Divorce as a belief-builder

Zhang - China
Entered on October 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: change, family

Not a lot of people know this about me,but my parents got divorced when I was in my junior high. It was hard for me to talk about this before. Not because I was ashamed of it, which I am most certainly not. It’s people’s reaction to it that really borthered me. From their eyes, I saw sympathy and ptiy. I can almost picture them saying: Poor kid, this must be terrible to you. But that’s just far from the way I see it.

Unlike most break-up couples here in China, my parents’ divorce wasn’t full of anger. Part of it is simply because it wasn’t whose fault. There is no blame. They just didn’t belong to each other. And since they both believe that love keeps marrige alive, that if two people no longer love each other or find nothing exciting in their marriage, they should end it, the decision was finally made.

So why didn’t they break up earlier? The answer is right there in evidence: because of me.

Most people, like my parents, believe that the ultimate victim of a divorce is the children. I disgree. In fact, I’m very much against the idea of using the children for an excuse not to have the divorce. I believe it will only do more harm than good to the mental health of the kids. Because a real and warm family atmosphere doesn’t build on self-deception. It doesn’t simply require the two of you to literally be there in the house where you call it home, but to be there for your kids in spirit with a strong shoulder to lean on, with thoughtful advice to share, and with best wishes for their future. What it contains is love, care, sweetness and respect. And that’s something impossible to fake.

Which brings me to my next point: I believe that kids can still get the love from both parents even if they are apart. A few days before my parents officially get divorce. My mom came to me for a heart-to-heart conversation. “Sweetie, tell me how you feel and what you think.” She said.

“Well, Mom, will you and Dad be happier if you break up?” Surprised by my reaction, she paused and then nodded.

“Then it’s the right thing to do. ” I said. “I want you to be happy, Mom. Both of you.”

“But what about you?” She asked.

“You will still love me the same, right?”

“Of course.” She said.

“Then I’m totally ok with it, Mom.”

Instead of saying anyting, my Mom hugged me. After a long time, she said between tears, “Thank you, my daring.”

It is three years since my parents divorced. Knowing that they are both much happier then before, I’m glad that I helped in the process. And what’s more surprising, I feel that my parents and me, we are more like a family after the divorec, which, as it turns out, reinforces my belief.