|child of divorced parents|
Hi Madame Lestrange,
My parents recently divorced, and the event solidified my want to not have kids or get married — at least, for a while. But some days I think of how nice it’d be to be with someone who understands and loves me, but after witnessing firsthand that it’s not how it works, I find myself more confused than ever.
How do I get over the fear that what will happen to my parents will happen to me? And what can I do to prevent it?
This is something that is very relevant to many people in our generation, as divorce is on the rise. So, know that you’re definitely not alone in your fear and even in your desire to overcome the fear.
You know, I don’t have amazing advice that will end all your worries and make you able to want and find a wonderful love. I have some things I want you to consider, and I hope that it provides you (and anyone else with this concern) with some relief and hope for your future.
- Give yourself time. There is no rush in your life to be ready to settle down or love someone else. Also remember that the next person you date or allow into your life doesn’t have to be the person you marry. Sometimes testing the waters with relationships helps yourself learn what it means to love (or not love) and gives you a better idea of what kind of person you are in relationships and what kind of person you want and don’t want to spend your life with. Try it out, but take your time. I have heard from several of my friends whose parents are divorced that children of divorcees love and expect to be loved in specific ways. Letting yourself into relationships will help you learn what kind of love you want.
- Just as seeing a failed marriage has made you think all love is doomed to fail, seeing a successful marriage can have the opposite effect. As someone who was raised by parents who had an arranged marriage, it was difficult for me to believe “love marriages” were possible or real. Over time, I was exposed to many successful love marriages (including my sister’s) and realized not all relationships and marriages are the same. There are PLENTY of happy marriages out there –some of them even come after failed ones. It’s not easy to do this, but don’t let a negative example be your only example. As you get to know more married couples (some of which will be happy, some won’t), your view on marriage will change. Don’t give up.
- See a therapist. There are so many people who are trained to help you battle this specific issue. A therapist will help you overcome this fear and learn to trust love. I know therapy has some negative stigma to it (for reasons I will never understand) and because of that, you may feel a bit nervous to take the step to contact someone. I’ve been there! But trust me – the benefits of therapy far outweigh any initial nervousness you may feel. Remember: a therapist’s JOB is to help you with this. She/he WANTS to help you with this. Why not use a service like this? If you’re in school, therapy will be covered with your health services. If you have a job with insurance, you should also be covered (maybe a small copay for each visit). Otherwise, contact some therapists and ask what their rates are for non-covered patients. Most therapists have separate, lower rates for people without insurance. Seek out this service.
[bctt tweet=”There are PLENTY of happy marriages out there –some of them even come after failed ones.”]
Please realize that recognizing your fear and wanting to overcome it is an amazing step to getting through this. You’re doing great, and you’ll get there with time.
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