Divorces are unfortunate outcomes for any marriage, and the fate of young children within the new arrangement often becomes a topic of debate. However, gray divorces, those that occur between couples over the age of 50, are becoming increasingly common in Maryland, and the impact on adult children is often overlooked.
One of the most significant impacts of gray divorce on adult children is the emotional toll it can take. Adult children may feel guilty for not being able to prevent divorce, or they may feel a sense of betrayal or abandonment if their parents split up after many years of marriage.
Adult children may also experience a range of emotions such as sadness, anger or confusion with the unexpected separation of their parents. They need to find a support system, such as friends or a therapist, to help them process their feelings.
Gray divorce can also have a monetary impact on adult children. This is because adult children may be called upon to provide financial assistance to their parents, especially if they struggle to make ends meet after a divorce. This can be particularly challenging if the adult children are also dealing with their financial challenges, such as student loan debt or the cost of raising their children.
Effect on relationships
An often ignored consequence of gray divorce on adult children is the potential change in their relationship with both parents. Adult children may feel torn between their parents and struggle to maintain a healthy relationship with both. They may also need to take on a caretaker role for one or both parents, which can be emotionally and physically draining.
Gray divorce can also impact adult children’s relationships, as they may find themselves being pulled into a conflict between their parents. This can cause stress and tension in their relationships and may make it more difficult for them to maintain healthy and happy relationships.
Dealing with a gray divorce positively
Adult children must remember that they are not responsible for their parents’ divorce and that taking care of themselves is okay during this trying time. They should also be aware of the resources available, such as counseling or therapy, that can help them cope with the emotional and financial impacts of separation.