“When love is strong, a man and a woman can make their bed on a sword’s blade.
When love grows weak, a bed of 60 cubits is not large enough.” – Talmud
One of the difficult moments in life occurs when your child says they are going to divorce.
As parents, we all hope for a good life for our children.
When they marry, we hope the choice is a good one. It may be for them, but often we are not pleased with the choice and have to accept it.
Some families have not spoken to one another because of just that reason; they really cannot accept the partner their child has chosen.
That is too bad and even when the in-law is not someone we can like or even ‘stand’; for the sake of the child we go along.
If time does not make things better there can be really bad feelings and they will show themselves in one form or another, mark my words.
The reasons can vary and don’t truly matter. The partner may be of a different background, religion, class, or just not what you would have chosen.
The old saying that if at the wedding the groom’s parents say she isn’t good enough for him, and the bride’s parents say the same; the marriage will work!
That may or may not be the case.
Sometimes a child picks someone very different from their parent of the opposite sex because they really do not respect or like what they have seen growing up. That is a big problem because in the end that is what they learned a marriage partner was supposed to be like and they were used to that pattern of marital relationship.
If, over time the couple are not enjoying what should be a ‘good’ relationship and if there are children it can be a heartache BUT it can also be an opportunity for change, growth, and a better life.
The parent has to be there in whatever form the child wants; just to listen, to give a hand, offer money, or whatever will be needed. The child needs support and understanding and kindness.
Perhaps professional counselling can be offered to see if the relationship is salvageable.
Whatever the final answer if divorce is inevitable there will be pain, and some regrets and suffering in some fashion. That can be short if the new freedom is feeling better, or bitterness if there was much hurt.
The thing to keep in mind is that your child needs good legal advice and financial protection.
If they ask for advice give it, and your opinions, but they have to be independent and stand on their own two feet from now on.
If small children are involved that area needs careful attention and planning. The hope is always that parents although they do not wish to continue together can act in the child’s best interest. Often one or the other is angry or hurt and wants to ‘pay back’ the other partner by using the child. That’s playing ’dirty’ and is hurting the child more than the ex-partner.
Children, even very young ones know what goes on emotionally in their homes. Just ask any kid in kindergarten about his or her family.
Older children can take sides based on what they feel for each of their parents.
Hopefully the parents can address the concerns and answer the basic questions. Children need to know they did not cause this and that they will be loved and provided for.
As grandparents, a lot can be offered unless the children are withheld from you. That is a disaster and true heartache.
In the end, most children keep close in some form to the people they feel love them. They know.
Often grandparents have problems with their adult children not liking the manner in which the grandchildren are being brought up. This can cause any sort of disruption in families.
They are not your children and if you have done a decent job raising your child you need to trust they will be able to do a good job raising their own children.
As a counselor, the best are those that can move on, accept reality, and make progress in their own personal development. Life moves forward not backward.
Experience, both good and bad, painful, and joyful is all good learning.
Children will have issues around divorcing parents but they too can learn in a beneficial way.
They will choose their mates one day and remember the things to watch out for!
No one has a rose garden for life, and everything is finite. When it is a marriage and divorce it is not easy but today it seems to be a common way to learn about mature love.
“Love, the quest; marriage the conquest; divorce, the inquest.” – Helen Rowland