For some residents of Texas, it might be surprising to learn that adult children whose parents divorce can end up struggling in a variety of ways. While people are often concerned about the impact of divorce on adolescents and younger children, adult children often have to face the break up of their familial unit feeling alone and misunderstood as most people around them expect them to handle the divorce well as adults.
Divorce can be overwhelming for adult children
When older parents divorce, a situation is commonly known as grey divorce, adult children are often the forgotten victim, as they are left feeling overwhelmed by the changes brought about divorce, even if they have been living independent lives out of the family home for many years. Adult children can then end up struggling silently with a variety of issues, including:
- Feeling pulled between two sides as their parents’ marriage unravels
- Feeling misunderstood by friends and family members who expect them to be able to deal stoically with all the changes
- Feeling frustrated at the lack of support they are receiving from their loved ones
- Feeling lost, silenced and ashamed because they are struggling with the divorce
Working through the issues
For many adult children, the struggle they go through because of their parent’s gray divorce can also affect their other relationships, including their own marriages and friendships. Even more complicated, adult children of divorcing parents many times cannot recognize the reasons they are struggling, allowing the frustration and anger to grow for months or even years. It is important for friends and other family members to understand this and help them through this period.
Adult children, just like younger children, need to grieve the end of their families. They need support, understanding and a safe space to talk about the issues they are going through.