by D. Scott Sibley-Institute For Family Studies
I remember how concerned I was when my husband decided to leave me not only concerned about the impact it would have on me but also the effect it would have on our children and grandchildren. When this happened, I was most concerned with my adult children because my grandchildren were so young. But as I am watching and listening to my grandchildren, I realize the impact of divorce can and will affect their lives. I remember when my Ex told me he was leaving I said “are you sure you want to do this to your family?” his response “this is happening” with no apparent regard to the harmful effects to his children and grandchildren and that the cycle of divorce would now be more easily continued with the potential for more people damaged.
I decided early on that I would be honest with my children and grandchildren. If they ask me a question I will answer it honestly. I will not hide any truths.
Nana, why did you leave Papa? Response “I did not leave Papa he left me.”
Here is an example of how kids are affected by divorce. I was talking to my grandson about the upcoming wedding of my youngest daughter. He asked me why I don’t take photos during the wedding because he knows how much I love to take pictures. I responded I would not want that responsibility because I may make mistakes. His response “That’s ok because you could try again at her next wedding” Shocked by this response I said well, that is not how marriage is supposed to work. When you marry someone, it is supposed to be for life because that is what you promise to do.
It is mentioned in this article that when grandchildren see divorce as an acceptable solution in their grandparent’s life that they develop a fear that their parents will divorce.
In the article, a way to approach divorce in the family is that the child’s parents assure the child that their marriage is healthy, and that they also let the child voice concerns and thoughts. The issue of divorce should be honestly discussed so that the cycle of divorce is not continued.
It makes me so sad to read the quotes from the article below. I wanted to add security to my kids and grandkids lives. Divorce was not my choice and anyone who asks I will let them know that.
“Interestingly, fewer than 10% of grandchildren in the study had been born during the time that their grandparents divorced, and yet the effects of the divorce still seemed to have a significant impact on this generation.”
“We should not assume that grandparental divorce does not negatively impact grandchildren and the way they view marriage and the sustainability of relationships.”
“This study by Amato and Cradle is unique since it was able to explore how grandparental divorce specifically impacts grandchildren across a variety of variables (education, marital discord, divorce, relations with parents, and well-being). Interestingly, fewer than 10% of grandchildren in the study had been born during the time that their grandparents divorced, and yet the effects of the divorce still seemed to have a significant impact on this generation.”
“Having experienced this myself, I would encourage older couples considering divorce to slow down, seek therapy, and consider the long-term consequences to their adult children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. The greatest gift parents can give their children, and their grandchildren is a loving and committed marriage.”
They list reasons for divorce as abuse, addiction, and serial infidelity to which I agree entirely. One of my Ex’s excuses was that he was not happy. In my opinion that is a lame decision to continue a cycle that will damage our children and the little ones to come. I would say it was a selfish decision that will have an impact for decades. Not the legacy I wanted to leave my family. The legacy I can leave now is one of strength, love, and faith in the face of a difficult situation. That is a positive response to a damaging situation.
Prayers to you if you are a grandparent going through an unwanted divorce. Someone that promised to love you may have betrayed you.
The promise you can count on is the promises of God.
My favorite is “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
Thank you, God!