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It's Literally 50% Likely to Happen: You Can't Keep Naming Divorce as Your Childhood Trauma


Photo by amanda tipton / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

My parents got divorced when I was three years old. I don’t remember much of them being together, and I don’t really remember them getting separated. Maybe my parents did a better-than-average job of managing the circumstances, but having divorced parents was never my Herculean origin story. I always saw their divorce as a natural conclusion to an incompatible pairing, a necessary sacrifice to be made for the sake of our family’s emotional health. 

You might remember the day really well. Maybe your dad cheated on your mom. Maybe the housing crisis in 2008 destroyed your family’s economic stability and the marriage couldn’t survive. Maybe your mom lost that signature twinkle in her eye, and your dad simply couldn’t bear to look at her anymore. Your parents got divorced, and it was heartbreaking. So heartbreaking. But what...what do you want anyone else to do or say about it?

Divorce is literally 50% likely to happen. When you get married, you’re essentially flipping a coin. Obviously it’s really sad when there are kids involved, but there’s literally a 50% chance of it happening. Sorry, but it’s time for us to start being realistic about our expectations for marriage. You can’t keep using your parents’ divorce as an excuse for your shitty behavior. Your parents’ divorce didn’t give you commitment issues: you simply don’t have the confidence to rise to the challenge of a long-term, committal relationship. And that’s okay. It’s just not okay to blame your parents. You’re literally an adult now.