Divorce. Who hasn’t experienced it? Not many people can say that they haven’t. Whether you are a child of divorced parents, or you are going through a divorce as I type, the D word is universally known.
My parents divorced before I could even walk. However, their tumultuous relationship lasted for ten more years. It was off and on. It was harmful and predictably inconsistent. I often wish they would have called it quits when they officially called it quits.
So, maybe this post should have a different title. Maybe I should write about how my parents divorce followed by their reunion and then separation affected me. But that gets way too complicated. Whether they divorced when I was two or 15, my family was broken. And these are the seven ways that my parents’ divorce affected me and my love life.
The D Word 1 of 8
Sorry Mami and Papi! But you're divorce did a number on my tender heart. Here's how my parents' divorce affected me and my love life. Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.
Lingering Trust Issues 2 of 8
Witnessing my mother and father's off-and-on relationship and eventual divorce gave me serious trust issues. If I can't depend on my parents to get it right, how can I trust anyone else? Trusting men has always been an issue because my mother didn't trust my father. Trusting men has never come easy for me. Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.
Fear of Abandonment 3 of 8
After my parents were officially over, my relationship with my father changed. I saw him less. He called less. Eventually, he just stopped coming around. He stopped all communication. At 35, I still struggle with my fear of abandonment due to my father and his role in my life (or lack thereof) after their divorce. Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.
Love of Bad Boys 4 of 8
My father was a bit of a bad boy. And so I have always attracted bad boys. This was the case even more so when my parents separated. I guess I just wanted a substitute. I was attracted to men who reminded me of my father because my father was no longer in my life when my parents divorced. Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.
I’m a Love Skeptic 5 of 8
I didn't think happily ever after existed. My parents divorced. They had a rough relationship even though they loved each other. So I believed that love couldn't conquer all. That love was all fluff. I couldn't be vulnerable, because love was all BS. It took me a while to realize that love is beautiful, not scary, and that it is worth it. Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.
Fear of Commitment 6 of 8
As much as I want love, I am afraid of commitment. The first commitment that I ever witnessed was my parents' marriage and that didn't end well. So why would it be any different for me? That has run through my mind many times when I am dating and considering a commitment with a man. Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.
I Missed Out on a Male Presence 7 of 8
I missed out on father/daughter moments. My father didn't teach me how to defend myself or how to handle boys, especially bad boys. I never had a male figure in my life to stare down the boys who courted me. I missed those lessons due to my father's irresponsibility after the divorce. Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.
I Have to Work at Loving Myself 8 of 8
Loving myself wasn't easy. I didn't think I was lovable because somehow (like many children) I felt at fault for my parents' separation, and especially my father's abandonment. I have worked on loving myself all my life. But it hasn't been an easy journey. I've made many mistakes and have doubted my worth. I know it would have been different if my parents had a healthy relationship and stayed together. Alas, I love myself now. And the present is what matters. Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons.