When parents divorce, there is often a perception that only adolescents and younger children will be affected by their parents’ split. However, as some adult children in New York might find out with gray divorce increasing, the end of the marriage can impact children no matter their age.
Adult children and parental divorce
During a divorce, parents might rely on their adult children for support during the process. They might need their children to help them figure out how to move forward post-divorce and might pressure their adult children to take sides against the other parent. This can all create tension within the family and make it even more challenging for adult children to process and accept their parents’ divorce.
Possible effects experienced by adult children
When older parents decide divorce is the solution to the issues in their marriage, the way their adult children might feel and react can be overlooked. However, adult children, just like younger ones, might struggle with the many changes and emotions brought on by their parents’ divorce. Some of these effects experienced by adult children might include:
• A sense of loss and grief at the end of their parent’s marriage
• Depression and irritability
• Feeling pulled in many directions and forced to choose a side in the divorce
Adult children might better deal with their parents’ divorce when they have a strong support system that shows empathy towards what they are going through. While some might find this support through their relationship with siblings who are experiencing the same situation, others might reach out to friends who can be empathetic towards their situation. If parents are aware of the struggles of their adult children, they might also offer support by not asking them to take sides or speaking badly about the other parent.