If your parents divorced when you were a child, you may worry that you have the divorce gene. You may even believe that your experiences or your genetics doomed your marriage from the start.
Statistics show that women with divorced parents have a 60% higher chance of going through divorce themselves than women who grew up with parents who stayed married. Men with divorced parents have a 35% higher divorce rate than men whose parents stayed together.
These trends do not govern your life and do not doom your marriage to failure. However, if you feel that divorce is the right path forward, there are several ways you can make the experience easier on yourself and your kids.
Learn from the past
Because you experienced your parents’ divorce, you can recall those experiences, consider how they made you feel and learn from them. This can be especially important if you have kids of your own.
For example, you may remember how it made you feel when your parents argued, called each other names or asked you to pick sides. You can make different choices than your parents did. Taking steps to reduce the exposure your children have to parental conflict can protect them from the distress it can cause.
Consider all your options
As you move forward with your divorce, it is also important to remember that times have changed since your parents’ divorce. You may have options that they didn’t have. Take the time to explore all your options, so you can make sure to pursue the best options for your situation.
For example, mediation or arbitration may allow you and your spouse to reach agreements outside of the court room. However, they are not appropriate options for every situation.
Find someone to lean on
It is also important to remember that you are not alone. Ending your marriage can be an emotional ordeal on its own, but it can also stir up old memories. You may fare best if you establish a solid support system.
Consider confiding in adult family members and friends. Also, do not underestimate the value of professionals. A therapist or a support group can also help provide the emotional support you need as you get through this difficult time.