How does it feel when your parents get divorced?

I was about 14 years of age (give or take... I've never been good at remember that sort of stuff) when my parents divorced. The divorce itself had no impact on me.

The separation twelve months prior was a relief to me. When the family meeting was called (first & last time we had a family meeting in my life) I knew what was coming. I sat there trying not to give away a pleased grin.

Dad announced that they'd decided to separate. There was a bunch of fluffy stuff said about them both loving us, about no animosity between them, and then he said we could each live with the parent we wanted to. Mum said nothing, allowing him to do all the talking, which was completely unlike her. I responded immediately with, "I'll stay with mum!" So quickly, in fact, that both my parents were a little taken aback. Then mum smiled lovingly, back to her usual self for a moment. One of my brother's said the same less than a minute after being asked. I will never know, but I had the impression that he was not wanting to hurt dad's feelings by immediately responding, as I had. The other brother was stunned. He hadn't seen the separation coming. He was blindsided & unable to make an instant decision. Mum then spoke for the first time at this meeting, "You don't have to decide right now." He looked relieved. He ended up staying with mum, too. Both that brother & me did live with dad for short periods when we were older (our choice).

I had told mum a few months (or was it weeks?) before that day that they should separate. She was taken aback & asked, "Why?" I was honest with her, "Because you're not happy. You & dad argue about things daily & he always thinks he's right." She told me that they thought they'd kept any arguing away from us, and the look on her face said she was sorry they hadn't managed to. "Oh. I see," was her response.

So, I felt completely relieved when they finally took that step. I knew that mum would be happy again. Dad was always happy, usually by aggravating other people. He lived in another world, where he was always right & everyone else was the problem. Even if he was right, it wasn't making mum happy.

As a child, my mother never put me in a position of feeling that I needed to support her through anything. I do think being honest with her was the best support I gave her at that time. I had always gladly done as I was asked around the house, so them separating didn't increase or decrease that propensity. I expect she felt supported by that, too, in some small way. One of my brothers (both before & after the separation) would help out if asked, often grudgingly. The other used to help out somewhat before the separation, but became uncooperative afterwards. He was hit very hard by what had happened, and seemed to find it difficult to come to terms with the change in living arrangements. We were lucky, having no perceivable change to our lifestyle afterwards & the only change being one less body in the house & a happier mother. I found out as an adult that mum did it tough, making many changes to things that only affected her, and not to anything that affected us.

I had always been wary of asking for, or even accepting, anything that cost money that was not really needed. After the separation I was more aware of saying, "No" when mum asked me if I wanted new shoes, or clothes, or anything else. I felt that was a small way to support her, too.

I noticed we hugged more often after the separation. And for longer. I'm pretty sure that she felt supported by that, now that I think back. I liked that as well, so it was a two way street. She certainly smiled more often after the separation.

Answered the question:

How does it feel when your parents get divorced? Things got heated up and finally me and my mother decided to step away. This time it was serious and the last. We will stay separate on a rented house, I will be going college soon. And she will go legally this time. In what way I can stay strong and support my mother along with my younger brother?


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