Divorced Families

Speeding down to the end of our road‚ Taylor Street‚ there was a stream off the road to the left. I jumped the curb on my bike and went to the edge of the water. I remember throwing rocks into the water feeling confused‚ alone‚ and angry‚ that it was perhaps somehow my fault—my parents’ divorce. I was told that day that they were getting divorced. Those words did something to me.

Children of divorce have their worlds shattered when mom and dad end their marriage. Life as it had been to that point partially dies and is never the same. It strips us of the naïve security and stability we innocently and rightly had placed within the fiber of our parents’ marriage. From this point on, it is common for children of divorce to shut off a part of themselves‚ not allowing anyone to ever have the power to hurt them like that again. Is it any wonder those from divorced families struggle with trust and intimacy and are very likely to end up divorced themselves someday as a consequence of their parents’ divorce? If the parents did not have the knowledge to succeed at marriage‚ how can they possibly pass the “secrets” of marriage on to their children? They can’t. And the result is over 50% of marriages in America today end in divorce.

Were your parents divorced? If so‚ I hope you will take a long‚ internal look at how the divorce impacted you. In my life, it was confusing and saddening during all the separations my parents went through. Then, due to my dad’s alcoholism and violence, the divorce actually took place when I was around 11 years old. The confusion and sadness got worse. My dad would pick me up to spend time together, then drop me off a few hours later…it was back and forth all the time. When he dropped me off, I didn’t know if I would ever see him again. The relational and emotional inconsistency damaged my personal security and identity. Their divorce demolished my life stability and I didn’t even realize what was going on within me. Bouncing back and forth was emotional chaos for me as a boy and it carried into my adult life. Now‚ by God’s grace and power‚ I have been able to identify the fractures of childhood divorce to take steps to heal and move on‚ preparing for that day‚ God willing‚ when I will have a marriage of my own‚ one that will last forever.

If you are a child of divorce I suggest reading Growing Up Divorced by Dr. Archibald Hart‚ as well as seeking more resources and perhaps even Christian counseling and a divorce recovery support group. I did not want the cycle of divorce to extend to me, so I took necessary steps to discover how divorce damaged me. I have learned‚ and am still learning‚ how to grow as a person so that my future children‚ if God allows me to have any‚ will not have to speed down our street on their bike‚ throw rocks into the stream‚ and feel they are somehow responsible for their mom and me divorcing.