Let me start out by saying I personally think my childhood was perfect. I had two loving parents who showered me with attention and affection and I never wanted for anything. I was very well taken care of and given a strong religious background that I can only thank my parents for today.
What might surprise you (now hold onto your seat)... I'm also a child of divorce. I know...how scandalous! Well, at least it was back then when my parents got divorced.
My name is Antonio Martinez, I'm 35, and when my parents divorced I was 12. Did it have an impact on me? I can honestly say, "Not that much". I was lucky. My parents didn't allow it to have a damaging impact on me. I guess I have to back up a bit and tell you a little bit about my parents.
I was what you would call an "extremely planned baby". My parents were married for years before they had me and they read every book they could on raising a well-adjusted child. So it is no shocker that they did the same when they decided to divorce.
So you might be asking now, "So how did they tell you? What did they do?" Well, actually it came in the form of a question. My mother sat me down one day when I came home for a weekend from summer camp (I went to a summer camp that lasted all summer. I was at camp for 3 weeks, come home for a weekend, then went right back to camp for another 3 weeks), I remember mom asking me, "How would you feel if when you came back from camp your father wasn't here?"
She went on to tell me that they would stay together for me if that were what I wanted. I believe she was sincere in saying that and probably would have hung in there till I was 18 and off to college if that were my choice. I looked at my mother after her short but powerful speech and said, "If it means you and dad will be happier, get the divorce, because I know you aren't happy".
How did I know? All I can say is, kids aren't dumb. I never saw them fight but I knew the love was gone. I completely believe that it is better to raise a kid in two loving households than to show them the example of a loveless marriage. You can debate me on that till you're blue in the face, but all I can speak on is my own experience and how wonderful my parents were. Was my family the norm back then? No. Is it becoming more normal today? Yes.
There is also a new study that says "Contemporary Families" may not be good nor bad for children, which I think might help change they way you think of divorce and your child.
Check it out, and let me know what your thoughts are!