Updated: Nov 3, 2019
As those of you who used to read my old blog (teenagelifebeth)will know, a few years ago my parents' got divorced. I have spoken in this before in a few posts on my old blog (which you can read here, here, and here), but I have not spoken about how their divorce has impacted on my life or how it has affected my view on marriage and having kids. This is something I want to talk about today.
When my parents' divorce was finalised in 2017 (they split up at the end of 2014) I felt a bit lost and was really unsure of what to do with myself. My 'support' network around me was not actually that supportive (I was with my ex at the time and he just completely ignored the fact that this big, life-changing thing had just happened to me and instead chose to complain that he had gone out for a meal with his family and my other ex was serving him -talk about priorities!) and my friends did not really understand why this was really affecting me. At a time when I needed supportive people around me, instead what I got was people who would expect me to be there for them in that situation, yet they could not be there for me. I think this was what caused me to keep everything I was feeling in the time after all of this had happened to myself as I felt that no one was really interested in what I had to say about my feelings. This then led to me piling on the stress for myself, at a time when I needed to remain as stress-free as possible due to me starting year 13 and being in the final year of my A-Levels; as well as starting the long process of applying to university.
One of the things I told myself when my parents' got divorced was that when I eventually got married I would never get divorced and that instead of screaming and yelling at my husband I would make sure that we found the time to sit down and talk everything through so that we both know how each other feels and to try and meet each other in the middle. I said that this would not only be to the benefit of myself, my husband and our marriage, but also for the sake of any children we have so that they do not have to go through what myself and my brothers went through for pretty much our entire lives up until our parents actually divorced.
In one of the links I have posted above, I spoke about how my parents' marriage was quite toxic and that they were constantly arguing with one another. I am not sure that they realised that these stupid arguments not only impacted them, but also impacted on their children. I remember one time when I was about seven and my Dad had just told my Mum something, which resulted in them starting to bicker. Then when the argument got really heated, my Mum made me go upstairs to my room so that they could have this argument, which then resulted in my Dad storming out and slamming the door shut behind him. This was pretty much a regular occurrence throughout their entire marriage, although a lot of the time they would have these arguments in front of me and my brothers, resulting in me crying quite a lot, sometimes in front of them and sometimes alone in my room.
Above I mentioned what I had vowed to myself about a potential future marriage, which I did pretty much as soon as my parents told me they were getting divorced. It is a few years later now and I have grown as a person (not literally, I am still five foot and have been since 2011). But as I have gotten older I have realised that maybe marriage is not for me. I am not sure whether this is because I currently do not have a boyfriend and currently do not ever see myself finding someone who is not a creep and who is actually a genuinely nice guy who I would be willing to spend the rest of my life with; or whether this is because I genuinely never want to get married, no matter who I am with.
What I am saying is, I would never rule marriage out completely, however I do not think I would want to get married, then have kids, then put my kids through what my parents put me and my brothers through, and then having to spend much more money than I did on the wedding on getting divorced (my Mum said that with the amount she spent on a divorce, she could have spent on paying for me to go to university three times). What I want to do instead is to build up a really good relationship with my partner and have kids and then when we have been together for a really long time and our kids are in their teens or maybe even adults, then if we feel it is the right thing to do, we could take ourselves, our kids and a small amount of our family (and possibly a few friends) abroad to watch us get married. I know that might sound weird but my next door neighbours recently did that and gave me the idea for it. They have been together for 25 years and have two sons (one is 19 and the other is 15) and a few weeks ago they took themselves and their kids and eight other people away to Greece for two weeks to watch them get married.
I have never really wanted a big wedding: 1) because my anxiety will not allow it and 2) because I know I will feel like I have to invite a load of family members who I know do not really care about me or like me but who will kick off if I do not invite them. I have never really liked the idea of a church wedding as even though I am Christened I do not really see myself as a religious person and the idea of vowing to stay with someone through thick and thin for the rest of my life in order to please a guy who I do not think exists does not sit well with me. I also hate the idea of having to walk down the aisle with loads of people turning around and staring at me and then continuing to stare at me for another hour whilst I get married to the love of my life. I do not see the point in spending a load of money that myself nor my family has on one party that even though it is apparently the best day of my life, when I would rather spend that money on being able to build a life for myself, my partner and any children we have. I would much rather have an incredibly small wedding where I am surrounded by the people in my life who I genuinely care about and love and spend as little as possible as I would rather spend that money on a house to live in, or even just to be able to put food on the table every day.
What about you? Are your parents divorced? Has their divorce had an impact on your views of marriage? Let me know in the comments below. If your parents are currently going through a divorce and you are really struggling with this, or if your parents are already divorced like mine and you are also struggling, then please get in contact with me. There is a contacts tab at the top of the page, or if you click on the twitter or instagram buttons at the very top of the page then these will take you to my twitter and instagram pages where you can DM me; whether it is about dealing with your parents' divorce, or just to have a general chat.
I am always here for every single one of you that reads this, so please do not ever hesitate to contact me about whatever you are struggling with. It is always best to talk about these things, never hold it in.
Love Beth xx