I’m not going to act like I know anything about what it’s like to get divorced. Heck, I don’t even really know what it’s like to have a long term relationship, let alone marriage.
But I am a child of divorce. And if you’re in that same boat, because I doubt anybody reading this is married with kids or divorced, unless you’re my mom, then I want you to know before I get into this that I am with you. 100% of the time. And if you’re not in that same boat but, for some reason, want to read further, know that every situation is different. Some people have it way worse, some way better.
Anyway, enough with the disclaimer.
Being a child of divorce is probably the hardest thing a kid has to go through. It is a constantly battle of tug-o-war, where you’re not on the losing or winning team, you’re just the rope. Unlike so many of your friends whose parents chose to stick it out, you see the heartbreak, the tears, the fights, the lawyers and courtrooms, the too much drinking, the police lights. You see everything, more than a kid should see. But the worst thing is that you see your parent, the man or woman caped in red for so long, dwindle down to this thing we call human. That’s the scariest part.
So, through all of that and after that, we learn to understand. We become adults for ourselves. Without them knowing it, we become the maids that sweep up our parents’ broken pieces. We glue them together to form a glass case around our own hearts.
And then we get older, stronger, smarter–we get better. And all of the sudden, we don’t want to understand. So we don’t. We let go of all of the bad and kind of just brush it off, act like maybe it didn’t change us at all, act like we don’t know why the shambled wall in our chest is even there to begin with.
Then life goes on. And it’s great. But we stop believing in a real type of love, in a real type of marriage. Again, I’m not going to sit here and act like I know all there is to know about those two things. I don’t. I’m nineteen and all of my serious relationships were eight months long. The relationship I am in now is wonderful and strong, but still new.
But, recently, not because of any boy or romance I experienced, I realized that this whole divorce thing is a lot harder than we thought. And we all already thought it was a battlefield. ‘
Dan Layus, former front man of Augustana, put out his first solo song called “Driveway.” Listen to it now before I go on.
Basically, the song is about this man and woman in the beginnings of a divorce. I don’t think I knew how hard it was for my parents to just walk away, maybe because I thought the only hard part was the aftermath.
In this song, it seems to me they both knew it was over. That the only thing either one of them couldn’t leave was this life they built together. In every article on marriage I’ve ever read it talks about how love isn’t the only part of marriage, how that life is sometimes the only reason you stay. But, I think, that if it were that simple, these people who once vowed their lives together could figure out a way to stick it out for a few years. These nauce articles act like people actually want to get divorced. Like, it was the easier way out. Now, I’m not so sure that’s true.
I don’t think my parents wanted to leave each other, to split their assets, to fight over me and my siblings. I don’t think it was this simple answer and light at the end of the tunnel. I think, in their minds, maybe, the light at the end of the tunnel was sticking it out. Was fighting. But somehow, and I don’t know how, divorce was the hard, complicated, twisted truth they had to come to.
What I’m saying is this: We were the kids who spent way too long understanding that people are only human. Who endured the hardest of things. Whether or not your parents’ separation was amicable, having divorced parents sucks. But that time we stopped understanding, I think we lost sight of what love was. How much our parents once loved each other. I mean, they created us. That counts for something, right?
Maybe it’s time we start understanding their side of it all. That they did pick up a lot of pieces. That they sacrificed a lot when they chose divorce–number one being their love for each other. Maybe they sacrificed that to keep us in homes that could still be filled with love and laughter, even if they were two different homes.
Again, I really don’t know. Honestly, I’m just kind of ranting here. Let me know what you think.