Yikes. What a tough question! Divorce is tough, and divorce hurts. There is no doubt about that. Perhaps your parents are in the process of finalizing their split or maybe they’ve already been separated for years. Either way, it is a healthy exercise to look for the positive even in really bad situations, and you will find it beneficial to think about any “good” things that might come have come out of this situation. After all, if life hands you lemons…make lemonade, right?!?
My parents divorced 20 years ago. I was 4 years old at the time. If you asked me then, I would have told you that nothing good can come out of divorce. Looking back though, there were some positive things.
#1 Less Yelling (sort of)
Many times you will find that parents yell a whole lot prior to a divorce. If your parents are going through a divorce or are divorced now, you might look back and realize that the yelling was really kicked up a notch before they split. When parents split up, the level of fighting tends to decrease. In my case, the fighting was replaced with a strange silence that I wasn’t used to, and I enjoyed it. That’s not to say that your parents will never fight after the divorce. Some still do, but if you’ve been living the daily grind of listening to your parents’ never ending arguments, the divorce may give you some much needed peace and quiet.
#2 Learning About Yourself
Many times when parents fight, kids find themselves “playing roles.” You may play the role of the peacemaker, the family clown or the serious one in order to try to please your parents and make them happy. For me, I spent hours trying to play the peacemaker and make my parents happy again. After the divorce, and with the benefit of living in an environment with less fighting, I discovered something new about myself: I was an introvert! I liked the silence, and I liked having quiet time to myself.
After having to spend so many nights trying to keep the peace, I was exhausted, and you may be too. I didn’t realize my outgoing personality was actually the result of turning myself into an environmental chameleon. Whatever mood my parents where in, so was I. I tried to fix their hurt by being funny and cute and silly. After the divorce I had more time to think and discover just who I really was outside of my family, and you may find out something about you too!
#3 Learning From Others’ Mistakes
There are basically two ways to learn hard lessons in life – through your own experiences and through the experiences of someone else. Learning by watching someone else saves you a lot of the pain and heartache that you will experience if you insist on learning everything yourself. Divorce is no exception. By experiencing and living through your parents’ divorce, you can learn lessons that you might otherwise have to learn “the hard way.”
Though I was young when my parents divorced, I was old enough to recognize their inability to cope and deal with their own emotions. There was just something not right about the way they approached conflict. As I grew older I watched as my mom and dad bounce from relationship to relationship always bringing the same emotional baggage to each one and undermining the relationship. As I watched them live their lives from the background I hoped that would realize they couldn’t run from their problems! By watching them, I learned a valuable lesson. I learned what not to do when dealing with the hurts of the heart.