respective lives due to failure of their parent's marriage.
  • The adult children coming from broken families seem to be less satisfied in their lives as compared to the rest of the adults who belong to a happy family.
  • These adult children are usually found with severe emotional problems because of the divorce they had encountered between their parents.
  • In few of the cases, generally parents treat the adult children as a supportive friends. However, at times they cross the boundaries of a parent with his or her respective child. As a result, children may find themselves stuck or say stressed out due to the expectations of their parents.

Assistance for divorcing parents with Adult Children:

  • In order to voice their experiences and feelings, ACODs can create websites and / or online support / discussion groups.
  • Counseling and psychotherapy: In order to deal with all problems raised during or after the divorce process between the parents; children may consult an experienced counselor or undergo some psychotherapy, which can greatly contribute to settle down various complications such as emotional disturbance and likewise.

Recommendations for ACODs

  • The adult child must believe that he / she would overcome the trauma of divorce. There must be a strong conviction that in life whenever there is a situation of grief and loss, the associated people undergo a phase of healing. This phase may be of different periods for different people. The adult children of divorces must face such phase courageously with a positive perspective in life.

  • The AKOD must acknowledge the fact that the worst adversary is not the divorced parents but the expectations of the parents from them. It is advised that the adult children should remain grateful for the present situation. They must view the present through a lens not muddled by the past. If possible, an adult child must try to talk openly with their parents to discuss the reasons that has lead to a divorce. At the same time, they must understand their parents and maintain a healthy relationship with each parent if the reason is genuine and acceptable.

  • It is highly important that the adult child divulges all their feelings related to their parents divorce to a person whom they trusts the most. This person may turn out to be a therapist / mentor / friend. As an illustration, when an adult girl confided to her husband, her husband told and made her believe that she was not alone. Both of them were together when it came to overcoming the sorrow that was resulted from her parent's divorce. The husband made her understand that just because her parents are divorced, this does not mean her life would progress in a similar manner.

  • The adult child should never take the side of any one specific parent. This is because in most of the cases, both the parents are equally affectionate towards their children. Hence, an adult child should properly analyze whether their decision to back one parent will be feasible or just hurt the another parent, who has always been caring and a support during the marriage.

Consequently, it can be stated that adult children may get to experience various consequences which mainly result from a divorce between both the parents. However, adult children need to take some essential measures in order to prevent the negative impacts of a divorce process.

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