Parents thinking about divorce when they have young children at home understand that their kids will probably struggle with the end of the marriage. Those who have older kids may not worry quite as much about the emotional responses of their children.
After all, they probably assume that their adult kids will respect their personal decisions. While you certainly should not stay in an unhappy marriage solely out of concern for your grown children, it’s important that you are realistic about what filing for divorce will mean.
Even if your children have long since moved out, your upcoming divorce will likely still affect them.
Adult children may resent the destabilization of their family
If you have been unhappy for years and hiding it from your children, having the last one finally move out may lead to a sigh of relief because you can now act with a focus on your own best interests, rather than the wishes of your children.
Sadly, waiting longer to divorce may just make your children feel more upset when you finally take that leap. The more careful you were to hide your unhappiness in the marriage, the more likely they are to resent or blame you for your decision.
You might have to endure weeks or months of disagreement or even silence from your children after you file for divorce. Your children may need space to grieve their own flawed understanding of their parents’ marriage.
Even adult children take sides in divorces
Unfortunately, children may side with one parent in the divorce, venting their frustration on the other parent. You may find yourself uninvited to holiday events or dealing with multiple family members seemingly ganging up on you because of your decision to file for divorce.
However, when your children have had time to process their feelings or at least learn to accept yours, your relationship with them will eventually heal. Especially if you and your ex can be amicable toward one another and be present at special family events without conflict, your family unit will eventually move on and evolve from your divorce.
Recognizing the challenges you may face when you file for divorce will help you prepare to overcome those difficulties.