Impact of Divorce on the Children

The Kids started asking questions, they were confused.  They went to bed one day with a happy intact family and woke up the next with a fragmented one.  They both started playing up in school.  Both A students now went beyond F; their work couldn’t be graded, it was that terrible.  To make matters worse one was preparing for GCSE-General Certificate of Secondary Education.  Letters upon letters kept coming through from the school regarding both of them, but I was helpless; the anchor of the family was wounded, broken, shattered, and needing parenting, caring.  I was helpless and couldn’t help my babies.  This still hurts, rips my insides as I write.

The kids not knowing where to direct their pain, anger, frustration turned on me because as far as they could see I was the one causing the breakdown of the family.  As much as it hurt at the time and even now, I was determined not to divulge too much information which could make the situation worse for them.  Also I was not in the best frame of mind to talk rationally to them as a parent so I kept quiet and allowed them to use me as a punch bag.  It was very difficult and challenging to say the least.

Unbeknown to me, the kids had somehow managed to connect dots to themselves blaming themselves for the breakdown in our marriage.  I only found this out years later.

I finally gathered the dust off me a little bit and started to talk to the kids and they were so angry and had so many questions which I answered as best as I could.  The school was not aware of the situation at home so I arranged a meeting with the school to explain and the teachers now changed their approach and provided an excellent support to the children to this day.

It is not just the adults that suffer during divorce the children also go through their divorce.

Staring my family Breakdown in the face

Call it intuition, call it instincts, but I knew within my gut in 2011, that my marriage was over.  When the things that have usually attracted my ex-husband didn’t seem to work anymore-the jokes, the smiles, apparel.  Every marriage has its challenges and we seemed to have weathered them each time until this faithful day.  The signs had been there but in hindsight, I seem to have ignored or refused to accept the reality of the situation.

On a particular night, an action confirmed to me that the relationship was over.  I got up from the marital bed, rolled a cushion on the floor of our bedroom because I didn’t want the kids to know that there were problems in our marriage.  I wept the whole night but still had to wake up to go to work as a Senior Manager, it was a really long day.  I was a total wreck.

I dreaded the journey back home after wok; I had to feign a smile and be the strong mummy that my kids were used to but my heart was breaking, I was dying inside.

I waited and hoped that I will be asked to come back to bed but it never happened.  That was very painful and all I did was weep quietly to sleep.   This to me spelt in BLOCK LETTERS that my marriage was over.

Our eldest who has always been an old soul, picked on the challenging situation and that was very difficult for me to deal with.  She had just entered the teens.  By this time I had been sleeping on the floor for about a month and I still had not been invited back to our marital bed.  There was one morning I was a total mess, couldn’t go to work, and gathered every strength to do what I knew how-to pray.  By this time I was in so much pain I couldn’t hold the tears in any longer; I was wailing like a baby in prayer to God to save me.  I was in agony, excruciating pain that words cannot describe.  I was weeping for our children, I was weeping for all the plans, hopes, dreams we had.   I was weeping for our friends and family and how this would impact them.

I slept on the floor in our bedroom for about 3 months after which I moved to the living room and stayed there for 2 years.  Why that long because I was still living in hope that things could change for the better; I took my marriage vows seriously so was not about to give up easily.

Divorce Hurts®

“Every death is a wake up call to live more fully, more presently, right now”- Oprah Winfrey.

After 2 years dating as boyfriend/girlfriend and 15 years of marriage blessed with 2 wonderful children, a brilliant career and as a minister of the gospel, I thought I had it all together until my marriage broke down.  My world it seemed had fallen apart.  Battling stress and having to quit my job as a Senior Manager, I have turned my life around with the help of God and is now sharing how I made it to the other side in spite of the heartache and pain.

Divorce Hurts®, and it hurts not just the couple but their children, friends and families.  There is no point in pretending it doesn’t hurt or doesn’t bother you.  You have to allow yourself the time and space to grieve the loss of your relationship because that is what it is – a loss.  One Counsellor likened divorce to an Open Heart surgery.  It is painful and therefore needs time to heal.  According to research, during the time of divorce, 85% of our emotional being is tasked and only 15% of our spiritual, physical and mental being is affected.  Divorce tasks us excessively at our emotional level to the point where there is just no strength left for anything else.  Just accept, acknowledge this fact and allow yourself to go through the pain process.  You will go through emotions such as confusion, betrayal, anger and bitterness. “Divorce is like a marathon”; it saps a lot of energy.

Once you accept the pain and the reality of the divorce and allow yourself to grieve and hurt, then you are on your way to the journey of healing.  Note that healing too is a process; it is not instant, it is not a quick microwave fix.  Just take one step at a time and remember you have just being through an ‘open heart surgery’ of divorce hence you need time to heal don’t rush into any relationship anytime soon.

I can’t stress this point enough ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL THE PAIN, then you can start to heal.  We’ve heard many a times the phrase being vulnerable? Well allowing oneself to feel the pain is all part of the process of being vulnerable.  Ever heard the phrase look after number One? Again if there has ever been a time to look after number One- that is one’s self, it is the time of going through a divorce.  Allow yourself, give yourself permission to feel the pain, the hurt and acknowledge that it is painful, in time you will be thankful you did.


God bless