I've never been able to understand what it means to grow up with parents who are divorced because not only did I never have to go through the complicated house switches that some kids did, but I never even conceived the mere possibility of my parents not getting along, nevermind splitting up. Having divorced parents is relatively common today. As much as I've tried to understand the challenges that come along with being a kid whose parents are going through a divorce, I don't think I've ever come close to imagining what it would really be like. I can only imagine that going from living in one house to living in two can be quite confusing and frustrating for kids, parents, and everyone in between. I've had lots of friends who've tried to explain why things can be arguably more complicated in their hous(es) than in mine. I am also aware that some separations work quite smoothly, and that some families can be great communicators when it comes to difficult topics. Still, things must be more complicated regardless, no? Maybe things get better when the kids are in college? The point is I'm pretty clueless about all of this. Even though I've been surrounded by divorces in terms of friends being at their dad's house and not being able to hang out, and so on, it's impressive how much I've tried to empathize for years without having an idea. To paint you a picture of my obliviousness, I didn't know the difference between step-sibling and half-sibling until a few years ago. Sure, it comes as second nature when you grow up in an environment with step-sisters and half-cousins, but all of that had to be explained to me. Since there were never conflicts between my parents, and they could talk about everything together, I think my sisters and I had less of the side effects of poor communication. I've never heard my parents fight about anything more serious than which character they think is the bad guy in a mystery movie! I can only imagine what it's like for kids who hear fighting constantly. Even if I never quite understand, I can say with certainty that I simply feel so lucky to have always lived in a home with parents who have gotten along.
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