Learning about your parents’ divorce is never easy, no matter your age. We have discussed in previous blog posts just how much divorce can affect adult children.
As the trend of divorce for couples over 50 continues to rise, it is even more important for adult children to take steps to protect themselves and their relationships with their parents. So, what can you do in these situations?
Setting – and sticking to – boundaries is critical
It may be difficult, but establishing and maintaining boundaries is especially important for adult children if their parents pursue a divorce. Every family’s situation is different, but it can help you navigate these circumstances if you:
- Remind your parents to respect the parent-child relationship
- Avoid becoming the messenger or go-between for parents
- Try to make sure both parents are equally included in important events
Even as an adult, your parents’ relationship can have a large impact on your life. Their divorce may make family events awkward or interfere with long-standing family traditions. Setting these boundaries can help you protect your peace and yourself as you deal with the emotional aspects of the divorce.
Avoid getting involved
In some cases, you might feel like you should get involved. After all, it is not easy when loved ones face tough times. You want to be there for them and support them.
However, it is possible to support your parents throughout the divorce without getting involved in the logistics and proceedings of the divorce. You must strike a careful balance to avoid becoming a confidante to one or both parents – and taking on the pressure that comes with that – and being present for your parents.
One way to accomplish this is by focusing on your relationships. Psychology Today recommends that adult children directly inform their parents that they wish to maintain a relationship with both of them. Making your own wishes clear can help you to set your boundaries and avoid taking sides, while still supporting your loved ones.