Effects of parent's divorce on your love life

6 Ways Your Parents’ Divorce May Affect Your Love Life

That said, research also shows that the six relationship symptoms below could be an outcome of your parents’ divorce. 

LaBier suggests that this trend stems from a larger social movement away from the construct of marriage, regardless of parental divorce. The cause of the rise in divorce over the decades could be the symptom and not the cause of underlying problems in marriage.

It’s equally possible that your experience of divorce in childhood may have eroded your faith in committed relationships. If divorce in childhood creates doubts about marriage, and doubts lead to divorce, then your parents’ separation may lead to your own divorce. 

This particular study did not find that all children of divorce were more likely to divorce. But children of divorce who had an insecure attachment pattern were more likely to divorce early in their marriages than those who had formed secure attachments. 

Again, men who experienced parental divorce were not impacted in the same way. Couples’ intimacy was also not impacted if both partners had divorced parents. While the reason for this was not studied, it could be that empathy for the others’ experience builds intimacy.

In general, you are more likely to experience all of these effects if you are a woman.

Are you someone who enjoys uncommitted sex? Someone who has had a string of short-term relationships? Are you seen as a sexual authority by your friends because of your early sexual experiences?

If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” your parents’ divorce may have shaped your relationship to sex and romance.

The greater likelihood of beginning relationships earlier may explain the higher number of sexual partners. Then again, you may also be engaged in a pattern of casual sex.

In fact, many maternal attitudes may be inherited. Poor relationship skills and other traits that prevent successful marriage may pass from generation to generation. Therefore, study of the way mothers influence their children may offer more insight into how sexual patterns are transmitted.

What does this mean for you? If you are a child of divorce, pay attention to your mother’s response and attitudes—they may have the biggest influence on your relationship life today, even if we don’t yet understand why.

A parental divorce causes more trouble for your adult relationships if it was hostile. Children learn their conflict resolution by observing their parents. If there is unresolved conflict between parents, children learn poor conflict management skills and dysfunctional behavior.

While many of the consequences of parental divorce affect women more than men, it’s actually men who are impacted more by a contentious parental relationship.

Because of cultural attitudes about gender, it may be that women engage in more varied relationships and so have an opportunity to learn conflict resolution outside the parental model. However, the culture of masculinity is shifting, which may lead to less pessimism around relational conflict.

This could be due to declines in the divorce rate since the 1980s, resulting in less exposure to divorce among some Millennials and Generation Z. But it might also speak to larger cultural trends that have pushed young people to develop better communication skills, wait longer to marry, or choose other ways to celebrate love. 

As a result, adult children of divorce may choose to separate instead of communicating about their relationship troubles. Or they make the call to separate sooner than others.

Apart from inheriting relationship values that tolerate low commitment, Dr. Wolfinger also tells Pinsker that you may actually inherit genes that make you more likely to divorce. Part of “being a jerk” appears to be genetic. If the reason your parents divorced has to do with one or both of them “being a jerk,” then you are more likely to divorce because you are more likely to, well, be a jerk.

Divorce can also be associated with a number of other early life factors—low education quality and physical well-being, for instance—that also predispose people, especially young people, to relationship instability.

No parental divorce is equal to another. If you are an adult child of divorce who has a history of short-term connections, ask yourself if that comes from the normalization of separation in your young life. 

And if separation feels easy and comfortable for you, you can look at the specifics of your young life, including the way your biological parents interacted, to determine what factors influence your own beliefs.

Choosing against marriage is more accepted than ever before. There are many alternatives, and you may be drawn to one or more of them.

For many who choose alternatives to marriage, the friend network or kin group becomes more intimate and supportive. Relationships within the friend group may be fluid, involving sex and romance under the umbrella of a long-term commitment to friendship.

Regardless of the alternative model you prefer, your openness to it may be influenced by your parents’ relationship. Specifically, you may share your parents’ attitudes toward sex, cohabitation, being single, and more.

Even if your lifestyle choices are positive for you, they may be influenced by the state of your parents’ marriage. This includes the choice to divorce.

Are you unhappy? Do you want to change the patterns you observe? Then, congratulations! The first step is awareness. 

Next, you could take steps to educate yourself or seek the guidance of a therapist.

Many who study divorce acknowledge that more research must be done to determine how and why parental divorce causes any of the relationship choices described above. While divorce may be related to your choices, it may not be the underlying cause.

Scientists could also explore divorce through a positive framework. How has access to divorce empowered people to make choices that work better for their personal growth

These points may resonate with you if you feel content with your relationship choices despite your parents’ divorce. There is no reason to change a healthy pattern for you, even if it appears at odds with a traditional understanding of relationships.

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