Guidance For the Adult Children of Divorce

divorced over 50, grey divorce. gray divorce

A Divorce Over 50 not only impacts the couple, it also affects their adult children. We’ve addressed the Adult Children of Divorce (ACOD) a few times before (for example, here and here), always from the point of the view of the parent. Those takeaways include:

  • Never assume it’s easy on adult children because they’re older — they may not have “little kid” issues with your Divorce, but it can still cause tremendous disruption for them.
  • You can set an important example for your children by moving through your DO50 and finding a brighter future. They’ll see that unwanted, unexpected  things can happen in life, but it’s possible to overcome them and get to a better place.

Writing for Divorce Magazine, therapist Terry Gaspard offers a piece aimed at those adult children, “8 Ways to Move on From Your Parents’ Grey Divorce.” Though tailored for your kids, it’s well worth reading to better understand what may be going on with them, and to help avoid potential problems. Moreover, I’d encourage you to forward them either this post, or the article itself.

Here’s a summary of the eight points Gaspard makes to the ACOD’s:

  1. Set and maintain healthy boundaries.
  2. Resist playing mediator, parent, or friend.
  3. Express your feelings honestly and calmly.
  4. Share enjoyable experiences with your parents.
  5. Maintain bonds with both extended families.
  6. Face your fear of intimacy and commitment if it exists.
  7. Take your time dating someone.
  8. Respect your grief.

Gaspard does point out a silver lining: ACOD’s may be more careful about their own choice of a spouse, as they understand the fragility of love. Along those same lines, please check our post from August of 2016, “5 Pre-Marital Tips From a Divorced Parent.”  If you find it worthy, perhaps you’ll forward it to your kids, as well.