I have spent the last couple of hours looking for information related to the effects of divorce on adult children. It is sparse to say the least. The common thread of information says just that: there isn't much research in that particular area. Why?
I guess because when families fall apart after children reach the age of maturity, most believe the impact is not significant. Uh....not so much! Our family disintegrated after 30 years and it has been devastating for myself, my former husband and all three of our adult children (I won't even go into the friends and the extended family).
The effects of the divorce are still present after nearly three years. We have yet to find that common terra firma we can all stand on comfortably. And it isn't because my former spouse and I so dislike each other....quite the contrary.
I love him and I have no doubt he loves me.....but our marriage failed in spite of us. Blame? What is point? I will take a considerable amount of it, though he shares some as well. It takes two. It also takes two to heal the devastation created and that is where we get stuck. Healing requires forgiveness. There isn't alot of that going on.
The impact of this divorce on our adult children has reared its ugly head throughout the past three years in various ways. The biggest impact is the loss in their sense of "family". It has been huge for us all. There is always a gaping hole...someone is always missing.
But recently the impact has become even more profound and I am at a loss as to how to help them...my girls specifically. Their father has a girlfriend. They were thrust into his relationship and expected to accept her and it from the get go. It was fast and furious with no warning. She apparently is less than subtle and does not understand "boundaries". Try as they might to like her...they cannot stand her.
They feel guilty because they want him to be happy and because as one said, "I feel as if I am acting like a fourteen year old spoiled brat". The time they spend with him and her, and herein lies the problem, they cannot see him without her, the more they dislike her. It is beginning to cause serious problems for them. They feel they are losing their coveted relationship with their father.
Yes, they have tried to talk to him about it. Their words fall on deaf ears. Feeling were not his thing. Some things never change.
No matter how old they are, divorce hurts children. And seeing my kids hurt, hurts me beyond measure...especially when I am powerless to help them.
Some things never change.