4 Unfortunate Ways Your Parents’ Divorce Could Impact Your Love Life

By Nancy Pina for YourTango.com.

Have you wondered why you are attracted to certain people?

The link between the relationship role model provided by your parents in your formative years and the choices you make in love are directly connected. Even if your parents’ divorce was not contentious, you will tend to lean towards a more cautionary route in relationships.

A new study shows children of divorced parents can suffer the effects of the breakup throughout adulthood. It is through this experience that you develop a particular mental and emotional framework about relationships.

More from YourTango: Is Divorce Becoming a Luxury?

Those beliefs become something you accept as true, without question. That means you can expect that every day it will seem just as true as it was the day before. Your beliefs are deeply embedded in you, so you live your life without questioning them. Today, those wrong mindsets will direct your love life until you overcome and replace those beliefs with truth.

Do the following resonate with your love life choices?

1. I won’t marry. The fear of vulnerability leads many people to avoid commitment altogether. Going to the opposite extreme does not necessarily mean emotional hurt and pain will be completely avoided. The problem with making unbending promises is the tendency in human nature to draw into life that which is unresolved. Pushing down or trying to ignore feelings of rejection resulting from divorce does not eliminate them. Whatever pain that is hidden in your heart will eventually surface.

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2. I want the picket fence. The other extreme is believing a committed relationship and marriage can be perfect without effort. Love does not happen by itself, but takes a mutual effort to build a solid foundation of trust, connection, respect and deep love. The belief that one will “know” who is the right one only through physical attraction is mistaken and unprepared for commitment. Idealizing marriage as the opposite of what was experienced through divorce only leads to a set up for disappointment in those unrealistic expectations.

Unknown Object3. I love you until you mess up. Mentally waiting for something terrible to happen in your relationships will bring that expectation to reality. For example, you may have formed a core belief that all men cheat as a result of your parents’ breakup. No matter how great a relationship starts and the potential it has to lead to lasting love, you will sabotage it with this type of thinking in the back of your mind.

More from YourTango: How Do I Know I’m Ready to Date After Divorce? (VIDEO)

4. I love you no matter how you treat me. Denying unacceptable behavior because you fear the consequences of being alone is another way your parents’ divorce can affect your view of love. You may have seen your mother struggle emotionally and financially after divorce. In your mind as a child, you believed that before divorce was better than after. Consequently, you surmised that staying together is more desirable despite the circumstances.

The key to attracting emotionally healthy relationships involves releasing these falsehoods. The emotional ashes that came from divorce can turn into beauty if you stop living life through the barriers to love you formed from that circumstance. You have the power to create the type of love you desire but will first need to align your mindsets to attract the right relationship leading to a lasting, loving and fulfilling marriage.

Nancy Pina is a highly recognized author, relationship coach and speaker. She is dedicated to helping individuals attract emotionally healthy relationships through her practical, Christian-based advice.

Want to learn more? Check out the YourTango Divorce Survival Guide!

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: How Your Parents’ Divorce Affects Your Love Life.


Truth Seeker
Spread Harmony1 years ago

What is the lasting impact of divorce and separation on the children of "failed" marriages?

In this critically acclaimed film, five young people sit down to discuss openly their parents' separation, often in the presence of both parents, and often asking important questions that have remained unsaid for years. A shocking and surprisingly uplifting insight into the reality of modern family life.


Kath Becker
.2 years ago

I agree totally with this article. My parents were unhappy for years before they separated. It has left me disillusioned about what a 'normal' relationship is.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Thank you

Melissa L.
Melissa L.3 years ago

Thanks for the info!

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

Bailey Anderson
Bailey R.3 years ago

I feel like #4 is a problem I have but it could also be because I'm young. I've stayed in relationships longer than I should have

Mark Stephens
Mark Stephens3 years ago

Are there any studies to support these reactions? The article isn't supported by any studies, so it sounds mostly like it's the author's own suppositions.
Surely, most of the behaviour could also be applied to some people whose parents were happily married or stayed in a dysfunctional relationship rather than getting divorced.
In a similar way, it will only apply to some people whose parents divorced. Many will perhaps learn from their parents' experience and not be afraid of commitment, realise that a good relationship involves effort on both sides etc.

Winn Adams
Winnie Adams3 years ago


Summerannie Moon
Summerannie M.3 years ago

what is the norm anyway? I agree we are or most of us are all a bit all over the place and there are those who ' get it' In my lifetime I can name 3 couples who have 'got it' and their marriages are just beautiful to watch and be around them and do you know what? I was so smitten by their loving relationship that I told them. I said to them that they should teach how to be in love and have a wonderful marriage.

Marie W.
Marie W.3 years ago

Dysfunctional is the new normal.