Since divorce runs in my family, I’ve always searched for ways to break the cycle. Many researchers such a Paul Amato have documented that there are generational aspects to divorce and that if you are a child of divorce it doubles your risk of repeating this pattern.
However, adult children of divorce (ACOD’S) are not doomed to repeat the past and can take measures to reduce their risk such as selecting a partner to marry who compliments them and getting married a little later. Studies show that getting married after your late 20’s reduces your risk of divorce.
Helpful tips to reduce your risk of divorce if you are an ACOD:
- Gain awareness about past hurt. For instance, learn that your parents’ unhealthy patterns may have impacted your choices in partners. Be more selective and pay attention to red flags such as someone who is untrustworthy or does not include you in their plans for the future.
- Attempt to forgive yourself and others and move on from the past. Forgiving others doesn’t mean you condone their behavior – you simply give it less power over your life. If you can not forgive your parents, try to accept what has happened and give them the benefit of the doubt if they try to explain their side of the story related to their divorce.
- Build trust in relationships. Pause and examine whether your mistrustful thoughts are a result of your past or present. If someone demonstrates consistent behavior, extend trust to them.
- Find ways to repair the damage by writing a new narrative– one that includes picking partners who are trustworthy and willing to work on a committed relationship.
- Examine your expectations about intimate relationships. If you are focused on your dream of how a relationship should be rather than reality – this can lead to disappointment.
- Develop positive intentions such as: I am going to focus on things I can control and let go of those things that are beyond my control.
- Refresh your view of commitment: It’s key that if you are an adult child of divorce, that you pay attention to your own mind-set about commitment and not be afraid to take a risk if you meet someone who is good marriage material. Picking a partner who you are compatible with includes chemistry (physical and intellectual) and sharing common interests and goals for the future.
Truth be told, your partner needs to be supportive and a good friend who is reliable. In other words, they have your best interests at heart and they will be there for you through the ups and downs of life. If you want more information about this you can log onto movingpastdivorce.com for blogs.
Follow Terry on Twitter, Facebook, and movingpastdivorce.com. Terry’s award winning bookDaughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy A Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship was published in January of 2016 by Sourcebooks.
I’d love to hear from you and answer your questions about relationships, divorce, marriage, and remarriage. Please ask a question here. Thanks! Terry