Often ignored, parents of divorced couples also undergo emotional stress

Often ignored, parents of divorced couples also undergo emotional stress
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When a couple divorces, it is not only the two adults separating and any children involved who suffer. For the parents of the divorced, the situation is sometimes complicated and stressful, especially when they had good relations with their child’s (ex)spouse.

For the parent, the divorce of a child could be felt as a failure. There are people who consider family to be among the most important things in the world. Consequently, if all goes well, the child’s spouse ends up becoming part of the family in the parent’s eyes. In the event of a divorce, all that extended family serenity collapses.

Not only does the parent see their child in trouble, but also their grandchildren. If the divorce gets complicated, then there is also the possibility that a parent will feel pressured to cut ties with their ex-son-in-law or ex-daughter-in-law.

In this kind of situation, a "conflict of loyalty" is often experienced as the impression could be that by not taking the side of their child, they betray the bonds of blood.

Taking a neutral position

This being the case - except of course in cases of abuse - the best position to adopt is to remain as neutral as possible. This could mean not making a judgment because (in the majority of cases) divorce is a shared wrong.

Experts say that a parent of a divorced child should make themselves active available, but not be an actor. Offering a benevolent ear is one thing, but becoming a mediator or advisor is another all together. If the situation is really complicated, experts recommend referring the couple to professionals instead.

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Parents must also take care of themselves, and seek professional help if the situation surrounding the divorce of their child leads to mental health issues.

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