August 11, 2011 11:37 PM Subscribe
How does an adult child deal with the divorce of their parents?
posted by xopaigexo to Human Relations (16 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
My mom broke the news to me today over the phone that her and my dad are going to be getting a divorce. It's one of those things that has happened to so many people that I know, but I never thought would happen to me, and I'm really struggling with it. She started off by saying that they haven't been getting along well lately... and with that I just knew. It was COMPLETELY unexpected, so my initial reaction was to cry-and I hardly ever cry.
She told me that they haven't been happy since I was about 5 or 6 (I'm 18 now) and that they tried to keep things together for me and my older siblings all along. She then told me that she wouldn't be coming home tonight and that she was staying at an extended stay hotel. I felt like everything was just happening way too fast. I mean, last night she was at the computer and I was sitting on the couch talking to her, joking around. Everything was so normal. And tonight, she's not coming home... and she never will again.
She said she wants to take me out a few nights per week to eat or go shopping since she's not at an established place right now, but all I really want is to watch tv with her, paint nails or help her do dishes, or just do something NORMAL with her, like it's been for my whole life. She says that she doesn't want me to have to choose between them, so she wants me to still live at home (where my dad is staying). But, the thing is, I see that I'm always having to make a choice because I want to spend equal time with them, and when I'm with one parent, I'm choosing not to be with the other.
I hate it. But, when I got home to face my dad (who I have a great relationship with), I wasn't expecting to hear another side of the story. He told me that the affair my mom had (long story, I don't feel like explaining, but I have a link to a question regarding it - http://ask.metafilter.com/150612/My-mom-Is-Cheating-On-My-Dad) never actually ended, and that she is actually staying at his apartment currently. The other man is newly divorced, and his ex-wife has been giving my dad information now for six months about their whereabouts. Back in February, she had obtained some kind of recording of my mom and her ex having sex and told my dad about it. Since then, my dad has actually had a tracking device on her car and it has shown that she has been lying about where she is going almost every time. He started doing it to obtain the truth at first, and now is using it as evidence against her if she tries to say anything bad against him. My dad is in a bad way right now (he keeps everything bottled up inside) and he told me that I am the only one he can talk to about it. He says that he isn't intending for me to be against my mom, but that he wants me to know the truth. He also told me that he is worried about me going to see my mom if the other guy is there, because he has been accused before by his nieces of putting moves on them. Honestly, it's just a horrible situation that I had no knowledge of even yesterday. I know that people's parents get divorced all the time, but how do you deal with it as an adult child? I wish I could talk to my siblings about it, but they only know my mom's side of it-they don't even know about the affair. My boyfriend and friends have been really awesome about it, but their parents are still together, so I feel like I don't have anyone who can relate-plus it's not even a normal divorce situation. I guess I just need some guidance on what to do, what the pros and cons of divorce are, and how to control my emotions. Any ideas?