Everyone always thinks of divorce as a major tragedy for a child. And it is. In many cases, the parent who moves out has little to no contact with the kids. There are emotional and financial struggles. But the breakup could have a positive effect too. It may actually help strengthen your own marriage later in life. Take a look at the five relationship-saving lessons you can learn from your parents' divorce.
1. You learn to express how you feel when you feel it. When you hold things in or tamp down your emotions, it will eventually lead to a big blow-up. That is something many children of divorced parents have witnessed time and time again. The only way to avoid that in your own relationship is to be open and honest.
2. Marry someone you trust. Many marriages break up because of lies. Lies about fidelity, expenses, and various other behaviors. It's hard to know exactly the type of person your would-be husband or wife will turn into, but trust must be more important than lust or anything else when you think you've found The One.
3. You can make your husband feel needed without being financially dependent on him. Cindy Crawford once revealed that her mother was still financially dependent on her father even after they split. So when he was angry, he would withhold those much-needed checks to get back at her. Like many other women, going through that made Crawford determined to be financially independent. But at the same time, she wanted to make her husband Rande Gerber feel needed. So she focuses on small things in their relationship where he can still get that feeling. She has come to realize that it's okay to lean on him sometimes. If opening the door for you makes him feel good, then let him. She realized it feels good to her too.
4. Couple time will remind you why you love each other. Date night is not enough. Your parents never took a vacation without the kids, so they never really got a break. Regular grownup getaways may not save all marriages, but they can't hurt. It is a great way for a pair to focus on each other and remember why they fell in love in the first place.
5. Don't give up the things you love for love. I know many women who gave up their careers or men who didn't take a risk with their own because they were married. Those situations can lead to tension and resentment down the road. If you feel strongly about something, talk to each other and find a compromise that will make you both happy. It won't work out every time, but at least you addressed it together.
If you have divorced parents, what did you learn from the experience?