Uncoupling is rarely easy. And when children are involved, it is more complex. The collapse of a relationship that ends in a public divorce may feel both freeing and terrifying at the same time.
Divorce involves creating a new identity as a single person. This may trigger feelings of anger, resentment, abandonment, relief, confusion, fear, doubt, excitement, new hope, and so on.
There are two parts to divorce. The first is the legal part where papers are signed and it is official. The second part starts on the day of the official divorce. The second part is beginning a life without the other person and creating a new future.
Divorce inevitably brings up memories of times past, good and bad. It can easily bring up unresolved childhood trauma. Intense feelings of sadness or abandonment resurface. At times it may seem as if your life will never feel safe again.
There are many kinds of divorce, for example the so-called ‘good divorce; late-life divorce which is the currently the highest rate; a hostile angry divorce. No matter what kind of divorce, it is never painless.
If you are an adult child of divorcing parents, your circumstances are similar to children and adolescents and also highly unique. It is a myth to assume adult children will automatically be ‘just fine’ because they are adults.
I see adults after a divorce working on transforming their lives. I also work with adult children of late-life parental divorce.