Divorce never affects just the couple. Children, extended family and friends all feel the impact. This is true even if you divorce in later life after your children have grown.
If your children are adults, you may not give much thought to how your divorce affects them because child support and custody are not issues. Nevertheless, your divorce can still have an emotional effect on your adult children. Psychology Today suggests some ways that you can acknowledge the effects and support your children.
Do not put your children in the middle
Adult children often feel the need to help their parents during a divorce. Do not take advantage of this impulse by complaining to your children about their other parents. This can cause your children to have conflicting feelings. Your children are probably already experiencing grief, and when you treat them like a peer, they may feel that they are experiencing an additional loss of the parent-child relationship. If you need to vent about your ex-spouse, find another trustworthy party to whom you can unburden yourself.
Listen to your children
You may not be able to anticipate how your divorce affects your grown children. The message that they receive from friends and others in their social circle is that they should just roll with it and move on because they are adults. Nevertheless, adult children of divorcing parents report feeling invisible and isolated in their grief. Listen to what your children are telling you and validate their feelings without judgment.
Nurture your relationship with your children
The relationship between parents and children is forever. Continue to nurture this relationship even as your relationship with your other parent is ending. Keep the lines of communication open even if the divorce means that you move away from your children or pursue new interests.
Children of all ages grieve the divorce of their parents. Give your grown children the time and support they need to heal.