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Does Divorce Change A Family?

Updated on August 3, 2022
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LA is a creative writer from the greater Boston area of Massachusetts.

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When I was in my mid-teens, my Dad moved out and my parents got a divorce. Though it was coming for a long time, when it eventually did happen, it brought definite changes. My home environment suddenly resembled the homes of the bulk of my friends. I hated it.

Even if you don’t always see a place in your life for both of your parents, when the choice is taken away, you feel it deeply. My Mom was always, in my young eyes, the only person I had to answer to. As I was the only girl, my father seemed to step back when it came to raising me. He was a shy guy and, though he had grown up with sisters, the idea of dealing with “girl issues” was too much for him. I knew he loved me, but I also knew that my mom would always be the more active parent. I rarely spoke to him, but I always noticed him. When he moved out, the house felt empty. I enjoyed having one less person to contend with when I wanted to watch something on television. I liked how calm my mom suddenly was. The environment was somewhat less tense. Yet, as I said, it was empty. I never realized how much I needed my dad until he moved away.

I can still remember the noise the front door made when my dad left. I remember watching him put stuff in his car and fighting the urge to melodramatically tell him not to leave. Even though I realized that his leaving was for the best, I suddenly saw him as I did when I was little and couldn’t understand why this had happened. After he left, I never looked at him the same way again. It hurt too much to treat him like a dad. When he would visit our house or when my brothers and I would go visit him, I had the worst time making eye contact. I also had to try really, really hard to be nice to him. When you’re in the middle of something uncomfortable, you don’t think about your past history. You think about protecting yourself and trying to remain unaffected.

Though it is only my opinion, I would say that there is a definite change when a house goes from two parents to one. Beyond money becoming tight and there being one less person eating with you, you lose some of the good feeling you get from being a family. When one member leaves, you start to wonder if the rest of the members are important. If you’re capable of proceeding on with your life after your dad leaves, do you really need the other three to survive? Yes, of course you know you need your family, but why are you trying to maintain relationships with them when clearly ties can be severed so easily? It’s a loss you never get over even if it’s a necessary loss.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2009 L A Walsh


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