Why Being A Child Of Divorce Helps You Understand Love

Amanda Pena
Amanda Pena is one of those bridge and tunnel people that frequents the city for her job and the Chipotle on every other block. She hopes to be the next Cheryl Strayed and touch people's lives through her writing and/or find the best prosciutto deli in Manhattan.

I just Google searched the word “divorce,” and what immediately appeared were articles of the Ben and Jen separation fiasco. To those who have never undergone the tragedy of divorce, this celebrity divorce is just another ended marriage that is stupidly exploited in the tabloids.

We point fingers at their inability to reconcile, the reasons as to why they made this decision, and their resentment towards each other for not making this an easier judicial process. Though, divorce, like death, is such a foreign term if you have yet to experience the repercussions of it.

As a child of divorce, or adult considering my parents divorced when I was about 20, I can say that divorce is one of those instances in life that until you have experienced it firsthand, you cannot fully understand the breadth of it. At times, I feel like children or adults of divorced parents should have weekly meet-ups where we vent about having divorced parents.

There’s this kind of mutual understanding that people who have experienced divorce look at the world differently than those who have not. We’re more meticulous, a bit reserved with our feelings, and realistic. These are just a few of the many feelings and emotions that those affected by divorce share. These are just a few of the many feelings and emotions that those who have not experience divorce cannot quite understand.

The other day, I was in the car with one of my friends and we were discussing the risks of divorce. Her parents are together after many, many years of marriage containing hardships and constant adversities. In terms of love and relationships, she and I view the topic through such a different lens. At one point during our conversation, she said that if she ever got divorced she’d never remarry and that’d essentially be the end of her love life. I was taken aback by the fact that she made such a bold statement so early on in her life without truly understanding what divorce is all about.

The way I see it – divorce is a word that I have come to terms with. It happens, it’s a heart wrenching experience, but it is a part of many people’s lives that should be recognized and understood.

My parents were unhappy with each other and stayed together for many years so that my brothers and I could grow up in a “normal” household. Therefore, when they decided to separate, it was a decision that was pretty welcomed by my brothers and me because we knew how much they had sacrificed on our behalf. Now, I look forward to seeing them live out their lives the way they had always wanted to but suppressed for so long.

What many fail to understand is that there is life after divorce, just like there is life after death. At times, these tragic moments in life become a sort of awakening. It’s just a different path taken, and at many points along that path, many will not understand your reasoning for traveling them and continuing to push onward.

It is never your job to seek validation or approval from those who can’t relate. It’s your job to prove that life’s hardships do not immobilize you, but instead teach you how to move on with your best foot forward. Within the realm of relationships and love, divorce carries such a negative connotation, and understandably so. But without experiencing it, growing from it, and essentially rising up from the ashes, one cannot judge what this marital separation is all about. It’s not something to criticize or decipher through an outward lens, but realize that it is one of those many moments in life that people go through and come out with scars and bruises, but eventually prevail.