The day your parents sat you down and broke the news about their divorce is a childhood-defining moment. It also likely set the tone for what life was like after the split.
Ideally, they let you know that they would do their best to co-parent and make the transition as smooth as possible. But the big talk doesn’t always go as planned (or in some cases, it doesn’t happen at all). Below, HuffPost bloggers share how their parents brought up the subject of divorce, for better or worse.
1. “I think I knew my parents were going to divorce before they even realized it was going to happen. So when they pulled my sister and I together in my room, I had an idea of what was going on. I was 12 going on 13 at the time. They told us very simply that they were divorcing and that this didn’t mean they loved us any less — it just meant things were going to change between them.” — Mary Carpenter
2. “My Mom had picked me up from school and we drove to the park. I was 17. When we got there, I remember her pulling off to the side of the road. I can hear her saying to me, ‘If I told you I was in love with another man, who do you think it would be?’ And I knew. It was Tom. I respect the way she told me, in that she held herself accountable from the very beginning and didn’t blame my Dad.” — Nancy Daneshmand
3. “I was 13 years old and I actually overheard them break the news to each other. They were arguing in another room when I heard my Mom exclaim, ‘Oh, get a lawyer! I can’t talk to you anymore.’ From there, they began asserting who should move out and when it would happen. Later that evening, my Dad and I took a walk together and he confirmed a change was on the horizon. He didn’t have any answers at the time but he said when they knew what was going to happen next, they’d tell me.” – Tara Eisenhard, a author of The D-Word: Divorce Through A Child’s Eyes
4. “It was Easter morning. To be honest, I don’t know if this is exactly how it all happened because I was only 7 but this is what I remember: After our Easter hunt, my sister and I asked my Mom why she had been sleeping in my sister’s room and not with Dad. I remember my Mom lying on my bed while she told us and my Dad was standing in the doorway. He didn’t say much. I don’t think they anticipated telling us that day but we asked, so it all came out. I don’t recall it being a traumatizing event. Kids are funny that way, they just bounce back. I didn’t even realize how much my parents’ divorce affected me until I became an adult had my own family.” – Jamie Scrimgeour, writer at The Poptart Diaries
5. “My memory is all a little hazy now. In my mind, no one sat me down and told me exactly what was happening. Things just sort of happened and my little 4-year-old self accepted events as they came. I remember my Dad leaving with a suitcase and I remember him coming back a different day to show us the house where my sister and I would now go when we saw him. I remember feeling a little confused at first, but there was also definitely a sense of, ‘Well…OK, I guess!’ Four-year-olds are generally pretty malleable like that.” — Toria Sheffield, writer at facematters
6. “They actually didn’t break the news to me — my younger sister did. I was 21 at the time and I had just landed from a flight to Las Vegas. I was checking into the hotel when my sister called and told me that something was going on. I spent the next few hours trying to piece it together. Once I got in touch with my Dad, he told me that he didn’t want to ruin my trip and that my sister shouldn’t have told me. I probably made 10 phone calls to my family members during those hours. Everyone, except for my parents, told me that this was just a fight and they would be back together and fine. No one could believe it.” — Kristen D.
7. “My Mom sat my brother and me down and did the best she could to explain that my Dad would no longer be around. It was no surprise, considering the difficult situations our family had endured. I was only 5 years old then but looking back on it, I think she handled the situation the best she could.” – Kimanzi Constable
8. “My parents never actually sat down and spoke with me directly to break the news, either because it was too painful or because they felt I was too young to understand at the time. I was 8 then. Instead, common sense had to break it for me. I was confused, figuring that the usual fight and argument would just go back to normal as it always did. I realized it wouldn’t after we moved suddenly. Now that I am older, I understand how difficult the situation must have been for them.” — Jeaiza Quinones, writer at Mind of McShorty
9. “My parents divorced when I was in diapers so I can’t remember much. I was about 3 years old. What I can remember is how easy it felt transitioning to living in two different houses. They made sure I had doubles of everything. In an ideal situation, being reassured that my parents still respected and cared for each other as friends despite the split would have meant a lot. My parents weren’t in a place to do this, but it would have made a big difference to me.” — Kate Fisher
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