Most articles concerning the effect of divorce upon children limit their scope to young children. However, with the increase in divorces of long-time married couples, more and more adult children are experiencing the negative effects of divorce. The first two books that follow deal with the impact of divorce upon adult children. The third tracks children of divorce from early childhood into adulthood.
"The Way They Were: Dealing with Your Parents’ Divorce After a Lifetime of Marriage" by Brooke Lea Foster, a staff writer for The Washingtonian and has written for Parents magazine, Good Housekeeping, and Psychology Today.
Publisher’s Weekly gives the following review: "Whatever we believe about the effects of divorce on young children, we often assume parental divorce won’t hurt an adult child. Foster couldn’t disagree more strongly. Adult children of divorce often end up being their parents’ caretakers, she says, forced to listen to details they’d have been spared if they were younger. Now Mom’s crying about Dad’s slutty girlfriend, Dad’s trying to figure out why Mom’s not satisfied anymore and each parent is busy lobbying for sympathy or assistance. Adult children may even be made to feel guilty that their parents stayed together so unhappily for so many years, just for their sakes. With much empathy and little jargon, Foster discusses the process of adjusting to parental divorce, detailing the challenges of each stage—how to set boundaries on parental ranting, quit trying to make everyone happy, deal with the inevitable stepparent, etc.—with a summary of main points at each chapter’s end.
"A Grief Out of Season: When Your Parents Divorce in Your Adult Years" by Noelle Fintushel and Nancy Hillard, Ph.D.
Publisher’s Weekly gives the following review: "The stress of divorces among older couples on their adult children is distinctly different from and more severe than that experienced by younger offspring of divorcing parents, contend freelance writer Fintushel (whose parents were divorced when she was 22) and family therapist Hillard. In this enlightening, well-organized book, the authors claim that when "mature" couples divorce, as they are doing in increasing numbers, they often depend on their children to help them adjust to their new lives, thereby dividing the offsprings’ loyalties and threatening their independence. Hillard and Fintushel offer strategies for overcoming feelings of betrayal, guilt and alienation, which in some cases are aggravated by a parent’s remarriage. They also strongly recommend professional guidance to aid in healing and reweaving family bonds."
Publisher’s Weekly gives the following review: "Twenty-five years ago, when the impact of divorce on children was not well understood, Wallerstein began what has now become the largest study on the subject. This book presents the psychologist’s startling findings. By tracking approximately 100 children as they forge their lives as adults, she has found that contrary to the popular belief that kids would bounce back after the initial pain of their parents’ split, children of divorce often continue to suffer well into adulthood. Their pain plays out in their relationships, their work lives and their confidence about parenting themselves. Wallerstein argues that although the situation is dire, there is hope to be found at the end of good counseling and healing."
SOURCE: Oklahoma Family Law Blog