It started out to be a nice visit from my son. We spent a great deal of time talking about our jobs and how our family members were coping with every day trials and tribulations. When we moved on to his family, he dropped the bombshell. I felt as though I had been kicked in the stomach when the words came out of his mouth: “Susan and I are getting a divorce!”

How can that be? They always seemed happy and I never witnessed any arguing. Their two-year-old daughter was an angel and much adored by both of her parents. After ten years of marriage and a child, how can they now want to go their separate ways?

I have friends who have gone through this experience but I never truly appreciated how painful it can be for the parents of divorcing couples. It’s true that once you have a child, you worry about them the rest of your life. When they are young, you can sometimes “kiss and make it better.” However, as adults their decisions are their own and they must bear the consequences of their actions. As a parent, we can listen and try to add perspective to the situation but interfering is not part of our job.

For weeks following the shocking news, I had trouble sleeping. I kept hoping that they might work things out, yet I knew that it was over. I began wondering how my grand daughter would cope with the split and how they would manage the visitations. Then there would be the family gatherings and holidays. My daughter-in-law has been part of our family for all those years; will she no longer feel comfortable joining us? What happens if and when they find new love interests? It will be a big adjustment for our family but much more so for a small child.

Even if they live up to their promise of a “friendly divorce” the future still holds a myriad of problems. A step-father will have his own style of child rearing. Trying to work out difficult issues can be confusing for everyone concerned. And, how will my son feel when first hears his daughter refer to the step-father as “daddy”?

When couples make the decision to divorce, their lives are in turmoil. Their emotions run high and much pain and anguish fill their days. They don’t have enough energy to consider how difficult it is for their parents. We quietly wait by the sidelines, try to be supportive and make a huge effort not to lay blame on either party. If we want to remain part of our grand children’s lives we must keep all the doors open. Taking sides would only make things worse.

Divorce although traumatic, can be the right solution for some couples. It nevertheless is painful and not easy for anyone concerned. The best lawyers in the world can only help with legal matters. It is up to the individuals to manage the emotions.

Whatever the reasons for the break-up, parents of divorcing children are very much affected.

Author's Bio: 

Rita Morgan is the Founder & CEO of Not Just the Kitchen, a popular website geared to Baby-Boomer women. Here you will find hundreds of articles that discuss health, beauty, family, relationships, money and more. Visitor's comments in all categories are encouraged. For the vision impaired, we offer an audio versions of the compelling articles.

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