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What I’ve Learned About Relationships From My Divorced Parents

divorced parents

When my parents divorced, I was 17 years old. This was a tender age for my family to split up after a lifetime of traditions and vacations together, but is there ever really an ideal time? Probably not. Now that more than eight years have gone by and I’ve had the opportunity to experience a few relationships of my own, I’m actually thankful for what I learned from the divorce. It’s not an easy thing to go through, but it definitely taught me a thing or two.

I can still be a great partner

This is the biggest and most important thing I’ve learned about myself since the split. If you watch The Bachelor series, you’ve probably heard people say something like, “Her parents have been married for thirty years, so I know she has great role models to look up to.” I know this kind of statement isn’t meant to be upsetting, but it really made me believe that because my parents weren’t together, I must not know what a healthy relationship looks like. I now make it a point to remind myself that I can still be a great partner regardless of what happened with my parents.

Communication is everything

When I got into the relationship I’m in now and realized I really wanted it to be serious and long-term, I knew we’d have to make communication a priority STAT. Although my parents had a lot of other issues, I think what ended up breaking their relationship was when they stopped talking. No relationship is easy all the time, I get that. And the longer you’re with someone, the more trials and tribulations you’re bound to face. But when you can trust your partner to communicate what they’re feeling, it makes things just a little less stressful.

Don’t ignore an ongoing issue

Most relationships have an issue that rears its ugly head over and over again. I can tell you from experience that until it’s completely resolved, it will never really go away. Willingness to compromise with your partner to work these issues out ASAP is crucial. It’s also important, though, that you both are willing to compromise. That way neither one of you will harbor any resentment towards the other. The sooner you can put an issue like this to bed, the sooner you can move on and focus on the positive.

Put your relationship first

Whether it’s because of kids, work, or the house, putting your relationship on the back burner is something that happens frequently – even if it’s not intentional (trust me, I’ve been there). When you stop putting each other first, it’s inevitable that your relationship will suffer (also been here). Setting life aside for at least one night a week can go a long way as far as making your partner feel noticed and loved. It’s these little things that keep people together through all the tough moments.

Even though I didn’t have a “perfect” example of love in my parents’ marriage, I’m not damaged goods because of it. My mom and dad are amazing people and I’m grateful for all they’ve taught me – together and separate.

Do you have divorced parents?
Did you learn anything from the split?

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  1. November 6, 2017
    sonia says

    This is great advice on a tough subject. Thanks for posting about it!

  2. November 8, 2017
    Sarah says

    My parents started their split when i was 15 and ultimately didn’t divorce until i was 19. I’ve been through multiple dating relationships and they all failed because of one thing: i had standards that were unattainable for most because of the conditions I lived in & watched for years. I began to questions myself by age 21 after a harrowing breakup and not long after that, my now fiancé came into my life.
    My point is that it’s a choice: learn from your parents’ mistakes and shortcomings and vow to yourself that you will one day be a great wife. Thank you for your honesty, this is truly great advice!!

  3. November 11, 2017

    My parents split up when I was really you and my mom raised me. She has taught me to be strong and to never doubt myself. That’s the nutshell of it really but most importantly, she taught me to love and not to let past heartbreaks turn me bitter.

    ( )

  4. January 30, 2018
    Emma says

    “when you can trust your partner to communicate what they’re feeling, it makes things just a little less stressful”

    Help! My husband doesn’t communicate feelings at all, it’s like trying to get blood out of a stone. Sometimes he swears blind he has no feelings over important subjects. Maybe I married a man who doesn’t actually feel? He may be emotionally numb. What do I do


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