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How do I handle my parents' divorce after 33year marriage?

My parents are getting divorced after 33 years of marriage. This is hard for me, but I'm more concerned for my two children - 10 and 8. They've always known Grandma and Papa to be together. I don't know who should tell them, how, or how much information they should know. Obviously, divorce is completely foreign to me. I do know I should reassure them both grandparents will still be around and still love them very much. Past that...I don't know what to do!

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Asked by mylifeinscraps at 11:02 PM on Sep. 23, 2010 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 5 (75 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I'm so sorry about your parents, and that you have to go through this... I know it's not the same but when my Mom died, and left my father alone, it kind of felt the same... I had to explain to our son that they weren't together anymore, and that Grandma wasn't coming home... I know still not the same, but when your life is the same for so many years, and then something like this happens, it can feel like a death of sorts.
    I wish I had more to tell you, more help to give, just make sure your children know that it had nothing to do with anyone, not them, you, etc.. Just that after many years of unhappiness, your parents need to be happy, and this was the only way.. I don't know, it's just a thought. I'm so sorry...

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 11:07 PM on Sep. 23, 2010

  • I've never understood questions like this. It's not about you and even if so, why can't you be happy that they have decided life is short and they shouldn't be unhappy together just for the sake of an adult child? Why would you want your parents miserable just to make you happy? Tell your children that people make choices sometimes for themselves that others don't understand (or like) but it's their choice and it has nothing to do with the love the grandparents have for the grandchildren. I think you should rejoice that at their age they are finding happiness. It just happens to be without each other.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:12 PM on Sep. 23, 2010

  • My advice is to take it day by day. Try in the simplest terms to explain to your kids. My parents got divorced after 27 years of marriage when I was 4 months into being a newlywed. that had a huge strain on my life for a long time. And my marriage because I was of the mindframe that if they couldn't make it then why'd I waste my time getting married for. I feel sorry for my DH but then he never understood why in my 20's I was so affected by it. It is a very traumatic thing to go through at any age. Again, just take it day by day. Seek a friend or soemone you trust to talk about it as much as you can. That is better than holding all those emotions in. I didn't quite have that as DH's dad has been married 4 times, his mom 3, both sisters twice. He just thought it was normal and that I should have gotten over it sooner.

    Answer by Mamaford2 at 11:17 PM on Sep. 23, 2010

  • Anon- I didn't hear her stating a bunch of judgment for her parents in this question- if any at all. Is she not entitled to her own feelings about it? Your judgment of her feelings "you should..." is much more inappropriate than her feeling that her parents divorce is "hard" for her and asking about how she should present it to her children. How odd that you need to tell her how to feel, even while you are championing her parent's right to feel and do what they want.

    OP- I'm guessing just do what you already know, if they have questions answer honestly and a reassure them that Grandma and Grandpa will still spend lots of time with them, even though they now live in different houses or whatever.

    Answer by Bellarose0212 at 11:18 PM on Sep. 23, 2010

  • Anon- the questiion was "How do i handle my parents divorce?" not "How do i get my parents back together?" & yea after 33yrs it still would hurt n affect HER n HER kids!

    Answer by gabby06 at 11:27 PM on Sep. 23, 2010

  • awww, that is so sad & it will be a huge adjustment, but it will all fall into place in time. It all takes TIME!!!!!!

    Answer by NicolesMommy at 12:28 AM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • They will get their cues from you, as long as you are OK, they will be OK. To get the kids to feel better, present the positive. Their ages are a little easier to bring security to than older children. Just focus on anything good you can and answer just what they ask. In time it will adjust. I would suggest not giving it too much power in front of the kids. "Life changes and sometimes this happens to people." Keep it simple. Sorry for your pain. It might help to keep the perspective that it could always be worse. Both of your parents are alive. Love them and enjoy what you can. The core to handling it is to accept it. Trying to fight this won't change things. I am sorry. I am sure it was a shock. This same thing hapened to a neighbor of mine. Alot of times parents keep a marriage together for their kids. Hugs !!! :-)

    Answer by LeJane at 1:13 AM on Sep. 24, 2010

  • My parents divorced after 30 yrs.. IMy kids were 1,11 and 14. We just told them the truth. they weren't happy but It wasn't my husband and I that were divorcing.. And I was 34 yrs old . My parents are now both remarried and its been8 yrs so everyuone is happy and accepting the new grandpaernts.
    They are grown people and deserve to be happy

    Answer by Marinemom03 at 9:29 AM on Sep. 24, 2010

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