What My Parents’ Divorce Showed Me About Love

Although divorce can devastate a child’s concept of love, it oddly enough did the opposite in my experience. When I was six, my parents decided to get divorced and I began living the majority of my childhood with my mother and sister. Seeing my dad only every other weekend was hard to understand at first, but with time and understanding, I was able to grasp what a loving, fulfilling marriage truly looks like and entails.

In a 2007 research study, it was found that children from divorced homes are less likely to view marriage as permanent and as a lifelong commitment. I never once blamed or condemned my parents for their decision to part ways, but it did leave me with many personal questions and worries for my own future. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized I wasn't alone in this thought. Most people also wonder if they will eventually find their life partner, which is a perfectly normal thought to ponder during young adulthood. A need of security has been instilled in us as children and what I was experiencing was absolutely normal, but it just seemed worse because of the circumstances I was exposed to.

As I grew older, it became apparent to me the reason my parents decided to get a divorce wasn't because anything my sister or I did or because true love doesn't exist, but rather it was because they simply did not love each other romantically anymore. Love with marriage has this perception in society that once two individuals are legally unbound from one another that means that the relationship ends there and then; but that is rarely ever the case. In my case, my parents still had to communicate, interact and rely on each other because they shared one (technically two) common interest: my sister and I. Love is complicated in this way. Although we may not feel romantic love towards a past partner, we still are able to have love for them. While I’m sure my parents had their own mishaps, they still chose to look past them to ensure that their children felt loved, accepted and nurtured--something so small goes such a long way. Their acceptance of this responsibility showed me that love is kind, it does not boast and is not easily angered. I am so thankful my parents chose to humble themselves for my sister and I because the most dangerous thing one can do is be too prideful to admit their own wrongdoing. Pride allows us to think of others as below us and makes us self-righteous, and  you can imagine this is like fuel to a flame in love (and not in a good way).

Related: My 3 Year Relationship Ended, But It Was Still a Success

In my own concept of love, I now understand that loving someone is patient and never self-seeking, and I refuse to believe that true love doesn't exist. Love is what we choose to reflect of ourselves and that’s why the notion of “right person, wrong time” exists. If we, as individuals, aren’t ready to invest time in loving someone, then the odds are that they won’t feel loved. Remember that no one ever said love isn’t easy, nor simple. If one struggles, both do. If one hurts, they both do and that's the beauty of love. Loving your significant other means making up for the things or places where they lack, and fall in love while doing so. Keep falling in love by disagreeing, but being able to love the honesty behind it. Fall in love by trying new things, but loving the exploring that follows it. And lastly by changing, but loving the growth that comes with it.

So, rest assured collegiettes, you're not alone! Let live and let love.