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 Xpost - Divorce - Advice?

Thought I'd post here as well as I really do need advice before tomorrow and the boards are so slow I need some more eyes

My parents have told me they are going to get a divorce.

They've been married 28 years, they got pregnant after knowing each other only a month at 18 years old, married 2 months later - then had 2 more kids.

My mom told me they never really had that passion and fell in love with eachother the way other couples did. They love each other, but aren't in love.

My dad asked her to please stay married and they'll have seperate bedrooms and just be apart but still married on the outside..which is what they've been doing the last year that we didn't know about however my mom has now asked that they please divorce.

They are still quite civil - friends even, still go out to their friends houses together, still live together just in seperate bedrooms - however will be selling the house in the summer.

As an example of how civil and ok they are - my mom had said she was going to sell her car and lease a new one. My dad said "why what a waste of money" she said "because I don't know how to do the maintenance on a car" Dad: "don't be silly I'll always take care of your cars for you"

So they're pretty OK!


So here comes the part I need advice for. I'm trying to be understanding and supportive of them both - Its not fair to assume I know the ins and outs of their marriage, quite frankly their divorce simply doesn't involve me - I love them both and want them to be happy.

My older brother well, he's a bit of an immature character, he thinks he controls everyone. He is angry about the situation and admits he doesn't understand (ok this is understandable it is heart breaking to see your parents seperate)

However he is irrational and quite immature - he has called a 'family meeting' for tomorrow night. I'm afraid his plan is to berate my parents and guilt them. I'm pretty positive he thinks he can force them back together.

I don't support this - I think if they've been stewing over the decision for years, have been actually seperated bedrooms for a year and have now announced - well lets just say it doesn't sound like an impulsive decision. I don't want to drag them through guilt or anger or anything else.

So what do I do to show my support of their decision, what do I say to help them especially during this 'family meeting'

Anyone who has divorced - can you tell me the *wrong* things to say and what might be helpful? My parents are happy and moving on, but that doesn't mean they aren't sad either - they've both cried to me about it so I just don't want to inflict anymore hurt on them then they already have and I *know* thats exactly my brother's goal...
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 4 Apr 2012 4:26 PM
 28 Feb 2009
 BC
Barkles
Addict
3,082
I'm sorry you're going through this - divorce is never fun. It's really nice that your parents are being such adults about it, that definitely makes things easier.

I am also the "most OK" one in my family with my parents' divorce (and subsequent recouplings).

I would probably ask him straigh out what he plans to bring up at this meeting. If it's what you suspect I would try to talk him out of it, I have had no problems telling my sibs if I think they're being unfair or ridiculous about something related to either of my parents. If that didn't work I'd rat him out to my parents whistleold so they would have a heads up and could decide how to deal with it, and if they decide to go through with his meeting I'd go, and sit beside your parents and support them.

ETA How specifically to support them would probably depend on context...I would maybe just bring up things like how many sacrafices they have made in their life for him, how they have supported him through his decisions, how they are adults and capable of making these types of decisions, etc.
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 4 Apr 2012 4:31 PM
 29 Dec 2008
 Calgary
CateFace
Raving Lunatic
14,596
They know about it already, they are adults I'm sure they can handle him just fine, they know what he's like so I'm sure they don't expect my younger brother and I to deal with him, however that doesn't mean they should have to, I just want to protect them and hug them, shield them from his acting out which I know its going to be.
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 4 Apr 2012 4:31 PM
 13 Aug 2006
 Calgary, Alberta
cherryblossom
Postaholic
6,605
I'm sorry you're going through this CateFace. frown

If I were in your shoes, I'd be sure to stand up to my brother if he started going off on my parents. I'd let my parents know that I supported them both in their decision, and that I would remain neutral. I think it's okay for you to express that you are sad, but just make sure they know that what you want is for them to be happy, and if that means divorce, then you're fully behind that. Sounds like you've already got a good perspective on the situation. Your parents are lucky to have you.
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 4 Apr 2012 4:45 PM
 24 Jan 2005
 Calgary
tojules
Raving Lunatic
11,202
I think your brother has to realize that they're adults, they make their own decisions and this is about their relationship. Not their relationship with him.

Your bro is entitled to be upset, to be angry, to feel hurt...or whatever it is he is feeling about it...but the bottom line is, it's THEIR relationship. Be supportive, be there for them while they adjust and just maybe you can keep functioning as a family instead of splitting time between two parents. And I'd tell him that as well, I also wouldn't allow him to berate them...I'd tell him up front if he can't act like an adult and discuss this like an adult...he can leave the room until he has something productive to add. Hurting them, causing grief, being angry at them because they've made the decision to divorce...it doesn't help anyone.

It's taken my parents 15 years to be able to be in the same room with each other and not end up in a screaming match. Their divorce was brutal and I can't tell you how much I appreciate now having them on "good" terms so they can appear at bday parties, holiday events and other occassions together instead of having to celebrate everything twice. I know it may not feel like it right now, but you're lucky to have your parents get along so well.

Divorce sucks, but I really admire people who can handle a difficult situation ambicably.
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 4 Apr 2012 6:56 PM
 13 Aug 2006
 Calgary, AB
Raynn
Guru
19,688
Sorry you are going through this. My parent divorced after 28 years of marriage as well. I was a little younger than you when they did it. It was "amicable" in the sense neither one put up a fight, but my mother was devastated over it. We had no idea my father was deciding that..

Anyways, no matter what they are still your parents. But you do see them in a different light after divorce. Considering they have technically separated for over a year, they have already considered the ramifications of it and want to move on. I have to agree with your mom, I dont think I could stay in a marriage just to "keep face" so to speak. I imagine they are young enough to be able to still find real love and live the rest of their life in it.

Your brother's reaction is warranted. He is hearing this information for the first time, so its new to him and he probably hasnt digested it. He's younger than you, right? So yes he probably has a lower sense of maturity on this as well. You need to take care of you, and not worry about him. If he asks your opinion, its simply stated "you want both of your parents to be happy" and if that means they need to divorce in order to get happy, then so be it.

Im sure your brother will come around in time. It isnt easy as a child when your parents divorce, its eve harder as an adult.. thats why I always hated the arguments that parents stick together for the sake of the children. Its easier to digest and adjust as a child then it can be for an adult.


The one thing I remember telling my parents when they split was that I wanted them to find happiness again. It took my mother about 2.5 years to remarry.. my dad just remarried this past year. Things do happen for a reason, I strongly believe that. I know for us, had my parents stayed together, it probably would have destroyed us kids' relationship with my dad.. now we have very strong relationships with both of them, something I know we never would have had before.


Hugs. I know its not easy.
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 4 Apr 2012 7:12 PM
 7 Nov 2009
 I think it's obvious.
TorontoChick
Devotee
2,120
Katy, I have no advice, but wanted to say that I am sorry you are having to deal with this and that I hope tomorrow's meeting goes ok.

Hugs.
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 4 Apr 2012 8:36 PM
 29 Dec 2008
 Calgary
CateFace
Raving Lunatic
14,596
Kelly no its my older brother putting up a fight he's 28
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 31 Oct 2012 11:59 PM
 30 Apr 2012
 buzzle.ca
buzzle
New Member
0

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