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Did you grow up with two homes-Did you regret your parents divorce? - Page 4

post #61 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
You have just made and excellent argument against:

Single parents marrying
Moving
Having another child
Changing schools
Death in the family
Chronic illness in the family
Changing place of worship
Parent going back to work
Parent becoming a SAHP
And I'm sure many other changes that happen in a childs life too.
post #62 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
No, the studies show that parental divorce and remarriage are uniquely traumatic to kids, while the other changes you mention are short-term and can even teach adapability.
Do you happen to have any citations for those studies? I would truly like to read them...<void of any snarkism>
post #63 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
No, the studies show that parental divorce and remarriage are uniquely traumatic to kids, while the other changes you mention are short-term and can even teach adapability.
I can make out 9 things on that list of... 9 things that are perminent changes.

Last I checked we aren't capable of reviving the dead yet.
post #64 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
No, the studies show that parental divorce and remarriage are uniquely traumatic to kids, while the other changes you mention are short-term and can even teach adapability.
hmmm... I would think that divorce can also teach adapability, and the 'other changes' don't seem all that temporary (i.e. death in the family..).

And, for the record, I was soooooo *not* traumatized when my parents divorced.. (though I was by them staying together)
post #65 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
No, the studies show that parental divorce and remarriage are uniquely traumatic to kids, while the other changes you mention are short-term and can even teach adapability.
How is a death short term and less traumatic than divorce?
post #66 of 118
My parents divorced when I was around 2 and my brother around 4.
My parents still get along to this day, have only had a hand full of major disagreements since they divorced (and usually kept them away from my brother and I).
Both of my parents remained in our lives after the divorce.

I am soooooooooooo glad they made that decision and didn't wait too long and drag out the misery they both must have been in while married. I like my parents much better apart than together! I think their divorce probably helped them maintain a friendly relationship down the road.

Here is how it worked for us. My mom was clearly better at keeping us healthy, fed proper, clean, and provided us living stability. While my mom earned a much smaller wage she owned her home (same property they lived on while married but different house) and tracked her money much better. My mom had a more even temperment and was easier to talk to about emotional issues and troubles. So 5 days a week my brother and I lived with my mom.

On weekends (up until middle school when we decided for ourselves how to spend our time) my dad would come pick us up and we'd go to his house (several different places over my childhood) until sunday evening when he would bring us home. My dad was great for all the fun stuff. He'd buy us fun stuff, we'd eat junk all day, play like kids should, run around and explore, and he'd do much of it along with us. My dad was always active (despite being an older dad) and while he is a crazy workaholic he always made time to play with us. Taking us on trips in the summer, going to parks, going out to eat (he prefered hitting a mom and pops resturant over cooking), and buying us random, totally unnessesary stuff that we didn't need but sure had fun with. While it's important that both parents play a balanced role I do think we still came out with a fairly well rounded childhood.

It was absolutly key that my parents did whatever they could to remain on a friendly basis. They were definatly not interested in being together or being buddies but, if one had a problem they could still go to the other. When one had trouble the other helped out happily. Even now that my brother and I are grown that has not changed. They still annoy one another from time to time but, understand each others good qualities too. On major holidays my mom always cooks a meal and my dad is always invited. There was a particular dinner in the last 3 years when my brother ended up going to his wife family's house and I ended up going to dh's mom's house but, my mom still made a dinner and her and my dad had it together at my mom's house. My dad even showed up early like usual and fixed some things around my mom's house then stayed awhile after dinner to settle his overstuffed belly and chat.

My mom's house was always home base. Both of my parents understood that and knew it was best. They didn't try to split time and activities perfectly even just for the sake of being even because they knew that wouldn't be the best experience for my brother and I. My mom didn't take us on any trips or extensive outtings because she didn't have the money to but, she wasn't offended at my dad taking us on week long motorhome trips across the state during the summer. When we had problems with friends or in school or were sick we ran straight to my mom but, my dad didn't get his feeling hurt over it. They seemed to understand what one another's best territory was and readily allowed us to regulate our own lives between the two of them.

If my parents had stayed married I probably would have been miserable as child and an adult who was very confused about what a marriage is supposed to be. I'm all for people trying to work things out but, when two people should never have married in the first place it would seem best to find a better way to live when damage control clearly isn't working. Of course I'm glad my parents were married... or I wouldn't be here! But, I'm also fortunate that they divorced when they did. I had a great childhood with few major issues. None of the problems I went through were created or made worse by divorce. Not once did I resent their decision or wish they were together.

Neither remarried and if they dated at any point they did an extremely good job of keeping it away from my brother and I. I didn't know a single thing of it. Things probably would have been much more complicated for my brother and I if they did go on to persue any serious relationships. There may have been some hurt feelings with extra mother or father figures in the picture. MAY have been.. I know some parents make that work well.
post #67 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyEvrAfter View Post
Do you happen to have any citations for those studies? I would truly like to read them...<void of any snarkism>
I need to read them one of these days, too. I've heard them cited many times, but I don't know how many factors are considered and how many aren't, yk? I, personally, would never have divorced my son's father if there'd been any way to make it work, and if he weren't stealing money from our household (directly from my purse a few times) for drugs, etc. The situation was absolutely impossible, and, on those occasions when he had ds1 alone (while I was at work, for example), the level of negligence was absolutely abusive. If kids from backgrounds like that are showing up in studies in a higher proportion of divorced families than non-divorced families, I'm not sure it says a lot about the impact of divorce, yk? People in that kind of situation aren't too likely to stick around forever trying to make it work.
post #68 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
No, the studies show that parental divorce and remarriage are uniquely traumatic to kids, while the other changes you mention are short-term and can even teach adapability.
I happen to know someone who moved from one state to another during middle school. That person is in his 30s, and still looks back on that move with negative feelings, because it changed so many parts of his life for the worse. I, at 41, still remember how much I hated starting a new school at the beginning of 4th grade...and how much starting high school mucked up my life. So...yeah...
post #69 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by FondestBianca View Post
It was absolutly key that my parents did whatever they could to remain on a friendly basis. They were definatly not interested in being together or being buddies but, if one had a problem they could still go to the other.
I think you are absolutely right. I think the reason my parents divorce was not traumatic for me was because they agreed to continue to be parents, even if they weren't husband and wife - any major decisions were agreed upon, both stayed in the same town, and they above all were civil to each other.
post #70 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons
No, the studies show that parental divorce and remarriage are uniquely traumatic to kids, while the other changes you mention are short-term and can even teach adapability.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyEvrAfter View Post
Do you happen to have any citations for those studies? I would truly like to read them...<void of any snarkism>
Here's one released last month: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/familystability.htm

“Our results suggest that the key for many children is growing up in a stable household, where they don’t go through divorce or other changes in the family – whether that is in a single-parent home or a married home.”

Also,

"Based on this study, we can’t say for sure that marriage will be a good thing for the children of single mothers – particularly if that marriage is unhealthy and does not last."
post #71 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbactivist View Post
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?
when people say they wish their parents had split up earlier, it's probably because things got better once it happened so they're wishing that things had gotten better sooner. When someone's in an unhappy home for 20 years (or whatever), I'm sure they're wishing all along that their parents would be able to get along, but a childhood is a long time and if they can't make it work then, maybe they feel it's unrealistic to keep wishing that they could work it out. Not trying to put words in anyone's mouth, but I'm sure as much as we all want everyone to get along, some people may just not want to keep trying to fit their family in a mold that's just not working for them..
post #72 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seasons View Post
Here's one released last month: http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/familystability.htm

“Our results suggest that the key for many children is growing up in a stable household, where they don’t go through divorce or other changes in the family – whether that is in a single-parent home or a married home.”

Also,

"Based on this study, we can’t say for sure that marriage will be a good thing for the children of single mothers – particularly if that marriage is unhealthy and does not last."
That's interesting. I may try to find the whole study. There are still a million things unaccounted for, of course. I also think these measures are far too narrow.

I had not-great marks in high school (everything from A+ in subjects I liked, to Fs in subjects that I didn't...or where the teacher was boring). I definitely had behavioural issues (pot use, drinking, fighting, mouthing off staff, etc.). According to that study's criteria, my home life was stable - but it wasn't. According to that study's criteria, ds1's home life isn't/wasn't stable (as I've divorced and remarried), but he has no behavioural issues (unless we're counting a pronounced desire to stay on the couch and sleep all summer), and gets very good marks and is involved in extracurriculars (something I wouldn't have touched with a 10 foot pole), etc. That's a very small study size - two people! - but I've always found these studies so contrary to what I see around me that it's hard to take them seriously.

I also think "single by choice" vs. "single as a result of divorce" can be pretty restrictive. What about a couple that splits up when the child is an infant vs. a couple who splits up when she gets pregnant? In one case, it could be said that she's single by choice, but there's really not much practical difference for the child.

I find myself a little suspicious of studies about most societal issues, including this one. There are just soooo many factors involved that I have my doubts about how effectively they can isolate what they're looking at.
post #73 of 118
My parents were divorced when I was like 3.
I never had wild fantasies about them getting back together, either.
They got along really well and never talked trash about eachother, I never heard them fighting or anything.
The part I didn't like was my step father. He was kind of a jerk (like trying to act like my dad when IMO he should have butted out). They're still married and we get along much better now- because I live in MA and they're in FL LMAO
post #74 of 118
Skimmed most of the replies...agree with some of what has been said. From my experience with parents who divorced when I was eight years old, yes the divorce was traumatic, but we adapted (three siblings + me) but just as we were getting adjusted both parents re-married extreme opposites. Our living situation was every other year, every other weekend, every other holiday (all in the same town-to provide stability ) What was even harder was to see my parents put all this effort into second marriages with people we had horrible clashes with because they couldn't bear another divorce. Well that is the simple, condensed version. I would say based on my experiences and those of many friends, yes divorce is traumatic, but you can recover, it is the dynamics of future partners and remarriages which really impacts and can give the lingering issues which is always then attributed to the divorce. (note the possibility, not inevitability of a negative outcome) I would say the most important constant for children is to feel loved and important and with that they are pretty resilient.
post #75 of 118
Since I was effectively "called out" on page 1 I thought I'd come back and answer why I'd said I wished they'd have gotten their act together and split up sooner (rather than getting their act together and stay together).

I wish my dad would've gotten his act together and gotten into recovery sooner. Being sober did make a positive impact on the amount of time he wanted to spend with his kids, for example.

I wish my mom would've gotten her act together and seen that recovery wasn't the answer for a narcissistic personality, that even sober my dad still was unkind and downright creepy.

I wish that my mom didn't have to go through years of futility and cruelty. I wish I hadn't seen any of it.

I won't say any more than that, I've already aired enough of my parents' dirty laundry online.

For those who commented that their parents were grownups and managed to stay together, that's totally awesome for them and for you. You do realize that you had nothing to do with that, right?
post #76 of 118
my parents divorced when i was in 3rd or 4th grade. it was very very traumatic for me. i actually don't remember much before the divorce, but have lots of (mostly bad) memories after.

the hardest part was the custody arrangement. they both wanted us so they decided we'd go back and forth weekly. they only lived a couple of miles apart so this worked out great. except i HATED it. hated every single second of it. i would call my mom crying, begging her to not make us stay with him, but she wouldn't. he was not abusive but he was just miserable, and miserable to be around, and very very grouchy. and i did not feel loved or safe at all with him. my mom, on the other hand, i loved. i still don't know why she made us stay with him.

do i regret their divorce? i don't know. for a long long time, i did, intensely. i pretty much hated my childhood, but i think it was my dad more than the divorce. if they'd divorced, but i'd lived with my mom only (or a lot more than 50%) i think it would have been much better.

i really have no idea how my mother ever thought she loved my father. they are so totally different. i guess there is a big part of me that has always felt like she chose him and chose to have children with him, so she owed it to us to stay with him. now that i am older though, i can see how miserable it would have been to stay with him, and that it probably wouldn't have been great for any of us if she had.

i think there is more i wanted to say, but my 2yo is screaming for me, so i'll have to end here.
post #77 of 118
my parents divorced when I was in elementary. I thought and still do that both of them are toxic and when together, they were more toxic. So I do not regret their divorce.
post #78 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by beesknees View Post
Skimmed most of the replies...agree with some of what has been said. From my experience with parents who divorced when I was eight years old, yes the divorce was traumatic, but we adapted (three siblings + me) but just as we were getting adjusted both parents re-married extreme opposites. Our living situation was every other year, every other weekend, every other holiday (all in the same town-to provide stability ) What was even harder was to see my parents put all this effort into second marriages with people we had horrible clashes with...
Now, I don't get this at all. I have a good friend who has a stepdad that she's never been able to get along with. I've known her since we were kids, when the guy was living with them, but they weren't married yet. He was sooo nasty to her (a lot of it just in a totally clueless about kids way, but far from all of it). Her mom blew off everything she ever said about the guy, and went ahead and married him. My friend grew up in a really toxic environment with this guy who just didn't give a crap about her...and she felt that her mom didn't, either, because why would she make my friend live with this guy??

When dh moved in with me (long distance relationship for a year), ds1 had met him multiple times, and really enjoyed his company. DH felt that if we were going to be a family, it was important that they got along. In dh's opinion, that meant being a loving person, and also meant doing things...volunteering as a Cub Scout leader in ds1's troop, helping him with homework, etc. I wouldn't even have considered having him move in if he and ds1 didn't get along, and I would never, ever have married him. That's just not a fair thing to do to a kid, imo.
post #79 of 118
I think kids grow up at some point (10,11, 12 years old) and realize that 'hoping their parents will work it out and just be happy' is as likely as leprachauns and unicorns taking residence in their front yard.

If you've lived with dysfunction, alcoholism, violence, etc you get smart quick and can see the faults of your parents and that nothing is going to change the situation into a Brady Bunch scenario.

I wanted my parents to divorce badly, but I was also very afraid of having to live with my mother as is usually the case. I toughed it out and went as far away as I could to college. Of course our family is a big strained mess still. I myself have changed alot (for the better) by putting distance between us.

Divorced families may not be the ideal, but real life is not fairy tale and it can be the better option.
post #80 of 118
My parents divorced when I was 5 and my sister was 3. They never said anything negative about each other so until I was about 13 or so I actually thought they were friends. So their divorce was not a traumatic experience for me. On the other hand, one of the hardest things I faced after the age of 8 was living with a step-dad that I just absolutely did not want around. He was negative, he and my mom fought, and it was obvious to my sister and I that he would have preferred we weren't there. My mom married him thinking we would get along great, because honestly until we were all living together he was so much fun and never tried to be in control. As soon as they got married he completely changed they way he acted around us and was constantly criticizing us. My sister and I both really lashed out against my mom and stepdad and were not comfortable at home. My dad also remarried, and my stepmom turned out to be completely and literally insane. And you know what? You couldn't tell for a while. As long as she was getting what she wanted (in this case a husband with a good job) she was so sweet and easy-going. Then she just sort of transformed into a horrible beast, like in all the disney movies. Seriously.
So yeah, I did not regret their divorce (my dad is undiagnosed manic depressive and an alcoholic and I'm certain they could not have stayed together), I absolutely regretted their remarriages for a long time. Now that I don't live with my mom I can get along with my stepdad and my dad eventually divorced my stepmom, so I don't have to deal with the same issues now. But it was hell for a long time.
An I do think people can change dramatically. I knew when DH and I got married at 19 that the hardest thing we were going to face was that we would both inevitably change as we got older, and you can
t always predict how people will change. For example, religion. We had very uncertain feelings about it (didn't think about it too much) when we got married, but when I became pregnant with DD it felt like we both started thinking about it alot (I guess because it seemed like we should?) but luckily we ended up reaching similar conclusions. What if I had decided to become Catholic and DH decided he was an athiest? Could have been hell. And I'm sure we will face many more things like this, because people are constantly changing and growing, and you can't always predict what path you (or your partner) will take.
I do think some people don't try hard enough to work things out, and DH feels this is the case with his parents. But we can never know unless we are in those people's shoes, so I try not to think like that.
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