Saturday, April 23, 2016

Never Too Old to Hurt From Parents’ Divorce

The divorce rate among couples 50 and older has soared. The number of individuals who are adults when their parents divorce is climbing with it. Yet the vast majority of recent research, and subsequent counseling, for divorcing couples is focused on young children. [...]

When Krista Mischo’s parents divorced after 45 years of marriage, she sought comfort from others in her situation. “I went to a divorce care group, but it was a meeting for adults going through divorces,” said Mrs. Mischo, who lives in Wisconsin and was 43 at the time. “The only group for children of divorce I could find was for young children.”

In 2012, she decided to create a group of her own, and began writing a blog, Time for Serenity ( Continue reading the main story
In a short time, she said, the blog had attracted more than 20,000 readers around the world. Mrs. Mischo, who stopped writing the blog after two years, said, “I think I really exhausted every possible topic I could think of, and therapeutically I have worked through almost every aspect of this, and I don’t want this to define me.” [...]

“My father told me I wasn’t sad enough about it,” Ms. Kutner said. “He would say, ‘I just got divorced.’ And I would say to him: ‘My parents just got divorced. I don’t know what to tell you.’”

Then her mother wanted to share details of her dates. Ms. Kutner had had enough.

“I have said so many times over the past year that I felt as though I had two 50-something-year-old children,” Ms. Kutner said. “And I have totally resented it.”

Both parents want the children to understand their pain and confusion. That’s not O.K., therapists say. Parent up, they say. [...]

Worse, many adult children begin to question whether they want children of their own, or if they have the ability to maintain a healthy relationship.

“I really have no interest in the idea of getting married,” Ms. Kutner said. “If my parents could end up not staying together, to me it really indicates that we live too long, and I have found a lot of peace in that. Some people really do outgrow each other, and the relationship is as long as it is and that might not be a lifetime.” [...]


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