Divorce rates have steadily declined in recent years in all but one age group:
adults over 50. While these adults typically don’t have minor children
to worry about matters such as child custody or child support, it’s
important to note that even adult children are impacted by their parents’
late-in-life divorce. To suppose otherwise is to discount their feelings.
Nevertheless, adult children are often told to “get over it”
and they end up suffering in silence and feeling isolated.
Divorcing parents changes the entire family’s dynamic, which can
be difficult and painful when it comes to where to spend holidays, birthdays,
and special occasions like graduations. Just as younger children do, it’s
common for adult children to feel trapped between each parent and forced
to take sides. After the divorce, family friction may start again when
their parents start dating, which can shuffle estate plans and lessen
the inheritance their children can receive.
So, what can be done to help adult children cope with their parents’
Acknowledge your feelings: For adult children of grey divorces, it helps rather than hinders the
grieving process if you don’t hide your emotions.
Set boundaries with your parents: Even if you’re tempted to pick mom or dad’s side in the divorce,
you should know your limits and communicate them with each parents. You
likely don’t want to hear mom badmouthing dad endlessly, or vice
versa, so it is your responsibility to communicate that.
Seek outside help: Divorce is painful, especially for children – regardless of whether
or not they’re in grade school or all grown up. A therapist can
help you accept and cope with the loss in a healthy way as you adjust
to the new normal.
How Grey Divorcees Can Help Their Children Cope
If you’re an older adult with grown children, you should respect
they will grieve. Divorce brings many losses and grief takes a lot of
time. What’s more, feelings of resentment and animosity don’t
usually stop once the divorce decree is signed. Grey divorcees can ruin
joint family celebrations after their split if they allow tension and
anger to fester. By keeping the arguments at bay and remembering that
you built a beautiful family with your ex-spouse can be a gift you give
to your adult children so they can heal. Rather than telling them their
other parent is to blame for the marriage failing, this only creates more
hostility and negative emotions.
Contact the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny for a Consultation
Our divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny offer caring,
effective counsel you need during an emotional and stressful time. Connect
with our law firm today to get the help you need to move on to the next
chapter of your life.
To reach our firm, please call (713) 936-2300 to
book an appointment.