I am really lost ever since my parents told me they are getting divorced, what to do?

Three months ago my parents told me they are getting divorced after 25 years of marriage. This came totally unexpected, sure they would have arguments now and then but nothing out of the ordinary. My dad will move out of our house and move to Portugal next summer (which is where he is from, we live in the Netherlands currently) This was also their main reason of divorce, since my dad wanted to move back to Portugal in the long run together with my mom. My mother was always supportive of this plan but has seemed to change her mind and therefore they see no future for their marriage.

I have been struggling so much with the whole situation. I love both my parents very much, especially since i have no siblings I am really close to them. It hurts me so much to think that I won’t be able to see my dad every week/day. I have been crying myself to sleep almost every day for the past few months and I feel really hopeless. I feel like I cannot really tell my parents about how I truly feel since I don’t want to make them feel guilty for their decision. Most of my friends think I should not be overreacting the way I do since I am 21 years old and would soon move out for good anyway. I just feel really lost and sad right now, I lost most of my motivation for everything. I am struggeling with combining university, my job and my feelings. Any advice? 

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    It is ok to feel the way you do there is nothing shameful about it. Maybe they grew apart, maybe they were staying together for you all this while. Don’t mind these people telling you you should be out of the house, or old enough to handle it because you are 21. Most people will force you to conform, to not feel so much, but it is okay to feel hurt. Even if you are a young adult. You are allowed to feel the way you do. There is nothing wrong with being home at 21, things are hard on millennials and the following generation financially so it’s understandable that you are home at this point. Don’t let society make you feel like a failure. So let them know how you feel, but make them understand that it’s ok that you understand their decision and accept it, that it is going to take a moment to adjust but you will. I feel as if it was a shock to you because you were not able to tell that things  were not working out for them while growing up. You had an idea of their relationship and the reality is now different so you are conflicted. Your vision of marriage is crumbling because you thought they had a good one. That was an example for you to follow, but now you don’t even know what’s true anymore. So it’s understandable. Life is like that. Hi can seek counseling that might help to navigate these feelings. 

  • 8 months ago

    One day they will all be gone from your life.  It isn't a matter of IF.  It is a matter of WHEN. I lost my (future) father in law on my 21 st birthday.  My dad by the time I was 30.  My mother in law 15 years later.  So of course I cannot visit any of them every day nor ever again. YOU have to make your own life now.  It would be different if you were 10 years old.  But you are, or should be, an adult.

  • 8 months ago

    You should tell him, explain to your dad how much you love him and will miss him but going to Portugal would be like falling off the earth to you because you would lose all your friends that you have grown up with.

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    You can tell them without making them feel guilty. Tell them that you understand that they must have their reasons and that you respect that but that you are really struggling because it has shattered your illusions of a future where you thought you would always be near each other and spend holidays together. It's possible if your parents still like each other as people that you could spend holidays together for a while anyway. It will involve a little more travel. Sometimes people just grow apart. Their visions of what they once wanted may have changed so dramatically that they have reached the end of their journey together. Once the child(ren) is grown, they are anxious to get back to the people they were before they had children. They may still truly care for one another, but they want different things. So it may not be the future you imagined. Now it's a different future. They will always be your parents. And you will always have a cool place to visit on vacations. It's okay that this is hard on you. You have no voice in this decision. But as you said you are about to embark on adulthood and you'll form a family and household of your own. They are just ready to chase the dreams they couldn't chase when they were committed to each other. Your happiness is important to them and probably just a few therapy sessions can help you sort out your feelings and start to come to grips with this major life event. Hang in there.

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  • David
    Lv 6
    8 months ago

    "Most of my friends think I should not be overreacting the way I do since I am 21 years old and would soon move out for good anyway. "

    If you won't listen to your friends, why would you trust the opinion of strangers on yahoo answers?  Your friends are absolutely CORRECT, by the way.  Speaking as a father of two...

    It is the job of a parent to prepare a baby to live on her own, to find her own way through life...to LEAVE the nest.  That is the natural order of things, whether you are a bald eagle, a wolf, a polar bear...or a human being.

    Speaking as a human parent, you will know that you are doing "OK" if your child starts to assert her independence FIERCELY in her teens.  Yes, the teenage years can be a real headache for parents SPECIFICALLY because teenagers like to start asserting their independence, often as young as 13.  It is unusual for a girl to not exhibit some kind of defiance AGAINST her parents before she turns 18.  That's what it is to be a teenager.  You start practicing to be an adult, which you WILL BE soon.

    But to reach the age of 21 without asserting your independence yet?  OK, so you love your parents.  But parenting is not about making your babies love you.  It is about loving your babies enough to prepare them to leave you, and to LET THEM GO.  In other words, your parents failed you.  They were too friendly with you, being buddy buddy instead of being mom and dad.  

    Let's take this to an extreme example, illustrating EXACTLY how they failed you.  Let's assume for a moment that your mom and dad were not getting divorced, ever.  How long were you going to stay close to your parents, spending time with them every day?  Age 30?  Age 40?  Age 50?

    Until you distance yourself somewhat from the parental units, you are not ready to start dating anybody.  Not seriously anyway.  So were you planning to wait for retirement age to think about finding a husband and having children?  I know not all girls want to get married and have kids.  But almost all women do desire to have someone special (a lover) in their lives.  You can't get really close to that special someone while still hanging off of mommy's apron strings.

    Or maybe it was your plan all along to just live with your parents the rest of your life?  If so, that is not fair to your parents, dear.  Being a parent is a huge sacrifice that never ends, a lifelong commitment.  The only relief you get from that tremendous burden is that your kids EVENTUALLY strike out on their own.  And then they are LESS of a headache to you.  The worst nightmare for any parent is to wake up someday to realize that their little one is now 30 years old and still living under the same roof.  In fact, some parents can't wait for the kids to turn 18 so that they can get them out of the house.  And those are parents who TRULY *LOVE* their children, by the way!!!

    You have no choice but to seek your own way, find your own path through this life, starting (well, you should have started years ago, actually).  If you were mentally prepared to deal with the realities of being an ADULT (which you are now), then it SHOULD NOT MATTER where your parents are living, as they should not be a significant part of your life anyway.  They will always be mom and dad, but you need to be you now.  So start being you.

  • 8 months ago

    go and find your own happiness

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