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Did you grow up with two homes-Did you regret your parents divorce?

post #1 of 118
Thread Starter 
Hi... I was hoping to hear from adults that grew up with two homes, meaning their parents divorced sometime in their childhood. Did you regret their divorce? Or did you think it was probably the best thing they did? When you became old enough to understand, did you appreciate your parents thinking about your happiness?

I'd just like some real feedback from adults who have lived it. I have heard various stories...

If you hated and regretted it... why? Could they have done anything differently to make it better or easier on you?

Thanks for sharing.
post #2 of 118
My situation is probably different than you're asking about. My parents divorced when I was 17 and it did leave me with some major issues. I really think it was because of their situation and my age. My and my brother's happiness wasn't an equation in it.

But yes, my parents were much happier after they divorced than I ever remember seeing them. So in that way, I'm glad it happened. In every other way, I wish they hadn't.
post #3 of 118
Also different, but...my parents split up when I was 20 or 21. I was so relieved, and a little bit upset with my mom for not doing it sooner. They got back together a couple of times (the last was when I was 23, when my brother and I got married only a few months apart and stirred up all the "this is our family" stuff). When mom finally met my stepdad, I was glad they were finally done with the farce. We had a great childhood, but by the time I was 12 or 13, there was no reason for them to be together, and I can remember wishing with all my heart that she'd just end it.
post #4 of 118
Dh's parents stayed married (they'll celebrate 40 years in November) but he and his siblings (all four of them) have often said that it would have been easier if they divorced. Their parents always fought. MIL talks down to FIL constantly and yells at him all the time too. Even my 4-year-old has picked up on it and doesn't enjoy going to family things because "Grandma is going to yell at Grandpa a lot."

Just wanted to give you that point of view.
post #5 of 118
I didn't have two houses as my dad was out of the picture after the divorce and I have never seen him since I was 1.
But I would say that as a child I did not regret the divorce at all.
When my mom remarried that was the real issue for me. I think it was a bad choice as far as our family and I do regret that she brought that new element into our family. As a mom I would never remarry until my child was an adult. She dated and that was never a problem, it was the new "dad" that caused issues.
post #6 of 118
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by elmh23 View Post
Dh's parents stayed married (they'll celebrate 40 years in November) but he and his siblings (all four of them) have often said that it would have been easier if they divorced. Their parents always fought. MIL talks down to FIL constantly and yells at him all the time too. Even my 4-year-old has picked up on it and doesn't enjoy going to family things because "Grandma is going to yell at Grandpa a lot."

Just wanted to give you that point of view.
This is kind of what spurred the question...

My parents have now been together 30 years... and often I have wished my Mom would have left when she'd gone on about it...

But I guess I'm wondering if this is one of those "grass is always greener on the other side" kind of things...

Kids always wishing whatever situation they are in was the other way. What does anyone think about that?
post #7 of 118
I didn't have two houses, but I have lived with the latent consequences of divorce all my life. My mom left us when I was two years old, and I didn't have a mother figure in my life until my dad married my stepmom when I was about five. My dad only sought a divorce from my bio-mom when it was evident that she was not coming back to us. I don't remember her and wouldn't know her if I saw her on the street. I have pretty much convinced myself that this divorce was good. My only regret is the pain that my dad went through. He still won't talk about it, so I feel that my life more or less started at three (earliest memories are from around that time). I found out through family sources that my dad and bio-mom "had" to get married because of me. They didn't marry for love. They married because it was the right thing to do at the time. My bio-mom probably would have been a miserable human being if she had stayed. My guess is that she would have resented me all her life if she had stayed. In my case, divorce proved to be the better option, even if a part of my life is missing.
post #8 of 118
I am so glad my parents split up, and I wish they would've gotten their acts together and done it sooner.

Actually, I think my mom knew for a long time that she wanted out, but my dad kept asking for more chances. Since there was an addiction component, I think she did give him the chance to get sober and be in recovery for a while (which he did -- 20+ years now). That didn't clear up the interpersonal problems they had, though. My dad's a big control freak in a lot of ways -- but it must be YOU that can't get along with HIM, kwim?

Anyway, they started separating when I was young - we'd go stay at my grandmother's, I must've been 8 or 9. They finally divorced when I was in high school. Yes, it was tough having to spend time in two places, but it was in no way strange -- we adapted. We had lots of friends whose parents were divorced. It wasn't shameful, just something that happened.

My mom has always gone out of her way not to say bad things about my dad - even being very complimentary, telling us how talented he is, etc. - but my dad hasn't done the same. It's taken its toll on our relationship with our dad, but he has only himself to blame as far as that goes.

I'm the oldest and I'm old enough to remember how tense it was in my house, being sent out to sit on the step with my little brother (we're 5 years apart) because they were fighting.... Yeah, I'm glad they split up. I'm glad we've gotten to know them on these terms rather than as these crazy people who were always mad at each other.
post #9 of 118
My dad wasn't a very nice man to my mother. She worked three jobs to put him through school and he wouldn't do the same for her. They fought a lot and he didn't treat her as an equal. He was very mean to my brothers and I. Constantly yelling at us. Spanking (well, beating) happened daily, etc.

After the divorce, my mom was a much happier person. It taught me to not stand for a man that doesn't treat me with respect. Granted, my dad remarried and we now have very little contact with him because he is involved with his "new family".

But honestly, it wasn't that much of a loss.
post #10 of 118
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Kids always wishing whatever situation they are in was the other way. What does anyone think about that?
I don't know about kids. I do know that I've always been relieved that my parents finally split up - relieved that dad's drinking doesn't impact family gatherings, anymore, and relieved that mom has carved out a life that doesn't revolve around someone else's garbage. Even she admits she wasn't the mom she wanted to be or "should" have been in our teens, because she was pouring too much emotional energy into her marriage.

DS1 and I have talked a little bit. His dad and I split up when he was 7. He says he wishes we could have stayed together forever, but not if it was going to be like it was. He loves his dad, but also remembers that life was much less stressful and hard after his dad moved out. I had more energy for him, because I wasn't pouring it all into trying to make my marriage work.

I think what most kids really want isn't the "greener grass" of parents splitting up or not splitting up (whichever they didn't do). What they really want is two parents who love each other and form a healthy home. I really think a lot of kids who wish mom and dad hadn't split up often really wish mom and dad hadn't had to split up.

I wanted my mom to break it off with my dad, but only because I didn't think there was any possibility my dad would get sober...not because I wanted my dad the hell out of my life. I wanted my dad to get sober. That wasn't going to happen. The next best was having that out of our daily life. Am I making any sense?
post #11 of 118
My parents divorced when I was maybe 2 or 3. I don't ever remember living with my "real dad", as I have always called him. My mom remarried very shortly after that, and my step dad has always been my "dad". I know now that things were difficult for him, but I never saw him as anything but my father.

My problems with the divorce I think had more to do with my real dad than anything. He wanted to have a relationship with me, but didn't want to put in the effort. He could never figure out what was important to me (e.g. he wouldn't come to one of my marching band competitions, but he made a huge fuss about my HS graduation and he and my grandpa had a falling out over it). He constantly belittled the things I was interested in and told me I could never ever make money following my dreams. He told me I was fat when I was 10 to 12. By the time I was 16, I asked my mom if they could change the agreement so that I didn't have to see him again unless I wanted to. He lived two states away, so I only saw him once a year anyway, but I hated that that once a year was always Christmas when I would rather have been with my family.

I have had a lot of arguments with him about how he has never shown me that he cares about me, and some of the things he's said have been very hurtful. I eventually came to terms with the fact that he was never going to be a part of my life unless he wanted to. At my wedding, he took the mic first and gave this big speech about how he could tell that DH and were so in love, and that DH was a great guy. He had met him the day before for about an hour. I'm glad that at my own wedding I was just able to sit back and laugh about how silly he was, and now I actually feel kinda sorry for him. I think my parent's divorce really stunted him emotionally. For all of his shortfallings, I think he was really in love with my mom.

All of this is of course to say that, no I don't regret that my parents got divorced. I had a wonderful two parent home regardless. I don't think I would have turned out so well if I had had to live in the house with the man who likes to call himself my dad for 18 years. And I know my mom would have been a wreck if they'd stayed together for me.
post #12 of 118
My parents split up when I was 10, we spent one year going back and forth between the two homes, and then when I was 12 my mom remarried and I moved out of state with her and my stepfather. It was some serious drama for a kid, to be sure- I hadn't known anything about the problems that were going on before, and so it felt out of the blue to me, and to this day I remember my childhood up to that time as being magical and perfect. That said, I don't think that the experience screwed me up or anything I'm sure that different kids react to things in differnet ways, but I was very resilient. Changing schools right after the divorce was scary but exciting, and I made new friends and adjusted to our new house easily. When we moved out of state I had a harder time with the school- mainly because I was going from a small, rural school to a large, urban one- major culture shock there. But I absolutely adore my stepfather- always have. He's a really wonderful person, and I think that my mom made a really good decision (especially now, knowing all the details about my dad and what was going on) I still have a decent relationship with my dad and stepmother- mainly because I put the effort in to keep up with phone calls and occasional visits- it definitely still hurts my feelings that that effort falls to me- I think they should be much more proactive. One thing that would make a big difference in my comfort level would be if my mom could chill herself out a bit whenever we all end up being together. I understand her feelings, and I'm sure that I would feel the same way- but it's a shame that their tension can end up clouding really special events, like weddings, etc. So-- I don't regret it. I do feel a sadness about not having my childhood home as still my "family home", if that makes sense. My dad and stepmom live there and are happy to have us visit-- but they did major remodels after they got married and I kind of feel like "my" home is gone and I can't really find my way back- it's weird and, like I said, kind of sad for me. It's also very hard for me sometimes to know that the reality was so different from my perception as a child. I definitely think that a truly happy family is worth more than a fake happy picture for the world-- but I also know that I will fight tooth and nail for my marriage to remain strong so that my dd can grow up feeling secure in our little circle of love. I want us each to be happy, but I think that, once people have decided to get married and start a family, it needs to be a top priority to find ways to be happy together. If that can't happen- then I think that finding happiness apart is preferrable to being miserable together (and I'm very conscious, having a daughter, of how I want her to learn that women should be treated)
post #13 of 118
I haven't had a chance to read other replies but I experienced I think what you are asking about. My parents split when I was quite young about 6 or 7 and my brother was around 5...

The divorce itself was for the best as my mom was a very repressed lesbian who unfortunately realized this after being married to my dad for several years. So looking back in one sense it was obviously the best thing for them both...At the time however the damage it did to me and I am sure my brother although I cannot speak for him is part of my daily life...

They fought viciously for custody and before that stage they fought horribly in front of my brother and I and I very clearly remember certain incidents where they would be screaming at eachother although we weren't even there. At the time I hated it and felt like it was my fault in some way. I also felt like I had to protect my little brother but was so young myself didn't know how or from what I was protecting him. I felt no relief at the time because it was horrible through and through. After the divorce itself was final even when my parents would meet to switch off who had us, they would fight, in public, in parking lots wherever. They also bad-mouthed each other to my brother and I. Basically all the worst stuff you hear about during a bad divorce. Using the kids against the other adult etc...

Today, I look back with relief that they got divorced, they get along wonderfully 15 years later and can actually be friends (my dad calls my mom all the time for advice). Sometimes it truly is the best thing.

What I do regret is how it went down. I will never forget some of the aweful things that occurred to my brother and I because our parents were too wrapped up in their own anger and misery to realize how it might affect us.

The problem that happens or at least in my case occurred is when parents get divorced and the children are young, if the parents do not make it extremely clear over and over again that it is not the child's fault, that child doesn't understand and thinks it is in part, I know I did... Also fighting in front of the child is something that will not be forgotten, I know I have never forgotten it or the things my parents said to me about the other...Thats what I regret, that they couldn't handle themselves like adults and left my brother and I to deal with their issues! Once again though, today i am glad they did and I love them both and know that it was for the best!
post #14 of 118
My parents divorced when I was 12 - I remember being relieved when it happened, I was ready for an end to the constant bickering and arguments. It was difficult in some ways, my time was divided between parents, and the emotions from my parents in the beginning of the divorce where hard to see. But it was the best thing that could have happened for my relationship with my father. I don't really remember him being a major part of my childhood, he was so busy making a living for the family, that he forgot to be part of the family. But after the divorce, he made a huge effort to be an active part of my life. My brother and I each had our own room at his place, we spent every Wed and every weekend with my father and he made the most of the time by learning to cook, taking us to festivals, and really being there for us.
post #15 of 118
I will speak for both myself, and my daughter.

First me... My parents did NOT divorce. But, for most of my childhood, I would have given almost anything if they had. But, I would not have gone to my dad's house if they had divorced, so I would only have had one house.

My daughter... She was fine that we weren't together. (usually) but, she never liked going from home to his house on the weekends. Especially as she got older and had to skip sleepovers and parties. She would have rather he come to stay with us on his weekends. LOL.

My neighbors actually do that. The kids stay in the house, the parents move out on the weekends. It works for them. We (the neighbors) kinda like it too. We all really like the Dad, but can barely tolerate the mom.
post #16 of 118
I was 6 or 7 when my parents divorced. My father was a depressed alcoholic who was chronically unemployed. My mother worked constantly because she had to support us.

While I think it was for the best for my mom, it was a horrible time for us children. It wasn't even that dramatic, no custody battles, no massive fights in front of us, etc. My dad did disappear for awhile to get himself sober and had quite a few choice words to say when my mother remarried a year later. That made things harder.

I guess what I'm saying is that as a child, I wished that my parents were still together and wished they hadn't divorced. I still have a secret part of me that wishes that they had stayed together and worked things out. However, as an adult and viewing my mother as a person with needs instead of just as my mother, I see that she did what she needed to do.

Is that clear as mud?

ETA: I spent every other weekend and some (very pitiful) holidays with my father. I never viewed his apartment as my home though. He has never remarried and I've always felt a sense of responsibility for him.
post #17 of 118
Another who's situation is different then you mean. My dad divorced my Bio mom after she tried to kill him when I was 14 months old. His second wife is "mom" to me. They divorced when I was six. I didn't live in two homes really because mom had no grounds for custody and even if she did she probably would have just let me stay with dad. I did spend time at her house ( if anyone asks I was visiting my brother). Honestly each and every time my dad has gotten divorced (four times) I was happy about it. It was usually preceeded by a whole lot of fighting, tension, nasty sarcastic comments, and some very WASPish behaviour. It was not pleasant.

My brother had a harder time with mom and dad being divorced because they are both his bio parents and he was too young to really remember what it was like just before the divorce. For along time he thought that they divorced because they hit a rough patch and decided to call it quits without really trying (thank you to some overly nosey and way too presumtuous adults in mom's church). We got that cleared up around the time he turned 16. He found out that the stories I made up for him where my way of trying to distract him from the yelling.
post #18 of 118
Originally Posted by marisa724 View Post
I am so glad my parents split up, and I wish they would've gotten their acts together and done it sooner.
I guess I always wonder in these conversations, why not wish they had gotten their acts together and made a happy marriage together? I am not being snarky. I hear that alot, "I wish my parents ahd split up, rather than fighting for 20 years (or whatever)" why not wish they had just grown up and gotten along?
post #19 of 118
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
Well, I was kind of asking the same thing. And I dont' mean it to be snotty. But can anyone really argue that two happy parents 'apart' is really better than two happy parents 'together'?
I don't think anyone could argue that. But, I'm not sure how it applies to anything in this thread. I'd have loved two happy parents together...but they've been permanently split up for over 16 years. Their first - short - separation was when I was about 16. My dad's still drinking. Sometimes, two happy parents together isn't an option. It just isn't.
post #20 of 118
In situations like the ops, if her husband refuses to get help, then yes, it probably is better for her daughter. but really, her husband should get help. that would be the best scenario.
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