Are you going to get a divorce?

A friend was telling me how his daughter's friends at school talk about how they don't get to see their mom or dad because their parents are divorced. He then went on to say that a family member is in the process of splitting up with their partner and that his daughter has had plenty of questions about that, would they get to see their uncle anymore, etc.? I asked him if his daughter asks if he and his wife will ever get a divorce to which he replied oh yeah, she does quite a bit. He said they tell her that of course not, mommy and daddy love each other and that it won't be happening to them.

After my brother died, his 9 year old daughter asked me what would happen to them if their mom dies. Wham! See, my niece and her younger sister lost their dad suddenly and within two years were present when their grandpa, my dad, also died. Two significant deaths within 2 years of each other, so these kids know, shit happens. So I tell them, of course, that it will likely be a long time before their mom dies and they'll be all grown up but I added to that. I added that if something did happen (which it won't) I would help them. That I'd be there in a heartbeat and make sure they were okay and that I'd take care of them. They didn't need to worry. You could feel the relief from the backseat of the car...

I think protecting children from bad or sad things is important but when they're worried or afraid of something that's real, that they see all around them, we shouldn't be afraid to reassure them about what will happen if the "bogeyman" does rear his ugly face, and what our plan is to deal with him.

To my friend I say, tell your daughter you'll be together forever. Mom and dad will never get divorced. But add to that and reassure your children that if it did (though it won't) you'll both love her and see her and take care of her forever. I think you'll feel the relief.


  1. Children are interesting in their ability to connect events. Most adults, oddly, do not do this. When my parents got divorced, I was not worried about who would care for us, I knew my father would. What I worried about is what if they separated me from my sister (she is two years younger than I and we were very close).

    I wish, in an odd way, that my daughter had to live through some of this at an early age, because now she has to face finding family, then losing a dad. It is hard on her at 31.

  2. Yeah Lori, we just have to ask them or let them speak and actually hear them to know what they're afraid of.

    I understand what you're saying about sort of wishing your daughter was more familiar with loss but I honestly don't think it makes one damn bit of difference. It hurts like hell no matter when, you know? Yeah, I know you know.


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