How Divorced Parents Affect Child's Perception Of Love

My Divorced Parents Showed Me Your First Marriage Doesn't Have To Be Your Last Marriage

My parents' divorce gave me a different perception of love.

Emily Wilson

When I was younger, my parents shared custody of me after their divorce. I was a toddler when it happened so I don't remember what it was like around that time, but I know they weren't the right people for each other based on their decision to divorce.

For a lot of my life, I let that determine how I looked at relationships.

I had to split up my week between houses so I could be with both of my parents as equally as possible. Sometimes it would depend on my parents' work schedules when it fluctuated between seasons, but for the most part, it was pretty consistent.

That didn't mean it was easy for me, though.

I was a very involved kid all the way through high school. I was on a sports team and in several student organizations, meaning my parents had a hell of a time running me around until I got a car. It was a balance of a dance I had choreographed pretty well, but it was exhausting.

All this time, I vowed to myself that my first marriage would be my last marriage, that I wouldn't ever get a divorce. Especially if I had a kid.

Now, I think of how not only was that absolutely stupid of me to think, it was also so rude to my parents. They might not even know that's what I had thought, but it was. The idea that I thought of myself to be someone so above the possibility of divorce, that I thought I could practically force my future spouse into staying with me and working things out no matter what is idiotic.

I think this realization came to me after I ended my first major, long-term relationship. If I hadn't finally grown sick of the toxic behaviors, I probably would've eventually married him. I think about how unhappy I was in that relationship when there wasn't even really anything forcing me to stay in it besides comfort and fear, let alone a legal binding.

Sometimes, relationships just aren't able to be saved and maintained. And that's OK.

I look at both my mom and dad now and can see just how happy they both are in their second marriages. There are rough times, sure, but no relationship can ever completely avoid hardship. There's a difference between hardship and toxicity. There's a difference between going through a rough patch and being mistreated.

It's OK for things to not work out sometimes, even if it's your marriage. Of course, it's important to fight and do everything you can for someone you love, but there's a point where things just can't turn around sometimes. Sometimes, leaving is better than enduring. Sometimes, there's something better for you out there than what you're settling for. You deserve that something that's better than what you're settling for, especially if that something is marriage.

You deserve someone who truly loves you.

Because I grew up in a divorced family, I always saw it as a bad thing. I remember seeing the court document that finalized my parents' divorce and crying at the language that declared it dissolved. I saw it as a burden for me, a hassle I had to endure instead of what was best for my parents. I used to swear that I would never let my future spouse divorce me, firmly holding the opinion that no matter what happens, my marriage would endure. I realize now, as an adult who grew up in a divorced family, how toxic that viewpoint actually is.

Now, I've learned to value a loving relationship over just being in a relationship.

The fear of being alone or going through something so hard as a breakup or a divorce isn't going to keep me trapped in a marriage that isn't what's best for me, hypothetically. I know now that my parents made a tough but good decision for not only themselves but for me. They wanted me to learn what love actually was, not what forced love was.

For that, I thank them and love them so much.

I hope to one day have a marriage that is half of what my parents' second marriages are. I've gained incredible additions to my family over the course of my life through these remarriages. I don't think of growing up in a divorced household as something that necessarily hurt me anymore. It made me stronger, it made my parents stronger, and it gave me the perception of love that I know they've always hoped I'd have.

Follow Swoon on Instagram.

Report this Content
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments