Adult children of parents who are getting divorced may struggle with more trauma and stress, compared to young children in the same situation.
According to researchers, adult children have more solid memories of the family, and more extensive memories of their home life. They find it hard to come to terms with the fact that the family and the home that they knew for so many decades, now will no longer exist. The divorce can actually cause an even bigger impact on adult children.
Besides, adult children very often find themselves forced into a position where they have to act like the parents themselves. For instance, they may have to settle disputes between the parents, or try to keep the parents away from each other when there is a family gathering or celebration. Very often, the adult children may feel under pressure to keep their warring parents away from each other.
According to research, the first two years after the divorce are the most difficult for adult children, and women seem to suffer from a much bigger emotional impact of the parents’ divorce. That is probably because women tend to have a much greater emotional memory, which means that they take a much longer time to get over the parents’ divorce.
Besides, when adult children have to deal with their parents’ divorce, they may have to deal with not- so- supportive spouses or common friends. There isn't as much support and counseling for adult children of divorce, as there is for young children. People simply assume that adults are able to deal with their parents’ separation and that the divorce doesn't affect them as much as it does young children.
That is a misconception. If you are currently dealing with your parents’ divorce, seek out an online or off-line support group, or talk to a friend.