A Tough Transition

They’d argue, but wouldn’t raise their voices or throw things.

I thought my parents would stay together until they died — you know, just like they promised in their vows.

I remember telling my dad on my wedding night that he was my role model. He had stuck with my mom through her illness, just like he had promised to do.

We moved away and had kids, my wife and I. Then it happened.

I thought my parents would stay together until they died — you know, just like they promised in their vows.

The arguments had turned into apathy, then an emotional affair — probably even a physical one. The parents I had looked up to a few years before as an example of how my marriage should be were in danger of separating.

I tried being a counselor. I injected myself into their troubles and took on the weight of trying to fix something that had been deteriorating for years without my knowledge. I was told things I should never have known. I lost respect for both of my parents as they pitted me against each other. All my efforts were a waste of my time. They split up anyway.

My dad ended up remarrying, which made me a step-brother. Then he and his second wife separated.

I’m thankful I didn’t have the “every second weekend” issues that some of my friends had, where they had two rooms to live in as kids. It is different when it happens as an adult, but I still have a tendency to blame myself. Could I have done something differently to keep them together?

It turns out that there is a cycle to divorce. People say that when your parents’ marriage dissolves, there is a higher risk to your own. Every disagreement I have with my wife, regardless of how small, brings that thought to my mind, even though I turned to books to discover how to break that cycle.

It is different when it happens as an adult, but I still have a tendency to blame myself.

Holidays and vacations won’t ever be what they were when everything was “normal” with my parents, but we've settled into a pattern now.

Nevertheless, sometimes, I still struggle with the feeling that I could have done more. I know it was their problem, not mine, but that feeling just won't go away.

Talking about it helps me. It could also help you.

Photo Credit Pierre Bamin on Unsplash

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These issues can be hard to face. If you’re considering harming yourself or others, please read this!