Falling in love is a little more complicated when your parents are divorced. Children of divorce may be extra cautious when it comes to commitment and a little slower to trust the people they fall in love with, no matter how great their partner is.
Still, when they do take the leap and commit, they tend to do so with their eyes wide open and with a greater understanding of what it takes to make a marriage last. Below, writers with divorced parents share the reasons they still believe in marriage.
1. I still believe because my parents divorced before their marriage turned toxic.
“It might sound strange, but I think I believe in marriage even more because my parents got divorced. Right now, I remember a decade of my parents living as loving partners. If they hadn’t ended it when they did, those good years would be overshadowed by several more decades of animosity and misery for everyone. I imagine the model of a bad marriage would have soured my ideas about the topic far more than the experience of my parents’ responsible separation. When bad marriages end and good marriages are left, the overall perception of the institution improves.” ― Tara Eisenhard, author of The D-Word, Divorce Through a Child’s Eyes
2. My parents’ divorce makes me want to work harder on my own marriage.
“My parents’ divorce makes me work harder to create the type of family I wish I had. As a stepmom to three and a mom to one, every day I strive to provide the kids with a stable, loving environment. I’m not going to lie, being a stepmom and a second wife in a blended family isn’t always easy but I think being a child of divorce has made me more dedicated to my marriage and to my family. I know firsthand how it feels to be a child of divorce, and I don’t want that for my daughter, and I certainly don’t want my stepchildren to have to go through that a second time.” ― Jamie Scrimgeour, blogger and creator of The Kick-Ass Stepmom Project
3. My mom showed me the value of being single and being in love.
“My parents divorced when I was 6 years old. By the time I was a teenager, I had experienced a decade of my mom modeling what it means to be a strong, independent, self-sufficient woman, and wondered if I would ever want to get married simply because marriage didn’t seem necessary. It was around that same time that she began dating the man that she would marry and spend the next 25 years with, until he passed away two years ago. Their marriage was full of love and laughter, and demonstrated that it is possible for two individuals to share a life together without having to sacrifice their own interests or independence. They also showed me that even though marriage isn’t necessary, with the right person, it sure can be a lot of fun ― and 15 years in, mine just keeps getting better.” ― Susanne Kerns, blogger and contributor to But Did You Die? Setting The Parenting Bar Low
4. I view all relationships as experiences you learn from, no matter how long they last.
“As a child of divorce, I’ve experienced the sting of loss and I’m fine-tuned to the signs of rejection and abandonment. However, I’ve always believed that whether they last three months or three decades, relationships can provide their participants with the love, understanding and intimacy they need at the time. Often, the courage to end a relationship that is no longer meeting both partners’ needs shows the greatest strength. Growing up in a divorced home taught me that marriage will never be my sole source of happiness so it’s important to pursue your dreams to the best of your ability.” ― Terry Gaspard, author of Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship
5. My parents divorced, but they both eventually found The One.
“My parents split up before I was 2 years old. My father went on to marry a total of seven times. My mother found true love with another woman. And me? I’ve been divorced twice. But I still believe in marriage, partially because although it took my parents several tries to find their soulmates, they both eventually did. Mom and Pat have been together over 40 years. Dad and Tricia have been together over 20. They have taught me to never to give up on finding true love.” ― Lara Lillibridge, author of the forthcoming Girlish: Growing Up in a Lesbian Home
6. I know that life is a little bit easier with a partner that’s your equal than on your own.
“I was too young when my parents divorced to get the concept of marriage before it was gone. My ideas about marriage, therefore, came from watching my grandparents. Their lives together seemed effortless and comfortable like a locomotive on a schedule that always made it on time. My parents’ lives seemed laborious in comparison with a never-ending track change.
“For my future, I wanted to have someone to make my life easier, someone to make my coffee without having to ask and squeeze my shoulders when they walk by. What I wanted was a marriage. What I hadn’t witnessed about successful marriages was that having an effortless and comfortable connection comes after a great deal of effort and discomfort. I imagine this is where many marriages fail. Children who come from divorced homes are often scared of the pattern repeating or accept that it will and don’t try. So, when conflict arises in our relationships, it pokes old scars of insecurity and abandonment. Many of us feel it is the beginning of the end. It takes a steady partner and a stronger faith in the institution of marriage to get through the tough moments. After 22 years with my husband, it is the effort that turns the regular stuff into amazing shared memories. We are stronger together than as individuals.” ― Kristine Laco, blogger at Mum Revised