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Childrearing

Half Of Marriages End In Divorce, And I Still Miss My Dad

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It’s pretty safe to assume that you or someone you know has been or will be divorced. While the exact divorce rate is hard to nail down since both marriage and divorce are on the decline, most people are familiar with the common statistic that “50% of marriages end in divorce.” Again, this statistic isn’t entirely accurate, but it does shed light on the fact that there are a significant number of divorces in our country.

My parents divorced when I was 10, and sometimes I feel silly saying that I still miss my dad. After my parents divorced, my dad got typical joint custody of us every other weekend. This means that I saw him quite a bit, and the new setup we had was fairly similar to other kids I knew at school. It was normal. It was fine. Get over it.

But as I’ve become a parent and have started to open up and really love my kids, I think back to a lot of memories that I have from childhood. Quite a few of them are bad because my dad was very unstable at the time. Some of them are good because my early childhood, even in the midst of divorce, wasn’t all bad.

Now, my dad and I barely talk and haven’t been close for over a decade. I plan to see him in the summer when my sister visits with my niece. He also emails me sometimes, and I’m pretty sure he reads this blog. But we’re not very close, and it’s hard to imagine how it could be different.

Divorce is an exhausted subject. Divorce has been normalized so much that I feel almost ridiculous admitting that I still miss my dad as an adult. And before people encourage me to reach out to him and spend more time with him, it’s more complex than that. Yes, we are moving forward, and I can’t predict the future. But the dad that I miss the most is the dad that I didn’t get to spend much time with, starting at 10 years old.

My advice to any child of divorce, young or old, is this: Divorce is normal and likely to happen, but it still sucks. It can continue to suck well into adulthood, and that doesn’t make you a freak. You’re allowed to feel your feelings as long as you need to feel them. It’s okay to miss your parents even when you’re an adult.

(Image: wrangler/Shutterstock)

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