Parenting Your Adult Children During a Divorce

No matter if you’re getting a divorce when your children are three or 30, they are still your children. “Gray divorce,” or divorce between older couples, is on the rise in recent years, with more than 40 percent of couples aged 50 and older filing for divorce in the United States. But what happens when your children are adults and fully aware of the situation at hand? As older couples divorce more regularly, the question becomes more prominent.

According to Stephen Vertucci, an attorney with experience in gray divorce and the effects it has on a mature family, he sees older couples divorcing for numerous reasons like erosion of marriage quality, age, monotony, finances, and intimacy. Divorce causes stress on the entire family unit and can turn loving family members against one another. If you find yourself divorcing from your partner with adult children, it’s important to remember the following:

Don’t Bad Mouth the Other Parent

Adult children are obviously very cognizant of the situation at hand. Growing up with both parents is a luxury many kids don’t have these days and they most likely have a loving relationship with both of you. Bad mouthing the other parent, whether it be about weight they’ve gained, their new significant other, or anything else, can spoil the relationship you have with your children.

Bad mouthing the other parent to your adult child can cause them to resent you—especially if they are equally as close to the other parent. Even more, it can cause them to become uncomfortable around you and can easily damage your relationship with them.

Don’t Put Your Children in the Middle of It

Whether your children are school-aged or adult, you should never put them in the middle of your divorce. Cooperative parenting can be tough, especially if the divorce is caused by infidelity, financial irresponsibility, or another similar situation. But, pushing your differences aside when it comes to your children can be the best thing for their lives, and your relationship with them.

Certified Parenting Coordinator and author of “In Your Skin: The Self-Help Guide to Living the Life You Aspire to Live NOW!,” Spirit, tells Divorced Moms, “There are times when this feud spills over into the parent-child relationship, which is known as, ‘Divorce Abuse.’” This type of emotional abuse can cause detrimental damage to the parent-child relationship. Examples of divorce abuse include making negative comments about the other parent, using your child to communicate messages to the other parent, interrupting your child’s time with the other parent, and more.

Don’t Overindulge the Details

Younger children are typically spared the nitty-gritty details of a divorce; however, adult children are usually overindulged with their parent’s divorce and dating situations. Oversharing with your children puts unnecessary stress on them, and can make them extremely uncomfortable if the details become too personal. Remembering that your children are not your therapists is very important – they are going through a difficult time, too. Oversharing with adult children can cause resentment towards you, and even guilt or anger.

Embracing healthy boundaries with your children can ease the transition into a two-household family. No matter how old your children are, most will never be ready to hear the intimate details of their parent’s romantic lives, and no child wants to hear a parent discuss disheartening details about their separation. Keeping the nitty-gritty details to friends, therapists, or lawyers is the best way to avoid overindulging your children.

Things You Can Do to Build a Healthy Post-Divorce Family

  • Embrace healthy boundaries. This cannot be stated enough – avoid oversharing or overindulging your children on intimate details of the divorce. Children, no matter how old, do not want to hear upsetting news about their parents’ relationship.
  • Be respectful of the other parent. You and your spouse need to respect each other at least in front of your children. This includes respecting the person they choose to be in a relationship afterwards and not bad mouthing them or their situation.
  • Find support from outside the family. If you feel the need to vent or get things off your mind, go to a friend or hire a therapist. Your children do not need to be your therapist and sharing too much too often can cause them to resent you.

Remembering that although your children may be over the age of 18, they are still children who must witness the two people who raised them separate. It’s important to acknowledge that the feelings you have about the situation may also be the ones your children are having as well.

 

55 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thank you

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Gino C
Gino C3 months ago

Thank you

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Shirley P
Shirley Plowman4 months ago

IT CAN BE A VERY TOUGH TIME, TAKES MUCH MATURITY.

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Kathy G
Kathy G4 months ago

Thank you

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Angela J
Angela J5 months ago

Thanks

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Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle5 months ago

This can be a very tough time for kids. One needs to be very careful that you handle things right.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R5 months ago

Thank you for posting. I just wish my parents had divorced...!

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RICKY S
RICKY SLOAN5 months ago

WOW

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Cindy S
Cindy Smith5 months ago

thanks

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Past Member
Past Member 5 months ago

This is my story, a true life story on how I survived an abusive husband(s). Please read and share.

Leaving an abusive marriage was life threatening, I was scared of the post-divorce lifestyle. I felt starting afresh with another man seems impossible at my age because my husband(s) always downplays my emotions making me feel like a worthless woman. Yes, I was married thrice.

I was betrayed by a friend, cheated upon by husband(s), beaten, jailed but I never gave up, I chose to ride or die with my current 5-year-old marriage because of love, our children and our shared finance. Though I love my husband to a fault and believed I can change his mindset through spiritual means before we go our separate ways.

After domestic abuse and emotional conflicts comes spiritual father, Dr. Wakina with redemption and restoration via dr.wakinalovetemple@gmail.com with the spell that ended my abusive circle. I also escaped social pressure.

I wasn’t wrong afterall sticking to my husband and changing our lifestyle through spiritual doctors. Believe me, we’re living our dream lifestyle for over 5-months with much love and respect for each other.

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