When parents divorce, breaking the news to the kids is often the hardest part. For parents of small children, there are many resources available to guide these difficult conversations.
couples whose children are now adults have fewer resources. Many people do not consider the impact of divorce on independent adult children. If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, your children’s reaction may not be what you expect.
1. The news may shock them
Your children might already suspect that something is not right between you and your spouse. However, you should not assume that this is the case.
You should also prepare for your children to feel upset, even if they no longer live with you. While your divorce may not affect their day-to-day lives, it is still a major change, and they will need time to adjust.
2. They may need reassurance
Your adult children will likely feel all of the same emotions that a young child would. They may be angry and lash out at you, or they may turn their anger inward toward themselves. They might assume that they were the reason you stayed together as long as you did, which may or may not be true. Be ready to reassure your children that your marital problems and divorce are not their fault.
3. You might still have to co-parent
Even after your children grow up and move away, there will be times when they need or want both parents. Make a commitment to your children that you and your ex will both be there for weddings, graduations and other important events.
No matter how old your children are, your divorce will affect them. Empathy and reassurance can help you and your children cope.