An Open Letter to Separating Parents

Hi guys,

I don’t know where to start. What do you say to people who are splitting up? I know I need to address you, to let you know why I’m frustrated with the situation and that I still care about both of you, but I’m not sure what there is to say.

This isn’t a surprise. I’ve known it was coming for a while, just from listening and observing the two of you, and watching the interactions and hearing the response when you were no longer in the same room. You have both confided in me at various times. Nothing about the situation should have shocked me and the place that we right now do not, but I don’t understand how we got here; an uncomfortable place that neither of you seems to be able to leave.

Irrational decisions were made, and are currently being made. People jumped the gun. And now here we all are, crying in separate places, trying to figure out what is safe to say, and everything has just become worse. I didn’t want you to stay together, you definitely should not have, but communication is required to make this work and it feels like you aren’t even trying. To be fair, that was always the weak point. That’s part of how we got into this mess, to begin with. With that knowledge, can’t you take a step back and at least attempt to make sure you are both on the same page, that you both understand what is occurring?

As your oldest child, I beg you to stop and think about your decisions for more than thirty seconds. To stop and think for yourself rather than listening to what your family and friends are telling you to do. Yeah, I probably don’t know the whole situation, but they most certainly know less than me. Why? Because you have only told them one side of the situation, no matter how hard you tried not to, and their opinion will be based both on the information that you have told them and assumptions they are making based on your actions. Please stop.

It would also be appreciated if I didn’t have to pick a side. You have to understand that I am not only your child, that I grew up with both of you and have listened to both of you on so many occasions, and you can’t just ask me to walk away from one. I will always be concerned that you both are okay because someone has to be and right now I’m not sure if anyone else is. People pick sides when all is lost or when someone has done something incredibly wrong that cannot be forgiven. You’re just splitting, that can be forgiven. Please don’t ask me to walk away when your spouse is crying.

Please make better financial decisions so I don’t have to change my lifestyle. I’m aware that this is selfish of me, but I feel like I have the right to say something, especially if it is only on here, a place you likely won’t check because I’m sure you’re too busy to check on my interests at the moment (which I’m not upset about, it’s okay). Even as it is selfish, I’d like you to know that I don’t mean leaving me money to buy clothing I don’t need. I just would like to have the same guarantee that I had before that I won’t have to pay back these college loans on my own. To know that I will still have room to go back to when classes end and you have come to a conclusion.

Actually, I may take part of that back. I’m not sure if I want a room in either house. It’s not that I don’t want to see you guys believe me, I do. It’s that I think I need to find somewhere else that I can be that seems stable and my own. For starters, I’m 20, almost 21, and it’s acceptable for me to find an apartment and step out on my own. The biggest part is that I don’t want to call another place home right now, not when the home I grew up in has divided and will likely be sold off at the rate you guys are going. My sisters are younger, it’s not the same for them. The middle child is soon to leave for college, starting something new for herself, but still at home currently to transition with you. As for the youngest, her life will adjust. I’m too old.

On that note, I’d like you to know that I am too old for this to help. I know you are concerned, that you wish that I will not look back on this negatively since I was around to “see the good”. Maybe that’s what made it worse though. I remember when it was normal when we all wanted to be around each other, when relationships didn’t seem like such an awful thing. It’s been too long though, and I’m a very cynical person who is well aware what negative traits I received from both of you, so relationships don’t interest me anymore. I’m not telling you this to make you feel bad, to try and force you to regret your decision. I just want you to know that this isn’t going to be a magic fix, that I still remember and still care. So please don’t act like nothing happened, like I’m supposed to smile and laugh when I talk to you, because that’s not the case.

I’m letting you split up. Let me mourn.


Love you both,

Your Daughter