5 Ways Children Of Divorce Love Very Differently, But Not Less
When you learn that the very same love that creates happiness can also be the source of the greatest pain at a young age, it can make it very hard to find a balance within it. Children of divorced parents learned very early on that love isn’t always good and pure, that love can tear their lives apart and that love can be broken. It can distort their idea of love and make it hard for them to love and be loved in the future. But it’s not impossible. Children of divorced parents adapat to love differently, but this doesn’t mean that they love any less. Here’s how.
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Marriage Is Not Their Ultimate Goal
Children of divorced parents learned the hard way that marriage ultimately leads to just a messier breakup. Marriage bonds fail too but instead of both parties being able to walk peacefully and move on with their lives, they’re legally bound and risk losing everything they own in the process. The piece of paper that once symbolized their eternal love becomes the shackle that keeps many couples trapped in a loveless or toxic marriage because divorce is too expensive, complicated, or uncomfortable.
It seems like marriage is more pressure than it is a celebration. Children of divorced parents are often willing to promise their eternal love and work at it every day forever but don’t feel the need for a legal paper to prove it.
They Can’t Help Questioning And Overthinking
From the eyes of a child, everything seemed okay between their parents before one day they learned that they would have to live between two homes and that the people they cared most about would never want to be in the same room again. They watched two people they assumed loved each other, turn on on each other. It distorted their idea of love and made it very hard for them not only to trust in love but in those closest to them.
As adults, they can’t help but assume the worst. They need extra validation because guessing if their partner is happy can drive them crazy. They don’t want to just hear that they’re loved, they need to constantly feel it because as soon as they experience any doubt of it, it will make them wonder if they’re doomed to experience their parent’s fate too.
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They’re Not Good At Ever Letting Go
It’s hard for children of divorced parents to draw the line between beginnings and endings. They were often reassured by their parents that they loved each other deep down even though one of them had their bags packed and would never come home again. They often couldn’t help but hold on to hope that their parents would one day reunite and their lives would stop being split in two.
As adults, they don’t know when to walk away. They’re bad at breakups because it makes them feel like their whole world is changing again. They want to make relationships work even long past their expiration date in an effort to do better than their parents. They may come off as needy or overbearing when in reality they just want to give their partner the kind of unbreakable bond that their parents couldn’t give each other.
They Crave Stability
Growing up between two homes can feel quite destabilizing for a child especially when each parent adopts a completely different lifestyle and parenting style. The rules are different, the discipline is different, the expectations are different and it’s hard to figure out how to please one parent without upsetting another.
As an adult, the children grow up to try and give themselves the safe, comfortable, stable space that they didn’t get to have. They like routine and knowing what to expect and when. They like for things to have their dedicated locations. They like to know when their partner will be home and what to make for dinner. They like to plan and be prepared. They want to feel safe.
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They Fear Loss Intensly
No matter how good things are going, a child of a divorced parent feels like every good thing is bound to come to an end at some point. They grieve its loss before it has even happened. They sometimes desperately act accordingly, trying to keep it and make sure it doesn’t go away that they ironically sabotage it themselves. They try to give too much to their partner at once, hoping this will show them how much they love them and make them never want to leave but this makes their partner feel like they’re under a lot of pressure and don’t know how to receive all of that excessive love.
They need constant validation because they’re always acting out of fear instead of confidence. Sometimes they completely withdraw and protect themselves because they convince themselves that they can’t lose something they stopped caring about in the first place.
Holidays Are A Stressful Time
When everyone is getting in the holiday spirit and getting excited to reunite with their loved ones, children of divorced parents are dreading it. They know that once again, no matter how hard they try, they’re bound to upset someone. Splitting their time in a way that seems fair between both their parents is stressful as it is, especially when one of them has elaborate plans and refuses to work around the other.
This gets even harder when trying to also make their in-laws happy. It feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. As much as they know their parents just want to spend time with them out of love, they feel like they need to cut themselves in half to have enough pieces to give to everyone.
We’re Harder To Love But Have So Much Love To Give
Children of divorced parents know they’re not the easiest to love. We know that we ask for a lot of validation, we know that we overthink beyond reason, we know that work on our trust issues and we know that we’re not responsible for our parents. But we also know that we have a lot of love to give.
We know that we want to make sure that you’re happy and will put in extra effort to make sure that you never have a reason to walk out. We’re still working through breaking our parent’s pattern and letting go of the past but we’re so excited to learn from their mistakes and create a better future with you.
Breaking The Patterns
Remember that at the end of the day, we are not our parents. We shouldn’t be bound by their choices and feel the impact of their decisions for the rest of our lives. In any relationship, always look at how you feel and ask yourself: does this person make you love yourself more? Do you want to grow old with them? This should be your indicator on whether to stay and hold.
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For more great relationship advice and tips on how to attain the kind of love you deserve, watch this video from expert, Amy North: Click Here To Watch The Full Video.
Higher Perspectives Author is one of the authors writing for Higher Perspectives